Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada

April 14, 2015 09:34 ET

Minister Peter MacKay and Parliamentary Secretary Robert Goguen Meet With Local High School Students to Discuss Cyberbullying

Legislation now in force to help protect young Canadians from cyberbullying

MONCTON, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwired - April 14, 2015) - Department of Justice Canada

Introduction

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Peter MacKay, accompanied by Parliamentary Secretary Robert Goguen, today met with students of Moncton High School to discuss the dangers of cyberbullying and to raise awareness of measures the Government has taken to help keep Canadians safe from online crime.

New legislation, the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act, came into force last month and makes it a criminal offence to share an intimate image of a person without their consent. It will help law enforcement officials better protect young Canadians from cyberbullying and other forms of online exploitation.

To raise awareness of the tremendous harm cyberbullying can cause, the Government also launched the anti-cyberbullying campaign Stop Hating Online, in January 2014. This is a comprehensive resource for parents and youth that includes information, advice, and tools needed to help identify, prevent and stop cyberbullying. In addition, the Government also launched a video to demonstrate the profound impact that words can have: an interactive YouTube experience, #WordsHurt.

The measures that are now in force build on the numerous measures implemented by the Government of Canada to stand up for victims of crime and help ensure the safety of young Canadians. This includes introducing Bill C-26, the Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act; introducing Bill C-32, the Victims Bill of Rights Act, and bringing forward legislation to make the reporting of child pornography by Internet Service Providers mandatory.

Quick Facts

  • The new legislation now in force make it an offence to share an intimate image of a person without their consent.

  • This legislation 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

"Through the new cyberbullying legislation, our Government is demonstrating its commitment to the safety of our children and youth, providing law enforcement the tools they need to protect our most vulnerable citizens. When cyberbullying reaches a criminal level it destroys lives. Sadly, acts of cyberbullying and other forms of online exploitation are a serious reality experienced by many young Canadians across the country. Our Government is proud to highlight that important measures to combat this type of victimization are now in force. We are pleased to be welcomed today by the students of Moncton High School to discuss what we can do together to put an end to the most harmful forms cyberbullying".

Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

"We've all seen how cyberbullying has devastated the lives of too many young people across the country - affecting their reputations, their self-esteem and their mental health. It has even reportedly contributed to the suicide of a number of teens. That's why our Government took the necessary steps of bringing forward new laws that protect against this vicious behaviour."

Robert Goguen, Parliamentary Secretary

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

Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act

Provisions in the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act came into force on March 10, 2015 and 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 Office
    Department of Justice
    613-957-4207