OTTAWA, Nov 18 ( – The Coalition for Family Autonomy, comprising the Canada Family Action Coalition (CFAC), REAL Women of Canada, the Home School Legal Defense Association of Canada, and Focus on the Family Canada announced Monday that it has filed papers as an intervenor in a court case challenging the practice of spanking. 

On December 6, the Canadian Foundation for Children, Youth and the Law will argue before the Ontario Court of Justice (General Division) that Section 43 of the Criminal Code, which allows “reasonable” physical correction of children, should be ruled unconstitutional. 

Peter Stock of CFAC told LifeSite News that while “the government is supposedly defending the law, they are at the same time funding the groups which are challenging it, to the tune of tens of thousands [of dollars].” Stock noted that not only does the government financially support the groups but it is also funding the court challenge itself through the Court Challenges Program. Stock said, “It is a farce to have the Crown defend the law since it is obvious that the government doesn’t want the law to stand.” 

Cindy Silver, a Vancouver lawyer acting as a consultant for the Coalition, said, “The existing child-protection laws already give authorities all the power they need to intervene in families and protect children.”

“The main concern of the Coalition’s partners,” she added, “is that parents be free to decide how best to raise their children, including the kind of correction that’s appropriate in a given circumstance, without fear of being unduly second-guessed by government agencies.” 

Silver warned that the striking down of Section 43 “will remove the last defense parents have against wrongful prosecution.”