Stopping Internet Sexual Exploitation Act

An Act to amend the Criminal Code (pornographic material)

Sponsor

Arnold Viersen  Conservative

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

Status

Second reading (House), as of Feb. 13, 2024

Subscribe to a feed (what's a feed?) of speeches and votes in the House related to Bill C-270.

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, distributing or advertising pornographic material for commercial purposes without having first ascertained that, at the time the material was made, each person whose image is depicted in the material was 18 years of age or older and gave their express consent to their image being depicted.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, an excellent resource from the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

PornographyPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

February 15th, 2024 / 10:10 a.m.
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Conservative

Ted Falk Conservative Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions here. In the first petition, the petitioners would ask that the government follow recommendation no. 2 from the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics' 2021report on MindGeek, which recommends that all content-hosting platforms in Canada verify age and consent prior to uploading content. Bill C-270, the stopping internet sexual exploitation act, would add two offences to the Criminal Code. The first would require age verification and consent prior to distribution; the second would require removal of material if consent is withdrawn.

As such, these petitioners call on the House of Commons to pass Bill C-270, the stopping internet sexual exploitation act.

PornographyPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

November 22nd, 2023 / 4 p.m.
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Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, the last petition I have to present today comes from Canadians from across the country who are concerned around the use and consent and the age verification of those depicted in pornographic material. They are calling on the House of Commons and the Government of Canada to quickly pass Bill C-270, the stopping Internet sexual exploitation act, which adds two offences to the Criminal Code.

PornographyPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

November 22nd, 2023 / 4 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, the next petition I have is from Canadians from across the country, including many of my own constituents, who are concerned about the consent and age verification of those depicted in pornographic material.

Petitioners ask for the government to follow recommendation 2 from the 2021 Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics report on MindGeek, which required that all content-hosting platforms in Canada confirm consent and age before uploading this content.

Bill C-270, the stopping Internet sexual exploitation act, adds two offences to the Criminal Code. The first would require age verification and consent prior to distribution. The second requires the removal of that material if consent is withdrawn.

As such, the petitioners are calling on the House of Commons to quickly pass Bill C-270, the stopping Internet sexual exploitation act.

PornographyPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

November 9th, 2023 / 10:30 a.m.
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Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Madam Speaker, I have two petitions to present today.

The first one is from Canadians from across the country who are concerned about how easy it is for young people to access sexually explicit material online, including violent and degrading explicit material. They comment how this access is an important public health and safety concern.

Petitioners also note that in an era in which we say we do not want violence against women, there are serious harms that come from this sexually explicit material including the development of attitudes favourable to the harassment of women and sexual violence. As such, the petitioners are calling on the House of Commons and the government to pass Bill S-210 quickly and forthright.

The second petition comes from Canadians from across the country who are concerned about the age and consent verification of those depicted in pornographic material.

The petitioners are asking the government to follow recommendation 2 from the 2021 Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics report on MindGeek, which would require that all content-hosting platforms in Canada verify age and consent prior to the uploading of content.

Bill C-270, the stopping Internet sexual exploitation act, would add two offences to the Criminal Code. The first would require age verification and consent prior to distribution. The second would require the removal of that material if consent is withdrawn. As such, the petitioners are calling on the House of Commons and the Government of Canada to pass Bill C-270 to stop Internet sexual exploitation.

PornographyPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

October 26th, 2023 / 1:10 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition from Canadians from across the country, including many of my own constituents, who are concerned about the consent and age verification of those depicted in pornographic material.

The petitioners call on the government to follow recommendation 2 of the 2021 Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics report on MindGeek, which would require that all content-hosting platforms in Canada verify age and consent prior to uploading content.

Bill C-270, the stopping Internet sexual exploitation act, would add two offences to the Criminal Code. The first would require age verification and consent prior to distribution, and the second would require the removal of material if consent is withdrawn. As such, the petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada and the House of Commons to pass Bill C-270 quickly to stop Internet sexual exploitation.

PornographyPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

October 25th, 2023 / 5 p.m.
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Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Madam Speaker, the final petition I have today is another petition which calls on the Government of Canada to ensure the quick passage of Bill C-270, the stopping Internet sexual exploitation act.

This bill comes out of recommendation number two from the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics report on MindGeek, which requires all content-hosting platforms in Canada to verify age and consent prior to uploading this content.

As such, the petitioners are calling on the House of Commons to pass Bill C-270 quickly and expeditiously.

PornographyPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

October 25th, 2023 / 5 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Madam Speaker, the next petition is from Canadians from across the country. They want to draw to the attention of the House of Commons there is no laws requiring makers, distributers or advertisers of commercial pornographic material to ascertain or document the consent or age of those depicted in the material.

They also want to highlight the ethics committee's report on MindGeek, which stated, “That the Government of Canada mandate that content-hosting platforms operating in Canada require affirmation from all persons depicted in pornographic content, before it can be uploaded, that they are 18 years old or older and that they consent to its distribution”.

They want to offer their support to Bill C-270, the stop Internet sexual exploitation act, which would add two offences to the Criminal Code. These would be for creating pornographic material for commercial purpose without verifying the age or obtaining consent of the individual shown, and to distribute pornographic material without verifying the age and consent of those depicted, and also for not removing that material if, in writing, consent is withdrawn.

Finally, they want to recognize the work of organizations such as Defend Dignity, the National Council of Women, the London Abused Women's Centre, the Montreal Council of Women, Parents Aware and the National Child Exploitation Crime Centre. They have all expressed their support for Bill C-270. Therefore, they call on the Government of Canada and the House of Commons to adopt Bill C-270 quickly and expeditiously.

The next petition I have to present comes from Canadians from across the country who are concerned about the age verification that is not happening for those depicted in pornographic material.

The petitioners are also calling for the Government of Canada to ensure that age verification and consent are confirmed prior to distribution. They are also calling on the Government of Canada to pass Bill C-270 quickly and expeditiously.

PornographyPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

September 27th, 2023 / 4:05 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Madam Speaker, I rise today to present a petition from Canadians from across the country, including my own constituents, who are concerned about the age of consent and age verification of those depicted in pornographic material.

The petitioners note that the government should follow recommendation 2 from the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics report on MindGeek, which requires that all content-hosting platforms in Canada verify the age and consent prior to that content being uploaded.

Bill C-270, the stopping Internet sexual exploitation act, would add two offences to the Criminal Code. The first would require age verification and consent prior to distribution, and the second would require the content to be removed if the consent is withdrawn. As such, the petitioners are calling on the House of Commons to speedily pass Bill C-270, the stopping Internet sexual exploitation act.

Online PornographyStatements by Members

September 21st, 2023 / 2:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, after eight years of the Liberal government, Traffickinghub continues to operate with impunity. New undercover videos confirm that MindGeek continues to profit off these videos of CSAM, sex trafficking and rape. This is what survivors have said all along. The Canadian company is facing nine lawsuits with 195 victims, and these courageous survivors tell me that their fight continues to take these videos down off of MindGeek websites.

I raised this issue over four year ago. In 2020, The New York Times embarrassed the Liberals into acknowledging it. The ethics committee has made over 14 unanimous recommendations, and MPs from all parties have spoken out. The Liberal response has been nothing: no legislation and no justice for survivors. MindGeek's response was to bring on Liberals on their board and change their name. Even Germany is banning MindGeek to protect its kids.

Conservatives have common sense solutions such as Bill S-210 and Bill C-270. Survivors need justice. It is time to bring it home.

PornographyPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

September 18th, 2023 / 4:15 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Madam Speaker, the next petition I have to present is from Canadians from across the country, including many of my own constituents.

The petitioners are concerned about the age of consent and the age verification of those depicted in pornographic material. They are asking that the government follow recommendation 2 of the 2001 Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics report on MindGeek, which required all content hosted on these platforms to be verified in age and consent prior to uploading it.

Bill C-270, the stopping internet sexual exploitation act, would add two offences to the Criminal Code. The first would require age verification and consent prior to distribution, and the second would require the removal of that material if the consent is withdrawn. As such, the petitioners are calling on the House of Commons to rapidly pass Bill C-270, the stopping internet sexual exploitation act.

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and GirlsGovernment Orders

May 4th, 2022 / 9:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Madam Chair, I appreciate the opportunity to participate in this important take-note debate on combatting violence against indigenous women in Canada.

In each parliamentary caucus, we know that there are individual members who share information with each other and who shape our understanding of this particular topic. I want to recognize the member for Kenora, who just spoke, and many other members from our caucus who have contributed to my understanding of these issues, and members of other parties who have given excellent speeches tonight.

I want to express particular gratitude to my friend from Peace River—Westlock, who was such a champion for victims of violence and for indigenous peoples in his riding and beyond. His insights in particular have helped me and have informed my understanding. I have appreciated the legislative initiatives he has brought forward as well. Many important points have been raised by colleagues during this debate. In the brief time I have I do not want to repeat what has been said, but rather try to discuss some new points and some particular initiatives that we can pursue that will make a practical difference in terms of reducing violence against women, in particular, and against all victims.

My colleague from Peace River—Westlock has recently tabled Bill C-270. This bill would require that anyone making, distributing or advertising pornographic material must be able to demonstrate that those depicted in that material are over 18 and have given consent. The same member put forward Motion No. 47 in a previous Parliament to advance a study to examine the public health effects of easy access to violent and degrading sexually explicit materials. These initiatives are an important part of the fight against violence.

The fact that many boys are exposed to violent sexual material at a young age can shape a false perception on their part that violence in the context of sex is normal and desirable. Studying the effects of early exposure to violent sexual images, combatting the depiction of violence and pornography, and requiring meaningful age verification for those accessing pornography would go a long way toward combatting the normalization of sexual violence.

The taking of sexual images of minors, with or without consent, can contribute to cycles of violence and exploitation. Members from various parties have done important work holding Pornhub and other companies accountable for a failure to prevent non-consensual images from appearing on their platform, but more work is needed. The non-consensual distribution of intimate images is a form of violence in itself, and it contributes to further violence.

While private members' bills such as Bill C-270 are important ways of addressing these issues, legislation proposed by the government would have the potential to move much more quickly in this place, and we would welcome government action in this regard. Criminalizing the distribution of intimate images without clear age verification and the confirmation of consent would help to reduce the victimization of children, women and all Canadians.

I also want to highlight the action proposed in Motion No. 57, a motion I tabled in this House a few weeks ago. Motion No. 57 seeks to promote bystander awareness and intervention training as critical tools for combatting violence. Often, when we talk about violence, we think about the role being played by the perpetrator and the presence of the victim, but we need to think more as well about the role of the bystander, the person who is neither the victim nor the perpetrator, but who sees or is aware of the situation and has some capacity to do something about it.

Too often, well-meaning bystanders fail to intervene. Even if they do not lack for good intentions, they could fail to intervene because they do not react fast enough, because they fail to notice what is happening, because they are scared or because they do not know what to do that would be effective. I understand how it can happen and that good, well-intentioned people could fail to intervene, but as the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. We can take concrete action to empower bystanders to know how to step up and make a difference, and that means providing potential bystanders with the tools and the information to react quickly.

Motion No. 57 is about asking the federal government to promote training so that more people have the tools and more people would be able to intervene effectively. Data consistently shows that bystander intervention training reduces violence. It may even deter crime if potential criminals are more likely to expect intervention by bystanders. I hope that Motion No. 57, as well as Bill C-270 from my colleague, will have the full support of colleagues and perhaps will be incorporated into government legislation.

We know that acts of violence disproportionately affect the most vulnerable communities that are already disadvantaged as well as victims of colonialism and other forms of violence, past and present. Indigenous women are particularly likely to be victims of violence. It shows up in the data on sexual assault, on all forms of violence and on human trafficking. I believe it is our obligation to address violence in general, to pay particular attention to those who are most likely to be victims, and to work on recognizing universal human dignity and empowering the most vulnerable.

Finally, I would like to emphasize that a great deal of harm has been done to indigenous people because of a lack of esteem and recognition for the value and dignity of the family. The horror of residential schools, in particular, involved children being taken away from their communities, and it also involved children being taken away from their families. This attack on the sacred bond between parents and children by a system that thought it had a right to replace parental authority with state-coordinated enculturation in dominant values was deeply evil. One of the key lessons that we should draw from this era is about the need to preserve and defend the parent-child bond from attacks by the state and by its institutions.

Stopping Internet Sexual Exploitation ActRoutine Proceedings

April 28th, 2022 / 10:15 a.m.
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Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-270, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (pornographic material).

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Calgary Shepard for seconding this bill today. I call it the SISE act, the stopping Internet sexual exploitation act. It is an honour to rise today on behalf of the victims and survivors of companies like MindGeek, which have victimized women and girls across this country and across the world. It is great to reintroduce this bill. I introduced it in the last Parliament as well.

For years, online pornographic platforms in Canada have published sexually explicit material without satisfying any requirement for verifying the age or consent of those depicted in it. As a result, horrific videos of sex trafficking, child exploitation and sexual assault have proliferated on Canadian pornographic websites. This has to stop.

The SISE act would implement recommendation 2 of the 2021 ethics committee report on MindGeek by requiring those making or distributing pornographic material for a commercial purpose to verify the age and consent of each person depicted. It would also prohibit the distribution of this material when consent has been withdrawn.

Consent matters. If a website is going to profit from the making or publishing of content, the SISE act would ensure that they must verify the age and consent of every individual in every video. Once a video of exploitation has been uploaded, it is virtually impossible to eliminate. We must prevent these videos from ever reaching the Internet in the first place, and the SISE act would help put the burden of due diligence and corporate responsibility on companies rather than survivors.

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