No to Ontario Bill 33
A private member's bill that would give grandparents in Ontario better acces to their grandchildren is one step closer to becoming law. Bill 33, if it became law, would require the courts in Ontario to consider grandparents in a custody case involving divorce, seperation and death. Moreover, it effectively grants grandparents court-ordered visitation rights to grandkids on the sole basis that they are grandparents. While this bill may be well-intended, with such broad and indefinative language, it simply opens the door for any grandparent to seek legal rights to their grandchildren without taking into consideration the legitimate reason some parents have for maintaining a seperation - such as abuse, addictions, manipulation and/or controlling behaviour. With such phrases as, ""A person who has custody of a child shall not unreasonably place obstacles to personal relations between the child and the child's grandparents." It puts the onus on the parent to demonstrate that their personal decision is not "unreasonably" placing an obstacle to relations with the grandparent. While I agree that ideally grandparents are beneficial to a child's development and it does "take a village to raise a child" - the rights should ultimately still be that of the parent to decide who lives in this village and participates in the child's life. Grandparents become grandparents just because their children make a decision to have kids. It actually has nothing to do with the grandparents, or their actions. So "rights" shouldn't be bestowed upon them simply because of that. A parent's decision to do something with his/her life should never grant automatic "rights" to his/her mother and/or father. I do not think that this piece of legislation is a valuable one; while the motivation behind its proposal may be justified, the possible results could be devastating to some families, families truly undeserving of such effects. Please help me put a stop to Bill 33!