Well the time has come to say goodbye. I am now retired and will not be continuing this newsletter. However, there are all the years of newsletter columns archived on the site. Just search for what you want it will be there for you.
My energy is going to be directed to Corinne’s Quest. Please visit the site and sign on as a supporter. For my Canadian readers, we have an election in the Fall and it’s important that the question of physical punishment of children be addressed by all our political parties.
Why is it that domestic abuse only refers to adults? Children are being hit in their homes and it’s legal. Imagine, it’s legal. Today in our theoretically non-violent country we are permitting the assault of our children.
When your local candidate calls you, arrives on your doorstep or is canvassing at an event. Talk to them. Tell them that the legal domestic abuse of our children is inconscionable.
Regular readers have heard about this issue in this publication over the years. As I send you my final newsletter I want to bring you totally up-to-date on the issue.
Why Repeal 43?
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
This is the wording in the criminal code but
The constitutionality of Section 43 was challenged in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice: then by way of appeal in the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. The Section appears verbatim as it did prior to the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision. However, the Court narrowed the scope of defense to assault under section 43 of theCriminal Code of Canadaand to set out a series of judicial limitations to assist in the interpretation of the justifiable or so-called “reasonable” limits of corporal punishment. The judicial limitations (which again don’t appear in the Criminal Code of Canada) are as follows:
1) Only parents may use reasonable force solely for purposes of correction;
2) Teachers may use reasonable force only to “remove a child from a classroom or secure compliance with instructions, but not merely as corporal punishment”;
3) Corporal punishment cannot be administered to “children under two or teenagers”;
4) The use of force on children of any age “incapable of learning from [it] because of disability or some other contextual factor” is not protected;
5) “Discipline by the use of objects or blows or slaps to the head is unreasonable”;
6) “Degrading, inhuman or harmful conduct is not protected”, including conduct that “raises a reasonable prospect of harm”;
7) Only “minor corrective force of a transitory and trifling nature” may be used;
8) The physical punishment must be “corrective, which rules out conduct stemming from the caregiver’s frustration, loss of temper or abusive personality”;
9) “The gravity of the precipitating event is not relevant”; and
10) The question of what is “reasonable under the circumstances” requires an “objective” test and “must be considered in context and in light of all the circumstances of the case.”
Violence against children should be againstthe law, not defined by it.
Decades ago, it wasn’t a criminal assault to physically beat
In today’s Canada, only children are still on that list.
That’s just wrong. And it’s not who Canadians are.
This is not a child discipline issue. It’s a human rights issue. All Canadians, whatever their age, deserve the protection of law against violence in any form.
Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The Government has promised to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls to action.
Call to action #6 calls for the Repeal of S43 of the Criminal Code of Canada. Of the many calls to action this is one that is simple to implement and will protect all of Canada’s children.
Research demonstrates that hitting children can lead to impaired parent-child relationships, poorer child mental health, child aggression and weaker internalization of moral standards and delinquency, often carrying on into adulthood.
United Nations on the Rights of the Child
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.
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 compliance with the United Nations.
All that being said, it is 2019 and the culture in Canada is that of non-violence. Bullying is not acceptable in any cases and we say that domestic violence is also not accepted. However, children are not covered when we talk about domestic violence and they can, under certain circumstances, be legally assaulted.
To have a section (S43) of our criminal code which accepts, and in some cases, encourages physical punishment of children is appalling.
It is a question human (children’s) rights and when the simple act of Repeal can protect children from this violence and its unintended risks it should be done.
Digital Books Make Parenting Information More Accessible.
Next time you’re sitting in the doctor’s office, lying on the couch fighting a cold or on transit and wish you had something to read, think about Parenting Today’s digital parenting books. I may retire, but my books live on.
You can choose from Who’s in Charge Anyway? which talks about roots. It provides a clear road map for parent to focus on the tough but rewarding job of raising children to be responsible, self-disciplined adults. But Nobody Told Me I’d Ever Have to Leave Home talks about raising children to become capable young men and women. Vive la Différence focuses on specific parenting issues.
The first two are also available in print. Just log onto the store on the site and they are yours for the reading.