Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia man arrested after avoiding $500K in child-support payments

Joseph Patrick Power was arrested on Nov. 20 in Montreal and was then transported to Nova Scotia where he's still in custody.

Joseph Patrick Power, who owes $500K in child support, was arrested on Nov. 20 in Montreal

Joseph Patrick Power was arrested on Nov. 20 in Montreal. (Facebook)

A Nova Scotia man is in custody after five years of avoiding authorities over unpaid child support. 

Joseph Patrick Power was arrested on Nov. 20 in Montreal. He was transported to Nova Scotia where he's still in custody.

"I'm sure that's not very comfortable for him," ex-spouse Angela Power told CBC News. 

"Raising our children on my own with not enough money was not very comfortable for me."

Tracked down for lawsuit

Joseph Power is subject to three arrest warrants issued by Nova Scotia courts since 2015. 

That was for failing to attend court hearings related to his refusal to pay more than $500,000 in child support and interest to his children and ex-spouse. 

A judge eventually sentenced Power in absentia to 60 days in jail. 

Meanwhile, Angela Power is suing the province's maintenance enforcement unit for not collecting the money Joseph Power was supposed to pay. 

Angela Power is suing the Province of Nova Scotia for negligence and lack of good faith by the maintenance enforcement program. (CBC)

In October, the province successfully applied to add Joseph Power to that lawsuit as a third-party defendant. 

Ten days ago, Angela Power received email confirmation Joseph Power had been served legal notice of the lawsuit at an address in Montreal.

"I do have questions as to why they were able to so quickly find him when they wanted to, as opposed to when I wanted them to," she said. 

She called Halifax Regional Police to report Joseph Power's whereabouts.

She says the arrest later that night did not go smoothly.

"A man was picked up at that residence who would not tell the police who he was. And I was asked to give the description, which I did, and also referred them to [CBC] news article for pictures," she said. 

Power said she's hopeful this development will bring her fight for compensation closer to a resolution. 

"Well, I'm hoping that it means the beginning of the end of this, I mean, some form of justice is being served right now," she said. 

Release hearing Tuesday

Joseph Power appeared Friday by video link at a hearing of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court Family Division, represented by Halifax lawyer Brian Bailey. 

Bailey told the judge he's been retained by Joseph Power's parents. 

Bailey said he'd like his client released from jail pending his sentencing for failure to pay child support. He cited unspecified health conditions and the risk of COVID-19 as the reasons.

Joseph Power will propose his parents as a surety, and will offer to wear a tracking bracelet on his ankle while under house arrest. 

Angela Power told the judge she's worried her ex-spouse will abscond a second time. 

A two-hour hearing is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.


Jack Julian


Jack Julian joined CBC Nova Scotia as an arts reporter in 1997. His news career began on the morning of Sept. 3, 1998 following the crash of Swissair 111. He is now a data journalist in Halifax, and you can reach him at (902) 456-9180, by email at or follow him on Twitter @jackjulian