Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Runner crossing Canada for kids’ right to parents

Dave Nash is on a trek across Canada to support Mr. Vellacott's PMB C-422 for equal shared parenting in Canada's federal parliament.  He is currently in Winnipeg.  I had sent the following note on facebook and would want anyone in the Thunder Bay - Sault Ste. Marie area who can be involved to get in touch with me to see if efforts can be coordinated.

"It's about 1400 km's from there to Sault Ste. Marie, which at your current pace (an impressive 60 km's per day) puts you in the Soo about Aug. 4. I will be in MN around then but as you get closer and the day is more firm I will send out releases to local media, including Marathon, (300 KM's south of Thunder Bay) which has a radio station and ... See moreNewspaper to let them know. I will also see if a local Hotel in the Soo will provide accommodation and some meals . One of the owners is a bicycle marathoner having cycled from Egypt to South Africa. Is there anyone else in the Marathon - Soo area who can provide ground support? Its a lot of territory. 700 Km's Thunder Bay to the Soo through rugged wilderness with few communities in between. South of the Soo to Sudbury its just over 300 KM's and far less rugged with more smaller communities."

There is no cell phone service for anyone using GSM devices between the Sault and Thunder Bay so communication for Dave, other than hardline will be spotty. I note he uses an Iphone from his Facebook postings, which means GSM - as no CDMA (Bell/Telus)  service can use this cell. I use the new Bell GSM network on my iPhone but it terminates just a few Km's north of the Soo. South of the Sault it is better and should be usable most of the distance to Sudbury.  I have travelled the Sault-Thunder Bay route more times than I care to remember and it is rugged, lonely and with few communities.  It would be important to have ground support. Cross country bicycle trekkers describe the hills between Thunder Bay and Marathon as difficult as in the mountains. They are steep and frequent.

It is about 700 KM's from Winnipeg to Thunder Bay and the same from the latter to the Soo. Another 700 km's puts you to the 401 highway in Toronto but Dave will go Highway 17 through Ottawa which adds about 790 km's  From where he is now to Ottawa will be close to 2,200 km's, slightly more than his current distance from the start to Winnipeg. They say it takes forever to get across Ontario compared to other Provinces. It most assuredly does.

Let me know if there are any hardy souls able to help in this (Thunder Bay-Soo)  difficult and long stretch of Ontario.MJM

Last Updated: July 12, 2010 10:05pm

An Ontario man is pounding the pavement from coast to coast to highlight the plight of non-custodial parents and their kids.

David Nash, 38, of Guelph, Ont., started his Cross Canada Run For The Children June 1 in Victoria and had made it to Winnipeg by Monday.

Nash had targeted the Guinness record of 72 days for crossing Canada on foot, a goal he always knew was near impossible, but said it’s really all about the symbolism of the number.

“The reason I picked it was to make a political statement about the failings of the system,” Nash said. “Seventy-two days is what a child will get with their non-custodial parent each year, and that’s if they’re fortunate.”

Nash said he hopes his journey can help spark change to Canada’s laws which he said pit parents against one another. Nash has shared custody of his nine-year-old son Mason with his ex-wife.

“We need to have a system in place that encourages divorcing parents to work together to put an equal-parenting arrangement together for the best interest of their children,” he said. “We currently have a system that encourages parents to fight one another for the custody of their children and it’s all to the detriment of the children.”

Nash said a private member’s bill is currently before Parliament that would amend the Divorce Act with the presumption of equal parenting. He said he hopes his trek will push politicians to act.

“Most Canadians don’t realize how bad the system is until they’ve been put through it,” Nash said.
“I’m not doing this for fathers’ rights, I’m doing this for children’s rights. I believe children deserve the right to have an equal relationship with both of their parents.”

Nash said he’s received plenty of aid and encouragement from supporters and communities along the way as he’s averaged about 60 kilometres per day.

For more information, visit Nash’s website crosscanada-runforthechildren.com.


The work of Fathers 4 Justice and the Pain of Fathers ~ Activism in the UK

Equal and Shared Parenting ~ The Movie