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Section 43 simply needs to be repealed, much like your government recently announced repeal of Section 159 dealing with anal intercourse.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.