Dec. 2, 2004. 07:32 PMCANADIAN PRESS
The proposed legislation would double the maximum jail sentence to six months for those who don't pay their required child support, Community and Social Services Minister Sandra Pupatello told the legislature.
About 1,500 parents a year spend time behind bars for failing to pay support, but three months in jail isn't enough of a deterrent, Pupatello said outside the legislature.
"We don't want to send people in jail and put them in a position not to earn so they can't pay, but we do mean to send a message that we are serious about this," she said.
Currently, deadbeat parents in Ontario owe $1.2 billion in support payments to their former spouses and children.
Renate Diorio, co-founder of Families Against Deadbeats, said she believes the total is closer to $1.6 billion.
Diorio questioned the need for more jail time since it takes a parent out of the workforce and can be used as an excuse to not pay.
In Alberta, the maximum jail time is 90 days, said Manuel da Costa, executive director of the province's maintenance enforcement program.
But few deadbeat parents spend time behind bars because the program uses jail as a last resort, he said.
"Our objective is to get them to pay," da Costa said. "We want them to get the message."
Ontario's proposed bill would also give the province's Family Responsibility Office the power to post on a website pictures of those who shirk their child support duties.
But Pupatello admitted it could be some time before such a website is up and running.
"Quite frankly right now, I need to have the confidence that we would put the right people on the website with the right level of arrears," she said.
Alberta already has such a website, and officials locate about 60 per cent of the people whose pictures are posted, Pupatello said.
Diorio urged the Ontario government to set up its website as quickly as possible.
"It's all for the children," she said. "Children are placed on the backburner and it shouldn't be that way."
Alberta has a separate investigations unit that searches for deadbeat parents, da Costa said. Diorio suggested Ontario should do the same.
"Let's get investigators in there," she said. "Alberta's got an investigative unit and they've had (pictures) on the website for the longest time already. Why are we so slow?"
If passed, Ontario's bill would also give the government more power to track down deadbeat parents, such as allowing the province to demand personal information from trade unions. It would also let the government ask for information from those with a financial relationship to the parent.
In addition to already being able to suspend deadbeat parents' driver's licences, the changes would let the government report such parents to professional organizations and suspend hunting and fishing licences.
New Democrat house leader Peter Kormos said reporting deadbeat parents to those organizations is pointless.
"That doesn't put money in the account for parents and their kids," Kormos said.
To improve efficiency, the Family Responsibility Office would allow a parent's workplace to send payments to the office electronically and require direct deposits for recipients.
The legislation would also allow the government to stop enforcing child support payments when the recipient doesn't respond to eligibility inquiries, and it would let the office cut off support paid by a parent once a child is no longer eligible.
Response from the Ottawa Men's Centre
Note, The Ontario government does nothing about women denying access or the epidemic problem of corrupt judges. It means we are following the American model that warehouses hundreds of thousands of fathers who simply lost their employment. They get horrible diseases and some are only released to die a few days later at home. Read the story of Wilbur Wright of New Jersey.
Most Ontario lawyers will admit privately that 60% of a judges are corrupt and that judges rarely ever find a woman in contempt.
Take Ottawa's most corrupt pair of Judges, McKinnon and Desousa. Madame Justice Desousa strikes fathers pleadings so they never get a hearing. Justice Jennifer McKinnon "case manages" which means she hides the files in her office and effectively prevents any filing of documents. This pair of corrupt man-haters specifically victimize self represented litigants.
Both of these man-hating FemiNazi bitches from hell rule with similar ethics of a Gestapo officer ordering prisoners into a gas chamber. They have caused fathers and children to be tortured and not doubt, many of their decisions like most of those from Ontario Family Court Judges were effectively death sentences to fathers..
Our Ontario Judiciary is a cesspool of lowest forms of life who desire absolute power for the narcissistic goal of publicly demonstrating their pathological bias and hatred towards men.
Ottawa Men's Centre