An Act to amend the Criminal Code (pornographic material)

This bill was last introduced in the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session, which ended in August 2021.

Sponsor

Arnold Viersen  Conservative

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)

Status

Introduced, as of May 27, 2021
(This bill did not become law.)

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Criminal Code to prohibit a person from making pornographic material for commercial purposes without having first ascertained that each person whose image is depicted in the material is 18 years of age or older and has given their express consent to their image being depicted. It also prohibits a person from distributing or advertising pornographic material for commercial purposes without having first ascertained that each person whose image is depicted in the material was 18 years of age or older at the time the material was made and gave their express consent to their image being depicted.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

JusticeAdjournment Proceedings

June 10th, 2021 / 6:40 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Arif Virani Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the objectives that the member opposite is pursuing in his reference to the takedown component, as well as Bill C-302.

Again, we agree that the objective is laudable, specifically in the digital age when we have seen a proliferation of sexually exploitative conduct effected through the Internet. We know that sexual exploitation, particularly when it implicates children, can destroy lives. It is precisely why the code's existing child pornography provisions prohibit a broad range of conduct, including the making, distributing and advertising of child sexual abuse material, and courts can order the removal of such material from the Internet.

I look forward to further debate in the House and conversations with the member to help achieve the very important objective that he is targeting.

JusticeAdjournment Proceedings

June 10th, 2021 / 6:40 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice for his presentation on Bill C-302. He has a robust understanding of it.

The one issue that I am addressing tonight is around the 24-hour takedown for CSAM. That is the frustration, and I am hoping that Bill C-302 will be the counter to that. I think a 24-hour takedown is important, but we need to prevent these images from showing up in the first place.

The bill would establish the requirement for companies to maintain records. It is basically a record keeping, and people would be found guilty if they were not keeping those records. It reverses the burden of proof from the police force, from having to prove that the person is underage. It reverses that onus and places that onus on the host or the creator of that content to have to prove that they have a document that shows that the individuals depicted in the videos are of age and have given their consent.

Offering a 24-hour takedown is like handing out a fire extinguisher to a neighbourhood that has a bunch of arsonists running freely around.

JusticeAdjournment Proceedings

June 10th, 2021 / 6:35 p.m.
See context

Parkdale—High Park Ontario

Liberal

Arif Virani LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for his commitment to this issue and for contributing to this important discussion.

I am happy to speak to private member's bill, Bill C-302, the stopping Internet sexual exploitation act, which was introduced by the member for Peace River—Westlock.

Bill C-302 proposes to amend the Criminal Code to create two new summary conviction offences that will criminalize making, distributing or advertising pornographic material for commercial purposes without first ascertaining that each person whose image is depicted in the material is 18 years of age or older and has given their written consent to their image being depicted. The bill would further authorize the court to make an order preventing an offender from using the Internet or other digital network, requiring the offender to ensure that the pornographic material at issue would no longer be stored on or made available through the offender's computer system and requiring the offender to remove the material at issue from the Internet or other digital network.

As its short title suggests, Bill C‑302 seeks to stop Internet sexual exploitation.

I know that we all agree that the Criminal Code must effectively criminalize all forms of sexual exploitation, especially when the offence involves producing sexualized images of children and distributing them on the Internet.

I am reassured to know that the Criminal Code already fully criminalizes such conduct through its provisions on child pornography, which define these terms rather broadly in order to include all forms of child sexual exploitation material.

Specifically, in the code, section 163.1 already prohibits making, distributing and advertising child pornography and prevents the accused from advancing a defence of honest but mistaken belief that the victim was 18 years or older, unless they can point to some evidence indicating that they took reasonable steps to ascertain that the person depicted in the material is 18 years of age or older.

Such offences are punishable by significant penalties, in fact penalties that are in excess of those proposed in the private member's bill, Bill C-302.

Also, section 162.1 of the code already prohibits the non-consensual distribution of images and authorizes courts to impose prohibition orders and warrants of seizure under sections 162.2 and 164 to stop the dissemination of child pornography and non-consensual intimate images, including on the Internet.

Again, I thank the member opposite for his commitment to this issue. I appreciate that he was indicating that regulating the Internet and spaces online is important, as are takedown provisions, but what I am speaking about today is actually the Criminal Code provisions as they currently exist.

We do look forward to, however, examining Bill C-302's proposed reforms in the context of the existing criminal law framework to examine its potential impact on an already robust existing legal regime.

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

May 27th, 2021 / 10:50 a.m.
See context

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-302, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (pornographic material).

Mr. Speaker, on December 4, 2020, a New York Time's article by Nicholas Kristof, entitled “The Children of Pornhub”, shook the world.

This bill hopes to address that issue by requiring that the age and consent of the individuals depicted in videos be verified before these videos are put up. At the ethics committee, we heard from Serena Fleites, a 14-year-old girl who had her image shared on Pornhub. She has spent years trying to get that image taken down.

This bill, the stop Internet sexual exploitation bill, the SISE act as I call it, would hope to address that by introducing two pieces to the Criminal Code: first, that the creation of pornographic material for a commercial purpose be required to prove that the age and the consent of the individuals depicted in it would be verified; second, that the distribution of pornographic material for commercial purposes would have the age and consent verified; and, if the consent had been revoked, it would no longer be shared.

We hope the situation faced by Serena Fleites will never again happen in Canada. As we see, some of these platforms are based in Canada.

It is my privilege to introduce the SISE act today.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)