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Archived - Government of Canada introduces legislation to protect children from predators and exploitation

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Ministers MacKay and Blaney Table Legislation Geared at Crimes Against Children

February 26, 2014 –Ottawa, ON  – Department of Justice Canada

In support of the Government of Canada’s commitment to standing up for victims of crime, Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, introduced comprehensive legislation to better protect children from a range of sexual offences and exploitation at home and abroad. 

These nine new measures, introduced in the House of Commons today, reflect the government’s commitment in the 2013 Speech from the Throne to re-establish Canada as a country where those who break the law are punished for their actions, where prison time matches the severity of crimes committed, and where the most vulnerable victims – children – are better protected.

Quick facts

The legislation includes nine key measures:

  • Requiring those receiving separate sentences at the same time for contact child sexual offences against multiple children to serve their sentences consecutively– one after another;
  • Requiring those sentenced at the same time for child pornography offences and contact child sexual offences to serve their sentences consecutively;
  • Increasing maximum and minimum prison sentences for certain child sexual offences;
  • Increasing penalties for violation of conditions of supervision orders;
  • Ensuring that a crime committed while on house arrest, parole, statutory release or unescorted temporary absence is an aggravating factor at sentencing;
  • Ensuring that spousal testimony is available in child pornography cases;
  • Requiring registered sex offenders to provide more information regarding travel abroad;
  • Enabling information-sharing on certain registered sex offenders between officials responsible for the National Sex Offender Registry and at the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA); and
  • Establishing a publicly accessible database of high-risk child sex offenders who have been the subject of a public notification in a provincial/territorial jurisdiction to assist in ensuring the safety of our communities.

Quotes

“Our Government is making our streets and communities safe by cracking down on predators who abuse and exploit children. Every day in Canada, our most vulnerable – our children – are the victims of sexual abuse. This is truly unacceptable and as a society we must do our part to better protect our youth. Child sexual abuse causes unimaginable devastation to the lives of children, and can cause lifelong emotional distress that profoundly affects victims for the rest of their lives. Our Government’s comprehensive legislation will better protect children from a range of sexual offences, including child pornography, while making our streets and communities safer by cracking down on the predators that hurt, abuse and exploit our children.”

Peter MacKay
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

“Child sexual abuse is a horrifying crime. Our Government is strengthening measures that will better protect children from sexual exploitation in Canada and abroad. It will enhance accountability of registered sex offenders, particularly those with convictions for sexual offences against children who travel out of the country to engage in child-sex tourism.”

Steven Blaney
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“We need to protect the vulnerable and make sure they have the tools to get help, heal and move forward with their lives – especially our children.  We at Victims of Violence welcome the federal government’s move to strengthen laws surrounding sexual abuse, so children are protected from abuse and exploitation, victims are heard and our communities are made safer.”

Sharon Rosenfeldt
President, Victims of Violence

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Contacts

Paloma Aguilar
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice
613-992-4621

Media Relations
Department of Justice
613-957-4207

Jean-Christophe de Le Rue
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Jean-Christophe.deLeRue@ps-sp.gc.ca

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