Top Five 2002: Canadian Foundation for Children v Canada
Each year at OJEN’s Toronto Summer Law Institute, a judge from the Court of Appeal for Ontario identifies five cases that are of significance in the educational setting. This summary, based on these comments and observations, is appropriate for discussion and debate in the classroom setting.
Canadian Foundation for Children v Canada (2002), 57 OR (3d) 511(CA)
A provision in the Criminal Code of Canada makes it legal for a “schoolteacher, parent or person standing in the place of a parent” to use reasonable force in the correction of a child. The question before the Court of Appeal for Ontario was “whether Parliament’s decision not to criminalize that conduct violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms” [para. 3]. The Court wrote that this law did not violate the Charter because the provision “represents a fair balance between the interest of the state [to avoid the disruption of family life] and the interest of the individual child.” [para. 51]. This case was appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC), and the SCC confirmed the result found by Court of Appeal. Read the full SCC decision here.
Date Produced: 2002