This week, Sarnia was one of about a dozen cities across the province to celebrate Family Day by holding a green candle light vigil simultaneously with supporters in those other cities, a list that included such places as Chatham, London, Kitchener, Hamilton, Brantford, Ottawa, Windsor, Oshawa, and Niagara.
The organizers of the vigil said that it was taking place in memory of all the lost, broken and destroyed families across the province that have suffered as a result of a dysfunctional family law system.
Jim Canie, a founding member of the group Canadians For Family Law Reform (CFFLR) said, “Basically what this is, it's a candle light vigil to bring awareness to the injustices brought on by CAS and the family law system."
Canie said that the candle light vigil and protest for family law reform came about through their organization’s social media network.
“Chatham was first to start organizing the event, then Niagara jumped on board, and Sarnia quickly followed suit and did the same,” said Canie.
Green was chosen as the color for the vigil because, according to folklore, it traditionally represents life and fertility.
The vigil appeared to have as many as 60 people participating in the event at its peak, but additional support seemed to come from people walking by and asking questions, and from countless drivers honking their horns in support as they passed through the Murphy and London Road intersection.
Joe Edwards, who was there with his wife and three-year-old daughter, said, “Today is like Remembrance Day for all the families that have suffered and been destroyed because of the broken family law system.”
He added, “It’s for all the kids who have had their futures robbed, and for relationships between child and parents that have been destroyed.”
Canie said, when asked about his organization’s success at raising awareness about what he calls a broken family law system, “The news is out and people are talking about us all over the place.”