Minister of Justice has missed the boat
in dealing with family violence
Canada’s Minister of Justice has totally missed the point with her attempt to forestall domestic violence in Canadian families, according to a leading advocate for children’s safety.
“Where does the Justice Minister think young men suddenly get the idea to beat the hell out of their wives and girlfriends?” asks Kathy Lynn, chair of Corrine’s Quest, a campaign devoted to repealing Section 43, Canada’s spanking law.
“The idea of using violence to solve conflicts is first learned across a parent’s knee, when parents resort to spanking kids to change their behaviour”, she said.
She says Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould’s approach is to use further punishment through police, the courts, even the bail system, to change behaviours. That’s much too late. In his role as Minister of Youth, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must understand that young Canadians do not suddenly start believing that assault is the answer to frustration, disobedience or differences of opinion. They learn it when they are still kids.
“Using a bigger stick to solve violence problems has never worked,” said Lynn. “It’s a comforting idea, it gives the impressing you are seriously doing something about the problem, but in fact you are making it worse by invoking the force of governments and the courts.
“We need to be working on the root causes, and the Minister’s reforms don’t do that. Little Johnny gets hit regularly and legally at home by his parents, so he learns that violence is an appropriate response to anger. He continues this behaviour into adulthood with his girlfriend. But suddenly it’s illegal. Makes no sense whatsoever.
Section 43 of the Criminal Code permits parents to strike children aged 2 to twelve “for correction”, and also offers parents a defence in law if they are charged with assault.
Lynn said Senate bill s.206, presented by Senator Murray Sinclair who chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, offers a ready-to-go solution to the problem of repealing s.43. The TRC’s sixth Call to Action also called for repeal.
For more information you can go to the article: Domestic Violence Starts Over the Knees of Parents
The Honourable George J. Furey, Q.C., Speaker of the Senate
Child and Youth Advocates
Senate of Canada
RE: Bill S-206 An Act to amend the Criminal Code (protection of children against standard child-rearing violence)
The Canadian Council of Child & Youth Advocates is an association of children’s provincial and territorial advocates who have mandates to advance the rights of children and youth and to promote their voices. Advocates are all independent officers of the legislature in their respective jurisdictions. Through the Council, we identify areas of mutual concern, and work to develop ways to address issues at a national level.
We write to urge you to support passage of Bill S-206—unamended—to repeal section 43 of the Criminal Code, which permits disciplinary violence against children by caregivers.
A solid body of research has demonstrated that physical punishment is the most common form of violence experienced by children, and that it is strongly linked to broad and enduring personal and societal harm. Hitting children is a violation of their human rights. The right to live free of all forms of violence is strongly protected by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Canadian adults rely on law to protect them from violence. Children have a right to the same protection in law. The message of section 43 undercuts public education about the harm of physical punishment and the need for alternative and positive child rearing discipline..
Section 43 is a relic Canadian statute. Fifty-three countries have now fully protected their children from all violence—by removal of historic legal defenses for caregiver assault or by outright prohibitions of such assault. Fifty- four more countries have committed to doing so; Canada is not among them. The Honourable George J. Furey, Speaker of the Senate November 23, 2017 RE: Bill S-206 An Act to amend the Criminal Code (protection of children against standard child-rearing violence) Page: 2
Repeal of section 43 is one of the calls to action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. The Canadian Joint Statement on Physical Punishment of Children and Youth, which has been endorsed by more than 600 respected organizations, calls for the same legal protection of children from assault as relied upon by adults.
The narrowed scope of the section 43 defense (Supreme Court of Canada split decision on the s. 43 constitutional challenge, 2004) does not provide protection of all children from parental and caregiver hitting. The decision painted a confusing body and developmental map of the permitted assault of a child by a caregiver, which leaves children between the ages of 2 and 12 unprotected.
Canada has a well-deserved reputation for social justice and leadership in protecting vulnerable people. But Canada is way overdue in ensuring that our youngest and most vulnerable citizens have the same protection against violence that is taken for granted by adults.
We urge you to hasten repeal of section 43 by supporting passage of Bill S-206.
President Canadian Council of Child & Youth Advocates
(Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth of Ontario)
About the Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates
The Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates is an alliance of legislatively mandated advocates for the rights of children and youth. These advocates may operate under various titles (e.g. Advocate, Representative, Ombudsman, Commissioner), but all are official representatives in their particular provinces and territories. All CCCYA members are independent statutory officers who report directly to the Legislative Assembly of their respective jurisdictions. Each CCCYA member office is established by legislation to operate in a manner that is independent from government authority or control. Council includes members from the nine provinces and two territories of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Québec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon.
Corinne’s Quest Video
Russian law permits family beatings; are they so different from Canada’s laws?
Many Canadians reacted in horror earlier this month on learning that the Russian parliament had approved a law making it legal to assault family members.
According to a survey, 19 per cent of Russians said it can be acceptable to hit one’s wife, husband or child in certain circumstances. In 2013 more than 9,000 Russian women were reported to have been killed in domestic violence, and critics argue this new law could encourage an even greater level of family violence.
The Russian Orthodox Church authorities believe “the reasonable and loving use of physical punishment is an essential part of the rights given to parents by God himself”.
But Canadians need to re-think their reaction of outrage at this news. Canada also has a law on the books which not only permits family violence, it provides legal protection for the person who commits the violence.
It’s called Section 43 of the Criminal Code. “Every schoolteacher, parent or person standing in the place of a parent is justified in using force by way of correction toward a pupil or child, as the case may be, who is under his care, if the force does not exceed what is reasonable under the circumstances.”
“We firmly believe that Violence against children should be against the law, not defined by it”, says Kathy Lynn, who heads up Corinne’s Quest, an organization devoted to repeal of Section 43.
“Canada has had laws which permitted beating
In today’s Canada, only children are still on that list”, she said.
“That’s just wrong. And it’s not who Canadians are.
“This is not a child discipline issue. It’s a human rights issue. All Canadians, whatever their age, deserve the protection of law against violence in any form.
The research is clear. Physical punishment of children carries risk factors for the child including self-esteem problems and future aggressive behaviour.
The point is that we have this antiquated law. It can easily be repealed. It is not necessary in our country.”
Today is Family Day in BC and next Monday, February 20, Family Day will be celebrated in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario. It is a good day to note that children and adults are safe in their homes in our country. Let’s celebrate National Family Day by having our homes be safe refuges for our children.
The federal government simply needs to repeal Section 43 of the criminal code.
Editors: Contact Kathy Lynn at 604-258-9074 or at Kathy@ParentingToday.ca
For more information check out our website at corinnesquest.ca
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
UN Expert on Violence Against Children Applauds France’s Move to Ban Physical Punishment of Children.
France has become the 52nd country to ban physical punishment of children.
France now forbids cruel, degrading and humiliating treatment of children by their parents and it makes spanking a civil offence.
Kathy Lynn, chair of Corinne’s Quest, a national campaign to end physical punishment of children in Canada, applauds the decision made in France on behalf of their children.
“Now, our legislators, need to get on board and become the 53rd country to do the right thing for our children,” she said.
Marta Santos Pais, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on Violence against Children, said of France’s decision: “It lays the foundation for a culture of respect for children‘s rights; safeguards children’s dignity and physical integrity; and encourages positive discipline and education of children through non-violent means.”
Canada is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child but is in contravention of that agreement because Canada still has Section 43 of the Criminal Code on the books which specifically permits assault on children by their parents. It is essential that Canada Repeal s.43 in order to be in compliance with the UN Convention.
Call to Action #6 in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission asks for the Repeal of S43 and the government has said it will implement the TRC.
“This call to action is an easy one to implement,” said Lynn. “It requires a simple repeal of that section. Why the hold up when it was promised?
“Is it because our children do not vote and therefore protecting them isn’t a priority? In 2017 shouldn’t our children be protected from all assault in the same way as all other Canadian citizens?”
The research evidence is clear, said Lynn. Spanking can cause kids to become more aggressive and experience mental health issues which can is some cases continue into adulthood. It can impair the parent-child relationship, lead to a lower moral internalization and in some cases to delinquency.
This evidence is clear and compelling — physical punishment of children and youth plays no useful role in their upbringing and poses only risks to their development. The conclusion is equally compelling — parents should be strongly encouraged to develop alternative and positive approaches to discipline.
“It’s time for our Minister of Justice to take a stand on behalf of children and Repeal s.43.”
For Immediate release
Oct. 19, 2015
The one gift every child wants that Santa cannot give.
This little boy wants Santa to bring him the same gift every other child in Canada wants for Christmas. They want to grow up without fear of being hit.
For any reason. By anyone. Ever.
Regrettably, Santa can’t give him that gift. You see, Canada has a law on the books which not only permits children to be hit, assaulted, slapped, smacked. And that same law also offers a defence to people who do the hitting.
It’s called Section 43 of the Criminal Code.
Over the years Canada had a long list of who could be legally hit. Slaves. Servants. Prisoners, seamen and apprentices. Wives, dogs and children.
Today, children are the only ones left on that list.
Those who want to continue to hit children believe it teaches them right from wrong, and does no harm. Wrong on both counts.
We now know from the research that spanking children can cause increases in aggressive behaviour, and is now associated with increases in mental health problems into adulthood. It is also ineffective as a means of discipline.
Modern-day parents understand that true child discipline teaches children right from wrong from an early age. It instils in them a respect for the rights of others, the laws of our land, and the proper way to conduct one’s self in public. That includes how to deal non-violently and effectively with conflict in their daily lives.
Santa can do nothing to give Canada’s youngest citizens the safe, secure and violence-free path through life they all seek. The only ones who can do that are our 338 Members of Parliament and their leaders, who make the laws.
They can do it by repealing Section 43 of the Criminal Code. It really is that easy.
Corinne’s Quest is an organization formed specifically to seek repeal of Section 43. We won’t rest until it’s gone
Letter to the Prime Minister and a news release about same.
Nov. 21, 2016
Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
House of Commons
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6
Dear Prime Minister,
Re: National Child Day and Section 43 of the Criminal Code
Please let me thank you for your recent statement in support of National Child Day and particularly your comments regarding the importance of children’s rights and their need to be raised free of violence.
Our organization is committed to repeal of the last section of Canada’s criminal code which not only condones violence against children, but also offers legal protections to those who commit the assault. I refer to Section 43 of the code, known widely as ‘the spanking law.’
This law clearly violates the human rights of Canada’s children, and also puts Canada in contravention of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which you note Canada signed back in 1990. The Truth and Reconciliation Report also made repeal its sixth Call to Action.
Spanking is a relic of the past and the research is clear; spanking is not trivial. It causes long-term harm to children, not least of which is teaching them that violence and force are legitimate means of controlling others. We believe the great majority of Canadian parents no longer spank. They believe in raising their children in a non-violent manner.
Forty years ago this year your father’s government took the courageous step of abolishing the death penalty in Canada. Section 43 remains the only law on Canada’s books which sanctions and condones violence.
Section 43 simply needs to be repealed, much like your government recently announced repeal of Section 159 dealing with anal intercourse. As the leading organization in Canada on this issue, we commit our full support to your government should you take this initiative.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016
Prime Minister Trudeau’s renewed commitment to ending violence against children draws strong support from the organization dedicated to repeal of Canada’s ‘spanking law’.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has drawn strong support from the organization which has been its strongest critic for not repealing Section 43 of the Criminal Code.
In his statement marking National Child Day on Sunday, Nov. 20, Trudeau said in part, “Each child deserves to be raised in an environment that is free of violence, discrimination and exploitation …”
He went on to note that he and his wife Sophie urge all Canadians to speak to children of all ages about their rights. He said that though the UN introduced a Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989, there is still a lot of work to do to because world-wide, millions of children are being denied basic human rights.
Kathy Lynn, chair of Corinne’s Quest, the leading organization formed to push for repeal of s.43, has sent the Prime Minister a letter thanking him for re-stating the government’s commitment to the right of children to benefit from a violence-free up-bringing. The government last year committed to implementing all of the Truth and Reconciliation’s Calls to Action including number six, which calls for repeal of s.43.
This section not only condones violence against children, Lynn said, it also offers legal protections to those who commit the assault. “Violence against children needs to be prohibited by law, not defined by it.
“In the past Canada has had laws on the books which permitted hitting slaves, servants, sailors, apprentices, prisoners, wives, dogs and children,” said Lynn. “Today, children are the only ones left on that list.
“This government has signaled its support in this area on a number of occasions. It is now time for them to take action,” said Lynn. “Canadian parents are ready for this change.
“it’s an easy fix. Simply introduce a bill which repeals section 43. The government did that last week with Section 159 dealing with with anal intercourse which they admitted also violated basic civil rights.”
Hitting kids as a means of discipline is not a trivial matter,” said Lynn. “The research is clear; it doesn’t work, and it can cause long-term harm to children, not least of which is teaching them that force and violence are legitimate ways of controlling others.”
She noted that while Canada signed on to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990, the UN has had to remind Canada several times that we are out of compliance because of s.43. World-wide, there are now 51 countries which have abolished laws which permit assaulting children. Canada is not on that list.
Prime Minister Trudeau’s National Child Day statement
Social Media Posting on the Prime Minister’s Statement National Child Day
I see that Prime Minister Trudeau has posted a statement on National Child Day. Good for him for recognizing this often forgotten day. Among other comments he says that children deserve “to be raised in an environment that is free of violence.
He also notes that “the world has made significant progress in advancing children’s rights since the introduction of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.”
I am so pleased to see this statement because we know that in order to raise children free of violence the government needs to Repeal s43 of the criminal code which specifically permits the hitting of children.
We also know that Canada is a signatory to the UN Convention but because of the presence of s43 in our Criminal Code we are not currently in compliance with the Convention.
And taking a look from another perspective, the 6th Call to Action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission asks for Repeal.
So, let’s do it.
What a terrific way to respect our nation’s children.
For Immediate Release
Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016
It’s time for the government to repeal Section 43 of the Criminal Code and give Canadian children the same protections as adults
Forty years ago Prime Minister Trudeau’s Liberal government abolished capital punishment in Canada.
That was Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau of course. Four years earlier his government had also abolished the lash in Canada’s prisons. Those two initiatives placed Canada in the forefront of progressive governments the world over.
But Trudeau père left one last law on the books which still sanctions violence toward Canada’s most vulnerable citizens. It is Section 43 of the Criminal Code, which permits parents to hit their children if they think that’s a reasonable way to discipline them.
It isn’t of course. Extensive research confirms what many Canadians have believed and have practiced for generations. Spanking simply doesn’t work.
In June of this year Dr. Elizabeth Gershoff, Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and Andrew Grogan-Kaylor, Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan, published a literature review that includes a wide range of studies on corporal punishment of children. They found that the research has been consistent. Spanking is at best ineffective and at worst harmful to children.
“On this, the 40th anniversary of the abolition of the death penalty for those who committed murder, it’s time to abolish the legalized hitting of our nation’s children,” said Kathy Lynn, chair of Corinne’s Quest. “Government needs to step up, repeal s.43 of the Criminal Code and give our children the same protections from assault as adults.”
Corinne’s Quest is a national organization dedicated to the repeal of Section 43, and of educating Canadians about the many non-violent alternatives to disciplining children.
In the past various Canadian laws have permitted hitting slaves, servants, sailors, apprentices, prisoners, wives, dogs and children. Children are the only ones left on that list.
“It’s time for Justin Trudeau to complete his father’s legacy and take the initiative to rid our criminal code of the last vestiges or government-sanctioned assault on our children,” said Lynn. “It is a national embarrassment that this law is still on the books.”
She said National Child Day, celebrated on Nov. 20th, would offer the perfect opportunity for Prime Minister Trudeau to step up and announce this government’s intention to repeal this unfair law.
Lynn says there are a number of compelling reasons why this needs to happen.
Section 43 not only condones hitting children under certain circumstances, it also provides a defense to those who do. By any measure of human decency, condoning violence against children is a violation of their human rights. “Violence against children should be against the law, not defined by it”, said Lynn.
In 1991 Canada ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Maintaining a section of the criminal code which permits the legal assault of children means that Canada is not in compliance with the Convention, and the U.N. has reminded Canada of this fact a number of times.
Our government has promised to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report. Its Call to Action #6 calls for the repeal of s.43. This could be the government’s first easy step to fulfilling that commitment.
“There are plenty of high-quality, effective and widely accepted positive parenting strategies to offer children the discipline they need. Canada is not a violent country. We can raise healthy, successful children without ever hitting them.”
A series of meta-analyses have demonstrated that in addition to increases in aggressive behaviour in children, spanking has been associated with increases in mental health problems into adulthood, impaired parent–child relationships, delinquent behaviour and criminal behaviour in adulthood. There is also research showing that a risk that initial “corrective” spanking can progress to child abuse.
The research shows that hitting children is ineffective – instead of teaching children the reasons their behaviour needs to change, it simply causes the child pain and engenders fear. Studies have shown that children need to internalize reasons for behaving in appropriate ways.
Spanking teaches them to behave in order to avoid physical punishment. When the threat of physical punishment is gone, children find no reason to behave appropriately. Spanking can lead to some children considering violence toward others as a problem-solver. A violent attitude can also work to reduce family cohesion.
Editors: For further information or comment, Kathy Lynn can reached at 604-258-9074 and more information is available at corinnesquest.ca
News Release re: Vanier Institute article
Spanking losing favour among Canadians,
Vanier Institute report suggests
The prestigious Vanier Institute for the Family has just published an article which observes that spanking as a form of discipline is losing favour with Canadian parents because it is ineffective and potentially harmful to children.
The institute, founded in 1965, is an educational organization dedicated to understanding the diversity and complexity of families and the reality of family life in Canada.
The article, written by Kathy Lynn, chair of Corinne’s Quest, details the recent history of Section 43 of the Criminal Code, known as the spanking law, and the many attempts to repeal it, including the 17 private member’s bills that have been tabled since 1994.
The article notes that to date, 51 countries have banned physical punishment of children, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has recommended repeal as its sixth Call to Action, stating: “corporal punishment is a relic of a discredited past and has no place in Canadian schools or homes”. The Canadian government has committed to accepting all 94 of the TRC’s Calls to Action.
The article, which is available in both English and French, can be viewed and downloaded at http://vanierinstitute.ca/canadian-debate-spanking-violence-against-children
Editors: for more information you may contact Kathy Lynn at 604-258-9074 for details, interviews or a photo headshot.
Letter to the Editor
Vancouver Sun, August 25, 2016
Re: Douglas Todd: B.C.’s domestic-violence programs based on ‘false’ theory
While resources for any person who is a victim of violence is a concern, the real issue is why are we seeing domestic violence at all? Where do Canadian adults learn that hitting another person is a way to handle frustration and anger?
At Corinne’s Quest: End Physical Punishment of Children we know from years of research that children who are hit by parents, learn early that violence toward those you love is acceptable and reasonable. As long as we permit parents to hit children they will grow up learning to hit others in their own families.
The answer is to join the 49 countries in the world who have prohibited the hitting of children. In Canada that would involve the Repeal of Section 43 of the criminal code which permits the legal assault of our most vulnerable citizens.
The government has said it will recognize the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Number 6 calls for the repeal of s.43, Corinne’s Quest calls for the repeal of 43 and the research is clear that hitting children in not effective and carries clear risk factors.
One of these factors is that children learn at their parents’ knees (or over them) that hitting is an appropriate response to conflict.
Let’s tackle the problem by teaching our children that there are many more effective ways of handling stress, frustration and anger than violence. We need to Repeal s.43 and use the many effective, positive forms of child discipline.
Chair, Corinne’s Quest: End Physical Punishment of Children
August 2, 2016
Repeal of Section 43 a good starting point to
reduce the number of violent criminals in our jails
If Canada’s Minister of Justice is looking for a good starting point to reduce jail populations, she can begin by repealing Section 43 of the Criminal Code.
“The use of force to alter the behaviour of others is at the core of much of the violence which results in jail time,” said Kathy Lynn, chair of Corrine’s Quest, which is a campaign under First Call.
“All the research is crystal clear on this point; assaultive behaviour – be it bullying, beating people up, or hitting children to force them to do as you wish — is harmful. Hitting children in an attempt to control their behaviour increases the probability of anti-social behaviour, delinquency and ultimately criminality,” she said.
Lynn was responding to reports that Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould had convened a group of judges and other lawyers who recommended she give top priority to reducing jail populations.
Modern parenting practice offers a host of non-violent means of raising children in a disciplined manner, said Lynn. There is absolutely no reason to hit kids. It’s the easy way out for parents who want to believe they are doing the right thing.
Corinne’s Quest is a national organization focused on the repeal of Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada, which states:
Every schoolteacher, parent or person standing in the place of a parent is justified in using force by way of correction toward a pupil or child, as the case may be, who is under his care, if the force does not exceed what is reasonable under the circumstances. R.S.C., 1985, c .C-4
Canada abolished corporal punishment in our jails 45 years ago and 40 years ago we abolished the death penalty. Section 43 is now the only section of the criminal code which not only condones violence against children, it offers a defence for those strike children.
“Children’s rights are human rights,” said Lynn. “This is 2016. Why are Canada’s laws still advocating violence against children? It should be prohibited by the law, not defined by it.”
On Dec. 31 1991 Canada formally ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, an extremely wide-ranging statement of the standards of treatment for children within our borders. The Canadian government thereby committed to make Canadian laws comply with the convention. Article 19 states:
States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.
The UN has repeatedly expressed concerns that Section 43 is still in force, and has urged Canada to repeal it, most recently in 2012.
This solution can be part of the answer to the problems of crowded jails. If we raise children who are less likely to see violence and assault as an appropriate response to misbehavior, we will simply see fewer violent criminals.
“We made these points to the Justice Minister’s staff in a meeting on Ottawa last April, and again in a meeting with the minister herself last month,” said Lynn. We recently forwarded the research on this subject to the minister and her staff so they can have the scientific background to the need to repeal Section 43.
May 10, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Canada urged to comply with UN resolution regarding children’s rights
Corinne’s Quest has renewed its plea for Canada to comply with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which it pledged to do in 1991.
The issue arose Monday because Canadian government representatives were at the United Nations to formally announce that Canada will endorse the UN’s Declaration of the rights of Indigenous Peoples, which was enacted in 2007. Canada initially opposed this declaration.
Corinne’s Quest, an organization dedicated to the repeal of Section 43 of the criminal code which permits hitting children, said the UN has repeatedly told Canada that it is out of compliance with the convention of children’s rights because of Section 43. Corinne’s Quest is a campaign under First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition.
“Hundreds of child-serving groups in Canada have been calling for the repeal of Section 43 for more than 25 years,” said Kathy Lynn, chair of Corinne’s Quest. “We find it appalling and frankly, embarrassing that a progressive country like Canada still has a law on its books which permits hitting children. Section 43 not only condones violence toward children, it also prescribes how children can be assaulted and offers a defence to those who do.
“This is an archaic, unfair law, it is an insult to the human rights of children, and Canada’s political leaders should be ashamed to show their faces at the United Nations with this law still on the books.” A total of 49 countries have prohibited all corporate punishment of children.
Lynn further pointed out that her organization’s website has a growing list of individuals and organizations who have signed a declaration opposing physical punishment of children. The list includes child-serving organizations like Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, the Mental Health Association, Red Cross, and many local Children’s Aid Societies, hospitals and school boards.
January 16, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Corinne’s Quest and Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada applaud the Canadian Government’s intention to repeal Section 43 of the Criminal Code.
Corinne’s Quest has presented a brief to the new federal government urging it to repeal Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada without further delay.
“I have been part of many groups over the past 30 years who have urged successive governments to repeal this law that permits corporal punishment of children,” said Kathy Lynn, Chair of Corinne’s Quest. “It is a crucial step for parents in this country who are dedicated to raising their children in a positive and non-violent manner.”
Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada has joined forces with Corinne’s Quest in urging the federal government to repeal what has become known as the “spanking law.”
“We believe that repealing this section of the law is a positive step for Canada’s children, and we applaud the government for promising to do so,” said Owen Charters, President and CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada.
“We would also like to thank the survivors of residential schools and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for shining light on the need to repeal this law and protect the safety and well-being of all children,” added Charters. The TRC made repeal of Section 43 its sixth Call to Action.
Kathy Lynn welcomes the strong support of one of Canada’s leading youth-serving organizations. “Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada recognizes that repealing this law will be good for all of Canada’s children and we welcome their support. Violence against children should be against the law, not defined by it.”
Lynn further pointed out that her organization’s website has a growing list of individuals and organizations who have signed a declaration opposing physical punishment of children. The list includes child-serving organizations like Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, the Mental Health Association, Red Cross, and many local Children’s Aid Societies, hospitals and school boards.
About Corrine’s Quest
Corinne’s Quest honours Corinne Robertshaw, a lawyer who dedicated her life to seeking repeal of Section 43. CQ was formed in 2014 to continue her work. A campaign under First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition, CQ is a non-partisan coalition of organizations which advocates for improved policies and resources for children and youth. Visit the website at www.corinnesquest.ca
About Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada
Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada is dedicated to supporting and encouraging children and youth as they grow and develop. We are a national charity serving 96 member Clubs that provide services to 210,000 young people in 650 locations across Canada. Our trained staff and volunteers listen to the opinions and ideas of children and youth, applaud their accomplishments, lend support during their struggles and provide ways for them to explore their interests and talents. With this encouragement, young people develop the confidence and sense of belonging that helps them succeed in school, form positive relationships and mature into responsible, caring adults. For 115 years, we have welcomed children, youth and their families into Clubs that reflect the diversity of Canada in small and large cities, and rural and Aboriginal communities. Visit www.bgccan.com and follow us at www.facebook.com/bgccan and www.twitter.com/bgccan.
Chair, Corrine’s Quest email@example.com (604) 258-9074
Jared Morrow Communications Officer, Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada
firstname.lastname@example.org (905) 477-7272 x202
January 5, 2015
First Call expands its mandate with Corinne’s Quest
– to end physical punishment of children in Canada
First Call has announced the affiliation of a new campaign focused on ending physical punishment of children.
Called Corinne’s Quest in honour of Corinne Robertshaw, a lawyer who dedicated the latter part of her life to this issue, the organization’s Mission Statement is “to promote the raising of children in a positive, non-violent manner and to press for repeal of Section 43 of the Criminal Code.
“We are absolutely delighted to have Corinne’s Quest join with us at First Call,” said First Call Executive Director Adrienne Montani. “Their mandate nicely complements our other campaigns to the benefits of Canada’s youngest citizens, and they have assembled an impressive group of activists to their steering committee. Corrine’s Quest is destined to have a major impact on the lives of children in Canada.”
Kathy Lynn, a parenting speaker and lifelong advocate for ending physical punishment of children, chairs the Corinne’s Quest Steering Committee. “We have a dynamic blend of members on our committee who are working in various fields of child services, plus a number of community leaders who are now retired.” Said Lynn. “Watch out! Those retired members have time on their hands and experience in their background, so as a group we believe we can move mountains.
Lynn points out that at various times in our history, Canadian laws have sanctioned hitting slaves, apprentices, prisoners, dogs, wives and children.
“Today in Canada, children are the only group left on that list.”
She said in addition to the repeal of Section 43, the group also intends to educate Canadians on the many progressive and effective non-violence ways parents can raise their children to be responsible self-disciplined adults.
“We are honoured to have an organization of the status of First Call accept us as a campaign under their wing,” said Lynn. “They are the acknowledged leaders in pressing for the needs of children to have the first call on our country’s resources. We are delighted to join with the First Call family to improve the situation of children everywhere in Canada.
For further information or comment contact:
Adrienne Montani, Executive Director, First Call, 604-877-4932
Kathy Lynn, Chair, Corinne’s Quest, 604-258-9074
February 10, 2015
Raffi joins Corinne’s Quest to work for an end to the physical punishment of children.
Raffi Cavoukian, world-renowned Canadian troubadour and author, has agreed to join the steering committee of Corinne’s Quest—an organization dedicated to helping parents discover positive, nonviolent ways to raise responsible self-disciplined children
In announcing his support, Raffi noted that the goals of Corinne’s Quest – to end physical punishment of children and to advocate for enlightened and nonviolent parenting styles – have long been part of his Child Honouring philosophy.
“The principles that underlie my Covenant for Honouring Children include Conscious Parenting and Nonviolence,” said Raffi. “I am honoured to join in helping Corinne’s Quest to provide a safer, more enlightened and violence-free future for Canada’s children.”
“We are making this announcement near Father’s Day because of the critical role fathers play in child-rearing. It is also a time when all parents can reflect on this important job and consider their parenting styles,” he said.
Raffi founded the Centre for Child Honouring Centre on Salt Spring Island, BC in order to advance Child Honouring as a universal ethic and an organizing principle for societal transformation.
Kathy Lynn, parenting speaker, author and life-long advocate for ending the physical punishment of children, chairs Corinne’s Quest. The organization is named in honour of Corinne Robertshaw, a lawyer who dedicated her life to seeking repeal of Section 43—a part of Canada’s criminal code that permits the hitting of children under certain circumstances.
For information on Corinne’s Quest, visit www.corinnesquest.ca
For information on Raffi and Child Honouring, visit www.childhonouring.org
Kathy Lynn — 604-258-9074
Kim Wiltzen (for Raffi) – email@example.com, 519-787-1234
February 9, 2015
So the Pope thinks it’s OK to hit children to discipline them. We’ve got news for the Pope.
Hitting children has been totally discredited as a legitimate means of disciplining children, and Pope Francis should know that.
“His statement last week that ‘It’s okay to spank your children to discipline them – as long as their dignity is maintained’ is totally out of tune with the times, and we were gratified that his own sex abuse commission called him out on it,” said Kathy Lynn.
“It is absolutely outrageous that the spiritual leader of 1.2 million Catholics world-wide would advocate violence against another human being. That is a totally inappropriate message for him to deliver to his flock.”
Kathy Lynn, a life-long advocate for ending physical punishment for children, is the chair of the steering committee for Corinne’s Quest which is a campaign under First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition, a non-partisan coalition of organizations which advocates for improved policies and resources for children and youth.
Our initial response through social media was that it’s disappointing that a person of such influence would be so unaware of the research that absolutely proves hitting children always carries a risk factor. To date, 44 countries have prohibited physical punishment of children because the risks include higher rates of aggression, delinquency, mental health problems and lowered self-esteem. Canada is not on that list of countries.
The Pope should look to the existing research before speaking on the topic. Thankfully, his sex abuse commission criticized his comments saying “there is no place for physical discipline and that the panel would make recommendations to him about protecting kids from corporal punishment.”
One of our concerns is that people will heed the first incorrect statement and miss the second refuting the value of physical punishment of children.
As the Spiritual leader for one seventh of the world population, the Pope has a responsibility to check his facts and talk to his advisors before he advises parents on an important topic such as physical punishment of children.
Kathy is available for interviews. You can reach her at 604-258-9074 or firstname.lastname@example.org
June 2, 2015
Group hails Truth & Reconciliation Commission for calling on government to repeal Section 43, which permits hitting children
“We are delighted to hear that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has recommended repeal of Section 43 of the Criminal Code as one of its 94 recommendations,” said Kathy Lynn, chair of a group which is dedicated to ending physical punishment of children in Canada.
“The injury and harm which came to generations of First Nations children in residential schools, which was condoned and permitted under this section of the criminal code, brings international shame to our country,” said Lynn
“The Government of Canada should heed the recommendation of the Commission and hear the voices of millions of Canadians who want to repeal this section of the criminal code. There is no political downside, no costs involved. Simply repeal Section 43,” she said.
We commend the TRC for giving high priority to this recommendation. This would put Canada among the more than 40 countries that have banned physical punishment of children.
“This is something the government can do easily and immediately,” she said. As Justice Sinclair stated, words are not enough. If government were to take this action tomorrow it would show they are serious about moving forward on the recommendations of the TRC in a decisive manner.
At various times in Canada, laws have permitted hitting slaves, servants, apprentices, prisoners, wives, dogs and children. Because of Section 43, children are the only ones left on that list.
Kathy Lynn is the chair of Corinne’s Quest, an organization dedicated to helping parents discover positive, not-violent ways to raise responsible self-disciplined young adults. They are also committed to the repeal of Section 43 of Canada’s criminal code, which permits hitting of children under certain circumstances. The organization is named in honour of Corinne Robertshaw, a lawyer who dedicated her life to seeking repeal of Section 43.
For information on Corinne’s Quest, see their website at corinnesquest.ca
For more information you may contact:
Kathy Lynn, chair, at 604-258-9074
Articles and Interviews
CBC News, http://tinyurl.com/zgxusep
Lynda Steele Show, CKNW http://tinyurl.com/jrzgmuv
United Church of Canada http://www.ucobserver.org/ethics/2016/05/corporal_punishment/
Fairchild TV http://tinyurl.com/jtwyffe
Royal City Record: http://tinyurl.com/ol7tnca
Yahoo News Canada: http://tinyurl.com/or2jy3p
Vancouver Province ran a front page story and an on-line video
Globe & Mail http://tinyurl.com/honpxln
CBC Radio interviews through Syndication
One of the 14 interviews http://tinyurl.com/jjkr9mh
CBC Television, Power & Politics:
January 10/16 CFRB Radio, Toronto: http://tinyurl.com/gl2wyw
January 12/16 CBC Radio, Maritime Noon: http://tinyurl.com/zvfqyy9
January 13/16 Fairchild TV, evening news
January 13/16 North Shore News, http://tinyurl.com/z5rqols
January 28-29/16 CKNW radio news on story of Salmon Arm parent convicted of assault
January 29/16 Salmon Arm story also covered by Radio Canada, CBC News
December 21/15 Toronto Star : http://tinyurl.com/zgsg8fx
December 16/15 Calgary Sun: http://tinyurl.com/npqadu6
December 30/15; MacLeans magazine: http://tinyurl.com/jkond4u
February 2/16 The CASW comes out strongly in favour of Repeal. http://tinyurl.com/hmd82vo