QUEEN’S PARK—After being debated in the Ontario legislature, Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Michael Mantha’s Private Member’s Bill to ensure grandparents have access to their grandchildren passed second reading last week, moving one step closer to becoming law in Ontario.
“Children benefit from the love, guidance and stability that their grandparents can provide,” Mr. Mantha said. “Children should have the opportunity to bond with their grandparents. I am pleased that today we moved closer to allow that to happen for too many grandparents and grandchildren who have been denied that opportunity in Ontario.”
Mr. Mantha’s Bill 34, Children’s Law Reform Amendment Act: Relationship with Grandparents, directs family courts to consider granting grandparents access to their grandchildren as part of custody hearings, if it is in the best interest of the child. In Ontario, it’s estimated that over 75,000 grandparents have been denied the ability to visit or see their grandchildren, with well over 112,000 grandchildren losing that contact with their grandparents.
“Ontario currently lags far behind provinces 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, and its time for Ontario to catch up and act in the best interest of our children,” Mr. Mantha said.
Mr. Mantha’s bill will now move to committee to be examined.