Equality means equality for everyone.
Dear Justin Trottier:
Here are my answers to your questions in order:
Please note, I am a new member of the Green Party and as such, I hold views as an individual, a father and as an educator that may not be universally held by all GPO members. Your questions are specific and I will answer as a potential MPP who has the right to move issues forward on their own merits.
#1. Men’s Health Awareness
I believe strongly that we need to celebrate men’s health and to promote this with a week that recognizes their overall health is just as important as the “Movember” movement which successfully draws attention to men’s health issues already.
#2. Suicide Rate for Men
Obviously a men’s health awareness week would be an excellent place to discuss how men need support in talking about mental health. The “big boy’s don’t cry” mentality is still pervasive in our society. Bottling emotion rather than expressing it through art, drama, and music are still expected and accepted. I would support any and all programs that are drawn out of a health awareness week that would make it easier for men to receive immediate support from a councilor and immediate intake with a psychologist assessment for anyone seeking help. If a man seeks help from a family doctor at the moment, he can wait months before seeing a psychologist. This needs to change.
#3. Funding For Domestic Abuse Shelters for Men:
We certainly need to support men’s mental health and their physical well-being. Certainly opening up a shelter system / care and intake system for men would drastically reduce male suicide. I heard somewhere that men going through divorce are far more likely to think about suicide. I would support a shelter / care system for men.
#4. Post-Secondary Enrollment & Male Role Models (Elementary Teachers)
In this society we need to change the conversation around what it means to be men. Men are still not seen as capable of nurturing children. A media campaign, education and a support system of some kind needs to be in place to change this perspective. I’m open to suggestions.
#5. Equal Access and Fathers after Divorce
Simply put the law needs to change to afford Fathers equal access to their children without requiring a trial. Like child support payments, parents should also get support by local law enforcement and Child Protective Services in any cases where parental alienation is a real threat. I would go so far as to define parental alienation to occur anytime shared custody is prevented without cause. Fathers do need access to their children. Any parent receiving child support should provide reasonable weekly contact with their other parent. I believe it is a fundamental human right to raise your own children. Any man wishing to have 50/50 access to their children should be encouraged to do so and supported whenever uncooperative spouses fail to provide such access. Penalties for those who alienate their children from a spouse should range from financial fines to loss of custody of the children. Children deserve to bond with their fathers and fathers deserve to raise their children. Only in proven child abuse or spousal abuse cases should children be kept from one or both parents.
#6. Rights and Workplace Harassment
I fully support those who have been harassed in the workplace from speaking out and seeking help. I would support a mechanism of reporting that keeps both the accused and their victim out of the media pending a formal judgement. Where appropriate I would support restorative justice for minor infractions. Where systemic abuse is suspected or alleged our current system appears to do a good job of getting to the bottom of these issues. The fear of false accusations and the injustice of a lost career as a result is a problem that we have yet to solve. Perhaps we need a new set of laws to prevent employers from becoming judge, jury and executioner. We have a legal system for a reason. Public Relations aside, allegations proven false should result in everyone being allowed to move on with their lives.
Daniel Reid, M.Ed.
Green Party Ontario Candidate