[1] Charter of the United Nations, 26 June 1945, Can TS 1945 No 7  16.

[2] The Family Reform Act, 1978, SO 1978, c2 abolished the marital unity of legal personality. According to the Preamble of the Family Law Act, “it is necessary to recognize the equal position of spouses as individuals within marriage and to recognize marriage as a form of partnership”: Family Law Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. F.3 Preamble and s 64 (1). See, for example, Judge Rosalie Silberman Abella, Family Law in Ontario, Changing Assumptions, (1981) 13 Ottawa Law Review 1, 8.

[3] The legal marriage between two partners of the same sex has been recognized by the Civil Marriage Act, SC 2005, c 33.

[4] Divorce Act, RSC 1985 (2nd Supp), c 3. The Divorce Act, 1968, c 24 (Can) introduced the concept of marriage breakdown as a ground for divorce.

[5] Family Law Information Centres (or FLICs) are located at courthouses to provide information and other assistance. They are discussed in greater detail below.

[6] See, for example, Ontario Work’s Directive 5.5: Family Support (July 2010), 2: “As a condition of eligibility applicants and recipients are with certain exceptions, required to make reasonable efforts to pursue child or spousal support to which he or she, or a dependent, may be entitled.” Online: http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/documents/en/mcss/social/directives/ow/0505.pdf.

[7] See, for example, Ontario Disability Support Program’s policy: “The Director must be satisfied that a person is taking action, where appropriate, to obtain support payments.” Online: http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/social/directives/directives/ODSPDirectives/income_support/5_15_ODSP_ISDirectives.aspx.

[8] See, for example, the website of Passport Canada, In the case of custody, separation or divorce. Online: http://www.ppt.gc.ca/cdn/16-.aspx?lang=eng.

[9] See Art. 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Can TS 1992, No 3), which gives the child capable of forming his or her own views the right to express these views in a legal proceeding.

[10] Law Commission of Ontario, Research Priorities Report (Sossin Report). (April 2007). Online: http://www.lco-cdo.org/themes/lcotheme/SossinResearchReport.pdf. Professor Sossin (now Dean of Osgoode Hall Law School) was asked by the LCO Board of Governors to recommend potential projects for the new Law Commission of Ontario.

[11] Law Commission of Ontario, Division of Pensions Upon Marriage Breakdown Final Report. Online: http://www.lco-cdo.org/en/pensions-final-report.

[12] Law Commission of Ontario, “LCO Sees Recommendations Enacted”. Online: http://www.lco-cdo.org/content/lco-sees-recommendations-enacted. See Ontario, Legislative Assembly, Official Report of Debates (Hansard), 39th Parl., 1st Sess, No 111, 19 February 2009, 0920 (Hon Christopher Bentley).

[13] Law Commission of Ontario, Family Law [Project] Options Consultation Paper (January 2009). Online: http://www.lco-cdo.org/en/family-law-options-consultation-paper.

[14] Law Commission of Ontario, Best Practices at Family Justice Entry Points: Needs of Users and Response of Workers in the Justice System. (September 2009) Online: http://www.lco-cdo.org/family-law/Family%20Law%20Process%20Consultation%20Paper%20-%20September%202009.pdf.

[15] Law Commission of Ontario, Voices From a Broken Family Justice System: Sharing Consultation Results, [Voices From a Broken Family Justice System] (September 2010). Online: http://www.lco-cdo.org/en/family-law-process-consultation-results.

[16] Brenda Jacobs and Lesley Jacobs, Multidisciplinary Paths to Family Justice, Professional Challenges and Promise Practices (June 2010), research paper commissioned by the LCO.  Online: http://www.lco-cdo.org/family-law-process-call-for-papers-jacobs.pdf  and Noel Semple, Cost-Benefit Analysis of Family-Service Delivery: Disease, Prevention and Treatment (June 2010), research paper commissioned by the LCO. Online: http://www.lco-cdo.org/family-law-process-call-for-papers-semple.pdf.

[17] Alfred A. Mamo, Peter G. Jaffe, Debbie G. Chiodo, Recapturing and Renewing the Vision of the Family Court (2007). (The Mamo Report) Online: http://www.crvawc.ca/documents/Family%20Court%20Study%202007.pdf.

[18] Barbara Landau, Tom Dart, Heather Schwartz, Joyce Young, Creating a Family Law Process That Works: Final Report and Recommendations from the Home Court Advantage Summit (December 12, 2009). Online: http://www.oba.org/En/publicaffairs_en/PDF/Interim_Report_Home_Court_Advantage_FINAL_12dec09.pdf

[19] Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Family Strategic Plan. Online: http://www.ontariocourts.on.ca/scj/en/famct/familylawstrategicplan.htm.

[20]Ontario Court of Justice, Biennual Report 2006-2007. Online:   http://www.ontariocourts.on.ca/ocj/en/reports/annualreport/06-07.pdf.

[21] The Middle Income Access to Justice Initiative. Online:  http://www.law.utoronto.ca/visitors_content.asp?itemPath=5/5/0/0/0&contentId=2113.

[22] Law Commission of Ontario, Towards a More Efficient and Responsive Family Law System: Interim Report. Online: http://www.lco-cdo.org/en/family-law-reform-interim-report.

[23] Human Rights Code, RSO 2009, c 33, Sch 2, s 35.

[24] Canadian Charter of Rights  and Freedoms, Part I of the Constitution Act, 1982, being Schedule B to the Canada Act 1982 (UK), 1982, c 11, s 7.

[25] Statistics Canada, Rural and Urban population changes since 1851 for Ontario. Online: http://www40.statcan.ca/l01/cst01/demo62g-eng.htm.

[26] Statistics Canada, 2006 Community Profiles, 2006 Census Statistics. Canada Catalogue no. 92-591-XWE (Ottawa, March 13, 2007). Online: http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census06/data/profiles/community/index.cfm?Lang=E.

[27] Statistics Canada, 2006 Community Profiles. Online:  http://www12.statcan.ca/census-recensement/2006/dp-pd/prof/92-591/details/page.cfm?Lang=E&Geo1=CMA&Code1=595&Geo2=PR&Code2=35&Data=Count&SearchText=Thunder Bay&SearchType=Begins&SearchPR=01&B1=All&&GeoLevel=PR&GeoCode=535.

[28] Statistics Canada, 2006 Community Profiles, 2006 Census Statistics. Online: http://www12.statcan.ca/census-recensement/2006/dp-pd/prof/92-591/details/page.cfm?Lang=E&Geo1=CMA&Code1=535&Geo2=PR&Code2=35&Data=Count&SearchText=Toronto&SearchType=Begins&SearchPR=01&B1=All&GeoLevel=PR&GeoCode=535.

[29] Some of these issues are discussed in the Interim Report in the LCO’s project on developing a framework for the law as it affects older adults: Law Commission of Ontario, The Law As It Affects Older Adults: Interim Report (June 2011). Online:  http://www.lco-cdo.org/en/older-adults-interim-report.

[30] Statistics Canada, Portrait of Seniors in Canada, Catalogue No. 98-519 XIE at 12. Online: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89-519-x/89-519-x2006001-eng.pdf.

[31]  Statistics Canada, Report on the Demographic Situation in Canada: 2005 and 2006 Edition (Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2008), Catalogue no. 91-209-X. Online: http://www.statcan.ca/english/freepub/91-209-XIE/91-209-XIE2004000.pdf.

[32]  Tina Chui, Kelly Tran and Hélène Maheux, Statistics Canada, 2006 Census: Immigration in Canada: A Portrait of the Foreign-born Population, 2006 Census: Findings. Online: http://www12.statcan.ca/census-recensement/2006/as-sa/97-557/index-eng.cfm.

[33] Anne Milan, Migration: International 2009, Statistics Canada, (July 2011), 4 and 5. Online: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/91-209-x/2011001/article/11526-eng.pdf.

[34]Statistics Canada, Population by religion, by province and territory (2001 Census) (Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan). Online: http://www40.statcan.gc.ca/l01/cst01/demo30b-eng.htm.

[35] Statistics Canada, Percentage of Aboriginal people in the population, Canada, provinces and territories,2006. (2006 Census). Online: http://www12.statcan.ca/census-recensement/2006/as-sa/97-558/figures/c1-eng.cfm.

[36]  Statistics Canada,  2006 Census: Aboriginal Peoples in Canada in 2006: Inuit, Métis and First Nations, 2006 Census. Online: http://www12.statcan.ca/census-recensement/2006/as-sa/97-558/p4-eng.cfm.  Also see, Statistics Canada, Living arrangements of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children aged 14 years and under, Canada, 2006. Online: http://www12.statcan.ca/census-recensement/2006/as-sa/97-558/table/t4-eng.cfm.

[37]  Statistics Canada, 2006 Census: Aboriginal Peoples in Canada in 2006. Online: http://www12.statcan.ca/census-recensement/2006/as-sa/97-558/p16-eng.cfm.

[38] Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, vol 3,ch 2, para 1.2. Online www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/ap/rrc-eng.asp.

[39] Note 38, para 1.3.

[40] Note 38, para 1.3.

[41] Note 38, para 1.3.

[42]  Statistics Canada, Visible minorities groups percentage distribution, for Canada, provinces and territories. Online: http://www12.statcan.ca/census-recensement/2006/dp-pd/hlt/97-562/pages/page.cfm?Lang=E&Geo=PR&Code=01&Table=1&Data=Dist&StartRec=1&Sort=2&Display=Page. Only British Columbia has a higher percentage of members of “visible minority groups” (nearly 25%).