NDP Bill to prohibit corporal punishment against children in Canada


MAY 19, 2022



OTTAWA  – Today, NDP House Leader Peter Julian, MP (New Westminster-Burnaby) tabled Bill C-273, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (Corinne’s Quest and the protection of children), to repeal of Section 43 of the Criminal Code that permits physical punishment of children in Canada. Every single child in Canada should have the care and opportunities that they need to succeed and thrive – without exception.

Bill C-273 is seconded by NDP MP Lori Idlout (Nunavut), and would amend the Criminal Code to end all physical punishment of Canada’s children. Corinne’s Quest was formed in 2014 in honour of Corinne Robertshaw, a lawyer who dedicated her life to seeking to repeal Section 43.

It is still legal in Canada for parents and legal representatives to physically assault their children under certain circumstances.  Parents can use « reasonable force » for purposes of correction. Teachers can also use « reasonable force » depending of the context. It is the judge that has the last word in deciding whether or not the use of force is acceptable.

Kathy Lynn, chair of Corinne’s Quest which is dedicated to the repeal of Section 43 of the Criminal Code believes it is finally time to give Canada’s children the same protection against assault which is enjoyed by all its citizens. “Violence against children should be against the law, not defined by it,” stated Lynn.

“Corinne’s Quest continues to advocate on behalf of children. A special thanks to Kathy and John Lynn who are constituents of mine in New Westminster—Burnaby, who are really shepherding the push to ban physical punishment of children and repeal section 43. I hope that all members of Parliament will support this important legislation”, said MP Julian.

Physical punishment on children have severe consequences. Sweden was the first country to ban it in 1979. Today, 63 countries have banned physical punishment of children, and Canada still lags behind.

The NDP is committed to taking meaningful action in the fight to protect children and their right from being harmed by their parents and legal representatives. Bill C-273 will ensure that our children are safer under the law of Canada. New Democrats call on the Liberal government to adopt the clear measures in this bill and put an immediate end to the corporal punishment of all children in Canada.