Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada

June 18, 2015 18:02 ET

Government of Canada Welcomes Royal Assent of the Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act

Federal legislation toughens penalties for child sexual offenders and creates a High-Risk Child Sex Offender Database

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 18, 2015) - Department of Justice Canada

The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, today welcomed the Royal Assent of the Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act - comprehensive legislation that better protects children from sexual predators at home and abroad.

The Act includes amendments to the Criminal Code and the Sex Offender Information Registration Act, and allows for the creation of a High-Risk Child Sex Offender Database. The new measures reflect the Government's commitment in the 2013 Speech from the Throne to re-establish Canada as a country where prison time matches the severity of crimes committed, including ending sentencing discounts for child sex offenders who commit crimes against multiple children.

Quick Facts

The new measures:

  • Require those sentenced for child pornography offences and contact child sexual offences to serve the sentences they receive consecutively - one sentence after the other;
  • Increase maximum and minimum prison sentences for certain child sexual offences;
  • Increase maximum sentences for violating conditions of supervision orders;
  • Ensure that committing a crime while on house arrest, parole, statutory release or unescorted temporary absence, is always considered an aggravating factor at sentencing;
  • Require registered sex offenders to provide more information regarding their travel abroad and allowing information sharing between National Sex Offender Registry and Canada Border Services Agency officials regarding registered sex offenders; and
  • Create a new national, publicly accessible database of high-risk child sex offenders who have been the subject of a public notification in a provincial/territorial jurisdiction.

Quotes

"Our Government is committed to ensuring that our children are safe and that law enforcement have the tools they need to protect our families and communities. Children should be able to feel safe wherever they are and protected from those who wish to cause them harm. That is why we have taken steps to continue to crack down on sexual predators who abuse and exploit children. Child sexual abuse causes unimaginable devastation to the lives of children, and can cause lifelong emotional turmoil that profoundly affects victims well into adulthood. Today I am pleased to announce that our Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act has received Royal Assent. This new legislation will better protect children from a range of sexual offences, including child pornography, while making our streets and communities safer by cracking down on those who wish to harm Canada's most vulnerable: our children."

- The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

"This Bill brings new measures to crack down on sex offenders who abuse and exploit children. Requiring registered sex offenders to provide additional details when travelling will allow the Government of Canada to better protect children at home and abroad. Our Government continues to protect Canadians and to take action to enhance the safety and security of our communities."

- The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Associated Links

  • Backgrounder: Child Sexual Offenders

Follow Department of Justice Canada on Twitter (@JusticeCanadaEn), join us on Facebook or visit our YouTube channel.

Backgrounder

Child Sexual Offenders

The Government of Canada remains committed to protecting Canadians and keeping our streets and communities safe.

In Canada, over 4,200 sexual violations against children were reported to police in 2013, a six percent increase in the rate from 2012.(1). That is why the Government has brought forward legislation that better protects children from sexual predators at home and abroad.

The Government today announced Royal Assent of the Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act. The new measures build on the significant work that has already been done to combat child sexual exploitation and protect Canadians from online crime. These new measures are composed of several different components, including amendments to the Criminal Code, the Canada Evidence Act and the Sex Offender Information Registration Act and the creation of a High Risk Child Sex Offender Database.. These measures:

  • Require those sentenced for child pornography offences and contact child sexual offences to serve the sentences they receive consecutively - one sentence after the other;
  • Increase maximum and minimum prison sentences for certain child sexual offences;
  • Increase maximum sentences for violating conditions of supervision orders;
  • Ensure that committing a crime while on house arrest, parole, statutory release or unescorted temporary absence, is always considered an aggravating factor at sentencing;
  • Require registered sex offenders to provide more information regarding their travel abroad and allowing information sharing between National Sex Offender Registry and Canada Border Services Agency officials regarding registered sex offenders; and
  • Create a new national, publicly accessible database of high-risk child sex offenders who have been the subject of a public notification in a provincial/territorial jurisdiction.

Since 2006, our Government has taken strong actions to better protect children, including:

  • Bringing forward legislation to ensure children are better protected against cyberbullying, by making it an offence to distribute intimate images of a person without their consent;
  • Putting in place, through the Safe Streets and Communities Act, new mandatory minimum penalties for seven existing Criminal Code sexual offences, including assault, assault with a weapon, and aggravated assault (where the child is under 16 years);
  • Making it illegal for anyone to provide sexually explicit material to a child for the purpose of facilitating the commission of an offence against that child
  • Making it illegal to use computers or other means of telecommunications to agree or make arrangements with another person to commit a sexual offence against a child;
  • Strengthening the sex offender registry;
  • Increasing the age of protection - the age at which a young person can legally consent to sexual activity - from 14 to 16 years of age;
  • Putting in place legislation to make the reporting of child pornography by Internet service providers mandatory; and
  • Strengthening the sentencing and monitoring of dangerous offenders.

(1) Statistics Canada. Table 252-0051 - Incident-based crime statistics, by detailed violations, annual (number unless otherwise noted), CANSIM (database).

June 2015
Department of Justice Canada

Contact Information

  • Clarissa Lamb
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Justice
    613-992-4621

    Media Relations Office
    Department of Justice
    613-957-4207