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A Degraded Justice: Ontario’s Bill 117 A License to Perjury Submission to the Standing Committee on Justice and Social Policy

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arrive at the conclusion that accusers have not told the truth. Bill 117 should at least contemplate the possibility that some applicants will not be telling the truth, and leave some avenue for a Respondent to see his children pending the final determination of the matter.

In a simliar vein, paragraph 2(3) recommends that a finding of domestic violence may be found to have occurred…whether a charge has been laid or dismissed or withdrawn or a conviction has been or could be obtained.” What this means is that an applicant can make serious criminal allegations of domestic violence or child abuse, without reporting the crimes to the police or child welfare authorities. Since many false accusers are reluctant to submit themselves to police investigation, the court deprives itself of this avenue of investigation, or enforcement for perjury for that matter. May I respectfully suggest that this recommendation was likely made by the women’s shelter lobby to your Attorney General, and should in no form be considered as potential law for Bill 117.

By way of demonstration, the following case study is provided for your consideration. In a matter before the Alberta Courts, an applicant female swore that she was the victim of chronic domestic violence spanning years, and she further made the following allegation:

“R began losing his temper with little K as well. On two occasions…he hit (the child) so hard on her bottom with a wooden spoon that the spoon broke. Once…he was so angry at K because she touched his CD’s that he pushed her to the ground. Another time, he was angry with her because she was sitting in his spot on the couch….He became so enraged that he grabbed K and shook her violently…and it left K with bruises on her arms and chest. There was also an incident in which R grabbed K by the throat and lifted her off the floor and dropped her on the floor, with her landing flat on her back…”

For the Committee to understand the full breadth of these allegations, K is a 3 year old child, and these alleged incidents have never been reported to child welfare or police authorities. They all allegedly occurred in a two month span as well. This woman originally swore out a statement for an Ex Parte Order, which is the same as the emergency order contemplated by Bill 117. She swore that she was so fearful that she was immediately taking her daughter and going to a women’s shelter. After swearing this statement, the mother promptly returned to the home she shared with her partner, R, and waited more than one month to leave the home, as the process took approximately one month to obtain an order.

Several months later, the woman doctored the ex parte sworn statement by removing her claim that she was going to a women’s shelter, as well as eliminating the date she swore the statement, and attached the doctored court document to her subsequent affidavit. In a similar vein, approximately one month after swearing her document, the woman attended at a church to meet with police officers from the family violence unit of Edmonton, and posed as ignorant to the process for leaving a violent home and obtaining an emergency order. In a letter provided by the police documenting this meeting, it is notable that the woman did not mention she had already applied for an emergency order and was fully cognizant of the process for obtaining one; she was by no means the ignorant victim that she posed to the police one month after swearing her statement.

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