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Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Equal Parenting and 100,000 missing fathers in Canada

One Hundred Thousand Missing and Murdered Fathers

In Canada numerous organizations and governments at a “national roundtable” Feb 27, 2015, have drawn attention to, and promised action for, one thousand missing and murdered aboriginal women over a decade. During that same period, over one hundred thousand Canadian fathers are missing from the lives of their children, some of them murdered. For fathers, no action has been promised, no funding offered, and no government is willing to work with any organization on this issue.
No one should be murdered and we should be concerned about all the missing. But we will not solve these problems by dividing people into those who matter and leaving others without justice.
Leaders of the Native Women’s Association have admitted that during the same period, more native men are “missing and murdered” than native women. Like the domestic violence issue, only female victims get government concern, media attention and prompt funding. The issue may have more to do with a scramble for government funding, sexist media bias and using the issue as a political weapon than any real concern for victims of violence.
Conflating the missing with the murdered does a disservice to both groups. Not all missing are murdered (missing can mean suicide, runaways, accident or other causes). It is not clear that successful anti-murder strategies (and none seem to be agreed upon at the national roundtable) can work on those missing. We do know that the courts and the government have made great efforts to excuse women who kill fathers, husbands and boyfriends. In fact, the “female discount” as it is called, is taught in Canada’s law schools and statistics from Professor Grant Brown show that it is practiced in Canada’s courts. If tough on crime works, it makes no sense to be excessively lenient on women. If leniency works, it makes no sense to be excessively tough on men. Perhaps the aim is to bias the courts for women and against men.
Biased courts have made over one hundred thousand fathers absent from the lives of their children. Some fathers have been murdered, such as Corporal Cirillo, ordered to protect Canada’s war memorial with no ammunition, but most are missing because of the deliberate actions of Canada’s judges, family court costs, procedures and government anti-father actions. 80% of suicides are men in Canada and the suicide rate of divorced fathers is twelve times that of divorced women. Few women are missing because of similar discriminatory actions of governments and courts.
Mindless calls for “action” on missing women from the federal cabinet was matched with mindless votes against C-560, the bill which proposed keeping both parents in the lives of their children.
Ontario’s premier Kathleen Wynne feels “not enough” is being done for women. At the same time, her actions in blocking services for men and fathers show that she believes “none is too many” when it comes to fathers in the lives of their children.
Governments and their quasi-NGOs generally do not have solutions to the problems of violence, so much of this is their public posturing. They believe they have to be seen to be “doing something” but they don’t agree on what, except for throwing money as the same groups and people who have been “doing something” for decades, with no noticeable changes.
Government sexism and the profits to be made in adversarial family law are driving the problems that fathers have in staying in the lives of their children. So it is ironic that the key factor in the likelihood of runaways, suicides and other “missing” children is that the father is “missing” or not parenting the children.
The very actions of governments in promoting sole custody which translates as the child is “missing” the father, significantly drives the missing women and girls problem. It is no accident that fatherless is substantially higher in native communities and that this translates into more missing women and girls.
It would be nice if government and politicians gained some awareness of this connection and acted to keep both parents in the lives of children. It is more likely that they will continue to throw more money at the same failed “actions” while keeping the profits flowing for the divorce industry. And children and fathers will continue to suffer while society pays for failed actions that no one believes will make any real change.
Please send a message to your political representatives asking for real action for real change with equality and respect for both parents. The hundred thousand fathers and their children will thank you.

Canadian Equal Parenting Council
631 Tubman Cr., Ottawa K1V8L5 613-260-2659
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