Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Praise for white privilege example, plus thanks, and a stand against parental alienation.

Dear Editor,

What a beautiful, simple, and clear definition Skylar Dubois gave of “white privilege” in the April 19 edition of The Journal (“Letters to the Editor: ‘White privilege’ tries to point out injustice”)!

It should be used to educate people (and students) about the concept.

Annie Bourret

Ashcroft, B.C.

Dear Editor,

My family and I would like to thank everyone who attended the memorial service for Sandra Gaspard. It was a very nice celebration of her life.

Thanks to all the family and friends who supported us and to those who bought raffle tickets, and to the cooks for all their hard work.

Nancy Gaspard, Sylvia Raymond,

Harold Froste, Shannon Froste, and sons

Ashcroft/Cache Creek (Bonaparte)

Dear Editor,

Parental Alienation Awareness Day on April 25 is now marked annually in many corners of the globe. According to Carmen Barclay, a well-known B.C. consultant in mediation and conflict management, “Parental Alienation is often exhibited in those going through high conflict separation or divorce. It’s damaging to children’s mental and emotional well-being. It often interferes with preservation of relationships between children and parent or extended family, and is both verbal and non-verbal. The child is manipulated or bullied into believing a loving parent is the cause of all their problems and/or the enemy—to be feared, hated, and/or avoided.”

Parental Alienation occurs when one parent blames the other, involves the child in judgments, and denies contact with their former partner or other parent and the extended family (i.e. grandparents).

How does this one parent have the power to manipulate the children and stop her or his former partner/husband or wife from access to his or her children? The answer is “sole custody”.

Where there is no sign of abuse, the family court judge must look to the “best interests of the child”. How many of you know that in 1984, former federal Minister of Justice Mark MacGuigan coined the phrase “best interests of the child” as he worked on the position document “Divorce Law in Canada; Proposals for Change”. In it he stated “A child should have maximum access to both parents. Whatever the parent’s reason for divorce, the child has an interest in maintaining a normal relationship with each parent … any animosity the parents may feel for each other should not be allowed to interfere with this interest … the court should consider ‘the best interests of the child’ particularly the child’s interest in having maximum access to both parents.”

It is most unfortunate that successive Ministers of Justice ignored his words and that this failure has contributed to situations of future child abuse after divorce. And the result? Canada has witnessed many young fathers commit suicide, because regardless of making support payments, and with no evidence of abuse, and in spite of court orders for access to see their children, for some reason the children are not available.

Parental Alienation is a sickness. The parent who has sole custody is the alienator, and that person is sick. The non-custodial parent, the children, and grandparents are all victims. No parent who loves their children would ever teach them to lie, or hate, or forget all the past wonderful times they had with the lost parent or the lost grandparents.

Daphne Jennings

President, Canadian Grandparents Rights Association and former M.P.

Chilliwack, B.C.


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