Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada

March 09, 2015 11:49 ET

Legislation to Crack Down on Cyberbullying Comes Into Force

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act will help protect young Canadians from cyberbullying

ETOBICOKE, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 9, 2015) - Department of Justice Canada

Introduction

Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the coming into force of the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act. The new legislation demonstrates the Government of Canada's firm commitment to help ensure that Canadians are better protected against online exploitation by helping to protect young Canadians from cyberbullying and to stand up for victims. The Minister was joined by Bernard Trottier, Member of Parliament for Etobicoke-Lakeshore, and Lianna McDonald, Executive Director for the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.

The new measures will help law enforcement officials better protect young Canadians from online exploitation. The Government will continue to give law enforcement officials the tools they need to help prevent young Canadians from falling victim to cyberbullying.

The measures coming into force today build on the numerous measures implemented by the Government of Canada to help ensure the safety of young Canadians and bring the rights of victims back to the heart of the criminal justice system, including introducing the Bill C-26, the Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act; introducing Bill C-32, the Victims Bill of Rights Act; bringing forward legislation to make the reporting of child pornography by Internet Service Providers mandatory; and launching the anti-cyberbullying awareness campaign Stop Hating Online, a comprehensive resource for parents and youth that includes information, advice, and tools needed to help identify, prevent and stop cyberbullying.

Quick Facts

  • The measures coming into force today make it an offence to share an intimate image without the consent of the person in the image.

  • These measures will also empower a court to:

    • order the removal of intimate images from the Internet;
    • order forfeiture of the computer, cell phone or other device used in the offence;
    • provide for reimbursement to victims for costs incurred in removing the intimate image from the Internet or elsewhere; and
    • make an order to prevent someone from distributing intimate images.

  • The Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act provides police with the necessary means to investigate crime in today's high-tech environment while maintaining judicial checks and balances to protect Canadians' privacy.

Quotes

"Our Government is committed to ensuring the safety of our children and youth, who deserve to feel safe in their communities and in their homes. When cyberbullying reaches the level of criminal activity, it can destroy lives. Sadly, cyberbullying is a harmful reality experienced by many young Canadians across the country. That is why I was proud to introduce the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act, to help better protect young Canadians from the harmful and devastating effects of cyberbullying. We are proud to announce that these important measures come into force today. For too long, the justice system was about protecting the rights of criminals, but our Government understands that the rights of victims need to be at the heart of the criminal justice system."

Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

"We all have a role to play in confronting the growing problem of bullying and cyberbullying, whether it is teaching young people about how to stay safe online or making sure the law keeps pace with evolving technologies. I am pleased that with this new legislation, we have taken another step to help keep our young people safe."

Bernard Trottier, Member of Parliament, Etobicoke-Lakeshore

"The Canadian Centre for Child Protection applauds the Government of Canada's efforts to increase the protection and safety of young people through this new legislation. Our agency is all too familiar with the tragic outcomes of cyberbullying and the collision between sexual violence and technology. We welcome this legislation and will continue to educate Canadians about ways to keep our youth safe and secure while using new technologies."

Lianna McDonald, Executive Director, Canadian Centre for Child Protection

Related Products

Backgrounder: The Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act

Backgrounder: Myths and Facts Bill C-13

Fact Sheet: Privacy Protection and the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act

Associated Links

See www.canada.ca/cyberbullying for information on the Protecting Canadians Against Online Crime Act

For more information on Bullying Awareness Week, visit www.bullyingawarenessweek.org

To report online sexual exploitation of children and to seek help for exploitation resulting from the sharing of sexual images,visit Cybertip.ca and NeedHelpNow.ca

For information on protecting yourself and your family against online threats, including cyberbullying, visit GetCyberSafe

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

Backgrounder

The Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act

Provisions in Bill C-13, the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act, coming into force today, include:

- Prohibiting the non-consensual distribution of intimate images;

- Empowering a court to order the removal of non-consensual intimate images from the Internet;

- Permitting the court to order forfeiture of the computer, cell phone or other device used in the offence;

- Providing for reimbursement to victims for costs incurred in removing the intimate image from the Internet or elsewhere; and

- Empowering the court to make an order to prevent someone from distributing intimate images.

Other concrete measures undertaken by the Government of Canada since 2006 to keep young Canadians safe in their communities include:

- Increasing penalties for sexual offences against children and creating two new offences aimed at conduct that could facilitate or enable a sexual offence against a child;

- Strengthening the sex offender registry;

- Increasing the maximum penalties for luring a child;

- Increasing the age of protection, also known as the age of consent to sexual activity, from 14 to 16 years;

- Enacting legislation to make the reporting of child pornography by Internet Service Providers mandatory;

- Strengthening the sentencing and monitoring of dangerous offenders;

- Investing $14.2 million a year to protect children from predators through the National Strategy for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation on the Internet;

- Launching, in January 2014, the anti-cyberbullying national awareness campaign, Stop Hating Online, to raise awareness among Canadians of the impact of cyberbullying and how this behaviour amounts to criminal activity. The campaign's website Canada.ca/StopHatingOnline, is a comprehensive resource for parents and youth that includes information, advice and tools needed to identify, prevent and stop cyberbullying.

- Launching the third phase of the anti-cyberbullying awareness campaign in September 2014. This phase of Stop Hating Online featured a "Consequences" advertisement on television, in cinema and online. Our Government has also launched #WordsHurt, an interactive YouTube experience that demonstrates the profound impact that words can have; and,

- Supporting the development of a number of school-based projects to prevent cyberbullying as part of $10 million in funding that was committed in 2012 toward new crime prevention projects.

Other important initiatives that the Government supports to address cyberbullying include:

- The RCMP Centre for Youth Crime Prevention, which offers resources such as fact sheets, lesson plans and interactive learning tools to youth, parents, police officers and educators on bullying and cyberbullying; and,

- The Canadian Centre for Child Protection's NeedHelpNow.ca website, which Canadians can use to report online sexual exploitation of children and seek help from exploitation resulting from the non-consensual sharing of sexual images.

Contact Information

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

    Media Relations
    Department of Justice
    613-957-4207