Grandparents’ rights bill feeds misconceptions

Posted on: March 9th, 2017 by Suzanne Deliscar Add A Comment

New provincial legislation could exacerbate grandparents’ misconceptions about their rights in custody cases, says Brampton lawyer-linguist Suzanne Deliscar.

Bill 34, which recently received royal assent at Queen’s Park, amends the Children’s Law Reform Act to explicitly include grandparents as people who can initiate a custody application in court. The bill also forces judges to consider their emotional ties with their grandchildren when deciding what is in the best interest of the child.

But Deliscar, principal of Deliscar Professional Corporation, a firm that offers legal services in English, French and Spanish, says the new legislation changes little in practice.

“The grandparent advocacy movement has been around for quite some time, but it really seems to be picking up steam,” Deliscar tells “I think much of it comes from the fact that people think grandparents have a legal right to see their grandchildren when, in fact by default, they don’t.”

Deliscar says she’s glad the bill didn’t result in any more substantive rights.  

“I personally think it’s dangerous to give too many people rights to custody and access. If you’ve got two sets of grandparents, plus the parents, that can make for a really complicated situation,” she says. “Ultimately, it’s parents who are supposed to do what’s best for their children.”   

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