As we've set out in the letter that Ms. Thomson has referred to, the CBA is very mindful of the fact that children must be protected from sexual exploitation by adults. We are also aware that the existing age of consent might contribute to sexual exploitation in some cases.
It is a reality that some young people engage in responsible and healthy sexual activity within consensual age-appropriate relationships, and this activity should not be criminalized. If the age of consent is to be increased, it is also appropriate to increase the close-in-age exemption.
Because Bill C-22 does this in a fair manner, the CBA supports the amendments proposed in the bill. However, to ensure the objectives of this bill are met, it is important that the law be fairly and consistently applied.
Mr. Kindred will speak to this issue.