OTTAWA, June 19, 2007 ( – In response to a debate on spanking that took place yesterday before the Senate Committee of Human Rights (SCHR), the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada (IMFC) presented a research report indicating their disapproval of the proposed new legislation.

The debated bill, S-207, would take out Section 43 of the Criminal Code (allowing spanking), thereby forbidding parents to spank their children, effectively making it criminal behaviour.

The IMFC report begins by outlining some of the evidence in favour of spanking. After Sweden outlawed it in 1979, for example, links were established between the new policy and a rise in violence. While last year, Dr. Jane Millichamp of the University of Otago in New Zealand released a study that examined 1000 children over 30 years. The study concluded, “Punishing children by spanking does not make them more aggressive or anti-social as adults.” Many other past and recent studies have reached similar conclusions.

A 2002 poll in Canada revealed that 72% of the Canadian population wanted to retain the right to spank their children. A total of 57% also admitted that they never actually disciplined them in this way…

A parent’s right to spanking has been challenged for the past decade in Canada. In 2004, due to the action of certain special-interest groups, the Supreme Court of Canada criminalized spanking of children under aged 2 and over 12. In January of the same year, the Canadian Foundation for Children, Youth and the Law, a group of anti-corporal punishment extremists, unsuccessfully argued that spanking should be entirely abolished from the criminal code…

During the debate yesterday, justice department official Gillian Blackell defended the need for spanking, reports the Montreal Gazette. She told the committee, “If Section 43 was simply repealed, any non-consensual force that a parent or teacher uses on a child or pupil could be an assault, given the broad definition under the Criminal Code.”

“There would no longer be a statutory defence to criminal charges where the force used is minor corrective force of a transitory or trifling nature.” As a result, “parents who physically put a reluctant child in a car seat or remove a child to their bedroom for a time-out are applying non-consensual force and could be convicted of simple assault.”

More… (source)