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What? The Courts Have Nothing Else to do in Canada

canada-flagad.gifI guess the court system north of the border is so underused that they have deigned to step in the middle of parent/child disputes, as evidenced by this case, where a 12-year-old sued her parents to overturn a grounding:

A Canadian court has lifted a 12-year-old girl’s grounding, overturning her father’s punishment for disobeying his orders to stay off the internet, his lawyer said.
The girl had taken her father to Quebec Superior Court after he refused to allow her to go on a school trip for chatting on websites he tried to block, and then posting “inappropriate” pictures of herself online using a friend’s computer.
The father’s lawyer Kim Beaudoin said the disciplinary measures were for the girl’s “own protection” and is appealing the ruling.
“She’s a child,” Beaudoin said.
“At her age, children test their limits and it’s up to their parents to set boundaries.
“I started an appeal of the decision today to reestablish parental authority, and to ensure that this case doesn’t set a precedent,” she said. Otherwise, said Beaudoin, “parents are going to be walking on egg shells from now on”.

Apparently, Canadian courts have something against decent parenting. If my kid had done this, I’d have doubled the punishment for taking me to court. This is why, sometimes, a good old fashioned spanking is in order: Let’s see a court overturn that!

| Comments (4)


Quebec has a different legal system than the rest of Canada, a civil code. Therefore, I'm a touch confused as to why they're fretting over precedent. I'm even more confused because this school trip has already happened, so the net effect of the ruling is nothing.

The main issue is that if it stands, then the courts in Quebec will have the right to interfere in even the most minute matters of family interaction. Imagine every unruly preteen in Quebec taking their parents to court for making them eat their peas. Imagine the lawyer commercials during Saturday morning cartoons.

I'm interested to hear exactly what the Superior Court claimed gave it the right to even entertain such a frivolous case.

Wait, so in Quebec, they'll appoint an attorney for a plaintiff??

Well, oddly enough, Dustin, the Canadian Senate is voting on a bill to outlaw spanking, according to the CBC this morning (http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/06/19/f-spanking.html), which actually doesn't mean much because the "house of sober second thought" has little effective legislative power.

The Senate - a body composed entirely of party friends and hacks appointed by successive governments for virtual life terms - can pass any bill they want, but Parliament has no obligation to do anything other than to acknowledge the bill's existence.

Senate measures can and routinely are either voted down, tabled in committee (where bad bills go to die) or just plain ignored by Parliament.