National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
The time is right to repeal s. 43
It’s been on the legislative agenda for 30 or more years, and the time has come for Canada to repeal Section 43 of the criminal code, known as the Spanking Law.
Section 43 is a law that instructs Canadian adults how and when they can hit children, and also offers them a defence in law when they do it. To jog your memory, here’s the criminal code section:
“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.”
In 2004 the Supreme Court removed reference to teachers, restricted hitting to kids between 2 and 12, and said you can’t use a stick, a spoon or a belt. You need to use your hand.
How absolutely obscene to have a law on the books which counsels hitting children and also tells them how to do it. This is a clear human rights issue which Canadian legislators must correct with the utmost urgency.
The Truth and Reconciliation Report’s Call to Action number 6 asks for repeal of S. 43. MP Peter Julian currently has a bill on the House of Commons order paper calling for repeal.
This Friday, Sept. 30, is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. We call on all MPs and Senators to take advantage of this day to pledge support for repeal of Section 43 and commit to approving the bill to repeal this odious law.