GOVERNMENT OF CANADA TAKES ACTION TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM SEXUAL PREDATORS
TORONTO, November 4, 2010 – The federal government today announced the introduction of the Protecting Children from Sexual Predators Act, which would help make our streets and communities safer by toughening the laws protecting children from adult sexual predators. The legislation was introduced by the Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and Shelly Glover, M.P. for Saint Boniface and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.
“Sexual exploitation of children causes irreparable harm to the youngest and most vulnerable members of our society,” said Minister Nicholson.
“Our Government is committed to helping prevent sexual offences against children by ensuring that adult sexual predators receive sentences which reflect the extreme seriousness of their crimes.”
The proposed legislation would establish mandatory prison sentences for seven existing Criminal Code offences such as luring a child, sexual assault and aggravated assault. As a result, conditional sentences (i.e. house arrest) would no longer be available for any of these offences.
The proposed legislation would also increase mandatory prison sentences for seven sexual offences involving child victims, such as possessing and accessing child pornography and sexual exploitation.
As well, this bill would create two new offences with mandatory prison sentences that seek to prevent the sexual exploitation of children by making it illegal for anyone to
- provide sexually explicit material to a child for the purpose of facilitating the commission of a sexual offence against a child (this process is often referred to as "grooming"); or
- use telecommunications, including the Internet, to communicate with another person to agree or make arrangements to commit a sexual offence against a child.
The new measures would also require judges to consider prohibiting suspected or convicted child sexual offenders from having any unsupervised contact with a child or any unsupervised use of the Internet. This would help prevent them from offending and re-offending.
“With this legislation, our Government is sending a clear message that it will not tolerate child sexual exploitation in any form,” said Ms. Glover.
“We will continue to take concrete action to protect children from dangerous sexual predators to make our streets and communities safer.”
These proposed reforms build upon other criminal law amendments already introduced by the Government to better protect children against sexual exploitation, including Bill C-22 (the Protecting Children from Online Sexual Exploitation Act) and Bill S-2 (the Protecting Victims From Sex Offenders Act), both of which are currently before Parliament.
Backgrounder: Protecting Children From Sexual Predators.
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