The war on men

National Post 

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Marguerite E. Ritchie



Re: Debtor Dads Displayed On Alberta Site, June 19.


As an Albertan, I was brought up to believe in equality of men and women. So I was appalled to learn that the government of my home province has created a website that publicizes the pictures of dads who have missed spousal payments for six months or more. They are made to look like criminals.


They are not. Family courts across Canada, instead of helping families stay together, are openly biased against men. They act on perjured evidence, refuse to allow cross-examination, make orders against men who are not present or order unrealistic payments that violate the principles of justice and equality.


The courts don't care about whether the woman is responsible for the break-up or whether she is a wife or a live-in or whether she cleaned out the bank account before demanding support.


The result is destruction of families. Some men resort to suicide. Some disappear or are in and out of the legal system constantly. Many men lose their children and many children lose their fathers forever.


We can do better. Governments should use these funds for qualified advisors to identify the problems and help work out better solutions. The family courts have failed completely.


Marguerite E. Ritchie, president, Human Rights Institute of Canada, Ottawa.