QUEEN'S PARK – Algoma-Manitoulin NDP MPP Michael Mantha’s Private Member’s Bill to ensure grandparents rights to access and develop relationships with their grandchildren, passed third reading today in the Ontario legislature on its way to becoming law in the province.
“I am very happy to see this bill pass. This will most definitely help many grandparents and grandchildren across the province.” Mantha said. “This is about grandchildren’s rights and maintaining a nurturing and loving relationship with their grandparents. It’s time for Ontario to catch up to other provinces and act in the best interest of our children.”
Many members of the Alienated Grandparents Anonymous group along with families and grandparents across Ontario have showed support and lobbied for the passing of Bill 34 – Children’s Law Reform Amendment Act: Relationship with Grandparents. It is estimated that in Ontario, over 75,000 grandparents have been denied the ability to visit or see their grandchildren, with well over 112,000 grandchildren losing contact with their grandparents.
This legislation will ensure that courts consider the merits of individual cases and determine granting access, not by mere default, but rather based on whether contact would be appropriate in the circumstances. Ontario currently lags far behind many of its counterparts across the country that have already recognized this issue within custody arrangement proceedings. Saskatchewan, Yukon, Manitoba, Quebec and Nova Scotia have named this issue within legislation.
The bill is expected to receive Royal Assent and become law in Ontario before the legislature adjourns for the holidays.