Taking Action: Repealing S.43 of the Criminal Code of Canada

Canada has two bills tabled to repeal section 43.

  1. Bill S-251 tabled by Senator Stan Kutcher on June 16, 2022 and moved to the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs on June 13, 2023.

Bill S-251, An Act to repeal section 43 of the Criminal Code (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s call to action number 6)Children and youth are the only people under Canadian law who are not legally protected from assault. When passed, Bill S-251 would extend this protection to children. It also addresses the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call to action number 6 and allows Canada to meet its human rights obligation to support the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

  1. Bill C-273 tabled by MP Peter Julian (New Westminster, BC) on May 19, 2022 and moved through to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights on February 14, 2024. 

Bill C-273 An Act to amend the Criminal Code (Corinne’s Quest and the protection of children): Bill C-273 is a direct response to Truth & Reconciliation Recommendation #6 and asserts that children are entitled to live in an environment free from physical punishment, violence, and fear. Canada has the obligation and duty under international law to respect, protect and fulfill human rights, labour and environmental norms and laws.

This bill is gaining traction! You can follow the link to the study of the bill here: https://www.ourcommons.ca/Committees/en/JUST/StudyActivity?studyActivityId=12636759

Watch/listen to the testimony by past CCRC Chair, Dr. Kate Butler at Meeting No. 100 JUST – Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

Action for Bill C-273

Letter writing:

  • Speak to issues brought up.
  • An original letter is more effective than a form letter, so try (not necessary) to use your own words.
  • Personalize and include your own relevant experiences. (Add one more thing to your notes)
  • What are some ways of personalization? Art? Discuss.
  • Two to three specific points about your issue to explain your position.
  • Rationale for repeal of S.43 of Canada’s Criminal Code (March 2023). Read through and highlight what stood out for you. Write that down too!
  • Concise is most effective (one to two pages is best). If you have more information, include a brief on the topic or any other informational materials. You can print out or include pieces of the Rationale too. It is up to you!
  • You can write your MP directly or send an email to the Committee. We encourage emails right now to the Committee due to the position and urgency of bill C-273.

Steps to writing your letter to your MP or Committee:

  1. State why you want to see Canada Repeal Section 43 (ban corporal punishment against children) of the Criminal Code of Canada, be brief.
  2. Describe your personal interest and any relevant credentials. Parents? Work? Lived experience?
  3. Include questions that provoke a response. What might be a question we could ask? Discuss.
  4. This action is a part of Truth and Reconciliation that the Government of Canada committed to back in 2015. As one of the main perpetrators of this violence against Indigenous peoples, the government must take concrete actions to mend its relationships with Indigenous peoples in meaningful ways. Ask for Reconciliation on Call to Action 6- Repeal 43.
  5. Ask for more information or clarification on your MP’s position.
  6. Request a commitment to their support of Repeal 43 should this bill hit the floor on the legislature and give a rationale for your request. Urgency statement- Discuss.
  7. Thank the MP for any positive action they have taken in the past on this issue.
  8. Request that the MP respond to your letter. Include your address and postal code so that the representative is aware that you are a part of their constituency.
  9. Keep a copy of your correspondence to ensure your inquiry is answered. Follow up. Keep the dialogue going.

Send your email to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. They are reviewing C-273 now. 

Sixth Floor, 131 Queen Street
House of Commons
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6
E-mail: JUST@parl.gc.ca

Full name of the bill: C-273 An Act to amend the Criminal Code (Corinne’s Quest and the protection of children)
Subject line:  Attention Jean-Francois Lafleur RE Bill C-273
Email to: JUST@parl.gc.ca
Copy to: lenametlege.diab@parl.gc.ca; Elisabeth.Briere@parl.gc.ca; anju.dhillon@parl.gc.ca; anthony.housefather@parl.gc.ca; james.maloney@parl.gc.ca; marco.mendicino@parl.gc.ca; Rob.Moore@parl.gc.ca; rheal.fortin@parl.gc.ca; frank.caputo@parl.gc.ca; marilyn.gladu@parl.gc.ca; Tako.VanPopta@parl.gc.ca; randall.garrison@parl.gc.ca; doris.mah.819@parl.gc.ca; peter.julian.c1d@parl.gc.ca

Check out the Parliament of Canada’s website to find your MP’s contact information.

When MPs receive multiple letters or phone calls on the same issue, they will pay more attention to it. If you have a large network, share your letter with others as a template. Encourage them to personalize the letter as much as possible. 

Note: It is recommended that letters of support for Bill C-273 are sent out by Saturday evening if possible.

Call Zap your MP: Call and ask for a ban on corporal punishment. Urge others to call too! https://www.ourcommons.ca/Members/en

Social Media

On Twitter (or whatever it is called now!) tag Committee members and use hashtag #repeal43NOW

@LenaMetlegeDiab @takovanpopta @j_maloney @AHousefather @MarilynGladuSL @adhillonDLL @ElisabethBriere @RobMoore_CPC @HoCCommittees @MPJulian

Follow the No Violence for Kids Canada page on Facebook. Share. Comment, and Invite others to help raise awareness on TRC Call To Action 6 to repeal section 43 and ban corporal punishment against children. 

Other ways to help end corporal punishment:

  • Teach, promote and encourage all articles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • Learn more about Canada and corporal punishment from End Corporal Punishment.org
  • Support The Canadian Coalition for the Rights of Children (CCRC). Make a donation. https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/4670

INVITE, COMMENT, SHARE your letter writing, and/or phone zap experience to your social media. #repeal43NOW

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