Virtual Library of Newspaper Articles

Spanking in Canada: A timeline

CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) News Online, January 28, 2004

April 18, 2003
Former nun Lucille Poulin is released from jail after serving eight months for beating several children at a religious commune on P.E.I. Some people on the Island say they're worried that she will violate her parole conditions. She was also ordered not to live with or care for anyone under 14 for three years after being released.

November 8, 2002
Lucille Poulin is sentenced to eight months in jail and three years probation for assaulting five children who lived at a religious commune in Hazel Grove, P.E.I. During the trial, Poulin said sections of the Bible suggest using beatings to discipline children and to dissuade them from evil.

October 25, 2002
78-year-old Lucille Poulin - a religious commune leader in Prince Edward Island who disciplined children by beating them with a wooden paddle - is found guilty of five counts of assault. Justice David Jenkins says the use of "the rod" went beyond spanking, to beating the children. He said he believed the testimony of five children, who said the beatings left them with bruises and led them to pass out. Poulin said she was just doing what God told her to do.

July 12, 2002
In a second spanking case related to the Aylmer, Ont., Church of God, a family comes under investigation for its disciplinary practices. The family is called to the offices of the local Children's Aid Society for questioning. In a previous interview with CBC TV, the mother said that a strap is used only as a last resort, and that her children know the discipline is given with love.

January 26, 2002
Ontario Court of Appeal upholds Section 43 of the Criminal Code, saying parents and teachers need the option to be able to use physical force in disciplining children.

November 26, 2001
Five children taken into custody by the Children's Aid Society of Windsor are returned to their parents. The children had been beaten at their fundamentalist Christian school. The CAS says it will stay involved with the children and the school and may offer counselling on alternative forms of discipline.

November 23, 2001
The Children's Aid Society in Windsor, Ont., seizes five children from a fundamentalist Christian school. The teenage daughter of the school's supervisor said that students were being beaten with a rod.

July 6, 2001
A pastor from the Church of God in Aylmer, Ont., defends members of his church who reportedly beat their children. Four boys and three girls were removed from the family home by Ontario's Family and Children's Services, which says the youngsters must be protected from being regularly hit with belts, sticks, chains or other objects.

September 10, 2001
Canadian Foundation for Children, Youth and the Law goes to the Ontario Court of Appeal to contest the July 2000 decision of an Ontario Superior Court to uphold Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

July 2000
Ontario Superior Court Justice David McCombs upholds Section 43 of the Criminal Code and says parents and teachers need the option of using some "limited" physical force in disciplining children.

Israel outlaws the use of corporal punishment against children.

A youth advocacy group files application in Ontario Court, General Division, to have section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada declared unconstitutional. The Canadian Foundation for Children, Youth and the Law argues that corporal punishment infringes on children's rights to protection and security under sections 15 and 7 of the Charter. The group says physical punishment is ineffective and serves only to teach physical aggression to children.

American tourist David Peterson is acquitted of spanking his five-year-old daughter in a London, Ont., parking lot after she closed the car door on her brother's hand.

United Nations International Year of the Child

Finland outlaws the use of corporal punishment against children.

Corporal punishment introduced to Canada, modelled after British law.

A Quote Worth Remembering

"We must vigilantly stand on guard within our own borders for human rights and fundamental freedoms which are our proud heritage......we cannot take for granted the continuance and maintenance of those rights and freedoms."

John Diefenbaker

A Quote Worth Remembering

About The truth

"All truth passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed, Second it is violently opposed. Third it is accepted as self-evident."

Arthur Schopenhauer

A Quote Worth Remembering

"In a world darkened by ethnic conflicts that tear nations apart, Canada stands as a model of how people of different cultures can live and work together in peace, prosperity, and mutual respect."

Bill Clinton
(William J. Clinton)
42nd President of The United States of America

national "Child Day"

November 20th

Canada's "Child Day" is held on November 20th each year as designated by the Parliament of Canada in 1993.

It commemorates the United Nations adoption of two landmark documents concerned with the human rights of all children and youths.  Read More ..

United Nations

Canadian appointed U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights

Louise Arbour

Louise Arbour took up her duties on July 1, 2004 as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Her term in office ended in June 2008.

Mrs. Arbour was a member of the Supreme Court of Canada immediately preceding her appointment to the UN as  Commissioner for Human Rights.

Law Times

Louise Arbour: a colleague we have failed

Law Times, Canada
22 September 2008

This profession - and all of us in it - have failed to protect, honour, and defend one of our most accomplished and distinguished members. We have let Louise Arbour down by our silence when she needed and deserved voices of support.

On July 1, Arbour stepped down as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, an enormously prestigious and important international position.

The gratitude and praise which greeted her at the end of her term was shamefully muted. Arbour was a courageous champion of human rights, and a bold critic of the erosion of those basic tenets in our world.

She was never timid. She was never chained to a desk, was involved, hands on, outspoken, and challenging. She breathed life into the enormous portfolio that she was asked to take on.

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Day Care in Canada

CBC Television News Online, February 9, 2005

It was first proposed in 1970 a program that would provide affordable day care across the country. It was promised when Brian Mulroney and the Conservatives swept to power in 1984. And again four years later.

By the time Jean Chretien's Liberals did some political sweeping of their own in 1993, promises of a national day-care strategy had fallen victim to the realities of a government wallowing in debt. With budgetary knives sharpened and drawn, day care would have to wait.

But the economic climate began to shift and in 1997, Quebec introduced its own day-care system, offering spaces at $5 a day. Demand quickly surpassed supply.