An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make consequential amendments to other Acts (child sexual abuse material)

Sponsor

Mel Arnold  Conservative

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

Status

Second reading (House), as of June 20, 2022

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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.

Bill C-291Statements by Members

June 20th, 2022 / 2:05 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Frank Caputo Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, I hearken back to my maiden speech today to discuss something I am passionate about. It is time we stop using the phrase “child pornography”. Words matter, and the term child pornography sanitizes the extreme harm caused to children. Pornography describes media between consenting adults. Children can never consent to sexual activity with adults.

This is why any sexual depiction of a child must be called what it is: sexual abuse. Last week, my hon. colleague from North Okanagan—Shuswap tabled Bill C-291 to change all references of “child pornography” in the criminal code to “child sexual abuse material”.

I am deeply grateful to him for tabling this bill, which I authored, and using his slot in the order of precedence so the bill can be passed without delay. This is a change that victims and advocates have been seeking for far too long. The time to make this simple yet meaningful change is now, and I exhort the House to do so as quickly as possible.

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

June 17th, 2022 / 12:15 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Mel Arnold Conservative North Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-291, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make consequential amendments to other Acts (child sexual abuse material).

Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise to introduce my private member's bill, an act to amend the Criminal Code.

First, I want to thank the bill's author and seconder, the member for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo. The private members' draw resulted in my name being drawn much earlier than that of the member for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, so we agreed to use my earlier draw to get this bill tabled, and hopefully passed, in Parliament.

My hon. colleague's experience as a prosecutor brought to light the issue of how the Criminal Code uses the term “child pornography”. The term “child pornography” sanitizes what children go through, having never given consent. Child victims will have their victimization live on in perpetuity, and the words used in the Criminal Code must reflect the seriousness of this so that it is correctly understood within and throughout the judicial system.

This is a simple but necessary bill. It would simply change the name of “child pornography” to “child sexual abuse material”. That is all.

Words matter. “Pornography” is used to describe media depicting or describing consenting adults. Children can never consent to sexual activity with adults. That is why any sexualized depiction of children must be called what it is: abuse.

I call on all members of the House to support the prompt passage of this bill.

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