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Domestic CP - January 2016

Corpun file 26292 at

The Hamilton Spectator, Ontario, 26 January 2016, p.A12

Readers write

Straight talk on spanking laws

Press cutting

RE: Spanking law to be repealed (Jan. 22)

In 2004, the Supreme Court's rulings on Sec. 43 removed school corporal punishment, and set out detailed guidelines of allowable minor physical force in disciplining. Responding to the TRC recommendations, the government considers repealing Canada's laws which allow parents to use constructive physical discipline (moderate spanking) in the very limited fashion it exists.

Behaviour management has three stages "PIE". Sensible and loving parents start with Preventions (methods of reason), move through mild Incentives, and ultimately resort to Enforcements where the former fail. Spanking is one of the few Enforcement tools available. Confinements (timeout, sent to bedroom, grounding) are the other. Which works best is dependent on each child.

A 2012 poll of parents with preteen children showed 82 per cent usage. Repeal of this law de-facto criminalizes most Canadian parents. To impose such draconian law and risk police and social services interfering in most families must have some better purpose in mind.

These bans have already proven serious negative effects. Notably, serious physical assaults on children are repeatedly seen to increase sharply where parents are prohibited from reasonably managing children's behaviour. Other effects are increases in child and youth violence, school bullying rates, a driver in collapsing fertility rates, increased alcoholism, drug-induced death rates, and rape rates. We don't see any benefit in promoting this and believe our laws are optimally balanced to protect children, families and society.

H. Hoff, Chair, Keep 43 Committee of Canada

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