At What Age?...
...are school-children employed, married and taken to court?
Canada
Source: CRC/C/83/Add.6, 12 March 2003; CRC/C/11/Add. 3, 28 July 1994
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School-leaving age Measures adopted by the Government of Canada
Information unavailable in either report

Measures adopted by the Governments of the Provinces
British Columbia
From CRC/C/83/Add. 6 of 12 March 2003
599. British Columbia's age of attainment of majority and legal minimum ages for various purposes are as follows: (b) end of compulsory education - 16

Alberta
From CRC/C/11/Add.3 of 28 July 1994
499. […] School attendance in Alberta is compulsory to the age of 16. Attendance is enforced by "attendance officers" who have the right to enter buildings other than dwelling places and to accompany the child to school. An Attendance Board will review the situation of students who persistently fail to attend school.

Saskatchewan
From CRC/C/11/Add.3 of 28 July 1994
573. Pursuant to The Education Act, school attendance is compulsory for children between the ages of 7 and 16 years. In addition, schooling is provided to anyone between the ages of 6 to 21 years. Both primary and secondary education are free. […]

Manitoba
From CRC/C/11/Add.3 of 28 July 1994
649. The Public Schools Act requires compulsory attendance at school by school-age children (6 to 16 years of age). Primary and secondary education is provided free of cost.

Ontario
From CRC/C/11/Add.3 of 28 July 1994
808. The Education Act provides for the attendance at school of compulsory school-age children (6 to 16 years of age). Primary and secondary education is free of charge. […]

Québec
From CRC/C/11/Add.3 of 28 July 1994
939. According to the Education Act, school attendance is compulsory from 6 to 16 years of age, that is, for the entire duration of primary and secondary instruction. Section 3 of the same Act provides that educational services are to be provided free to residents of Québec until they attain 18 years of age.

New Brunswick
From CRC/C/83/Add. 6 of 12 March 2003
1166. […] the Education Act which says that a youth must continue their education until eighteen years of age or high school graduation.
1255. The New Brunswick Education Act requires the Minister of Education to provide free school privileges to all residents aged 5 to 21 years until they meet graduation requirements. It further requires children to attend school from the age of five until they graduate or attain the age of 16 years. The legal school leaving age will become 18 years as of July 1999.

Nova Scotia
From CRC/C/83/Add. 6 of 12 March 2003
1300. Regulations made pursuant to the Education Act provide for compulsory education to all children who have attained the age of 6 years and who have not attained the age of 16 years. The Education Act also provides for free public education for children over the age of 5 and under the age of 21.

Prince Edward Island
From CRC/C/11/Add.3 of 28 July 1994
998. The Government of Prince Edward Island provides free education and transportation to school for all children in the province between the ages of 6 and 20 years. School attendance is mandatory between the ages of 7 and 16. Under the School Act of this province, parents are required to take responsibility for the child's attendance in school.

Newfoundland
From CRC/C/83/Add. 6 of 12 March 2003
1444. The Schools Act, 1997 SN, c. S-12.2, section 3 states that a person who on December 31 in a school year is five years of age or older and younger than 21 years of age and who is a Canadian citizen, lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent residence, a child of a Canadian citizen, or a child of a person who is lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent or temporary residence is entitled in that year to an education program. The Board has the discretion to admit a person over 21 years of age to an education program. Attendance at school is compulsory for those between the ages of 6-16. There are no enrolment or attendance fees.

Measures adopted by the Governments of the Territories
Yukon
Information unavailable in either report

Northwest Territories
From CRC/C/83/Add. 6 of 12 March 2003
1552. The new Education Act S.N.W.T. 1995, c.28 came into force on July 1, 1996. Under section 12, school is compulsory for every child from the age of 6 until the child turns 16.


Minimum age of employment Measures adopted by the Government of Canada
From CRC/C/83/Add. 6 of 12 March 2003
521. The statutory protections as outlined in the First Report remain.

From CRC/C/11/Add.3 of 28 July 1994
43. Employment of persons under 17 years of age is subject to special regulation pursuant to the Canada Labour Code to ensure that it does not interfere with their education and is not harmful to them.
353. Section 179 of the Canada Labour Code, in conjunction with the regulations enacted pursuant to it, permits the employment at the federal level of persons under 17 years of age if the following conditions are met:
   (a) The child is not required under the law of the province where he or she resides to be in attendance at school;
   (b) The work is not underground in a mine nor as an atomic energy worker;
   (c) It is not work prohibited for young workers under the Explosives Regulations or the Canada Shipping Act;
   (d) It is not likely to be injurious to the child's health nor to endanger his or her safety and
   (e) The work is not carried out between 11.00 p.m. of one day and 6.00 a.m. of the next day.

Measures adopted by the Governments of the Provinces
British Columbia
From CRC/C/83/Add. 6 of 12 March 2003
599. British Columbia's age of attainment of majority and legal minimum ages for various purposes are as follows:
   (c) part-time employment - 15;
   (d) full-time employment - 15;
   (e) hazardous employment - 15;
678. Child labour is prohibited in British Columbia except under the special authority of a permit issued by the Director of Employment Standards. In 1997, the province set conditions for the employment of children under the age of 15 who work in the film, television and radio commercial industries. These conditions cover hours of work, education, workplace safety and protection of income.

Alberta
From CRC/C/83/Add. 6 of 12 March 2003
808. As mentioned in the first report in 1994 on Alberta, children under the age of 15 are generally not allowed to work; however, some exceptions exist. Under the Employment Standards Act, a person may be employed at age 15 to work from 6 a.m. to midnight without the consent of the parents, but younger persons require parental consent to perform any kind of work. Children who work also are subject to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, which applies to all workers in industries under provincial jurisdiction.

Saskatchewan
From CRC/C/11/Add.3 of 28 July 1994
591. The Labour Standards Act, which provides for minimum wage, hours of work, overtime pay, vacation entitlement, public holidays, equal pay, and days of rest, makes no reference to age.
593. By law, the minimum age at which employees may be employed in any educational institution, hospital, nursing home, hotel or restaurant is 16 years.
594. The Occupational Health and Safety Act prohibits the employment of any person under the age of 16 years:
   (a) At or about any construction site, work of engineering construction, trench or excavation;
   (b) At any pulp mill, saw mill or woodworking establishment;
   (c) In the vicinity of industrial processes at any factory;
   (d) In any silo, storage bin, vat, hopper, tunnel, shaft, sewer or other confined space;
   (e) On the cutting line of any packing plant or the evisceration line of any poultry plant;
   (f) In any forestry or logging operation;
   (g) On any drilling or servicing rig;
   (h) As an operator of any heavy, mobile equipment, any crane or other hoisting equipment; or
   (i) As an operator of a forklift truck or similar mobile equipment within a place of employment or in the vicinity of other workers.
595. In addition, Regulations passed under the Act prohibit the employment of any minor:
   (a) Underground or at the open-pit face of any mine;
   (b) As a radiation worker; or
   (c) In any activity for which respiratory protective equipment is required by any regulations made under the Act, except where that work is performed under close and competent supervision

Manitoba
From CRC/C/11/Add.3 of 28 July 1994
603. […] Thus, the legal minimum age:
   (b) To commence part-time employment without parental consent is 16 years (The Employment Standards Act);
   (c) To be employed in hazardous work without parental consent is 18 years of age (The Employment Standards Act);
   (d) To commence full-time employment without parental consent is 18 years;
671. The Employment Standards Act of Manitoba defines a "child" as a person under the age of 16 years and an "adolescent" as a person who has reached his or her sixteenth birthday but not the eighteenth birthday. Under the Act, no child shall be employed except with the written permission of the Minister and in accordance with a permit issued by the Department of Labour. A child shall not be employed in any manner, work or service detrimental to safety, health or moral well-being.
675. The Public Schools Act requires that every child of compulsory school age (under the age of 16 years) attend school unless specifically excused by the Minister responsible for the Act in accordance with the Act and Regulations. The Act prohibits the employment of an individual during those hours in which the individual is required to be in attendance in the school.

Ontario
From CRC/C/11/Add.3 of 28 July 1994
840. The Regulations for Industrial Establishments stipulate that a worker must have reached the minimum age of 14 to work in a workplace other than a factory, 15 to work in a factory and 16 to work in a logging operation. The Regulations for Construction Projects require that no person employ a person younger than 16 years of age at a project. A person aged 15 and who is excused under the Education Act from attending school, or is required to attend school only part-time, may be employed as a worker at a project. The Regulations for Mines and Mining Plants require that a person be 16 years to work at a mining plant or a surface of a mine (excluding the working face) and 18 years to work at an underground mine or at the working surface of a mine. No person is allowed to operate a mine hoist unless over 18 years where the hoist does not transport persons, and over 21 years where the hoist does transport persons.

Québec
From CRC/C/83/Add. 6 of 12 March 2003
1034. As mentioned in the first report, there is no minimum age limit for admission to employment in Québec, except for certain specific kinds of employment or vocations. However, in the course of its work on Bill 172 of 1997, one of the purposes of which was to prohibit night work by children aged 16 and under, the Parliamentary Commission on the Economy and Labour decided to examine in depth the whole issue of child labour in Québec. A working committee was therefore created in order to produce a discussion paper on this issue and present recommendations to the Parliamentary Commission on the Economy and Labour.

From CRC/C/11/Add.3 of 28 July 1994
860. At present, there is no general minimum age limit for admission to employment in Québec. However, Québec legislation does, for health or safety reasons, establish various minimum ages for being allowed to take certain specific kinds of employment or for exercising certain trades or vocations, and for obtaining certain licences (Act respecting Manpower Vocational Training and Qualification, R.S.Q., c. F-5). The most frequently adopted minimum age for performing certain jobs is 16 years. This is true of most of the construction trades, of several apprenticeship positions and of jobs requiring a driver's licence. Furthermore, a minimum age of 18 years has been adopted for the exercise of certain trades or vocations involving a higher risk (such as the performance of underground work) or requiring higher levels of theoretical knowledge (forestry engineers, real estate agents or security guards). However, a person aged at least 15 may be an assistant lifeguard, although a lifeguard must be 17. It should also be noted that school attendance is, according to the Education Act (R.S.Q., c. I-13.3), compulsory until 16 years of age.

New Brunswick
Information unavailable in either report

Nova Scotia
From CRC/C/83/Add. 6 of 12 March 2003
1301. The Labour Standards Code restricts the types of occupations in which and the hours of work during which children under the ages of 14 and 16 may be employed.
1341. Under the Act and Regulations pursuant to the Education Act, no person shall employ a child under the age of 15 years in any work during school hours. The Regulations permit the granting of an employment certificate to a child having attained the age of 15 years provided the school board is satisfied, after review and discussion with the student and the student's parents, that continued attendance in school is not beneficial to the student.
1362. The Labour Standards Code stipulates that children under the age of 14 may not work for more than eight hours in any day or for more than three hours on any school day unless the child has an employment certificate under the Education Act. Children under 14 cannot work after 10 p.m. and prior to 6:00 a.m. nor can they be employed to do work that is or is likely to be unwholesome or harmful to his or her health or development or interfere with school attendance. Children under 16 cannot be employed in an industrial undertaking, forest industry, garages and automobile services stations, hotels and restaurant, theaters, dance halls, shooting galleries, bowling-alleys, billiard and pool rooms or in the operation of elevators. The total hours of combined school attendance and employment cannot exceed 8 hours in any one day. The responsibility of ensuring that children do not work in contravention of the Code lies with the parents, who may be subject to fine unless they can demonstrate that the employment occurred without their knowledge or consent.
1363. The restrictions on the employment of children under the age of 16 in certain industries, as outlined in the Labour Standards Code, do not apply to the employment of such children by their parent or guardian.

Prince Edward Island
From CRC/C/11/Add.3 of 28 July 1994
976. The Youth Employment Act (proclaimed in 1990) prohibits the employment of persons under the age of 16 years in any employment that is likely to be "harmful to the health or safety or moral physical development of a young person". This Act further limits the hours that can be worked by a young person in any employment, avoiding hours between 11.00 p.m. and 7.00 a.m. and normal school hours. There are further limits to the numbers of hours which can be worked on a school day.
977. Exceptions can be made to these limitations on hours worked, but only under very strict conditions and with the consent of a parent. Employers are required to take further steps when they employ someone under the age of 16 to ensure that the young person is safe. The minimum age of 16 years applies to both part-time and full-time employment.

Newfoundland
From CRC/C/83/Add. 6 of 12 March 2003
1403. The province's Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, C.N.R. 1165/96 prohibits a person under 18 years of age from being employed in a silica process or any cleaning or maintenance work that involves exposure to silica. The Regulations also require candidates for blasting certificates to be at least 19 years of age.
1404. The Mines Safety of Workers Regulations, C.N.R. 1145/96 prohibits persons under 18 years of age from being employed in the underground works of a mine and persons under 20 years of age from being in charge of equipment used for hoisting, lifting or haulage; blasting with explosives, signaling for putting machines in motion and those under 21 years of age shall not be in charge of hoisting and lowering workmen.

From CRC/C/11/Add.3 of 28 July 1994
1168. […] [In]The Labour Standards Act, persons under 14 years are allowed to work at certain prescribed occupations and in the case of persons under 16, restrictions apply to type of occupations and circumstances surrounding the employment;
1259. Children under the age of 14 years are prohibited from being employed in areas other than those prescribed by regulation under the authority of the Labour Standards Act. […]

Measures adopted by the Governments of the Territories
Yukon
From CRC/C/83/Add. 6 of 12 March 2003
1490. Although there is no legal minimum age for employment, the Employment Standards Board can, under the Employment Standards Act, specify the circumstances and occupations in which persons under 17 years of age may be employed, fix the conditions of such employment and prescribe the minimum age for such employment.
1491. Pursuant to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Mine Safety Regulations state that the minimum age of a worker in a mine shall be 16 years of age for surface mines (excluding the working face of such a mine); and 18 years of age at an underground mine or the working face of a surface mine. All individuals under the age of 21 years are prohibited from handling explosives.

Northwest Territories
From CRC/C/11/Add.3 of 28 July 1994
1302. Although there is no legal minimum age for employment, the ability of children to work is restricted by the compulsory school attendance provisions of the Education Act and also by other legislation.
1303. The Employment of Young Persons Regulations, made pursuant to the Labour Standards Act, restrict the employment of persons under 17 years of age. Such young persons cannot be employed in the construction industry or late at night without a permit from the Labour Standards Officer. Also, employers must be able to satisfy the Officer, on demand, that the employment of a young person is not liable to be detrimental to his or her health, education or moral character.
1304. In addition, specific statutes limit the age of workers in designated industries. For example, pursuant to section 6 of the Mining Safety Act, a person under the age of 16 may not be employed in or around a mine and a person under the age of 18 may not be employed underground or at the working face of any open cut workings, pit or quarry.

Minimum age for marriage Measures adopted by the Government of Canada
Information unavailable in either report

Measures adopted by the Governments of the Provinces
British Columbia
From CRC/C/83/Add. 6 of 12 March 2003
599. British Columbia's age of attainment of majority and legal minimum ages for various purposes are as follows: (g) marriage - 16;
Alberta
From CRC/C/11/Add.3 of 28 July 1994
446. [...] A person may marry without parental consent at the age of 18 or at age 16 with parental consent. No one may marry under the age of 16 except females who are pregnant or already mothers […]

Saskatchewan
Information unavailable in either report
Manitoba
From CRC/C/11/Add.3 of 28 July 1994
603. … Thus, the legal minimum age:
   (e) To marry without parental consent is 18 years, although persons between 16 and 18 years of age can marry with the consent of their parents, legal guardian, a Family Court judge, or the Director of Child and Family Services (The Marriage Act);

Ontario
From CRC/C/11/Add.3 of 28 July 1994
684. The Marriage Act provides that any person who is of the age of majority may obtain a marriage licence or be married by publication of banns. If a person is under 18 but is 16 years of age or more, section 5 requires consent of parent(s) or guardian unless the "child" is a widow, a widower or divorced.

Québec
From CRC/C/11/Add.3 of 28 July 1994
858. A minor 16 years of age or over may marry with the consent of the person having parental authority; as a result of the marriage, the minor obtains full emancipation and the capacity to exercise civil rights as if he or she were of full age...

New Brunswick
From CRC/C/83/Add. 6 of 12 March 2003
1160. Marriage Act: The minimum legal age for marriage without consent of a parent or judge is 18 years. Children who have attained 16 years of age may marry with the consent of parents. A child under 16 years of age who has a dependent may marry without the consent of a parent or judge.

Nova Scotia
From CRC/C/83/Add. 6 of 12 March 2003
1302. The Solemnization of Marriage Act requires a license from all persons who wish to be married and to obtain a license a person must be 19. A person under 19 but over the age of 16 may marry with parental consent. Marriages of persons under the age of 16 shall not be solemnized without special application to a judge of the Family Court who must make a determination that it is expedient and in the interests of the parties to authorize solemnization of the marriage.

Prince Edward Island
From CRC/C/11/Add.3 of 28 July 1994
974. The Marriage Act of Prince Edward Island provides in section 17 that individuals under the age of 16 years cannot be married. An exception may be made in the case of a female who is either pregnant or the mother of a living child. Any individual under the age of 18 requires the consent of a parent or guardian or the order of a judge of the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island.

Newfoundland
From CRC/C/11/Add.3 of 28 July 1994
1168. […] The following Acts contain age requirements pertaining to children:
The Solemnization of Marriage Act, that there can be no solemnization of marriage if either party is under 16, except in cases of pregnancy, that 16 to 19-year-olds can be married with parental consent, that 19-year-olds can marry without parental consent, and finally that those 18 years of age and living apart from parents, with no financial support, can marry without parental consent;

Measures adopted by the Governments of the Territories
Yukon
Information unavailable in either report

Northwest Territories
From CRC/C/83/Add. 6 of 12 March 2003
1554. The Marriage Act R.S.N.W.T. 1988, c.M-4 requires that a person under the age of majority must have the consent of his or her parents before the publication of banns or the issue of a marriage licence, so that he or she may be married. A minor may make an application to court to dispense with his or her parents' consent and the court has the discretion to make an order dispensing with parental consent. In addition, no consent is required in the case of a minor who has attained the age of 18 years, if he or she makes a statutory declaration that he or she has withdrawn from parental charge for no less than 6 months prior to the date of the declaration, or for other specified reasons. A person under the age of 15 years may not marry unless there is proof that the female party is pregnant. In these circumstances parental consent is still necessary.

Minimum age for criminal responsibility Measures adopted by the Federal State
From CRC/C/83/Add. 6 of 12 March 2003
484. The minimum age for an individual to become involved in the youth justice system is 12 and will remain at 12.
485. The Standing Committee had recommended that, in exceptional circumstances, 10 and 11 year old youth suspected of committing extremely violent offences should be subject to the youth justice system. The Standing Committee further recommended that this be done at the consent of the provincial Attorney General and that the court's authority would include placing the child in the care of child welfare authorities if required.
486. However, the federal government, after careful consideration of the recommendation, concluded that referral to the appropriate provincial/territorial social and mental health services would provide a better response to the needs of these youth. The Government of Canada believes that these services are more age-appropriate, family-oriented and therapeutic than those available through the criminal justice system for children of this age.