The Calgary Herald reports:
When Ken Anderson was just 15, his mother, Shirley, made it clear: She didn’t want him anymore.
Ken’s father, a long-haul trucker, had been transferred from Osoyoos, B.C., to the province’s Kootenay region. Although their marriage was rocky, Shirley followed, taking second-youngest son Darryl with her.
Ken was left behind. He had plenty of time to think about it as he wiped bug splatter off car windshields and pumped gas at the local station to make a buck. He says he can’t even remember how many couches he slept on, or how he kept himself going. He just knows he never got to go to a prom, finish high school or even think about college.
The way he sees it, he never really had a mother.
On Aug. 3 and 4, Ken, now 46, will face off in B.C. Supreme Court against the woman who gave birth to him.
Shirley Anderson, 71, is suing Ken and four of his five siblings for parental support. The case has been dragging on for years, but the August hearing should complete it.
Shirley has dusted off a little-used section in B.C.’s Family Relations Act that legally obliges adult children to support “dependent” parents.
Ken is too overcome with a sense of injustice to know what is more of an affront: that the statute exists or that the woman who abandoned him even meets the definition of “parent.”
Ken says it’s been nearly two decades since he even spoke with his mother. “The only time she ever called was to ask for money.”
His voice is so clouded with emotion he can barely get the words out. “She wouldn’t know her grandchildren if they passed her on the street.”
But the court doesn’t care whether Shirley was a good or bad mother. Neither does her lawyer, Donald McLeod of Victoria, who picked up the case through Pro Bono BC and has never met his client, though they have talked by phone. “My interest, quite frankly, is to see that someone is treated right, and that’s all I care about.”
The four kids have been ordered to provide financial statements, income and expenses going back 10 years.
The stress is killing them, says Sherry, who begins to cry.
“The toughest part (for Ken) is he’s had to admit that the things that went on . . .” she pauses, then says carefully, “that there was dysfunction.”
The other siblings, who spoke at length with The Vancouver Sun, allege their upbringing with Shirley was “harsh” and “brutal.”
Shirley Anderson did not return calls from The Vancouver Sun, but McLeod says he hopes to get the interim judgment substantially increased. “She’s only asking for $300 to $350 a month from each of them.”
You don’t own your income, your parents do, even when you’re in your 40’s.
Of course, your parents don’t actually own your income either, the State does. And the State has decided that if your parents want to feed off of you like leeches, then through the violence of the State so shall ye be compelled to sustain them.
The law is an outrage that could only occur in a progressive dystopia that recognizes no property rights.