An Ontario man is pounding the pavement from coast to coast to highlight the plight of non-custodial parents and their kids.
David Nash, 38, of Guelph, Ont., started his Cross Canada Run For The Children June 1 in Victoria and had made it to Winnipeg by Monday.
Nash had targeted the Guinness record of 72 days for crossing Canada on foot, a goal he always knew was near impossible, but said it’s really all about the symbolism of the number.
“The reason I picked it was to make a political statement about the failings of the system,” Nash said. “Seventy-two days is what a child will get with their non-custodial parent each year, and that’s if they’re fortunate.”
Nash said he hopes his journey can help spark change to Canada’s laws which he said pit parents against one another. Nash has shared custody of his nine-year-old son Mason with his ex-wife.
“We need to have a system in place that encourages divorcing parents to work together to put an equal-parenting arrangement together for the best interest of their children,” he said. “We currently have a system that encourages parents to fight one another for the custody of their children and it’s all to the detriment of the children.”
Nash said a private member’s bill is currently before Parliament that would amend the Divorce Act with the presumption of equal parenting. He said he hopes his trek will push politicians to act.
“Most Canadians don’t realize how bad the system is until they’ve been put through it,” Nash said.
“I’m not doing this for fathers’ rights, I’m doing this for children’s rights. I believe children deserve the right to have an equal relationship with both of their parents.”
Nash said he’s received plenty of aid and encouragement from supporters and communities along the way as he’s averaged about 60 kilometres per day.
For more information, visit Nash’s website crosscanada-runforthechildren.com.