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Child custody survey angers Liberal MPs: (The Ottawa Citizen)

The Ottawa Citizen
April 23, 2001
Chris Cobb

Child custody survey angers Liberal MPs: Justice Department shows `wanton disregard for will of Parliament'

A massive federal government survey on custody, access and child support is a contemptuous affront to Parliament and an attempt to delay much-needed changes to the Divorce Act, two prominent Liberals charge.

The federal Justice Department has mailed thousands of survey packages to politicians, family-law specialists and other "stakeholders" across the country.


Liberal Senator Anne Cools, the most vocal parliamentarian in calling for changes to the Divorce Act, said the Justice Department's booklets are "amateurish" and indicate a "wanton disregard for the will of Parliament."

"The minister has all the information she needs to change the act," said Ms. Cools. "Professional polls have been done and they show Canadians are overwhelmingly in favour of change."

Virginia McRae, general counsel of the Justice Department's Family, Children and Youth section, said the booklets were sent to all parliamentarians, to all those who appeared before the joint committee and other provincial and territorial "stakeholders." Canadians with access to the Internet can also participate.