Family violence includes the legal assault of children.


Jason Kenney, leader of Alberta’s United Conservative party, at a home-schooling conference suggested that the UN Convention on the rights of the child is a secret plot to ban parents from hitting children.

Is this the leader that Alberta wants?

I appreciate that the question of physical punishment of children in Canada is a federal issue. But it is also a people issue and this article being posted on facebook just before the provincial election reminds us that we need to make the question of the legal assault of our children as issue for the upcoming federal election.

When you are at an all candidates meeting in your riding, answering the door when your candidate comes calling, or receiving a phone call from the riding staff,  ask the question. Where do you stand on Section 43 of the Criminal Code?  Do you believe that children should be protected from assault in the home?

In answer to why we should Repeal 43 explain that the research shows that hitting children carries risk factors. We know it can lead impaired parent-child relationships, poorer child mental health, child aggression and weaker internalization of moral standards and delinquency, often carrying on into adulthood.

In earlier times Canadian law permitted physical punishment of slaves, apprentices, prisoners, dogs, wives and children. Today, children are the only group left on that list.

The Repeal of S43 is Call to Action #6 in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report, one the government promised to act on. This is one action that can and should happen now!

The hitting of children is not only nasty, it is an ineffective way to teach our children. Fear of pain is not the way we want to raise our children.

But the real reason is that it is 2019, our country is opposed to family violence, and bullying. It’s a question of children’s rights.

I have posted an article on my website which I invite you to read here.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the child 

is there for the protection for 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.

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This entry was posted in Discipline, Family Concerns, Infants, News, Preschoolers, School-Age, Teens, Toddlers and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Family violence includes the legal assault of children.

  1. marlene stuart says:

    I am horrified that a leader of a Canadian political party would suggest such a thing. I cannot thank you enough for the work you do on behalf of the most helpless members of our society.

  2. Thank you, Kathy for your words of sanity and being an advocate for the protection, care, and guidance of children. Any form of assault on a child–hitting, smacking or spanking–is potentially psychologically damaging and definitely misplaced. ‘Corporal punishment’ is used by those who are ignorant of the more effective, well researched, resilient strengthening, character building, and virtues aligned alternatives.

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