News Articles on MESA Archive (return to list)
CBC - CALGARY - Aug 31, 2004
"Men's group slams child-support plan"
EDMONTON - The head of a men's support group
in Alberta says charging interest on late child-support payments
is adding insult to injury.
In the fall of 2005 the province will add
interest to payments not made on time. Part of the interest will
go back to the government to pay the cost of chasing the
Alberta's justice minister says it's to
encourage parents to pay on time. Min. Dave Hancock says only
about 20 per cent of parents fail to meet the support orders,
but he says that adds up to almost $300 million.
Hancock says most parents who fail to pay
child support can afford it, but don't make the payments a
priority. "People who have children have an obligation to the
children, and that obligation to the children comes before any
obligation to themselves. I may sound hard on that, but raising
a family is an important responsibility."
Hancock says the announcement was made a year
ahead of time to encourage people to get a payment-plan set up.
But Gus Sleiman of the Men's Education
Support Association says parents don't pay because they can't
"Burdening them with interest and fees
apparently on top of what they have to pay – I fail to
understand, how could that help these children and help these
parents survive and carry on with the best interests of their
Sleiman says instead, the government should
be working on programs to encourage shared parenting or equal
access to the children.
Copyright © CBC 2004