Hello Canada. I thought it would be a good idea for you to be able to read some feedback that I
have been receiving from our fellow Canadian citizens. When you read their words, you can make up
your own mind as to whether or not the Canadian Government and the Canadian Family Law System that
they have put in place, is one that cares about their tax paying citizens. You will get a real sense
as to whether or not the Canadian Government cares about this nation's children, and this nation's
families. I will let their words speak for themselves as to whether or not Canada is a nation that
cares about Justice, Equality and fundamental Human Rights:
From: Ross in Manitoba
Well done Sir. I have been formulating a book to express the injustice Fathers
suffer at the hands of the system. Our system works like a pendulum and our generation of Divorced
Fathers continue to suffer for the poor decisions of Fathers from years ago.
I noticed you running through Carberry, Manitoba, as I returned to Brandon with one of my daughters. My wife told me about your visit to Brandon. We are sorry we did not get a chance to meet with you. We have just completed a custody issue with the mother of my children. We were refused equal/shared custody - despite the acceptance of my children to the idea or the findings of the Home Assessor - all because the Mother was strongly against it, and therefore it became a solution which could not be recommended.
From Ron in BC:
Hi Dave. I'm Todd Blackstocks' former father-in-law and I fully support his efforts re shared
parenting and I support you also and will send a donation immediately.
There was much talk of men's suffering on the news today so things are finally taking off! Good luck
and best of health to you. Yours is a great quest!
From Cliff in Alberta:
Hi Dave. Do not want to miss the fanfare when you hit Calgary. Your blog shows you beside a sign at the Alberta border. Can you tell me when you are hitting Calgary and if there's media events planned?
Thanks and good luck!
From Stephen in Ontario:
I live in Fort Erie , Ontario and am interested in providing a support vehicle for Dave
when he comes through Ontario . Do you have anticipated dates for his passing through Ontario ?
I told my nine year old Son about Dave and he wants to come out and meet him. If
the dates work, I will bring Nathan with me. If the dates don’t line up, I will come on my own.
~Stephen Fisches (Dad) and Nathan Fisches. (Son)
From Richard in Vancouver BC:
A quick note to let you know that you have my support.
The family laws, the unjust and often horrendous treatment of caring and loving fathers in court and out of court, and even the general attitude towards men by society / media these days, all have a detrimental effect on men in ways which I don't have room to list here. Worst of all, this has a trickle - down effect on the kids, hurting them perhaps as much or even more than the dads themselves. These things all have to change.
You're "on the right track"! Too bad I missed you when you were in town. I hope media picks up your story in a big way, as it is really deserving.
From Jeff in Aberta:
Good luck on your run. I know you can make it. I myself have been chastised as a loving and devoted father by the courts in Canada regarding equal parental rights for our children. It has been a financial struggle. Dads across Canada need more fathers like yourself to raise awareness of the messed up and biased towards women family Judaical system. I would love to run with you to support your cause but have to work to pay to see my children. My father would like to meet you when you come through Alberta to talk about your cause and what you had to endure from our flawed family court system.
Run through the pain my friend!
devoted father of Meadow & Ryder
From Michael in Northern Ontario:
I offer you my support and ecouragement on this task. I salute you.
I have been through the system and feel it is evil, pure and simple. I would be honoured to run
with you on a portion of highway 17 in Northern Ontario accompanied by my children.
I will try and anticipate the date of your arrival and begin planning.
Again, many thanks for this incredible sojourn.
From Dave in Alberta:
I'm most pleased to hear you are starting your run tomorrow. As luck would have it I'm in Victoria
visiting my grandparents for a few days. I'd come out in the morning for the start of the run if i
knew when and where. :-)
I'm also eager to provide any help I can when you're coming through AB & SK. I
could provide and drive a support vehicle from Strathmore to Swift Current probably. I'm pretty
tight for funds, but will do what I can to help. I've just sent a small donation again through
paypal. It's not much, and I wish I could send more, but my finances are worse than a disaster since the divorce.
Wishing you all the best. If there is anything I can do to help, please don't hesitate to ask. God Bless you!
Subject: Marathon of Hope Question
I hope today's run was amazing! I posted a note on the Running Room's bulletin board about your run. One person commented they were concerned that "Marathon of Hope" was used in the run title because they felt this belongs to Terry Fox's legacy. I wanted to let you know as I imagine there is a lot of press and media ahead of you, so wanted to pass the message along and ask if you would like a response to their concern posted.
I believe that Terry Fox gave us a tremendous gift in teaching us that we all, as normal people, can do extraordinary things, and truly can acheive our own "Marathon's of Hope" :)
Go DAVE! Canada is a better place because of people like you.
From Brian in Toronto:
Dave, best of luck on this tremendous effort. As VP Legislative Affairs of the CEPC, and one of the drafters of Bill C-422, I commend your effort to draw attention to the need to end the Divorce Wars. When you get near Toronto, send me an email and I will come out and cheer you on.
From Vicki in Alberta:
I wanted to also share with you that I have sent an email out to all my friends and family asking them to sign the petition. I recieved some great feedback from my cousin's wife (she lives in Maine but is a Canadian). This is all below for you to read.
I appreciated your personal note to thank me for the donation, but really, I need to thank you for your great courage and conviction to raise awareness for equal parenting. I wish I was still living in the Calgary area so I might help out more with your run, but am up in Red Deer now.
I hope your run is successful and that you recieve lots of support across Canada. You are doing a great services to hundreds of thousands (perhaps even millions) of family members experiencing pain due to our faulty family justice system.
Take care, stay safe, and again, thank YOU!
(Here is the email that Vicki sent to her friends and family, which she forwarded to me)
As many of you know, I experienced Parental Alienation in my very difficult divorce. In 86% of cases, it is the father who is left fighting for access to their children. I was one of the 14% of mothers faced with this terrible situation.
I was the target of false allegations of abuse, mental illness, criminal behaviour, etc. My family members were also targeted (my mother, my deceased father, my husband, my grandparents). My children were bullied, manipulated, and forced to "choose" which parent they wanted to live with, when all along they deserved the time and love of both parents equally. When I realized that my children were suffering terribly because of the ongoing litigation and pressure from their father to pick a side, I quit fighting for equal access so they could get some peace.
I learned that the Canadian justice system is deeply flawed when it comes to divorce and custody/access. I learned that the individual who ihas the fewest morals and the most financial resources wins, in spite of what's best for the children. I learned that court orders are useless and unenforceable and do not help children. I learned that contempt of court is never pursued with parent's who refuse to follow the law and judge's orders. I learned that judges, psychologists, mediators, and lawyers are woefully inept in identifying and remedying Parental Alienation and in helping the kids involved.
I have also just learned that a very brave man is running across Canada in order to raise awareness for equal shared parenting. I would really appreciate it if you would take a quick look at his website, and in particular, check out the "How Can I Help?" tab. There are a number of ways you can show support. Please consider signing the Equal Shared Parenting Petition, it will only take a minute to add your name. Our children need the laws changed here in Canada so they can enjoy the love of both parents equally.
From Grant in Kamloops, BC:
This run of yours has brought back unbelievable unreasonable memories of hurt to me. I fired my lawyer in Kamloops and interviewed many about mediation but I was viewed as having two heads.This was divorce war you idiots.
Dave, out of all the divorce experience with children I remember one thing I wanted, I needed a Law that I would want. Mandatory Divorce Mediation if Children are involved. Where one parent could call for attendance to a program, or a few sessions to talk, to debrief, with community councillors and such. Many People need help to face this new reality and adjust and work through the shock, the faster the easier for children I think. This is a law for talking to each other. For affordability there are schools and churches everywhere that could help facilitate this. I also remember that I could not have joint custody because she would not agree to it! ??? For no other reason than control.
PS - I have not seen my Children on Xmas morning since 1988. Reasonable and generous visitation? SO RUN DAVE RUN!
From Stephen in Calgary:
Dave, I commend what you are doing to raise awareness to families caught in divorce. I am actually the one that asked Jay Hill to present a private members bill about this starting in the late 90's and eventually made it's way to bill c245.
I live in Calgary. Time is difficult for me but if I can help in some way, I'd like to. Have you contacted the media here? the Herald ran a story about dead beat dads and MEPs website identifying them. Jim Rutherford of a local radio station was a big proponent of supporting Dads in divorce.
As you go through various places, I'd wonder about you popping into the MPs offices. ie Rob Anders, Stephen Harper etc in Calgary. Be a great media splash....especially at Harper's office.
Let me know when you are coming here. If you have a place to stay. What media and father's groups you've contacted. Having lived through a horror story for 20 year of my kid's lives and having inaugurated that original bill....you might want to pick my brain.
I look forward to hearing from you. I will call as well.
One thing to put forward to media is why is it despite the Liberals with their Report for the Sake of the Children, that was the epitome of democracy as far as getting public input that proved change was needed, and the Conservative's promise to address the need for change , has there been nothing done to execute that change that would benefit children?
Anyhoo.....good luck and be well.
P.S. When Paul Martin introduced the changes to child support legislation, he said the first thing children need is financial support. I always thought that could be used to say that political mindset has been a source of the problem by associating children with money instead of thinking that the first thing children need is love from both their parents. Research has shown that the most effective way of ensuring support for children by their parents is to have the parents involved in their lives. yes....obvious isn't it.
Awesome job! For some good news..... I have fanned your endeavour out amongst my co-workers of insurance adjusters and lawyers, a national stepmom group that is North America wide (1300+) and hoping to get more support and attention to the cause and Bill C422. I wish I had been able to help you out on the start of your run which sounds a little lonely. We were however, in the midst of preparing for our court attendance. For 7 months my husband and I had been denied total access to his sons. The good news (best for me) was we won! We did not get equal parenting but a decent schedule and were reunited with the boys last weekend. Our hearts and souls were over the moon! We were all so very happy last weekend and we look forward to seeing each other again soon and more than ever before. Keep strong, keep healthy and stay focused. You are an amazing man.
From Janene in Saskatoon:
I know your time is limited and you are booked, but is there a way to let me know when you are coming up on Saskie by chance? (via blog or FB update?) I am trying to get my dad and his Studebaker club involved. (No promises, but he is the local Chapter President). He is also arranging a holiday out this way around that time, and maybe plans will cross. I am thinking Medicine Hat, or Regina as he is coming up from the SE corner of Saskie. He suffered greatly due to the laws 25 years ago and lost all contact with us kids (as did his family) when I was 13 (now 42). It took us decades to reconnect and even now it is kind of surface contact but growing. I was surprised and so very pleased when he joined the FB group for Bill C422.
The rain has stopped on Vancouver Island. Hopefully sunny skies are coming your way. Slosh on my friend, slosh on.
From Warren in Kamloops:
You are a very brave man; and I would like to thank you on behalf of myself and my children.
I too have had years and years of turmoil and degradation- not to mention ten's of thousands of dollars spent- just trying to see my two children for an equal amount of time. I see them about 40% of the time now; but it is the very best I can hope to achieve. I would like to say to all parents- especially fathers: do not quit; do not give up- your children are worth it.
Your children are very fortunate to have you...
From Laura in Guelph, Ontario:
As I sit here this morning (in Guelph), trying to get a quick turn around legal consultation with a family lawyer, I cannot help but feel totally inspired by what you are doing. My week has been filled with confusion, anger, frustration and feelings of total hopelessness. I cannot even recall what I typed into google to get a hit on an article about what you are doing, but I've been engrossed in reading up on this website for over an hour now.
My own story has not yet been touched by the legal system, but I fear it is not long off. My ex and myself, who have joint custody, made attempts to always come to agreement on parenting decisions without involving courts. It's been 10 years on and off of his unilateral parenting decisions when we cannot come to agreement on something as simple as where my daughter should be during her time in my home. That and a lot of sharing (his and his wife's )perspective of why we're divorced in the first place of that has brought us to a crux. He's made it next to impossible for me to be an effective parent - in MY OWN home.
Without getting into too much detail that would certainly bore you to tears I've been left with one of two options. Stop the cycle of alienation or continue to allow him to make the parenting decisions. Either way - it's my daughter that loses. After requesting 3 times over the past few years that we seek co parent counselling/or some form of mediation - he has finally told me that seeking any professional guidance won't help and he will not participate.
It breaks my heart. And scares me. A lot.
Anyhow - I just wanted to share with you that I think what you are doing is amazing. I will follow your journey and make this a source of inspiration going forward to do what is right for my daughter.
I'll be spending some more time this afternoon continuing to read.
From Tina in Edmonton:
I'm writing to you today as I recently found out that the Federal Support Guidelines do not take into account the 4 children me and my husband have together in our marriage and that only the 2 children he has from a pervious relationship matter, after waiting for the court in Ontario for a 1 1/2 to make a decision on my husbands undue hardship application.
My husband has 2 children from a pervious relationship and we have 4 children together. We filed for undue hardship in Jan 2009 because my husband is the only 1 employed and supporting our family of 6, I'm not able to work as we cannot afford the cost of daycare since the children are newborn to under 4 yrs old so I am a stay at home mom.
The court stated that since my husband’s gross wage is 34K as year and the other parent gross wage is 38K per year he is to pay the Federal guidelines amount of $492.00 plus $250.00 in Special expenses even though the other parent didn't provide any receipts to show that the youngest child is in daycare, even though we requested in the court papers that she provide us with ongoing receipts for daycare the judge found that she didn't have to and that my husband just needs to pay $742.00 a month for child support and doesn't have the right to know where the children reside or a phone number that he can reach them on. At this time we don't even know if the children are in Canada since they have dual citizenship. The other parent lives somewhere in Ontario and all she has provided him with is a PO BOX since the judge didn't force the other parent to provide proper information when it came to the whereabouts of the kids my husband is just left wondering where are the children and how are they doing what do they look like now. My husband was involved in their lives for 8 yrs with no issues until he got married; now he has not been able to speak with them for the past 3yrs, as the other parent changed her phone number and moved.
Our family of 6 is now required to survive on $1200.00 a month as this is the net income my husband has left over. I'm very confused as to how we are supposed to survive on this amount and feed our 4 children. The other parent has a higher income and is receiving $742.00 tax free for 2 children each month in child support plus full child support payments from the government and if he does pay any money for daycare then she's also entitled to claim this on her income tax return. My husband isn't able to claim this amount in child support payment on our income tax return therefore we don't qualify for any government assistance because we are told he's making 34K a year and the child support payments he's required to make don't count towards gaining any help or assistance. We are wondering where we and our 4 children should live since for $1200.00 a month we have to pay for rent and food living in a city Edmonton that doesn't have any rental available under $1200.00.
These laws need to be updated so that the fathers are able to be involved in their children's life’s and that the courts and the federal guidelines take into account the other set of children and how their lives are being affected as all children should be treated equally not just the first ones.
When we are unable to pay the full child support MEP threatens to cancel my husband's license even though his profession is a truck driver and all we are told is you need to find a way to pay this amount. The other parent doesn't face any consequences for not letting him have any access to his children even though he's pervious court order from 2008 to May of this year (2010) stated she is to let him have phone access to the children at all times and when we are in Ontario to let him have access to the children. The other parents who do not follow the court order should also have to be held accountable.
From Kent in Kamloops:
I just read about your run in our paper here in Kamloops , BC. It immediately brought me to tears as i have for so long felt the way you do...been in your shoes and commented to all that would listen. Your idea and effort is outstanding Dave.
I have been in a five year battle with my ex over our son. I have always wanted to be an active parent but am handcuffed again and again by my ex as she has primary custody ( as i cant due to work start times etc ) . She continually throws the control against me when i simply just want to spend as much time with my son as i can.
As you mention, time with both parents is so important.
Good for you Dave .....keep pounding out each km with us many ...many parents in the same position supporting you. God Bless.