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Senator speaks for fathers (The Ottawa Citizen)

The Ottawa Citizen
June 8, 2002

Dave Brown

Senator speaks for fathers

Senator Anne Cools is becoming something of a star in the United States with her pro-father politics.

The International Fatherhood Conference in Washington, D.C., on May 27 -- at which Ms. Cools was a keynote speaker -- drew 2,000 delegates. When she was introduced, according to Howard University political science professor Stephen Baskerville, who attended the event, she drew a standing ovation. When she finished, he said, the crowd was again on its feet roaring approval.

Asked about the different attitudes between the countries, Ms. Cools said Thursday: "In Canada we (pro-family and pro-divorce reform) have the support of the public, but the government won't act. It's the reverse in the U.S."

Some excerpts from her speech:

"Misguided social policies of the last many decades have been reckless with children's lives. Misguided policies have created fatherlessness. Misguided policies in social welfare law, in family law, in divorce law, in child welfare law ... Fathers face courts, laws, and systems that will not hear their voices ...

"The economic consequences of a father's absence are often accompanied by psychological consequences, which include higher-than-average levels of youth suicide, low intellectual and educational performance and higher than average rates of mental illness ..."