Chase down the deadbeat parents first

Editor:

What would you do if you were living in B.C. with an ex-spouse owing $67,000 in child and spousal support? Report to FMEP or Chris Beresford? Phone or write your MP, MLA, Attorney General or Premier? I’ve done all this and we’re still owed the monies.

FMEP tells custodial parents not to count on or rely on monies owed. I still shop, cook for and feed my children, buy, launder and put away their clothes, drive them to and from school, discipline and help with schoolwork, clean house, change beds, feed pets, cut grass, cut hair, pay bills, take to doctor, dental and other appointments. I’ve not shirked my parental responsibilities.

I went back to work, juggling job, children and house. It made it hard on children and put unreasonable responsibilites on teens. I went to the Ministry of Social Development and was told to sign over my FMEP rights to them and my family of five must learn to live on a total income of $1,200 a month (shelter for five tops at $700, including utilities). I don’t want to collect from the government; I just want what is legally and rightfully ours. The Ministry treats one poorly and many would not even be there if court orders were enforced. Let’s get money to custodial parents who lovingly and selflessly give of themselves to their children. We didn’t create them alone and should not have to raise them alone nor should they live in poverty.

I get that some can not pay what is ordered but there’s a huge difference between “can’t” and “won’t”. Won’t can be seen when the non-custodial parent always has money to take children out and buy things unneeded. My ex still conducts business yet FMEP isn’t collecting. They say we need a paper trail, then by the same token say charge card slips are off limits due to the Privacy Act. A full time live-in nanny earns $1,500 a month for a 40 hour week plus room and board. It costs $80,000 a year to keep a criminal in jail. It costs $141.78 a day to incarcerate a prisoner in B.C. while the Ministry pays $1.64 per child per day. It costs $101,666 a year to house an inmate in a federal institution. Non-citizens cost Canadians $56.3 million a year in prison costs yet government “can’t” pay custodial parents and go after non-paying parents? Do criminals have more rights than children?

I propose child neglect charges against ‘deadbeat’ parents just as I would be facing them if I neglected to keep a roof over my children’s heads, food on the table or clothes on their backs. They would be removed and placed in foster care. I would have to petition the court to see them. Why do non paying or slow paying parents still have rights? Do our children have any? My children admit to seeing their father solely for what he buys them and where he takes them. Sadly, he doesn’t think sports is something they need and they go without the exercise, sportmanship and camaraderie.

What message is being sent to children? Disobey laws and you shall not be punished? Shirk responsibility if you want to. If you wind up in jail you’ll be taken care of; free medical, dental, exercise, eyewear, education and a daily ‘salary’? We are teaching, sorry, the government is teaching, our young some very disturbing and ugly qualities and nothing about love, honour, trust or integrity. There is the future of Canada.

Liane Bisaillon, Langley