Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question.
One of the purposes of the bill is to make the best interests of the child central to the process. However, many witnesses who have attended divorce proceedings with couples for decades said that the proceedings are adversarial. During divorce proceedings, the children are often ignored. The parents do not mean to do that, but it is a two-party process and the children represent a third party.
It is therefore important for the federal government to have a mechanism and the necessary resources to ensure that children are well represented. In that way, the federal government would be helping the provinces.
Children often hear their parents talking about the divorce proceedings. There needs to be a third party who understands the legal system participating in the discussions. Their only mandate would be to ensure that the child's interests are represented throughout the process. The designated person would know when to intervene to express the will and interests of the child. The child's point of view would be represented at all times.
Some lawyers came to testify to tell us that, unfortunately, some judges are not well-suited to adequately speak to children. This is an intimidating experience for the children. Everything has to unfold in a climate of trust.
Children are often stuck in the middle between two parents and they do not want to say anything to upset either parent. Children should be able to confide, in a neutral way, in a professional who can then attest to their needs when a divorce happens. Children's best interests can then truly be the number one concern. Many witnesses gave us very concrete examples demonstrating why that is the best way forward.