Canada -- Age of Consent

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Updated 07-2002:
Source:  http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/C-46/38792.html

 

Sexual Offences

Consent no defence

150.1 (1) Where an accused is charged with an offence under section 151 or 152 or subsection 153(1), 160(3) or 173(2) or is charged with an offence under section 271, 272 or 273 in respect of a complainant under the age of fourteen years, it is not a defence that the complainant consented to the activity that forms the subject-matter of the charge.

Exception

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), where an accused is charged with an offence under section 151 or 152, subsection 173(2) or section 271 in respect of a complainant who is twelve years of age or more but under the age of fourteen years, it is not a defence that the complainant consented to the activity that forms the subject-matter of the charge unless the accused

(a) is twelve years of age or more but under the age of sixteen years;

(b) is less than two years older than the complainant; and

(c) is neither in a position of trust or authority towards the complainant nor is a person with whom the complainant is in a relationship of dependency.

Exemption for accused aged twelve or thirteen

(3) No person aged twelve or thirteen years shall be tried for an offence under section 151 or 152 or subsection 173(2) unless the person is in a position of trust or authority towards the complainant or is a person with whom the complainant is in a relationship of dependency.

Mistake of age

(4) It is not a defence to a charge under section 151 or 152, subsection 160(3) or 173(2), or section 271, 272 or 273 that the accused believed that the complainant was fourteen years of age or more at the time the offence is alleged to have been committed unless the accused took all reasonable steps to ascertain the age of the complainant.

Idem

(5) It is not a defence to a charge under section 153, 159, 170, 171 or 172 or subsection 212(2) or (4) that the accused believed that the complainant was eighteen years of age or more at the time the offence is alleged to have been committed unless the accused took all reasonable steps to ascertain the age of the complainant.

R.S., 1985, c. 19 (3rd Supp.), s. 1.

Sexual interference

151. Every person who, for a sexual purpose, touches, directly or indirectly, with a part of the body or with an object, any part of the body of a person under the age of fourteen years is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 151; R.S., 1985, c. 19 (3rd Supp.), s. 1.

Invitation to sexual touching

152. Every person who, for a sexual purpose, invites, counsels or incites a person under the age of fourteen years to touch, directly or indirectly, with a part of the body or with an object, the body of any person, including the body of the person who so invites, counsels or incites and the body of the person under the age of fourteen years, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 152; R.S., 1985, c. 19 (3rd Supp.), s. 1.

Sexual exploitation

153. (1) Every person who is in a position of trust or authority towards a young person or is a person with whom the young person is in a relationship of dependency and who

(a) for a sexual purpose, touches, directly or indirectly, with a part of the body or with an object, any part of the body of the young person, or

(b) for a sexual purpose, invites, counsels or incites a young person to touch, directly or indirectly, with a part of the body or with an object, the body of any person, including the body of the person who so invites, counsels or incites and the body of the young person,

is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Definition of "young person"

(2) In this section, "young person" means a person fourteen years of age or more but under the age of eighteen years.

R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 153; R.S., 1985, c. 19 (3rd Supp.), s. 1.

Sexual exploitation of person with disability

153.1 (1) Every person who is in a position of trust or authority towards a person with a mental or physical disability or who is a person with whom a person with a mental or physical disability is in a relationship of dependency and who, for a sexual purpose, counsels or incites that person to touch, without that person's consent, his or her own body, the body of the person who so counsels or incites, or the body of any other person, directly or indirectly, with a part of the body or with an object, is guilty of

(a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; or

(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months.

Definition of "consent"

(2) Subject to subsection (3), "consent" means, for the purposes of this section, the voluntary agreement of the complainant to engage in the sexual activity in question.

When no consent obtained

(3) No consent is obtained, for the purposes of this section, if

(a) the agreement is expressed by the words or conduct of a person other than the complainant;

(b) the complainant is incapable of consenting to the activity;

(c) the accused counsels or incites the complainant to engage in the activity by abusing a position of trust, power or authority;

(d) the complainant expresses, by words or conduct, a lack of agreement to engage in the activity; or

(e) the complainant, having consented to engage in sexual activity, expresses, by words or conduct, a lack of agreement to continue to engage in the activity.

Subsection (3) not limiting

(4) Nothing in subsection (3) shall be construed as limiting the circumstances in which no consent is obtained.

When belief in consent not a defence

(5) It is not a defence to a charge under this section that the accused believed that the complainant consented to the activity that forms the subject-matter of the charge if

(a) the accused's belief arose from the accused's

(i) self-induced intoxication, or

(ii) recklessness or wilful blindness; or

(b) the accused did not take reasonable steps, in the circumstances known to the accused at the time, to ascertain that the complainant was consenting.

Accused's belief as to consent

(6) If an accused alleges that he or she believed that the complainant consented to the conduct that is the subject-matter of the charge, a judge, if satisfied that there is sufficient evidence and that, if believed by the jury, the evidence would constitute a defence, shall instruct the jury, when reviewing all the evidence relating to the determination of the honesty of the accused's belief, to consider the presence or absence of reasonable grounds for that belief.

1998, c. 9, s. 2.

154. [Repealed, R.S., 1985, c. 19 (3rd Supp.), s. 1]

 

 

Canada Party Seeks to Protect Kids From 'Perverts'
Tue Apr 23, 6:50 PM ET

By Randall Palmer

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's right-wing opposition party pushed a special motion on Tuesday urging the government to raise the age of consent for sexual activity in an attempt to protect innocent children from "perverted 40-year-olds."

The opposition Alliance party asked for the age of consent raised to 16 from 14 -- which is low in comparison to many U.S. states.

The Canadian Parliament debated the opposition proposal on Tuesday but the Liberal government blocked the motion, saying it wanted to study it further.

The push for the change closely follows the controversial case of John Robin Sharpe -- an admitted collector of child pornography -- who recently won an important round in court.

Sharpe was acquitted on one charge of child pornography on the grounds his writings showed artistic merit. With that in mind, the motion urged the government to toughen its child porn measures, in addition to raising the age of consent.

"I urge all honorable members of the House to be honest and ask themselves what kind of protection do they want for their own children," Larry Spencer of the Canadian Alliance said in introducing the motion.

"The government now has the opportunity to send a direct and clear message to Canadians that it will no longer stand for the potential abuse of innocent 14-year-old children by perverted 40-year-olds."

In all but a handful of states in the neighboring United States, the age of consent is between 16 and 18.

The same is true of most countries around the world. Britain's age is 16, though some European countries have younger ages -- 15 in France, 14 in Italy and 13 in Spain -- according to a chart provided by the Alliance.

Justice Minister Martin Cauchon said the Liberal government could not support the motion because consultation was needed.

"The government is actively looking into the matter," he said, noting that the country's federal and provincial justice ministers agreed at a meeting in February that a committee should study the consent issue.

Ethel Blondin-Andrew, secretary of state for children and youth, said young people worry that they would become criminals if the age were raised.

"They want to know that they will have not only protection from predators but protection from the system that would unduly confine them or prosecute them and have them doubly victimized by the predator as well as by those who propose to protect them," she told Parliament.

Last month's Sharpe decision in a British Columbia court convicted him on two counts of possessing photographs of naked young boys but found him not guilty for possessing sadomasochistic stories he had written himself, including one entitled "Sam Paloc's Boy Abuse: Flogging, Fun and Fortitude."

The argument by civil libertarians in the courts is that to ban Sharpe's writings would also strike at works like the sexual fantasies of the Marquis de Sade. But the Alliance said appropriate distinctions can and should be drawn up in law.

Spencer said one way would be to say a judge "may" rather than "shall" acquit a person on artistic merit grounds.

Cauchon was open to considering some sort of limit. "Maybe we have to look at the situation in order to see if it's possible to narrow the exception," he told reporters.

The Alliance's justice spokesman, former Manitoba Attorney General Vic Toews, said the motion was not designed to criminalize sexual activity between teenagers close in age. He said the current law had special provisions excluding them and they could be extended to cover a higher age of consent.

Spencer and other Alliance members brought three box loads of postcards and letters -- a total of 24,000 -- to a news conference urging a higher age of consent.

 

 

 

 

Updated 03-2002:
An Email we received:

I noticed on your site that for Canada, the age of consent for male-male sex says '18' in bold red text, but also includes '14?' in black. I understand that this is because you have conflicting information, and I would like to clarify the issue.

I have checked several sources, including All About Law: Exploring the Canadian Legal System, Fourth Edition (published by NelsonCanada, 1996),
which states that, "It is an offence to... have anal intercourse, unless engaged in private between husband and wife, or two persons, each of whom is
18 years of age or more."

On the internet site, "Gay Men, Lesbians, and the Law," (http://www.aidslaw.ca/Maincontent/issues/gaylesbian/finalreports/GLLIlaw1.htm), it confirms this. It says the following:

"Section 159: Anal Intercourse
The current section 159 of the Criminal Code criminalizes anal intercourse, but contains an exemption if anal intercourse is engaged in by a husband and
wife, or by two consenting adults aged 18 or over. The section is problematic for many reasons:

* It exemplifies the discriminatory attitudes that continue to cause difficulties for many safe-sex educators. The very structure of the section reflects prejudicial beliefs that anal sex is inherently criminal. Instead of providing that anal intercourse constitutes a crime when committed with someone under the age of consent, as with other sexual offences, the Code criminalizes every act of anal intercourse. The section then goes on to provide a defence if the "crime" is committed in private by two persons aged 18 or more, each of whom consents.[104 The structure of the section thus reinforces attitudes that anal sex is "dirty" or disgusting, deserving the
sanction of the criminal law. 

* The age of consent for anal intercourse is 18, while it is 14 for vaginal intercourse.

* The defence is only available if the act is committed by "two persons" in "private." If more than two persons are present, a crime is committed, even
if the activity takes place in a private dwelling and among consenting adults.

* A further defence is provided if anal intercourse takes place in private between a consenting husband and wife: persons under the age of 18 (or a couple one of whom is over 18 and one of whom is under 18) may lawfully engage in anal sex, provided that they are married to each other. It is not at all clear what rational policy basis could justify creating a defence for married heterosexuals that is not available to unmarried heterosexuals or to same-sex partners."

So, it is illegal for two people to have anal sex unless they are married or both over 18. This is being contested as unconstitutional, thus the conflicting information.
Hope this serves as enough information to clarify the issue.

EDITOR NOTE:  Thank you for the above letter, but you didn't address the court law challenges of 1995.  In as much as we can't show that anything has changed that particular court ruling, and given the trend toward equalizing the age of consent amount sexual lifestyles, we are leaving the age as a questionable entry.  We can also prove it is 18, but we have concerns that challenges may have brought it to 14, hence the black 14 and red 18. Thank you.  March, 2002

 

Updated 01-2001

Research Team,

I enjoy your site.

I am a graduate student at McMaster University, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. One of my research areas is Sex and Gender, particularly legal and moral regulation.

I note that you listed the age of consent for male-male sex in Canada as being 18. While that is factually correct, in terms of the Criminal Code (the federal criminal statute that is in effect across Canada), it is not entirely accurate. In Ontario, a 1995 court ruling struck down that section of the law, declaring it "void" and thus unenforceable for the jurisdiction of Ontario. As a result, Ontario police do not prosecute unless one of the partners is under 14 years old, which is the same age for opposite-sex consent. I regret that I do not have the case reference in front of me.

Good luck with your site, and your efforts at education.

Regards,
(name removed) M.A., PhD Candidate
Department of Sociology
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Updated 01-2001:

Source:

Canada - Canadá                      Ottawa
I. Ages for legal purposes

Age of simple majority
There is no set age of majority throughout Canada. The age of majority is generally fixed by each
province. According to section 1 of the " Age of Majority and Accountability Act " in Ontario and
to section 153 f the Quebec Civil Code, the age of majority is of eighteen (18) years. In Alberta,
Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island and Manitoba, the age of majority is also eighteen (18) years.
In Newfoundland, the age of majority is seventeen (17) years and in British Columbia, New
Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Northwest territories and Yukon, the age of majority is nineteen (19).

Update 06-23-01: From Email:
Just thought I'd clarify something that you have on the Canadian age of consent. One of the postings you have up indicates that Quebec has separate criminal law. In fact, it does not. The Criminal Law in Canada is federal and is contained, for the most part, in the Criminal Code cited all over your page. The Criminal Code applies, in its entirety, in Quebec. For confirmation of the Federal Government's exclusive power over the crimi
nal law throughout Canada see the Constitution Act 1867 (AKA the British North America Act) section 91(27).   Thanks for a very useful service :)


Age of consent for sexual activity
According to section 151 of the Criminal Code, the legal age for consenting to a sexual activity is fourteen (14) years
" Every person who, for a sexual purpose, touches, directly or indirectly, with a part of the body
or with an object, any part of the body a person under the age of fourteen (14) years is guilty of an
indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or is guilty of an
offence punishable on summary conviction. "

Age of consent for marriage
The age of consent for marriage can differ from one province to another. In Ontario, according to
subsection 5(1) of the " Marriage Act ", any person who is eighteen (18) years or older can obtain a
licence or be married under the authority of the publication of banns. Furthermore, subsection 5(2)
maintains that a minor cannot be married except if the minor is of the age of sixteen (16) years or
more and has the consent in writing of both parents. The federal " Marriage Act " was repealed.

II. Rape
With regard to the sexual interference with a minor, Section 151 states
" Every person who, for a sexual purpose, touches, directly or indirectly, with a part of the body
or with an object, any part of the body of a person under the age of fourteen (14) years, is guilty of
an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or is guilty of
an offence punishable on summary conviction. "

III. Other forms of child sex abuse
With regard to ‘anal intercourse’, subsections 159(1) and (2) state that
" (1) Every person who engages in an act of anal intercourse is guilty of an indictable offence and
liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or is guilty of an offence punishable on
summary conviction.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to any act engaged in, in private, between :
a) husband and wife, or
b) any two persons, each of whom is eighteen (18) years of age or more, both of whom consent to the act. "


The ‘sexual exploitation of a minor’ is strictly prohibited by Section 153 which stipulates
" (1) Every person who is in a position of trust or authority towards a young person or is a person
with whom the young person is in a relationship of dependency and who-

a) for a sexual purpose, touches, directly or indirectly, with a part of the body or
with an object, any part of the body of the young person, or

b) for a sexual purpose, invites, counsels or incites a young person to touch,
directly or indirectly, with a part of the body or with an object, the body of any
person, including the body of the person who so invites, counsels or indicates and
the body of the young person,

-is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or
is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

(2) In this section, " young person " means a person fourteen (14) years of age or more but under
the age of eighteen (18) years. "

When a parent or guardian procures sexual activity of a minor, it is considered an offence under Section 170.
This Section states

" Every parent or guardian of a person under the age of eighteen (18) years who procures that
person for the purpose of engaging in any sexual activity prohibited by this Act with a person
other that the parent or guardian is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for
a term not exceeding five years, if the person procured for that purpose is under the age of
fourteen (14) years, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years if the person so
procured is fourteen (14) years of age or more but under the age of eighteen (18) years. "

Section 152 of the Criminal Code makes it an offence for any person who invites a minor to sexual touching and
reads as follows
" Every person who, for a sexual purpose, invites, counsels or incites a person under the age of
fourteen (14) years to touch, directly or indirectly, with a part of the body or with an object, the
body of any person, including the body of a person who so invites, counsels or incites and the
body of the person under the age of fourteen (14) years, is guilty of an indictable offence and
liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or is guilty of an offence punishable on
summary conviction. "

Bestiality in the presence of a minor or the inciting of performing bestiality by a minor is strictly prohibited by
subsection 160(3), which reads as follows

" (3) Notwithstanding subsection (1), every person who, in the presence of a person under the age
of fourteen (14) years, commits bestiality or who incites a person under the age of fourteen (14)
years to commit bestiality, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding ten years or is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction. "

Section 171 makes it an offence for a householder to permit sexual activity for a person under the age of eighteen
(18). This Section reads as follows

" Every owner, occupier or manager of premises or other person who has control of premises or
assists in the management or control of premises who knowingly permits a person under the age of
eighteen (18) years to resort to or to be in or on the premises for the purpose of engaging in any
sexual activity prohibited by this Act is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for
a term not exceeding five years, if the person in question is under the age of fourteen (14) years, or
to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years if the person in question is fourteen (14) years
of age or more, but under the age of eighteen (18) years. "

With regard to indecent acts against a person under the age of fourteen (14), subsection 173(2) states that

" Every person who, in any place, for a sexual purpose, exposes his or her genital organs to a
person who is under the age of fourteen (14) years is guilty of an offence punishable on summary
conviction. "

It is an offence to sexually assault an individual according to subsection 271(1) and to commit aggravated sexual
assault according to subsections 273(1) and (2). These subsections read as follows

Section 271
" (1) Every one who commits a sexual assault is guilty of-

a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten
years ; or

b) an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a
term not exceeding eighteen months. "

Section 273 states
" (1) Every one commits an aggravated sexual assault who, in committing a sexual assault, wounds,
maims, disfigures or endangers the life of the complainant.

(2) Every person who commits an aggravated sexual assault is guilty of an indictable offence and
liable-

a) where a firearm is used in the commission of the offence, to imprisonment for life
and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of four years ; and

b) in any other case, to imprisonment for life. "

We should also mention that section 268 of the Criminal Code is amended by adding the following after
subsection (2)

" (3) For greater certainty, in this section, " wounds " or " maims " includes to excise, infibulate or
mutilate, in whole or in part, the labia majora, labia minora or clitoris of a person, except where

a) a surgical procedure is performed, by a person duly qualified by provincial law
to practise medicine, for the benefit or the physical health of the person or for the
purpose of that person having normal reproductive functions or normal sexual
appearance or function ; or

b) the person is at least eighteen (18) years of age and there is no resulting bodily
harm. "

IV. Child prostitution
Bill C-27 included an amendment to the Criminal Code to allow the criminal prosecution in Canada of
Canadian citizens and permanent residents who travel abroad to victimize children sexually, either
for money or any other form of consideration.

If child pornography also appears to be evidence of a crime committed in another country, the
information will be turned over to local police .

Bill C-27, An Act to amend the criminal code (child prostitution, child sex tourism, criminal
harassment and female genital mutilation) came into force May 26, 1997. With these criminal law
reforms, Canada has joined more than 20 other states in enacting extraterritorial legislation that will
allow for the Canadian prosecution of Canadians who sexually exploit children while abroad.

s. 7(4.1) Sexual offences against children
The 1997 Criminal Code amendments make it possible for Canadian prosecution of Canadian citizens
or permanent residents who sexually abuse children, including engaging in prostitution, while
outside Canada. It is important to note that the amendments allow not only for the prosecution of
offences related to child sex tourism, such as child prostitution, but also of child sexual exploitation
offences, such as sexual exploitation, indecent acts, child pornography and incest.

The assumption of Canadian jurisdiction to prosecute the commission of a child sexual exploitation
offences by a Canadian while outside of Canada (also known as "extraterritorial jurisdiction") is
unusual for Canada. While Canada asserts extra-territorial jurisdiction for certain offences such as
war crimes, crimes against humanity and various terrorist-related crimes, Canada had not previously
assumed jurisdiction for child sexual exploitation offences. Since 1997, if a Canadian citizen or
permanent resident engages in any of the sexual exploitation offences enumerated in s.7(4.1),
whether or not, that offence is deemed to have been committed in Canada, thereby enabling a
Canadian prosecution.

s. 7(4.2) Request of the Ministry of Justice
Criminal proceeding in relation to sex tourism will be instituted in Canada only upon request by a
foreign country. The request must be made to the Federal Minister of Justice. The request can occur
in one of two ways. In Canada, a foreign consular officer or diplomatic agent accredited to Canada
may make the request. Abroad, a foreign minister may make the request to the Minister of Justice
through a diplomatic representative of Canada.

This procedural requirement recognizes the competence of the foreign state to exercise control over
events occurring within its own boundaries. It thereby allows that country to choose whether to
prosecute the Canadian or to request that the prosecution be undertaken in Canada.

s. 7(4.3) Consent of the Attorney General
Criminal proceeding may only be instituted with the consent of the provincial Attorney General.
Such a decision will be taken following considerations of matter such as the extra-territorial element
of the offence and the possible impact on relations between states.

*The offences listed in subsection 7(4.1) are:
s. 151 sexual interference;
s. 152 invitation to sexual touching;
s. 153 sexual exploitation;
s. 155 incest;
s. 159 anal intercourse;
s. 160(2) compelling the commission of bestiality;
s. 160(3) bestiality in the presence of a child under 14 / inciting child under 14 to commit;
s. 163.1 making, distributing, selling or possessing child pornography;
s. 170 parent or guardian procuring sexual activity;
s. 171 householder permitting sexual activity;
s. 173 indecent acts / exposure;
s. 212(4) (NEW) (as amended by Bill C-51) prostitution of a person under 18.

Under subsections 212(2) and (4) child prostitution is an offence
" (...) (2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1)(j), every person who lives wholly or in part on the
avails of prostitution of another person who is under the age of eighteen (18) years is guilty of an
indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.

(...) (4) Every person who, in any place, obtains or attempts to obtain, for consideration, the
sexual services of a person who is under the age of eighteen (18) years or who that person
believes is under the age of eighteen (18) years, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to
imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years. "

We can also mention Section 170. This Section states
" Every parent or guardian of a person under the age of eighteen (18) years who procures that
person for the purpose of engaging in any sexual activity prohibited by this Act with a person
other that the parent or guardian is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for
a term not exceeding five years, if the person procured for that purpose is under the age of
fourteen (14) years, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years if the person so
procured is fourteen (14) years of age or more but under the age of eighteen (18) years. "

Legal Issue
Current Criminal Code offences dealing with child prostitution are difficult to enforce (i.e. Sec.
212(2), living off avails and Sec. 212(4), obtaining person under 18 for sexual services).

In 1998, Bill C-15 created law in Canada which prohibits living on the avails of prostitution or
engaging in sexual services of a person under the age of 18 (sec. 212(2) and 212(4)). This legislation
reflected a change in viewing child prostitutes as victims rather than as offenders. Prior to this, child
prostitutes were often charged under the solicitation provision and were treated as offenders.
Unfortunately, the new provisions for charging "Johns" and pimps are ineffectual. They require the
"John" to be caught in the act and the pimp to be turned in by the prostitute.

The findings of an evaluation of the child sexual offences indicated that subsection 212(3) (Living
on the avails of a person under 18 years of age) is only enforceable when a prostitute turns against
a pimp. Likewise, charges under subsection 212(4) (Obtaining a person under 18 years of age for
sexual purposes) could only be enforced if the "Johns" were caught in the act. Thus, traditional
policing methods do not seem to be appropriate for enforcement of subsections 212(2) and (4).
Therefore, these sections have not been effective in dealing with the problem of child prostitution.

Recent amendments to subsection 212(4) may make it easier to charge John. The wording now reads
"Every person who, in any place, obtains or communicates with any person for the purpose of
obtaining for consideration, the sexual services of a person who is under the age of eighteen
years…" This charge, which came into force May 1, 1999, will now enable police to charge anyone
communicating for the purpose of buying sex.

Alberta has recently enacted the Protection of Children Involved in Prostitution Act (February 1,
1999). This law allows for the protection of children under 18 years old who are at risk by being
involved in prostitution. The law provides protective services such as taking them to a safe house
for 72 hours to be assessed and referred for services. Hopefully it will also result in the prosecution
of "Johns" and pimps who are sexually abusing these children. This law is very unique and has yet
to be evaluated. However, it does seem to provide a strategy for dealing with an otherwise
impossible situation.

V. Child pornography
There is no distinction in the Criminal Code concerning the level of pornography involving child
pornography. Therefore, an erotical material that falls under the definition of child pornography is
regulated under Section 163.1 of the Criminal Code.

According to Section 163.1 of the Criminal Code, there is child pornography when a child under or
depicted as being under the age of eighteen (18) is the subject of pornography-material for a
sexual purpose.

Subsections 163.1 (2), (3), (4) target four groups of people who are involved in child pornography,
namely producers, distributors and sellers, and possessors of the illegal material.

Subsection 163.1 (2) that makes it an offence to create child pornography, reads as follows

" Every person who makes, prints, publishes or possesses for the purpose of publication, any child
pornography is guilty of :

a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten
years ; or

b) an offence punishable on summary conviction. "

With regard to distribution and sale of child pornography, subsection 163.1(3) states that
" Every person who imports, distributes, sells or possesses for the purpose of distribution or sale,
any child pornography, is guilty of :

a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten
years ; or

b) an offence punishable on summary conviction. "

The mere possession of child pornography is also an offence under subsection 163.1(4)

" Every person who possesses any child pornography is guilty of :

a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five
years ; or

b) an offence punishable on summary conviction. "

We should be aware that there is no offence of child pornography if the representation or written
material has an artistic, educational, scientific or medical purpose.

 

 

 

 

Subject:   Canada
Date:        Wed, 19 May 1999 08:29:27 -0600
From:       <removed>

Dear Sirs:

While the majority of the information on Canada is accurate, you've missed
one point:

The age of consent is 12 in the case where the older person is less that two
years older than the younger and is not in a position of trust, authority or
dependency. Ref: Canadian Criminal Code 150.1(2)

EDITOR'S NOTE:  This website is based on the premise that the reported age of consent is the statutory age at which a person may commit to sexual activity with an adult who is not in a position of authority of control.  The difficulties of legislation sexual conduct between like-age children is beyond anything rational and we chose to avoid the inclusion to keep the table more focused.

Thank you for your comments.

Subject: Age of Conssent in Canada
Date: Sun, 10 Oct 1999 21:00:17 PDT

An addition to the information conccode. The age of consent there is 16.erning the age of conscent. The law which applies to the age of 14 is in existance everywhere except Quebec. The province of Quebec, unlike the rest of the country, has it's own criminal


Editor: Letter received 1/23/00
In British Columbia Canada the age of consent varies in between 14-19 It varies in each case. Like if a 19 year old raped a 15 year old 18 would be used as a common no. it is really strange because the age of consent seems to change all of the time. But 14 is correct but there is alzo the 15-19 part.

 

Consolidated Statutes of Canada
Criminal Code -- Part V - Sexual Offences, Public Morals, and Disorderly Conduct

150.1 (1) Where an accused is charged with an offence under section 151 or 152 or subsection 153(1), 160(3), or 173(2), or is charged with an offence under section 271, 272 or 273 in respect of a complainant under the age of fourteen years, it is not a defence that the complainant consented to the activity that forms the subject-matter of the charge.

 

Age of Consent for Sexual Activity

Are you confused about how old someone has to be before they can consent to sexual activity in Canada? Although the criminal law has been reformed to remove any differences between the ages of consent for males and females and between homosexual and heterosexual sex, the age of consent varies depending on what you are doing and who you are doing it with.

If you are 18 years of age you can consent to all lawful sexual activity.

You can consent to sexual activity if you are 14 to 17 years of age as long as:

  1. no relationship of trust, authority, or dependency exists;
  2. there is no payment or offer of payment for sex;
  3. there is no anal sex (unless you are in a legal, heterosexual marriage with the other person).

Do not even think about having sex if you or your partner are under 14! The law prohibits touching or inviting, counselling or inciting a person under 14 to touch, directly or indirectly, with a part of the body or with an object, any part of the body for a sexual purpose. As well, someone can be convicted of sexual assault of a person between 14 and under 18 if they are in a position of trust or authority or dependency toward the person between 14 and 18 (even if the accused is also under 18).

Whether a relationship of trust, authority or dependency exists depends on each situation and has been interpreted by the courts very broadly. For example, it was found to exist in one case where a man lived in the same apartment as a 14 year old girl and her family and he was treated by them as a member of the family. In another case a 14 year old boy of limited mental capacity "taught" a 16 year old boy of far more severely limited mental capacity everything he knew about sex. The law presumes there is exploitation of a young person if an accused is in a position of trust or authority, even if the sexual activity is truly consensual.

The Criminal Codes states it is not a defence that an accused believed that a complainant was 18 years of age or more at the time the offence was alleged to have been committed unless the accused took all reasonable steps to ascertain the age of the complainant. What "reasonable steps" are is not defined. Does this mean you should be requesting two pieces of picture ID and a sworn declaration? Certainly just to say that someone looked like they were 18 will not likely cut it with a judge.

Neither the Criminal Code nor case law defines "anal intercourse". The Code states that "sexual intercourse is complete on penetration to even the slightest degree, notwithstanding that seed is not emitted." The Criminal Code does not stipulate that penetration must be by the penis. There is no case law on whether penetration of the anus by something other than a penis constitutes "anal intercourse".

Ironically, a challenge to the constitutionality of the anal intercourse provisions of the Code came from a heterosexual male charged with engaging in anal intercourse with a 13 year old female complainant. The accused argued there was no rational basis for distinguishing anal intercourse from other forms of consensual sexual activity and that the provisions discriminated against homosexuality (even though he was heterosexual). The accused’s application was allowed and the defence of consent was read into the provisions and the accused was acquitted. Although the accused argued the provision had a disproportionate effect on gay men by making it a crime for young gay males to engage in a primary mode of sexual intercourse, when young heterosexual males could engage in their primary mode of sexual intercourse, namely vaginal intercourse, the trial court found it unnecessary to consider these equality rights arguments as it found on a different section of the Charter. However, one of the judges in the Ontario Court of Appeal who upheld the decision did find that it was discriminatory on sexual orientation and contrary to the Charter.

Until either the federal government amends the Code or the Supreme Court of Canada rules on the issue, gay men are safer to assume the provisions on anal intercourse apply and not engage in anal intercourse if they or their partner are under 18.

Rob Hughes is a partner at Smith and Hughes and practices immigration law. He is Chair of the Immigration Committee of the Lesbian and Gay Rights Section of the B.C. Branch of the Canadian Bar Association.

 

 

Sources:  http://canada.justice.gc.ca

Press Releases -- The following failed

 

 

 

HOUSE OF COMMONS
CHAMBRE DES COMMUNES

 

CHUCK STRAHL, M.P.

 

FRASER VALLEY EAST

News Release


For Immediate Release
October 21, 1997

 

RAISE THE AGE OF CONSENT - CHUCK STRAHL PRESENTS PETITIONS

IN HOUSE OF COMMONS

 

Ottawa: Chuck Strahl, Member of Parliament for Fraser Valley and Official Opposition Whip, today presented five petitions on behalf of individuals from across the country. These petitioners asked that Parliament raise the age of consent from the current 14 years of age to 16 years old.

The instigator of this campaign is Coquitlam resident Diane Sowden whose daughter has been involved in prostitution since the age of fourteen. Diane believes that if the age was raised, the johns who pick-up these girls would face the very real threat of being charged and convicted of sexual assault.

"It is disgraceful that girls and boys as young as 14 can be enticed into prostitution by unscrupulous, scheming individuals who believe they are safe from the law. I applaud Ms. Sowden’s very public appeal to have the age raised and can only imagine the heartache she is suffering because of her daughter’s lifestyle. My sympathy goes out to her," said Mr. Strahl, himself the father of three girls.

Support for this campaign is gaining in momentum and comes from all across our country. It shows how strongly Canadians believe that the protection of our youth is paramount and Chuck Strahl said he is happy to lend his support to this cause. "Send me the petitions and I will present them, let Parliament know how you feel" he concluded.

- 30 -

For more information call: Chuck Strahl, MP: (613) 992-2940


Fourteen Year Olds Abandoned by Government - Age of Consent not an Issue with Justice Minister

March 4, 1997: For Immediate Release

PORT MOODY -- Yesterday, in the House of Commons, Sharon Hayes, MP for Port Moody/Coquitlam asked the Minister of Justice if he would respond to the wishes of Canadians who want the age of consent raised from fourteen to at least sixteen.

"Sixteen year olds cannot buy cigarettes, sixteen year olds cannot vote. In 1988 the Conservative government reduced the age of consent from sixteen to fourteen. Now, Liberal proposals continue to do nothing to prevent children from being commandeered by adults for sex. It is no accident that the average age of recruitment to prostitution is fourteen. What will the Justice Minister do to protect our most vulnerable citizens? When will he raise the age of consent from fourteen to sixteen?" said Hayes.

The Minister refused to commit to raising the age of consent, saying the issue of age was "only one" of the issues involved in protecting children.

"The Minister’s lack of interest puts children at risk," said Hayes, "Raising the age of consent would prevent the exploitation of children by smooth talking pimps. Parents need to be aware that this is not a priority of the Liberal government."

One of Hayes’ constituents, Diane Sowden, whose daughter was recruited into prostitution at age fourteen, began a campaign last week to have the age of consent raised. Within a few days she was receiving support and requests for petitions from across the country. Petitions are available by calling the office of Sharon Hayes at 469-6787.

- 30 -

For more information, please contact: the office of Sharon Hayes at (604) 469-6787.

 

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Update and Correction 1/15/99

Hey,

You put that the Canadian age of consent is 14 for straight sex and 18
for gay. That's not quite right. The age of consent is 14 for all sex
except for anal sex, whose age of consent is 18. However, it is illegal
to have sex with someone between 14 and 18 if you are in a position of
trust or authority to them or they are dependant on you. See Canadian
Criminal Code ss. 150-153, 159.

Blessed be, | If I abstain from fun and such,
Matt McLauchlin | I'll probably amount to much.
GM17, Montreal, Canada | But I shall stay the way I am,
icq: 4420218 | Because I do not give a damn.
http://surf.to/matts.page| - Dorothy
Parker, "Observation"

-------------------------------------------

Also see "Raise Age of Consent to 18"

 

EDITOR NOTE: 11/25/99 EMAIL RECEIVED: 

Many of the emails and reports (I am mainly looking at my home country Canada) are all from adults, which are most likely parents. There are so many that are trying to control and decide our (younger teenagers, around 15,16) lives. Sex is something very personal that one person shares with another they love, when did such a great loving form of nature become so technical! I believe what two consenting people do behind closed doors is   absolutely nobody's business but there own. But of coarse I do understand that there are the sick people out there that take complete advantage of growing minds and bodies but I feel those should be dealt with individually.  I agree (and many others I know) that the age of consent now (14) is reasonable and that younger doesn’t really understand what there getting into, but at 15, we all know what this is all about. If the age of consent was raised to 16, I believe that this is too high and that many would just be breaking the law. When I was reading the info on Canada I just got upset that people are starting to stick their noses into things that is completely NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS and that hiring a number wouldn’t really have any purpose at all, cause there aren’t to many that pay much attention. Thank You   Sincerely,    A concerned 15 year old

 

 

Research Link:

Suffer the little children -- http://www.canoe.ca/OttawaChildren/home.html

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