Liberals' promise to repeal so-called spanking law fuels debate
Government has promised to adopt all Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations
The Canadian government has signalled it may change federal rules surrounding spanking as a punishment — and while many online users support the idea of banning it, others say the government should take a "hands-off" approach to how parents discipline their children.
Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada currently allows parents and school teachers to discipline children in their care using "reasonable" force. The so-called spanking law was upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2004.
The federal Liberals would repeal the law as part of their pledge to meet all the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which calls this corporal punishment a "relic of a discredited past" that "has no place in Canadian schools or homes."
The call to repeal the section was the No. 6 recommendation of the TRC's 94 "calls to action."
Spanking remains divisive issue
While many argue spanking is a form of child abuse, others believe it's a harmless but effective disciplinary method.
Canadians are divided.
It's illegal to hit your spouse - why not your kids too? Liberal govt commits to repealing so-called <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/spanking?src=hash">#spanking</a> law <a href="https://t.co/TCHLw529Xx">https://t.co/TCHLw529Xx</a>—@RobertJensen2
So yeah, for me the Trudeau repeal of the Canadian spanking law is a non issue. It was past time for this to change in the 1970s. It's 2015.—@kiwinerd
I'm happy it looks like Canada will be criminalizing the assault of children. Spanking must go: <a href="https://t.co/sj5HAZEuhh">https://t.co/sj5HAZEuhh</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cdnpoli?src=hash">#cdnpoli</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/spanking?src=hash">#spanking</a>—@sarahsahagian
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AboutTime?src=hash">#AboutTime</a>: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LPC?src=hash">#LPC</a> to stop protecting parents & teachers who spank & physically abuse children. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cdnpoli?src=hash">#cdnpoli</a> <a href="https://t.co/6CQEyTuKPk">https://t.co/6CQEyTuKPk</a>—@dankellar
I'm glad to see the "Spanking" law will be repealed. A "spank" animated by anger carries more force than parents intend.—@mywindyroom
Others say a spanking can help teach kids.
Okay, so no spanking law, so long as parents actually discipline their children for bad behaviour, must teach manners, respect, empathy.—@madinuk
Smh.. Nanny state much?? <a href="https://t.co/KuywxNppAH">https://t.co/KuywxNppAH</a>—@EVJewelz
<a href="https://twitter.com/JustinTrudeau">@JustinTrudeau</a> n discipline.u can't hold parents hostage with a law.spanking with open hand on bum wont damage kid but not doing it can.—@missk_oz
Wonderful. Now you'll have more spoiled & self-entitled brats running around ►Liberals agree to revoke <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/spanking?src=hash">#spanking</a> law <a href="https://t.co/lNaet9iLfr">https://t.co/lNaet9iLfr</a>—@RmystiQue78
And some are just learning Canada has a spanking law.
You mean it's currently still legal for teachers to spank kids in Canada? <a href="https://t.co/4xUgt8apMT">https://t.co/4xUgt8apMT</a> via <a href="https://twitter.com/TorontoStar">@torontostar</a>—@ArwenLong