The man, who is not being named to protect the identity of the boy, has been released from custody on a promise to appear in court on Sept. 30, said a new release Tuesday from the Renfrew detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police.
The incident took place in public in Renfrew, a town about 90 kilometres west of Ottawa, on Aug. 18, said OPP Const. Janice Sawbridge.
"A witness saw what happened and was very concerned about the amount of force that was used," she said.
Family and children's services were involved in the investigation.
Sawbridge said that in her experience with the Renfrew detachment, complaints about spanking and charges against a parent related to spanking are very rare.
Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada, enacted in 1892, provides parents, teachers and caregivers — including babysitters and foster parents — a defence when they use corporal punishment as "reasonable force" to discipline children.
The Supreme Court of Canada upheld the century-old law in 2004 when it was asked to rule on whether spanking constitutes "reasonable force" for disciplining children, or whether it is a form of abuse.
I haven't read that the boy was injured and I don't know what brought on the spanking. I have certainly seen kids who needed a spanking. What I see here is that the parent's authority over this kid has gone out the window.