Reforming Family Justice For Ontarians - Support
Here's what people are saying about Ontario's proposed family law legislation:
"This is indeed a day that the family law bar has been waiting for," said Tom Dart, Chair, Family Law Section, Ontario Bar Association. "Minister Bentley is taking significant legislative steps towards a number of OBA goals and for which we have been advocating for many years."
"The Law Commission of Ontario is pleased that our recommendations on division of pensions on marital breakdown have been able to contribute in a substantial way to clarifying this issue that has been frustrating couples, family lawyers and pension plan administrators for so long," said Dr. Patricia Hughes, the Executive Director of the Law Commission of Ontario. "And we look forward to continuing the productive relationship with the government represented by the pension initiative."
"Those of us who work with abused women and their children are thrilled with this package of family law reforms. This legislation would help hundreds of women and children by making justice faster, more accessible and more affordable," said Pamela Cross, legal consultant and violence against women advocate. "Making restraining orders available to more women who live in an environment of violence is an important step forward in both preventing and responding to violence against women."
"We welcome this much needed and long-awaited reform," said Nicole Tellier, a Director of The Advocates' Society. "It will simplify the law and enhance fairness for the many Ontarians whose only contact with the justice system is in the area of family law."
"YWCA Toronto provides emergency shelter to 547 women and their children each year, many of whom are fleeing violence. This package of reforms will ensure that more of these women are able to keep themselves and their children safe as they move forward to lives free from violence," said Heather McGregor, YWCA Toronto CEO.
"Action ontarienne contre la violence faite aux femmes appreciated being consulted about the proposed reform. If, as a result of this reform, women are better able to explain their situations and thus be better heard by the Courts, their safety will have been improved," said Ghislaine Sirois, Executive Director of AOcVF.
"The Ministry of the Attorney General has recognized the particular vulnerability of women and children and provided Family Court Judges with a valuable array of tools to help protect their safety," said Barbara MacQuarrie Community Director, Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children. "Advocates for women and children, certain that the new legislation will help to save lives, welcome the steps this government has taken to bring about these reforms to Family Law in Ontario."
"Giving couples the power to settle pension assets at the time that their marriage breaks down is a big win for our members," said Rosemarie McClean, Senior Vice-President, Member Services, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. "The proposed approach is fair and simple for all parties involved, including pension plan administrators, whose efforts can remain focused on other value added services for members."
"The Law Society of Upper Canada shares the government's concern with access to justice and public protection for Ontarians" said Society treasurer W.A. Derry Millar. "These reforms will provide benefit to both women and children, particularly through times of increased vulnerability resulting from family distress."
Shahina Siddiqui, Executive Director of the Islamic Social Services Association said government focus on helping families have the right to prosecute breaches of restraining orders will help keep women and children safe. "We welcome this announcement and support the government's commitment to ensuring the rights and safety of women and children in Ontario."