The October 1997 resolution is:

Resolved that parents should be responsible in the civil Courts for damages caused by the criminal actions of their children.


The legislature of Manitoba has recently enacted this type of legislation. The Progressive Conservative Caucus of Manitoba home page states:

Justice Minister Rosemary Vodrey has introduced parental responsibility legislation designed to make parents liable for the deliberate destruction or damage of property by their children.

The proposed legislation puts the onus on parents to be responsible for the actions of their children,and we are hoping it will encourage parents to pay more attention to their children's activities. It would provide victims of property crimes easier access to Small Claims Court to sue parents or guardians for damages of up to $5,000.

Parents who show they have made reasonable efforts to supervise their child and prevent the damage or loss could ask the court to consider their efforts as mitigating circumstances. Payments for awarded damages may also be staggered.

The proposed act would not apply to children who are wards of Child and Family Services

Research Tips:

1. Interview an insurance company representative to find out if and how their company recovers damages from young persons who have committed serious acts of mischief such as vandalism to schools.

2. Interview a Youth Court Judge. When judges impose disposition on young persons for vandalism and theft do they sometimes order the young person to pay back the victim by way of restitution or compensation?

3. Interview a lawyer who practices Youth Court law. Can a lawyer obtain a lesser sentence from his or her client if the young person offers to make restitution? How can that be done?

Return to The Great Young Offenders Act Debate page

Return to Stephen R. Biss home page

Copyright 1997, Stephen R. Biss, Permission to copy and reference is given so long as this line is included.


List of Young Offenders Debates



Copyright 2018 Stephen Biss



Stephen R. Biss, Barrister & Solicitor

470 Hensall Circle, Suite 303
Mississauga, Ontario
L5A 3V4

905-273-3322  or 1-877-273-3322


Advertisement. Any legal opinions expressed at this site relate to the Province of Ontario, Canada only. If you reside or carry on business in any other jurisdiction please consult a lawyer, solicitor, or attorney in your own jurisdiction. WARNING: All information contained herein is provided for the purpose of providing basic information only and should not be construed as formal legal advice. The author disclaims any and all liability resulting from reliance upon such information. You are strongly encouraged to seek and retain professional legal advice before relying upon any of the information contained herein.