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Feminists boycott custody forums (The Ottawa Citizen)

The Ottawa Citizen
June 7, 2001
Chris Cobb

Feminists boycott custody forums: Sitting down with fathers' advocates would further 'subordinate' women, feminist groups claim


The consultation process has grown from a joint Senate-Commons committee, which produced a report called For the Sake of the Children two years ago after a series of hearings across the country.

Liberal MP Roger Gallaway, who co-chaired the special committee, has called the survey an "affront to Parliament" and an effort to delay reform. The MP gate-crashed yesterday's session with fellow committee member, Liberal Senator Anne Cools.

"It's an expensive joke," said Mr. Gallaway. "It's all rather discouraging because this isn't a consultation of ordinary Canadians, it's a consultation among interest groups -- it's consultants consulting consultants."

The joint committee spent a year from January 1998 holding hearings on custody and access. The cornerstone of its many recommendations is the replacing of custody and access with a new concept called "shared parenting" under which both separated or divorced parents would have an automatic right to be involved in the raising of their children.