House of Commons Hansard #115 of the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was report.


TransportAdjournment Proceedings

6:30 p.m.


Soraya Martinez Ferrada Liberal Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government is working to improve the management of anchorages outside public ports with a view to ensuring the long-term efficiency and reliability of supply chains.

We are working with the Port of Vancouver to improve flow at Canada's largest port of entry. Industry stakeholders are working together to evaluate the efficiency of the supply chains that serve this western Canadian port.

Specifically, we are conducting real-time evaluations of cargo entering and leaving the Port of Vancouver to identify and eliminate bottlenecks before they happen. The goal is to develop a consistent approach that reduces anchorage use and transits.

JusticeAdjournment Proceedings

June 10th, 2021 / 6:30 p.m.


Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago, I asked the Minister of Canadian Heritage what he was doing to prevent child sexual abuse material, CSAM, and videos of rape and sex trafficking from being uploaded and distributed on the Internet. I also asked the same question of the minister at the ethics committee just this week. The minister's response was that he would be tabling, someday, an online harms bill that would include a 24-hour takedown requirement of the exploitation images. He also claimed that the government did not have a magic wand to prevent exploitation from being uploaded.

I do not think the minister quite understands the gravity of this situation. I was surprised that after months of hearing from survivors like Victoria Galy, who shared their horrific experiences of online exploitation, the minister still had not seen any of the testimony. Many of them talked about how CSAM and non-consensual videos of them were put up and overnight there were millions of views and they had been downloaded thousands of times, creating an endless nightmare for these victims. They call for the companies to be required to verify age and consent of every individual depicted in the videos before they are uploaded. Preventing this exploitive content from ever reaching the Internet must be a priority for the government.

On Monday, in response to an Order Paper question that I submitted, the RCMP revealed that CSAM reported from Canadian entities to the National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre had increased from just over 2,000 reports in 2015 to over 66,000 in 2020, which is a 2,700% increase in just five years. Reports from outside of Canada are also increasing drastically, to over 35,000 in 2019, for a total of 100,000 reports to the RCMP in 2019. To be clear, these are just reports of child sexual abuse and do not include videos of rape or non-consent.

I want to highlight the report released just yesterday from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, or CCCP. It reveals the urgent need for concrete action from the Canadian government to prevent videos of exploitation from ever reaching the Internet. I also want to commend CCCP for its incredible work through Project Arachnid, which is the global leader in the fight to scour the Internet for CSAM and help victims get their abuse removed from the Internet. There are a few key findings from the project's analysis of over 5.4 million verified CSAM issues.

First, 48% of the content triggered for removal notification to an electronic service provider had been previously flagged, and some ESPs had image recidivism rates of over 80%. Clearly, a 24-hour takedown provision would only provide temporary respite for the many victims.

Second, young victims are being left behind. It is much more difficult for them to remove their images, and it appears that teenagers are unable to get their images removed.

Third, contrary to the assumption, most CSAM is not on the dark web. The vast majority of it is on the clear web, on platforms offered by MindGeek. That is why CCCP makes a clear number of recommendations focusing on the tech industry to prevent CSAM and exploitive content from being uploaded in the first place, such as impose a duty of care that is proportionate to a level of harm, generate proactive content detection for platforms with user-generated content and require platforms to establish age and consent before pornographic material is uploaded.

I know the minister will want to talk about the 24-hour takedown and the funding for education, but this will not prevent the videos of CSAM and rape from being uploaded in the first place. Where is the plan to prevent the upload of this content in the first place?

JusticeAdjournment Proceedings

6:35 p.m.

Parkdale—High Park Ontario


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.

JusticeAdjournment Proceedings

6:40 p.m.


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

6:40 p.m.


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

6:40 p.m.


The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

The motion that the House do now adjourn is deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly, the House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 10 a.m. pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 6:43 p.m.)