TORONTO -- Ontario parents who don't pay their child support will face more jail time and harsher penalties under legislation to be introduced Thursday.
The proposed legislation would double maximum jail time to 180 days for those who don't pay their required child support, Community and Social Services Minister Sandra Pupatello said in a release.
"Making sure families get the money they are owed is key to helping them become self-sufficient, strong and healthy," Pupatello said.
Currently, deadbeat parents owe $1.2 billion in unpaid support payments.
"This move will ensure that Ontario families finally get what they deserve," said Renate Diorio, co-founder of Families Against Deadbeats.
The proposed bill would also give the province's Family Responsibility Office the power to post on a website identifying information about those who don't pay child support.
The bill would also give the office more power to get financial and other information to track down deadbeat parents.
In addition to already being able to suspend deadbeat parents' drivers licences, the changes would let the government report these parents to professional licensing bodies, and suspend hunting and fishing licences.
To improve efficiency, the office would allow a parent's work to send payments to the office electronically and require direct deposits for recipients.