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.