Hunting down deadbeats

When it comes to cracking down on deadbeat parents, if it’s good enough for Alberta, it’s apparently good enough for Saskatchewan.

When it comes to cracking down on deadbeat parents, if it’s good enough for Alberta, it’s apparently good enough for Saskatchewan.

The Saskatchewan government says it’s planning to deny hunting and fishing licences to those who don’t pay promised child and spousal support. The move will emulate a measure already in place in Alberta.

Saskatchewan’s Justice Minister Gordon Wyant introduced legislation recently to amend the Enforcement of Maintenance Orders Act.

“These amendments will provide another tool to ensure that individuals who owe child support or spousal support will meet their obligations,” Wyant said in a news release. “These options will only be used after several notices and warnings have been given.”

He said the measure will be used as a last resort, when other efforts to enforce payment such as wage and federal benefit garnishees, driver’s licence and passport suspensions fail.

Does this really make sense?

In Alberta and Saskatchewan, hunting and fishing are prominent outdoor pursuits, but they also can be a means of support.

Denying parents access to food, or even potential income, runs in the face of a support payment crackdown. Do you want deadbeat parents paying family members their supports or heading to a food bank for a meal?

Saskatchewan has one of the highest collection rates for overdue payments in Canada. In the last fiscal year, the province was forced to take action in collecting more than 91 per cent of payments from delinquent spouses, almost $40 million worth.

Various provinces have initiated creative measures in tracking down and cracking down on deadbeat parents, who at times seem to disappear off the face of this planet.

The Ontario government is displaying “most-wanted style mug shots” of deadbeat dads on its Good Parents Pay website.

British Columbia, like many provinces, goes after wages, bank accounts and other income sources. The province also has powers to seize money from EI payments and tax rebates, place liens on property, withhold drivers’ licences, passports and other federal licences.

In Alberta, besides banning hunting and licences to deadbeat parents, this province is going to the courts to seize assets a deadbeat spouse may try to hide by keeping them in a company name.

In the Northwest Territories, slackers are reminded that their responsibilities aren’t void if they leave the region. The maintenance program “has reciprocal agreements will all Canadian provinces and territories, all American states, and some foreign countries.”

In Nova Scotia, the provincial government can seize lottery winnings, inheritances, insurance settlements, in addition to suspending licences and permits issued under the Wildlife Act.

And in the Yukon, authorities aren’t messing around. Its enforcement program can jail the deadbeats. And “time served is a penalty; it does not reduce the amount of support owed,” says that government.

This recent snowfall in Alberta and Saskatchewan is ideal for tracking big game. With the new maintenance laws, hunting season is also ideal for tracking deadbeat parents. But it seems unlikely the measure will reward the victims of deadbeat parents.

Rick Zemanek is a former Advocate editor.

Just Posted

Readers’ Choice Awards 2021
Best of Red Deer 2021: Winners list

Here’s the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards 2021 winners list:… Continue reading

FILE - Albertans enter a COVID-19 mass immunization clinic in downtown Calgary, on May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Red Deer down to 115 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 165 new cases Sunday

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021.  The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

The national spotlight on residential schools is also highlighting a difficult question… Continue reading

A woman wears a hijab as she attends a demonstration against Bill 21 in Montreal, Sunday, October 6, 2019. The controversial Quebec secularism law bans some public-sector employees from wearing religious symbols in the workplace. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Somali-Canadian group says another woman wearing a hijab attacked in Edmonton

EDMONTON — The chair of a group representing Somali Canadians in Edmonton… Continue reading

Canada head coach Bev Priestman reacts during the women’s international friendly soccer match between England and Canada at Bet365 stadium in Stoke on Trent, England on April 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Rui Vieira
Canada coach Bev Priestman hopes to see improved performance against Brazil

Priestman will likely field a more senior lineup to start Monday

Jimmy Smits arrives at a special screening of “In the Heights” during the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Friday, June 4, 2021. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Jimmy Smits figured he could carry a tune ‘In the Heights’

‘In the Heights’ follows dreams and struggles of Latino community in New York

Actress Devery Jacobs poses for photographs on the red carpet during the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto on Thursday, September 13, 2018. Jacobs grew up in the Kanien’kehá:ka Mohawk Territory in Quebec but says shooting her new TV series “Reservation Dogs” in the U.S. felt like “a sense of home. ” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Toronto-based Devery Jacobs on starring in Indigenous-led series ‘Reservation Dogs’

Series to make its world premiere at Tribeca Film Festival

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Most Read