The Canadian Crime Victim Foundation supports the latest initiative from the Federal Government and congratulates Canada’s Justice Minister, Vic Toews, for introducing legislation to raise the age of consent from 14 to 16.
Lets hope the rest of Canada’s M.P.’s support this common sense approach to protect our children.
June 22, 2006
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Vic Toews, Q.C., today introduced legislation to increase the age at which youth can consent to sexual activity, in order to better protect them against sexual exploitation by adult predators.
Protecting our children and youth from sexual exploitation is a key priority for this Government one that is equally shared by Canadians, said Minister Toews. Adults who sexually prey upon young people are the targets of these reforms, not consenting teenagers. This Government is committed to protecting our most vulnerable citizens. We will do everything in our power to protect Canadian children.
As part of the Speech from the Throne commitment to tackle crime, the Government is proposing to raise the age at which youth can consent to sexual activity from 14 to 16 years of age. The existing age of protection of 18 years for exploitative sexual activity will be maintained. This applies to sexual activity involving prostitution, pornography, or where there is a relationship of trust, authority, dependency or any other situation that is otherwise exploitative of a young person.
To help ensure that teenagers who engage in consensual sexual activity are not criminalized, the legislation includes a close-in-age exception, which would permit 14 and 15 year old youth to engage in sexual activity with a partner who is less than five years older. Another time-limited exception would also be available for existing marriages and equivalent relationships.
By increasing the age of protection to 16 years, while recognizing that there must be some reasonable exceptions, we can take an important step toward strengthening our child protection laws, added Minister Toews.