04/21/2013 10:15 EDT | Updated 06/21/2013 05:12 EDT

Bill to give Ontario grandparents more rights will be subject of public hearings

TORONTO - A Liberal backbencher is making his fifth attempt to change Ontario's Child Law and Reform Act to give grandparents more rights.

Niagara Falls MPP Kim Craitor says there are 75,000 grandparents in Ontario being denied access to their grandchildren because of nasty divorces or because they have no standing in custody disputes.

Craitor says he's heard thousands of heartbreaking stories from grandparents who want nothing more than to offer love and support for children who sometimes do not have a stable influence in the home.

He says a grandparent not being allowed to see their grandchild through no fault of their own "is just a horrible thing."

His bill, which is co-sponsored by Progressive Conservative and New Democrat MPPs, would give directions to the courts because it would have the word 'grandparent' in the law where it doesn't exist right now.

Attorney General John Gerretsen says he's prepared to take a look at the bill, which he concedes "may be a move in the right direction."

Craitor's bill has received second-reading approval and will go to a legislative committee for public hearings before it's called for third and final reading.