Ontario ponders new law to protect children

By Dorian Rolston
Sterling Hall School
Toronto, Ontario

The Ontario government is looking at a new law for child abuse - Bill 73 is going to be re-introduced. During the current recess of the legislature, officials of the Social Services Ministry have been meeting with the people involved in fighting child abuse and prosecuting abusers.

This is to reinstate the government's commitment to reintroducing and passing the legislation. This law will require all professionals, including lawyers, to report child abuse by their clients. It will also shorten the time children may stay in temporary foster care before a final discussion is made on who will take care of them.

When children are in foster care, they float around to different families all the time. This will cause them to have a low self-esteem and give up on many things in life. This is because they constantly have to make new friends, adjust to new surroundings, and different parents and siblings.

The government is afraid that when some parents get into a fight, their children get abused. In most cases, it isn't the child's fault. He or she may just get in the way, or say something that could upset one of the parents. All child abuse laws are intended to make parents realize that child abuse is wrong, no matter what the situation. Anger should never be taken out on a child. The safety of the child should be put ahead of the unity of the family.

This new law will definitely have an effect on Canada. I think the Ontario government has finally realized that the child abuse law had to be either reinforced or reintroduced. There were too many stories about children getting hurt by their parents. This new law might also have an effect on other people who aren't hurting children; but are hurting their friends, animals, or anything else. The parents will now realize that child abuse is wrong and will not be tolerated by the government anymore. Hopefully, this will lead to fewer articles in the news that read: "Child gets Injured while Under Foster Care."

When children are abused physically, they don't only get scrapes and bruises, but get hurt mentally too. The children's futures depend on how they are brought up. If they are abused repeatedly, they will begin to think that violence is okay. Their parents are the people they look up to, to judge what is right and wrong. I believe if children understand that violence is good, that idea will stay in their minds when they get older. This is the reason behind some cases of murder or other crimes.

I hope child abuse will stop because of this new law. It must stop. Just think. How you would feel if you were beat up and harassed and then your parents were taken away? Parents can't continuously hurt children around the world. This law will help stop child abuse from foster parents and maybe the biological parents will stop abusing too.