As a grandmother, Pauline Glenn is tickled pink over new amendments introduced into the provincial legislature on Monday.
The amendments were to the Maintenance and Custody Act, which are designed to make it easier for grandparents to seek legal access to their grandchildren, when parents separate or divorce.
“I’m very excited,” said Glenn, a Wallace, Cumberland County, resident and president of the Grandparents Rights of Nova Scotia Association. “It’s been 14 years that I’ve been lobbying for this.”
Grandparents seeking access to their grandchildren currently have to ask the court’s permission for a standing before they can proceed to a hearing. The amendments are intended to change that, so courts can proceed directly to considering requests from grandparents for contact.
“We had wanted to cut down on legal fees, have the judges listen to us and be allowed to actually go to court,” said Glenn, about the issues the association has been seeking.
“The amendments have to go to third reading before they can become law, so for now we have to wait. We’re hoping it will be weeks, or maybe a few days…we don’t know.”
Glenn has been a part of the association since it started in January 2000 after other grandparents constantly reached out to her because they had lost contact with their grandchildren. The group often hosts its meetings in the Truro area.
“Many of them were bonded with their grandchildren but were then denied access,” she said. “I just couldn’t take it. If the grandparents were going through all that, I thought, ‘what are the children going through?’
“This is something that has affected my husband and I terribly.”
With eight members of the association’s committee, including herself, attending the reading in the legislature, Glenn said she’s unsure if there are still things the association would want to see changed.
“We won’t know until we have a meeting to discuss it,” she said. “Not everything is perfect from the beginning, and I imagine something else would come up that we would prefer to see changed.”