Child support lawsuit delayed again as N.S. adds man who owes $500K as defendant
Joseph Power skirted the payments by fleeing to Denmark, but was later deported back to Canada
A Halifax mother says the Nova Scotia Justice Department is trying to unfairly delay her child support lawsuit by adding her ex-husband to the proceedings after four years of litigation.
Joseph Power owes Angela Power over $500,000 in child support payments and interest. He skirted the payments by fleeing to Denmark, but was later deported back to Canada.
The province has filed an application to attach him to her lawsuit as a third-party defendant.
Power said this will allow him access to the mountain of government files associated with her case.
"It would be every letter I ever wrote to them, every email I ever sent to them, every note they ever made, so anything I alleged, any people who gave me information, all that," Angela Power said.
"They want to intimidate me into possibly dropping the suit because they know how much I don't want him to have that disclosure."
Joseph Power is now subject to a national arrest warrant for refusing to tell a Nova Scotia family court judge where he's hiding.
Meanwhile, Angela Power is suing the province's maintenance enforcement unit for failing to collect the debts when they had the chance.
Vindicated by ombudsman's report
As first reported by CBC News, Angela Power was kicked out of the province's maintenance enforcement program in 2014 in an "unbalanced and unfair manner," according to an ombudsman's report in her favour.
She has since been readmitted to the program.
But during the hiatus, Joseph Power was able to regain his passport and flee overseas.
Angela Power's four-year-old legal claim is to recover the lost child support, interest, and punitive and aggravated damages for her and her son.
Yet another delay
Power said the province requested settlement proposals from her more than a year and a half ago.
She said lawyers for the province never responded, despite asking for more time to review her offer.
She said the province has cancelled discovery hearings twice since last fall.
Now, the motion to attach her ex-husband to the lawsuit won't be heard until late October.
'They're trying to make an example of me'
Power thinks the province wants to send a warning to anyone who decides to fight the government in court.
"They're trying to make an example of me, so that anybody else that thinks they're going to challenge the government understands it's gonna be a decade of your life," she said.
But Power said she will persist for the sake of her children and for other women she believes are being failed by the maintenance enforcement unit.
Province declines comment
A spokesperson for the Nova Scotia Justice Department said it would be inappropriate to comment on an ongoing court matter.
Heather Fairbairn said the maintenance enforcement unit currently assists more than 13,000 Nova Scotia families, and that arrears are at the lowest level in 15 years.