moved for leave to introduce Bill C-469, an act to amend the Divorce Act (shared parenting).
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague from Fraser Valley for seconding this important bill.
The purpose of the bill is to amend the Divorce Act so that in the event of separation or divorce the court will grant child custody to both parents, except in cases of proof of abuse, neglect, mistreatment or if it is not in the best interests of the child.
All too often children are used as pawns during emotional divorce proceedings. The bill would stop that by putting both parents on an equal footing. Automatic joint custody would increase the probability of support payment compliance, reduce court appearances by one parent trying to gain access to their child and reduce the likelihood of one parent denying the right of the other to see their children.
Four years ago a special joint committee on child custody and access recommended that shared parenting be included in new legislation. It is yet to be introduced. Children are still waiting for this government to act.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)