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Canadian Family Rights Activists Reach New Heights

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Across Canada Fathers4Justice activists are donning superhero outfits, climbing bridges and overpasses, and unfurling huge banners. They told us this was coming, that they’d take their message to the voters before the upcoming election.

VICTORIA, BC

Early Monday morning, January 9, several well-known fathers’ and family rights activists climbed the Johnson Street Bridge in Victoria, British Columbia. Rob Robinson as Burnaby Batman, Kevin Christiaens as the BC Hulk and Stephen Hodges Whitaker as the Victoria Spiderman risked life, limb and liberty for “your right to see your kids.” They hung two banners; one a huge 30’x40′ Canadian flag and the other that was 18’x24′ read, “LIBERALS DENY CHILDREN THEIR RIGHTS.”

Traffic was slowed to one lane due to the emergency response and local media reported that motorists were most likely angry. To that Robinson replied, “What no one saw, except those who were there, was the gathering of public supporters who clapped and cheered for our bravery upon our descent. This was a touching moment I shall soon not forget.”

Hal Legere, National Director of Fathers4Justice-Canada, stayed on the ground dressed as Robin QC to educate the media. He said, “The Liberal Government represented by its leader, Paul Martin have repeatedly, in this election campaign claimed that they are the protectors of the Constitutional rights of Canadians. This same Paul Martin and the Liberal Party of Canada have refused to take action to ensure that the rights of children, the most politically defenseless segment of our society, are protected. Paul Martin would allow the unelected judges to rule this country. These are the same judges who have consistently denied thousands of children their Constitutional right to ‘freedom of association’ with their own parents.”

Robinson, Christiaens and Whitaker were arrested for mischief, and Legere was arrested and may be charged with obstruction. All have been released from custody. Robinson stated, “For myself, it was an honour to be in the company of such dedicated soldiers of equality.” Legere added, “So why do we climb bridges and cranes and other tall structures? The answer is simple, we will go to great lengths (or heights) to fight for the rights of our children.”

Bob Waters, dressed as the Victoria Green Lantern stated, “Once again, we showed them that we will not rest until changes occur. We know we have their attention, and they know we aren’t afraid of the consequences. The next logical step is a trial, open to the media, where we engage the government (through their representative, the Crown) in a dialogue before the Courts, whereby we call upon higher authorities (UN Convention, Charter of Rights, etc.) to justify our actions. The trials should not be about ‘getting off'; they should be about reversing the process so that the system is put on trial in front of the media. That is how we should move to the next stage of dialogue with our civil disobedience. There is no other way.”

Steven Hodges, the Victoria Spiderman agreed, “We have to get these cases into court to be heard, even if that means being punished by the system. Again, that’s the tactics that both the Suffragettes and Gandhi used in order to get their message out.”

“Truth is, it is crucial that we take every opportunity that presents itself to spread our message far and wide,” said Robinson, “The best way I know of is through media. What is unfortunate is we must go to such lengths as to risk our lives and our liberty to deliver the message home.” Then he added, “We superheroes are merely the messengers to raise our issues. What is equally important is that we the people also do our part and create dialogue with those elected powers to be to negotiate reform that will accurately convey the will of its families.”

Robinson, also known as Canada’s first Batman added, “Let us not forget all those families who are suffering with the loss of a family member at the hands of family law.”

SCARBOROUGH, ON-

This morning Kris Titus, another well-known family rights activist, and Regional Coordinator for Fathers4Justice dressed as Wonder Woman and hung a large banner over commuters at Hwy 401 and Brimley Road in Scarborough, Ontario. Her 4’x12′ message read, “VOTE EQUAL PARENTING.” Emergency vehicles responded. After two hours Titus came down, and was not arrested.

“Fathers-4-Justice is far more than a handful of angry men as stated by [Paul Martin’s] office. In fact, members include many women and grandparents, all of whom support equality and are fed up with the Liberal’s failure to act on the inequalities in family law,” stated Titus.

She then added, “It is very interesting for me to hear Paul Martin vehemently purport to defend the Charter of Rights while systematically denying thousands of children their right to ‘freedom of association’ with their own parents. Mr. Martin’s own Justice Minister has publicly stated that parents have no rights vis a vis their children. I can only ask, ‘Who does have rights with respect to our children, and who is it who will defend the children’s rights?’ Mr. Martin’s proposal to do away with the notwithstanding clause is no surprise to me, there is no need for it if you just ignore the rights of children anyway.”

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About Teri in Cali, Feminist4Fathers, Queen of Equality

  • http:pippensqueak.blogspot.com gypysman

    I’m still amazed by this. It took so long for women to be even considered equal partners in a marriage; to gain a semblance of control over their bodies; to get government support in tracking down deadbeat fathers who renege of child support; and a host of other equality measures, that this just sounds like sour grapes on the part of men who don’t like the idea of equallity.

    How many years did women have to put up with treatment? What are the custodial arrangements that these men are complaining about? It seems like whenever someone gains a right long denied them there will be a group out there trying to turn back the clock to the time when they had complet control.

    If their spouses are in conflict with a court order they can just file a complaint with the courts. If thery’re not, then there was probably good reason for whatever the decison was that was reached.

    One wonder why, if they are so interested in their children now, how the marriage disolved in the first place, and why they weren’t award better custody at the time. Perhaps their behaviour at the time didn’t warrent it? That couldn’t be a possibility could it.

    There are still enough cases in the world where a woman is denied any rights to her children, because courts are still liable to take the father’s word over hers, that these protests just don’t mean anything more than grandstanding by a people whose words ring hollow to my ears.

  • http://feminist4fathers.blogspot.com/ Teri

    Thanks for the comments Gypsyman, it allows me the opportunity to set you straight.

    You’re assuming, or you’ve been influenced by the false statements published by the opponents of fathers’ rights. If you look a little deeper, for the truth, you will see that these parents are in fact very righteous in their complaints.

    I’ve been researching the fathers’ and family rights movement for over three years. If these parents were unsavory I wouldn’t be highlighting them.

    It’s not as easy as you make it sound, they cannot just get visitation interference enforced. Most judges won’t put a mom in jail for this. Soon the women learn all they get is a slap on the wrist so they continue to break the court order.

    Are you aware there are men ordered to pay child support for children they have never met, who they have proven by DNA are not their children? My activist friends are fighting this type of injustice.

    Are you aware there are men ordered to pay child support for children they have proven by DNA are their children, yet the courts have kept them from ever meeting their children, and the fathers are innocent of any wrongdoing? My activist friends are fighting this type of injustice.

    Are you aware that 40% of kids with absent dads never see them? Some are dads who ran, others are kept away by vindictive exes. My friends are fighting that too.

    Are you aware that men who want to pay for not only their own place, but also the “family home”, the house the children lived in during the marriage and where the children would live while the parents trade off weeks, are denied this, leaving them with only 14% of their children’s time? Yep, they’re fighting this too.

    Are you aware that family law judges routinely break the law? Yes, they do.

    The list goes on and on. I suggest you read my other articles if you want to learn the entire truth. And contrary to what shared parenting opponents say, many parents in the movement are women. It happens to both genders.

    And it can happen to YOU. It can happen to ANYONE. (Anyone with kids and who isn’t married to the other parent.)

    The people fighting these guys want the same types of reform, they just want to be guaranteed to always win the cases instead of relying on equality for all FIT parents. In order to get that, they lie. I write my articles to show the truth. I’ve got another article coming soon which goes into detail what these guys in Canada have endured. I hope you’ll read it.

    Teri

  • http://kjohansen(at)pacificcoast.net Karen Hayes

    Subject: ABUSED SENIORS AND FEARFUL SINGLE MOMS WITH BABIES

    Subject: Abused Seniors and Fearful Single Moms with Babies.

    I was the Resident Manager of the Vic West Housing Complex (Kiwanis Club of Victoria).

    There is an apartment building for seniors (18 units) and family townhouses ( 21 units)

    Tenants notified me that the Administrator, Jeff Sawchuk was continually entering

    their homes unlawfully, in addition to abusing them verbally, threatening them constantly

    with eviction, and uses bully tactics to intimidate and fill them with fear.

    Our complex also suffers from increased vandalism, and minimal action has been taken.

    Suites are in dire need of repair, but tenants testify Mr. Sawchuk has been negligent.

    Tenants also agree that he does not return phone calls or emails & ignores many repair requests.

    If they confront him, he explodes in rage, curses & swears, and threatens them with eviction.

    A tenant told me about one lady who awoke from sleep, to find Mr. Sawchuk standing over her bed.

    Another single mom, fled the complex in terror because Mr. Sawchuk kept entering

    her home illegally, walking up the stairs into her livingroom, when she was alone

    with her baby, and aggressively announced he had come to “have coffee with her.”

    A young couple with a child arrived home to find Mr. Sawchuk’s personal clipboard

    he had left behind…when they inquired, he denied entering their home without permission.

    Seniors say he walks into their suites all the time but they are afraid to speak up.

    There has been MANY thefts throughout our homes (money, jewelry & personal items)

    Now, single females sleep with knives under their pillows, clubs beside their beds,

    and baseball bats at their doors; others had extra locks installed to keep him out.

    We live in fear and trepidation of this abusive Administrator and many are terrified

    to speak up because he has exacted retribution to reinforce his abusive authority.

    I emailed the President and requested Mr Sawchuk’s suspension pending investigation

    and to have his pass keys taken away to prevent him from entering more homes illegally.

    The President refused the request and stated that Mr Sawchuk would continue his duties.

    Whenever I phoned Mr. Sawchuk with an Emergency situation he would say,

    “I have social plans…put a lid on it and deal with it…that’s what I hired you for.”

    I was only paid for 8 hours per wk, but I have worked 20 plus hrs per week without compensation.

    He has been Administrator since 2002 & tenants state he has numerous complaints filed against him, but his dictatorship behaviour continues to thrive. The Board has denied receiving any complaints or grievances on Mr. Sawchuk, so that implies he has not been disciplined or reprimanded.

    I finally spoke up as Advocate, on tenants behalf; but I got fired and evicted in the same DAY !

    I rallied the tenants together and successfully filed a Petition requesting Mr Sawchuk’s removal,

    and an Emergency Tenant Meeting with the Board of Directors.

    The tenants also submitted many wonderful letters of support on my behalf, protesting my job termination and commending me for the love, care & support I have diligently given.

    Tenants’ families also rendered support & thanks for helping with senior health emergencies.

    In addition, tenants also submitted written grievances against Mr. Sawchuk

    I faxed all the information (Petition, letters, grievances, email threats from Mr Sawchuk, etc)

    to Grant Bolton, President of the Kiwanis Club of Victoria and Ted Eby, President of BC Housing.

    I requested immediate intervention on behalf of all the seniors and families involved.

    Mr Bolton responded immediately, but Mr Ted Edey claimed it was “not his department.”

    Our complex used to be full of laughter, flowers & pets ;but, now it’s like a Nazi camp.

    The tenants hide behind closed doors or scatter in fear when Mr. Sawchuk arrives.

    Our senior gardener was fired & now there are no more beautiful blossoms in the complex.

    Seniors have phoned the Kiwanis office, politely requesting repairs in their suites ;but, Mr. Sawchuk

    bellows at them & tells them to SHUTUP or be evicted, tossed into the street and be homeless.

    Tenants state he caused such distress to 2 pregnant mothers, they suffered early labour and gave birth to premature babies. Neighbours spy on each other & Mr Sawchuk nurtures distrust & anxiety.

    Tenants receive frightening phone calls from him claiming he gets “anonymous tips”

    and demands to know personal information about their private lives.

    He dictates how we should live, who can be in our homes & harasses single moms if they

    arrive home late in the evening…he has NO RIGHT to tell someone when they should be at home.

    If a neighbour does a kind deed for another neighbour, he shreds us verbally and yells, informing us we “went over his head & did not have his permission”. We do not need his permission to perform a kind deed for one another.

    He bangs on our doors and bullies us with inappropriate and/or abusive behaviour.

    Mr. Bolton, President of Kiwanis granted our request to have an Emergency Tenants

    meeting in the family laundry room on Monday, March 6th, to voice our issues and fears.

    Mr. Sawchuk was mysteriously “informed” about the meeting & arrived in the complex the day

    before, telling tenants he had “private sources” & knew about the upcoming event.

    He also warned tenants he would be “very upset” if they attended the meeting.

    Some tenants were scared away ;but, many were courageous and spoke up to the

    Board of Directors, sharing their issues, even though they feared Mr Sawchuk’s retribution.

    Mr. Bolton assured the tenants that NO retribution would be tolerated, and if Mr Sawchuk

    attempted it, to contact him immediately.

    Mr. Bolton approached me after the meeting & instructed me to “ignore the eviction notice”

    and further promised that he would personally take care of it & have it overturned.

    I also received his emails requesting our patience & assured a “speedy resolution.”

    After an additional private board meeting among members, I was instructed to

    attend a meeting alone with the President and 3 other Board Members.

    The President stated, “in the interest of fair play we need to hear everybody out”

    I was not able to attend, due to serious health problems, plus I had already done my best

    in the investigation by submitting the Petition, letters, grievances & arranged the tenants meeting.

    My doctor ordered strict bed rest & warned me I could end up in hospital soon.

    I notified the Board of my condition & asked them to please resolve the situation without

    further aggrevating my health issues because my blood pressure was dangerously high.

    The next day (March 10th) the President came to my door with my final pay cheque

    and requested the keys to the seniors building…I co-operated and gave him the keys.

    A few days later there was another emergency in the seniors building and I could not

    get in to assist a 93 year old lady who was hemorrhaging. I called 911 from my home

    and finally got into the seniors building to assist paramedics in removing the senior in crisis.

    I visited her in hospital, bought her a dozen pink roses and phoned her family long distance.

    Mr Sawchuk sent me an email forbidding me to set foot in the seniors building. He threatened

    me that he would change all the locks in the building and take it off my final paycheque.

    Early this week, Mr. Keith Myers, President of Vic West Housing Society, returned

    from holidays and took over the investigation.

    On Wednesday, March 15, a specialized delivery service arrived at my door.

    The delivery man asked me to sign for an envelope with the Kiwanis Logo on it.

    Then he asked me to “open the envelope, read the letter & give it back.”

    I read the letter while he held out his hand, waiting for me to return it.

    The letter stated the Board of Directors UPHELD the termination of my employment,

    and the notice to end my tenancy on March 31st, 2006.

    In conclusion, it stated that I was expected to give up peaceful possession of my unit in only 2 weeks.

    The delivery man INSISTED I give him back the letter so he could return it to the source.

    I refused, since the letter had my name & address on it & I will be submitting it to my legal counsel,

    John Waddell, QC. (Waddell & Raponi Lawyers)

    I am on Disability and Mr. Sawchuk & the Board of Directors are aware of this fact.

    They know full well, the stress this situation has taken on my health & dangerously elevated

    blood pressure, but yet they callously chose to deliver a HEART ATTACK to my door.

    The promise to overturn the eviction was broken….they continue to support Mr. Sawchuk.

    They notified me I have only 2 weeks to find a new place, pack, move & clean my whole house.

    The shock of their decision took an added toll on my health and I collapsed with chest pain.

    I had to receive immediate medical attention & additional medication to stabilize my condition.

    I chose bravely to be an Advocate for abused seniors and fearful single moms with babies.

    My doorbell & phone rang from sun up to sun down and I responded lovingly to all the tenants.

    I dropped everything to deal with emergencies and vandalism, but Mr Sawchuk refused to attend.

    I received retribution from the Board of Directors, supporting Mr Sawchuks decision to fire & evict me.

    Jeff Sawchuk REMAINS as Administrator of Vic West Housing & Kiwanis Society.

    He also manages 1419 Mallek Crescent (and resides there) and abused tenants also want him removed.

    I heard he also manages a Sidney complex & applied to manage the James Bay Complex, but

    the tenants signed a Petition to block him from becoming manager because of his reputation.

    The tenants of K-West demand to know, “WHY is the Board protecting Mr. Sawchuk?”

    We are shocked and dismayed because they defend and shelter him.

    Tenants have testified about his unlawful entry, abusive authority and neglect of responsibilities.

    The Directors have ENABLED him to maintain employment with Kiwanis & Vic West Housing.

    I am reaching out citywide, to TV & radio stations, Victoria officials & politicians.

    We have been abused, harassed, bullied, dictated to & viciously intimidated.

    PLEASE HELP US…don’t let our courageous efforts for Justice, be in vain.

    Feel free to forward my email to other parties or representatives who may be able to help.

    Karen Hayes

    [Personal contact info deleted]

    “The tragedy of our day is the climate of fear in which we live, and fear breeds repression.

    It’s far easier to fight for principles than to live up to them.”

    Adlai Stevenson 1952

    Governor, Ambassador, Vice President of U.S. and Candidate for President