TORONTO, Dec 8 ( – A challenge to Canada’s law permitting spanking as a form of parental discipline got underway Monday with the Canadian Foundation for Children, Youth and the Law arguing that Canada, by allowing spanking, is contravening the UN convention on the rights of the child. Paul Schabas, a lawyer representing the foundation, argued in 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. 

LifeSite reported last month that 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, will act as intervenors in the case defending the existing law. Peter Stock of CFAC explained to LifeSite News the absurdity of the federal government’s position. It is “supposedly defending the law,” he said, but “at the same time they are 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. Since the implementation of the Charter of Rights, it has been common government strategy to impose unpopular major social changes that would be difficult to pass through Parliament. 

The case is being heard by Justice David McCom and arguments are expected to last through this week.  

With files from the Ottawa Citizen.

See related LifeSiteNews story:

Family Coalition to Intervene in Spanking Challenge