The Ottawa Citizen from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on March 15, 2005 · 6
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The Ottawa Citizen from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada · 6

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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Issue Date:
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Page:
6
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A6 THE OTTAWA CITIZEN TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2005 CANADA Top court asked to fix child support 'royal mess' Alberta appeal court's ruling opened door to thousands of retroactive payments BYCRISTINSCHMITZ Three separated and divorced men have asked the Supreme Court of Canada to overturn a far-reaching Alberta Court of Appeal judgment that opened the door to thousands of" retroactive child-support awards across Canada. In January, Alberta's appeal court ignited a national debate on child support when it went further than other provincial appeal courts by holding that a parent's obligation to pay more child support is usually triggered at the time that the paying parent's income goes up not months or years later when the custodial parent finds out about the higher income and demands increased support. The appeal court's judgments in three separate cases are binding in Alberta, and persuasive in other provinces, and have paved the way for many custodial parents, usually mothers, to demand retroactive child support from payer parents, usually fathers. At least one Ontario trial judge has already foUowed the Alberta appeal court's lead. But appellate courts in Ontario, Manitoba, B.C., and Nova Scotia have all taken different tacks on the thorny issue, which makes it hard for divorced and separated couples to deal with their cases. "There is a royal mess," said Toronto family law lawyer Dei-dre Smith, counsel for three Al-bertans who filed applications late last week requesting the top court review their cases and overturn judgments requiring them to pay retroactive support. "It's not fair to find fault with support payers who have done nothing more than follow the law as it is right now," argued Ms. Smith. It usually takes the Supreme Court about four months to decide whether it will hear a case. Ms. Smith said the federal child-support guidelines, which came into force May 1, 1997, do not explicitly impose an obligation on child-support payers to voluntarily disclose their income to custodial parents unless the custodial parent makes a request in writing. Nor does the law impose a positive duty on child-support payers to increase their payments when their incomes go up before the custodial parent actually seeks more support. But Alberta's, and to a lesser extent Ontario's, appeal courts have said those obligations are implicit in the guidelines, which aim to give fair and predictable support to children, based on the the paying parent's income. Ms. Smith said "we are hop ing that the Supreme Court makes clear that the legislation, as it exists right now, is deficient." Condition of girl tossed off bridge by father improves TORONTO A little girl was awake and breathing on her own yesterday, one week after being thrown from an overpass onto Toronto's Don Valley Parkway highway by her suicidal father. Five-year-old Inara Amarsi was in critical but stable condition and continued to recover from chest and abdominal injuries, said a news release from the Hospital for Sick Children. Inara had been in critical condition, breathing only with the help of a ventilator, since the March 6 incident. Her father jumped to his death after tossing Inara The little girl appears not to have suffered any brain damage, said hospital spokeswoman Lisa Lipkin. MORE CANADA NEWS A British sailor who pulled bodies from the sea 20 years ago has come to Canada to hear, firsthand, tomorrow's verdicts in the Air India trial. Page C13 Roily and Betty Fox unveil a one-dollar coin minted to honour their late son, Terry, at Simon Fraser University yesterday. The coin will go into circulation on April 4 and in September to mark the 25th anniversary of the Marathon of Hope. Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope commemorated on new $1 coin BURNABY, B.C. - Canada's newest $1 coin depicts Terry Fox ninning on a barren stretch of highway with a forest in the background, an image that its designer hopes captures the spirit of the Marathon of Hope. "While sculpting the design, I wanted to capture Terry fighting the elements, running against the wind, towering over wind-bent trees on a lonely stretch of Canadian wilderness," coin engraver Stan Witten said yesterday as the coin was unveiled. Eleven million of the coins go into general circulation on April 4, and another nine million will be released in September to mark the 25th anniversary of the annual Terry Fox Run held in cities and towns across the country. It is the first time the Royal Canadian I I canon. cadirect , -1 11 iin 1. a 1-1-11 i.T tiVOJiJ'.; LYLE STAFFORD. THE CANADIAN PRESS Mint has ever featured a Canadian on a coin, a tribute that Mr. Fox's mother said would have embarrassed her son. "If he were here today, Terry would find it difficult to accept this honour," Betty Fox told the unveiling ceremony at Simon Fraser University, Mr. Fox's alma mater. "He was not driven by fame and fortune when he embarked on his Marathon of Hope in 1980. His sole purpose was to eradicate the suffering of cancer." Mr. Fox began his run with the goal of trying to raise one dollar from every Canadian, making the mint's decision to put his image on the loonie a fitting one, said Darrell Fox, his brother. THE CANADIAN PRESS Canon FOR one point 01 contact tor all ot their Imaging solutions needs. Tttfikabout - one single phone call, trom coast - ,0 - coast. - vou to Til and Hghly Wwledgeattle team o, Canon technology experts. EPes Jocan create a customed, Innovative imaging solution that can t. integrated into your network. You'll not only have the benefit of industry leading Canon technology, but peace of mind knowing you have industry leading personnel servicing it. Plus, if anything does happen, anytime, we offer a response time second to none. From initial consultation to ongoing service, you can count on Canon's Business Solutions Division, it's simple: When we're there for your imaging equipment, it's there for you. Canon's Business Solutions Division. We keep you up and running. 1 877 867-5871 'Black Widow' handed five years for stealing from Florida boyfriend CLEARWATER, Florida -A Canadian woman, previously convicted of manslaughter and nicknamed the "Black Widow" for her husband's death in Canada, pleaded guilty yesterday, as part of a plea agreement, to stealing from her boyfriend. Judge Douglas Baird sentenced Melissa Ann Friedrich, 69, to five years in prison for three counts of grand theft from a person 65 years or older, two counts of forgery and two counts of uttering. According to investigators, the former Nova Scotia woman stole about $20,000 U.S. from Alexander Strate- Merivale Mall Near Subway 613-727-6222 Hazeldean Mall Near Food Court Tel: 613-271-8052 PUBLIC RELEASE. Business Solutions Division Always Up & Running gos, 73. She met him on a dating website and moved into his Florida condominium in Pinellas Park last year. Mr. Strategos is a diabetic with a history of medical problems. After Ms. Friedrich moved in with him, his health deteriorated and detectives initially accused her of poisoning him. Ms. Friedrich had been charged with second-degree murder in the 1991 death of her husband, Gordon Russell Stewart. She was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to six years in prison. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS rn ri 1 LftB ON-SITE REFILL SERVICE For most major brands of ink-jet cartridges We use over 1 00 formulations of ink to ensure the best quality. No charge for cartridges we can't refill successfully Laser toner cartridges available BRING IN THIS a COUPON AND O your iiexi j ink-jet refill OFF HEWS KNOW HOW ' I,- mmmni,, ,lLf 1 " c$ I J

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