Monday, February 10, 2014

First child with 3 parents on birth certificate in B.C.

Della Wolf is B.C.'s 1st child with 3 parents on birth certificate

B.C.'s new Family Law Act is the first to allow birth certificates with more than 2 parents

By Catherine Rolfsen, CBC News,Feb 06, 2014.
A Vancouver baby has just become the first child in British Columbia with three parents listed on a birth certificate.
Three-month-old Della Wolf Kangro Wiley Richards is the daughter of lesbian parents and their male friend.
"It feels really just natural and easy, like any other family," said biological father Shawn Kangro. "It doesn't feel like anything is strange about it."
B.C.'s new Family Law Act, which came into effect last year, allows for three or even more parents.
Della's family is the first to go through the process, and they finalized the birth certificate registration last week.
B.C., which is celebrating Family Day on Monday, is the first province in Canada with legislation to allow three parents on a birth certificate, although it's been achieved elsewhere through litigation.
The new Family Law Act, which came into effect in March 2013, aims to clarify who is a parent and who isn't as more couples turn to assisted reproduction.
The act allow donors to be listed as additional parents, if the parents sign a written agreement before conception.
"The really big shift in the Family Law Act in terms of parents, is how you decide who's a parent," said findlay.
"In the old days, we looked at biology and genetic connections. And that's no longer true. We now look at the intention of the parties who are contributing to the creation of the child, and intend to raise the child. And that's a really, really big shift."
Della's parents say they've had overwhelming support from family, friends and their East Vancouver community.
"Of course there's the odd person who worries that we've stepped into something that doesn't have a precedent," said Richards.
"Now that it has come to fruition and people see that we're just this family doing our thing, it's real now, and it becomes much easier to digest for whoever had doubts."

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The role men can play in preventing violence against girls and women

   Bystanders, men have role in preventing violence against women, victim’s father says - ‘It’s just wrong, and I’m never going to shut up about it’

Cockburn, N. (2014). Ottawa Citizen. 

OTTAWA — One of the things that still haunts the father of Rehtaeh Parsons is that there were people who didn’t help his daughter.

“We know what happens now, when we do nothing,” Glen Canning said Tuesday. “It can drive a victim to suicide. We have to let victims know that people care, and of course the best way to do that is to try to prevent them from being victims in the first place.”

Parsons, from Nova Scotia, was taken off life support after a suicide attempt in April 2013 that her family says was prompted by months of bullying.

The 17-year-old girl was tormented after a digital photograph purporting to show her being sexually assaulted in November 2011 was distributed around her school, they have said. Two men, now 19, face child pornography-related charges connected to the case.

Canning, a writer and photographer, has been outspoken since his daughter’s death. He was in Ottawa on Tuesday to speak at a “community discussion” held by the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women.

During an interview with the Citizen, he pointed to high-profile cases such as that of a pair of high school football players raping a drunken 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio, “where there are people around, watching what’s happening, and none of them are saying or doing anything. They’re just letting it happen,” he said.

“I’m trying to reinforce the idea with people that that’s completely unacceptable. That’s just wrong — in my opinion you’re partaking ... in a sexual assault, if you’re just standing there, watching it happen without doing anything to stop it or to hold people accountable for it.”

Other advocates have worked to spread a similar message in Ottawa, particularly around the need for bystanders to step in if they see sexual assaults or harassment in transit stations and on buses.

Canning said men must play a role in ending violence against women, and in changing culture that encourages it or turns a blind eye.

“Violence against women is a men’s issue. We need men to start setting examples, we need men to start speaking out, we need men to start challenging the culture that goes around with rape and sexual assault of women, where people make jokes about it or make light of it,” he said.

People are part of the problem when they downplay incidents or cast doubt on victims and create an environment where victims don’t feel comfortable reporting an assault, he said.

“You’re perpetuating the issue where women just don’t bother coming forward at all because of how society looks at it. ... As innocent as that may seem to you, you are actually part of the problem. You are why women don’t come forward, and you are why sexual predators have victim after victim.

“It’s just wrong, and I’m never going to shut up about it,” Canning said.

The culture is ingrained, he said, referring to a chant at frosh week at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax that glorified the sexual assault of young girls.

“It can be a little bit frustrating, but the more the message is out there, the less people have an excuse,” Canning said.

The event was being held in Jean Pigott Place at City Hall from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

With files from The Canadian Press

Webinar: Equality Values in Family Law

Webinar: Equality Values in Family Law

Think the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is irrelevant in family law? Think again! Join experienced family law lawyers Megan Ellis and Zara Suleman, retired BC Supreme Court Justice Donna Martinson, and West Coast LEAF Legal Director Laura Track for an informative and engaging workshop on the ways in which Charter equality values can inform your family law work. You’ll gain practical tips and insights for using Charter equality values in cases involving financial issues, parenting arrangements, family violence, and assessments of credibility. This course qualifies for 2 CPD credits.

Presented jointly by West Coast LEAF and the Trial Lawyers Association of BC.

February 27, 2014, 12:00-2:00pm


Register here:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

New Article that Critiques the new BC Family Law Act & PDOV/MCFD released a new three- year, $5.5 million action plan

Rachel Treloar, Susan B. Boyd. Family Law Reform in (Neoliberal) Context: British Columbia's New Family Law Act International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family 2014; doi: 10.1093/lawfam/ebt017

Retrieved from:


Provincial Office of Domestic Violence has released a new three- year, $5.5 million action plan. The Action plan can be found on their website at

N E W S R E L E A S E - Ministry of Children & Family Development

For Immediate Release
- 000134

Feb. 5, 2014

VICTORIA – Government’s extensive consultation with anti-violence groups has culminated in
the release of the Provincial Domestic Violence Plan. The new three-year, $5.5-million Provincial 
Domestic Violence Plan – co-ordinated through the Provincial Office of Domestic Violence (PODV) 
– delivers on government’s commitment to make B.C. a safer place for women, children and anyone 
who has been affected by domestic violence.

The plan is the result of public and anti-violence stakeholder consultations and includes the creation of 
additional specialized domestic violence units, programs for Aboriginal families, direct services for perpetrators,
and improved access to services and social housing for survivors in rural and remote communities
The plan also includes an Aboriginal response and specific approaches to address the unique needs of immigrant 
and refugee women and women with disabilities. Government will invest in direct services to address focus areas 
that were identified during the consultation process as key priorities.

Highlights of the plan:
 $1 million to help with the start-up and implementation of 
additional specialized domestic violence units, which will 
provide direct services to highrisk families.
 $2 million to develop and deliver programs specifically for 
Aboriginal women, men and children affected by domestic 
violence– including victims and perpetrators.
 $1 million to provide support and intervention for perpetrators
to hold them accountable and support changes in behaviour and 
 $1.5 million in direct supports to women and children for 
housing and transportation in rural and remote communities.