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Majority of Canadians Demand Abolition of 'Spanking' Law
FEB 18, 2023  (6:06 PM)

Majority of Canadians Demand Abolition of 'Spanking' Law

More than half of Canadians say it's time to get rid of the "spanking" law, which allows school teachers, parents or any parental figure of a student or child to use physical force to discipline them.

The online survey conducted by B.C.-based polling company Research Co. reported that 51 percent of Canadians favour repealing section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

Although the law states that physical force can be used as discipline if it does not exceed what is reasonable. This has led to a debate about whether parents use it as an excuse for abuse or if the law is too vague in defining "reasonable."

"Every school teacher, 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," the law states.

In May 2022, popular NDP MP Peter Julian proposed Bill C-273 to repeal the law and end the physical punishment of children. The bill was supported by Saskatchewan Senator Marty Klyne, who said in December, "Every child matters".

The survey showed a generational divide in support for repealing the law, with 61 percent of Canadians between 18 to 34 years old supporting it and an additional 53 percent of those aged between 35 to 54 years old. However, only 44 percent of people over 55 agreed with a repeal.

As for experiences with physical discipline, 61 percent of Canadians said they were disciplined as children, and 22 percent reported the same experience in school.

This divide was also present in the age groups as 67 percent over 55-year-olds said they were disciplined physically as children, compared to 47 percent of 18-34-year-olds and 65 percent of 35-54-year-olds.

Canada is not alone in considering repealing the law, with many countries in Latin America, Europe, and Africa completely prohibiting corporal punishment on minors.

Previous studies have also demonstrated how physical punishment can affect brain development similarly to other forms of abuse.

It's now up to lawmakers to determine what will be done in the coming months.

Source: CTV News