Bill to protect Canadian children’s rights tabled in the House of Commons

Corinne’s Quest

Suite 1805, 719 Princess Street • New Westminster BC Canada V3M 6T9 • 1-604-258-9074 •

News Release

For Immediate Release May 19, 2022

Bill to protect Canadian children’s rights tabled in the House of Commons

Canada’s premier organization which advocates for an end to legalized hitting of children is delighted that the federal New Democratic Party has tabled a bill to ban the practice.

“Today is a great day for the rights of Canada’s children,” said Kathy Lynn, chair of Corinne’s Quest, a national organization dedicated to repeal of Section 43 of the Criminal Code.

“Section 43 protects parents and others who hit children in the name of discipline. More than 63 countries worldwide have banned the practise, and Canada is not among them.

“We recently heard from the federal Minister of Justice that the Liberal government is seeking the best way to remove the section from the law. We recommend they move quickly to implement Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action Number 6, which calls for repeal of this section.”

“Many Canadians believe s.43 protects children from harm. In fact, it does nothing of the sort. It justifies use of force and provides a defense for those who do.


What the criminal code says

Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada
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 CQ’s position

Violence against children should be against the law, not defined by it.

Decades ago in Canada, it wasn’t a criminal assault to physically beat

slaves, servants, apprentices, prisoners, dogs,

wives, and

In today’s Canada, only children are still on that list.

“We know that public sentiment in largely in favour of repeal and most MPs support us as well, but the government has failed to act.”

  • The UN and most of the world’s governments are in favour of repeal.
  • The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report calls for repeal.
  • Most provinces now have laws or policy on the books banning the strap.
  • Research overwhelmingly warns of harms to children, including physical injury but also teaching children that violence is an inappropriate means for dealing with problems.
  • Section 43 denies children their basic civil rights.
  • Child-serving organizations and professionals including doctors and lawyers have voiced their support for repeal.

– 30–
For information on Corinne’s Quest, see their website at

For more information you may contact: Kathy Lynn, chair, at 604-258-9074

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is there for the protection of children

Alberta’s United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney claims the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child is part of a “coordinated agenda” quietly working to undermine the authority of parents to hit children.


Who else does deserves to be hit under Mr. Kenney’s rules of conduct? Wives? Apprentices? Prisoners? Slaves? Animals?  At one point in Canada it was OK to hit all these classes of people, but no more. Times have changed.

The UN declaration is aimed at shielding the last remaining victim of violence in our society, our children.  And Kenney thinks this is wrong.

For the record, Article 19 of the UN Convention states that participating countries “shall take all appropriate …measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence.” This includes parental hitting of children. Canada ratified the Convention 28 years ago, but sadly, is still not in compliance with it. The Canadian criminal code still has Section 43, which still permits the legal assault of children in Canada.

The UN Declaration is not a plot; it is aimed at the protection for children, which includes child spanking, a euphemism for assault.

I recent years the conversation was about the hitting of women. In 1965, in an interview in Playboy magazine, actor Sean Connery said, “An open-handed slap is justified – if all other alternatives fail and there has been plenty of warning. If a woman is a bitch, or hysterical, or bloody-minded continually, then I’d do it.” 

In 2007,  in an interview with Barbara Walters speaking about hitting women he said, . “I haven’t changed my opinion… sometimes women just won’t leave things alone… Then, I think it’s absolutely right.”

No man today would make such statement. In Canada we agree that it is never okay for an adult to hit another adult. In earlier times Canadian law permitted physical punishment of slaves, apprentices, prisoners, dogs, wives and children.

Today we can only hit children.

It is now 2019, and we talk about being anti-violent. But we still legally assault children, our most vulnerable citizens. Does that make any sense at all?

We urge the federal government to repeal S43 and free our children of this violence. 

Meanwhile, Mr. Kenney needs to give his head a shake.

What is the connection between the United Nations and Physical Punishment?

What is the connection between the United Nations and Physical Punishment?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants to gain a seat on the United Nations Security Council.

The focus for this initiative has been on foreign policy.

But there is another issue that the Liberal Government could easily address.

On December 13, 1991, Canada formally ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention, which is a comprehensive statement on children’ rights, covers every aspect of a child’s life.

Corinne’s Quest: End Physical Punishment of Childrenis a campaign with a mission to end the legalized assault (spanking, smacking, slapping, hitting) of children in our homes. Accomplishing this would mean simply repealing S43 of the Criminal Code of Canada which is the section which permits and defines when and how parents can hit their children. (to learn more about S43 and Corinne’s Quest, simply press here.)

The presence of S43 in our Criminal Code is in direct conflict with the Un Convention. It seems to us, at Corinne’s Quest that our government should repeal S43 and come into line with the United Nations.

Wanting a seat on the UN Security Council while openly flaunting a basic right as set out in the UN Convention does not make sense.

There are, of course, other good reasons why the government should Repeal S43 and protect our children from assault in the home.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission which the Government has promised to implement recognizes the problems with this section. Their Call the Action #6 asks for the Repeal of S43.

Section 43 is an archaic law which came into our Criminal Code in 1892 and reflects a 19th century belief that corporal punishment is an appropriate and necessary way to correct children. Most parents who continue to use corporal punishment are simply following a practice approved by Canadian law and custom since 1892. It is a national embarrassment that this law is still on the books.

It is important to repeal it because some parents see it as a justification to continue to hit children as a means of discipline. Other violence-prone people believe it offers legal permission to do so and protection from the law when they do.

It is the last remaining section that condones violence. It is the last section in the Criminal Code which shields a perpetrator of violence from criminal prosecution in the courts.

In the past, various Canadian laws have condoned violence against:







Dogs, and


Today, children are the only ones left on that list.

November 20 is National Child Day. Our Canadian Government can celebrate on behalf of all our children by simply repealing S43 of the criminal code of Canada.

Violence against children should be prohibited by the law not defined by it.

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 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.”

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.

Letter to the Prime Minister and a news release about same

Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister
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.

Yours Truly,

Kathy Lynn

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

Merry Christmas, children.