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fathers to be paying more
Medicine Hat News
October 03, 2008
Parents and ex-spouses who are late with
their support payments will have to dig a bit deeper in their
pockets as the province is announcing a 4.25 per cent interest
charge on those in arrears.
According to Alberta Justice, the charge is
designed to encourage people to meet heir financial obligations
through the Province’s Maintenance Enforcement Program.
“It’s important for debtors to pay their
maintenance on time and in accordance with the terms of their
support agreements,” said Justice Minister Alison Redford in a
“Many families suffer if they don’t receive
their maintenance on time and this is another step towards
ensuring the children of Albertan are getting their court
But men’s support groups in the province
are angry at the announcement, saying it amounts to gouging
already financially taxed individuals.
Gus Sleiman, president of the Calgary-based
Men’s Educational Support Organization, said 85 per cent of
support payments are made by men with those falling behind in
payments only doing so to lack of funds.
“We have the highest rate of compliance in
the country for paying child support but obviously neither the
Governments of Alberta or Canada want to stop the attack on
fathers until they drive them to suicide,” he said.
“After the divorce process they have
exhausted all the resources they have so this is a campaign to
denigrate fathers all the way along and saying if you are
late-for whatever reason- we are going to charge you interest.”
However, Jill McKenzie, spokesperson with
Alberta Justice, said there are options for those late with
“The Maintenance Enforcement Program wants
to work with these men to be able to make payments and not have
to charge interest. To avoid paying interest, debtors are
invited to contact MEP to work out alternative payment
Though the rate of interest can’t be
changed, McKenzie said MEP can change the times they do make
MEP currently manages 50,000 files per
month affecting over 165,000 Alberta men, women and children.