‘Options to clarify the law’


A statement from Justice Minister Rob Nicholson.

I want to be very clear that the Government has no intention of reopening the debate on the definition of marriage.

This case today involved the fact that, under current law, some marriages performed in Canada could not be dissolved in Canada.

I will be looking at options to clarify the law so that marriages performed in Canada can be undone in Canada.


‘Options to clarify the law’

  1. So give all SS couples a copy of Canada’s Divorce Act before getting hitched so they know you have to be a resident here for twelve months prior to the date of filing for a divorce.

    • Or, more sensibly, remove the residency requirement – either remove it altogether, or waive it if the permanent residence of the applicants doesn’t recognize the validity of their marriage, whether performed in Canada or not.

      In any event, it’s largely a hangover of antiquated moralizing-via-legislation that attempted to make divorce as difficult to obtain as possible. We don’t demand the presence of adultery or cruelty as a mandatory requirement to access divorce any more, you know…

      • I think the purpose of the one year residency is for “collateral attack” in other jurisdictions.  I have no idea what other countries require but that would be a good place to start.

  2. This still isn’t quite a clarification of the law.  He isn’t answering the question of whether two people who could not get married in their home countries could get married in Canada.  Sidestepping. . .

    • Yes, because his government is arguing that the marriages aren’t valid, so they don’t even need a divorce.  Have we ever had such a sleazy justice minister? 

  3. Gay and lesbian couples were advised of the divorce requirements beforehand–that is not the question that needs answering.  The real issue is whether the federal government will stand by its lawyer’s argument that a Canadian marriage certificate is only valid if it would also be valid under the law of the celebrants’ home jurisdictions.  It’s unthinkably absurd (would a Canadian driver’s license issued to a Saudi woman also be invalid because women can’t drive there?), but all the more reason not to let the issue linger a moment longer.  Harper should state clearly the government’s position.

    • As usual they’re taking the weave and bob approach, while declaring the subject is not open for discussion.  This is now SOP.

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