Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's remarks on Bill C-22. It is important legislation for which parents and, more important, children have waited a long time.
Unfortunately, as he alluded to in his remarks, the government missed the boat entirely. It missed the fundamental principle that was enshrined in the report “For the Sake of the Children”. The fundamental guiding principle of all the 48 recommendations that were contained in the joint House of Commons--Senate report was that of shared parenting.
I would like to refer my colleague to the comments of the Minister of Justice on February 4 when he introduced Bill C-22 in the Chamber. I am quoting from Hansard . The minister said:
The term “shared parenting” has become associated for some people with a presumptive starting point about the appropriate parenting arrangement for children upon divorce. As a result, using the term “shared parenting” in the Divorce Act would have led to confusion.
My belief and the belief of the committee is exactly the opposite. To clarify that both parents upon divorce have equal standing, responsibilities and obligations to their children, we need to have shared parenting enshrined in the Divorce Act. It is the fundamental building block of the whole report.
I would ask my colleague to comment on that.