Mr. Speaker, the minister is quite right that the bill updates language to make it less adversarial, talking about “parenting” and “contact”. There are some who might say this is window dressing, but I would respectfully disagree. I believe that words matter, and to the degree that this might minimize the adversarial nature of a divorce and the impact it might have on children, so much the better. Indeed, there was a fair bit of support from the family law bar for those changes.
There was only one issue I would raise, which came up at committee. There was some concern from witnesses for, I believe, the South Asian Legal Clinic out of Toronto. They said, for example, that it might be problematic in an international context. They cited an example in which a father had abducted his child and taken that child to Pakistan. The mother sought to be reunited with her child in Canada, and they stated that the court in Pakistan was very specific in looking for the term “custody” and seeing that terminology used in the order. That is the only issue we may want to consider. However, that aside, I think it is a positive step.