THUNDER BAY — Guelph’s Dave Nash wants to put children’s interests first in divorce proceedings and is running across Canada to gain support and awareness for a federal private members bill for equal shared parenting.

Bill C-422 would reform the Divorce Act by making equal shared parenting the norm when courts deal with situations of divorce involving children. The Equal Shared Parenting Bill was introduced in Parliament on June 16, 2009, by Saskatoon MP Maurice Vellacott.

“Personally, this bill is very important to me,” Nash said during a stop in Thunder Bay.

“If the presumption of equal parenting was in place, it would have protected my son and myself from being put (through) a custody battle,” he said, explaining that Canada has a so-called family justice system in place that asks families, during one of the most difficult times in their lives, to go to war with one another over their children.

According to Nash’s website,, “the current system that we have in place, and have had in place since 1985, is bankrupting Canadian families, emotionally, as well as financially, and it needs to be stopped.”

Nash, 38, a former professional boxer, started his Cross Canada Run For The Children June 1, in Victoria.
Along the way, he is also attempting to break the world record for the fastest crossing of Canada on foot. The feat is aimed at raising awareness about the Canadian governments’ unwillingness to reform the system.

The Canadian government has been given many opportunities, over the past 20 years, to reform this broken, failing system, and demonstrate that they do care about the best interests of Canadian children, he said, yet they have rejected every opportunity presented to it, and has continually demonstrated contempt for the children of divorce in Canada, as well as their lack of respect for struggling Canadian families who are in need of help.

Nash said he targeted the Guinness record of 72 days for crossing Canada on foot primarily for the symbolism of the number.

“The reason I pick the world record is because the failings of the current system, which gives a child access to the non-custody parent of six days per month, or 72 days per year. That’s why I picked the record. It gets people attention.”

That being said, Nash said, he’s not “on track” to beat the record held by ultra-marathon runner Al Howie, who ran 7,295.5 kilometres across Canada in 72 days, 10 hours and 23 minutes.

“You have to run about 105 kilometres per day (to beat the world record) and right now I’m averaging 60 to 70 km per day,” he said.

For more information on Cross Canada Run For The Children, visit the website