I'm not sure where to start.
Really, the question of who sets the standard is a difficult one to answer, because those standards change over time. Social mores, norms, and so on change over time, and my only suggestion and recommendation would be to look nationally at countries that actually have done this process well, which is to say that they have convened groups of individuals who have cutting-edge knowledge about how to calibrate teams of people to make that determination. So if you're saying the standard is now this, then figuring out how to make that standard resonate within a Canadian context is the challenge. I should tell you that when my sister Michelle was at Queen's law school, one of the favourite topics that would come up in class was who determines what is considered moral, and who has the right to make that determination, and that continues to be a very hotbed issue. She has long since left Queen's University, but that issue still comes up, and here we are today, in 2017, having the conversation about who decides what's moral, what's illicit, and what's inappropriate. I think your job, as I understand it, is to help stickhandle that decision-making process by bringing the best evidence forward to make that determination. So in 2017, what are considered normative expectations around sexuality and sexual imagery, etc.? I do hope that through this process—and I'm sure this will be the case—you will bring together a team of people who will be able to make that determination. The issue of everything from A to Z, so what's happening in the middle and whether we can actually calibrate what the level of tolerance is in Canadian society for particular types of imagery, is to me a very big, very important question.
That's also going to help you answer the question regarding the kinds of images and messages we need to give our kids in school in such a way that we're actually equipping them with the appropriate information to make lifelong informed decisions about sexual health, whether that has to do with the consumption of pornography, however that is defined, or whether that's in their relations with their spouses or their children or what have you. We need to think about that in the context of where we in Canada are with that notion, because I can tell you quite certainly that we're not able to do that in the school system. We put hundreds of millions of tax dollars into a school system that purports to provide cutting-edge sexual health education to our youth, and yet we see this continuing conversation about poor sexual health outcomes and bad relationships, to quote our colleague from the U.S. who has just left us.
If we're really trying to equip Canadian youth with the information to make informed decisions, we need to do a better job of getting that information into the hands of children, parents, and teachers. Everybody has to be part of this conversation, which is exactly why I'm suggesting having something like a national sexual health promotion strategy that says in Canada as of 2017 or 2018, whenever this comes to fruition, this is the standard of acceptable information for the purposes of teaching kids what is pornographic, what is considered criminal, and what is a criminal offence when you're sexting your friends or taking little porn videos out in the schoolyard and exchanging them with people without consent.
I don't believe that today, in 2017, our kids have a sense of that particular issue, and it's not going to get better by saying, as our colleague from the U.S. has, that all pornography is toxic to the brain. I don't necessarily believe that position. I think there is something in the middle ground that gives us a good starting position to give appropriate information to youth and young adults in Canada so that they can actually make informed decisions about what, if any, role pornography plays in their lives.