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I would like to thank you for your questions and am sorry for the delay.  Here are my answers

1 – According to Canadian studies in peer reviewed journals, boys are twice as likely to drop out of high school as compared with girls, consistently fall behind girls in academic achievement, and have far fewer same gender role models at all levels of public education. We know that dropouts have a 300% greater chance of incarceration. Do you believe this is a problem that needs Ministry of Education attention, and if so how would you tackle the problem?

By merging our school systems, there will be additional funds available for increased teaching staff and support for boys or girls that need extra help. Boys are falling behind. They are being pushed to learn in a way that girls seem better suited for. More funds and increased staffing will allow for more tailored instruction that will meet individual needs. Learning styles must be taken into account to help boys catch up.

 

 

2 – Since the early 1970’s there have been many academics that have altered their view of the causes and remedies of domestic violence. Originating with a model where domestic violence is universally seen as female victims of male perpetrators, the current research shows a more balanced view where men and women contribute almost equally to the problem of domestic violence. Do you expect to support legislation that recognizes the new understanding of how domestic violence should be addressed? Abuse is abuse, whether a male or female is the abuser and the abuser should be treated equally in the eyes of the law. The Green Party of Ontario would support legislation that treats all abusers equally, in an effort to reduce domestic voilence.

 

 

3 – Our society is held together by a system of laws and their implementation. Without access to justice many Ontarians are left without the benefit of this fundamental system. Cases exist such as the York University Community Legal Assistance Program (CLASP), whereby men are denied legal assistance when, on the other hand, women are given full aid. In cases like this, the CLASP program does not follow the principle of promoting access to justice in a publicly funded institution and program. Would you assure that all Ontario Legal Aid programs treat all Ontarians equally and move to deny funding to programs that deny equal access to justice? It is shocking that this is not already the case. The GPO supports equal rights for all and would lobby for equal access.

 

 

4 –  Recent research has shown that children attach to both their fathers and mothers with equal benefit to the child. Research also shows that fatherlessness has serious negative outcomes for girls and boys. However, Statistics Canada reports that children lose access to their dads in custody judgments at a 15 to one ratio and one in five children in Ontario live entirely without their father. Do you believe that maintaining a child’s attachment to both parents after break-up or divorce is a best outcome and can be accomplished by maximizing time with both parents after separation?

The child’s safety is first and foremost. If both parents show themselves as competent caregivers, then they should have equal access and time with their children. If they both choose to divide the time in another fashion (mother having more time or father), so long as it is mutually agreeable, then they are the best people to determine what is in the best interest of their child. Children need both parents so long as safety and care requirements are satisfied.

 

 

5 – The most recent available analysis of the treatment men receive in the criminal justice system show that men are treated much more punitively for the same criminal behaviours as compared to women. Men are more readily arrested, charged and given harsher sentences, even for a crime done jointly by the man and a dominant woman. Do you agree that this bias is unfair and unjust, and if so how will you endeavor to balance the gender inequality in the justice system? Men and women should be treated equally in our legal system. There should be no gender bias when it comes to sentencing and treatment. It’s hard to imagine there is a law that specifies harsher treatment for men… But there should be an avenue to review cases that reflect this inequality and a process put in place to treat all people equally for a crime, in our judicial system.

 

Mark Vercouteren, Green Party

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