New Canadian Child Pornography Bill

OTTAWA – Liberals have tabled a modified child protection bill in the House of Commons that would turn up the heat on child pornography and voyeurism.

Tripling prison terms for offenders from six months to eighteen months, the proposed law would broaden child pornography's definition to include audio recordings and written materials portraying sexual activity involving children. A new law aimed at stopping the advertising of child pornography would also be created, while existing legal defenses would be further limited.

According to Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, "This will give us the most comprehensive child protection regime of any country in the world."

A revamped version of a bill originally introduced in 2002 by the Chretien government, Friday's proposal is a result of Conservative criticism over the original draft's weakness.

The new bill better protects 14 to 18 year old teenagers, along with other vulnerable people, such as women who are the victims of stalkers.

Two voyeurism offences would also be created under this bill, that are designed to prohibit unauthorized recordings such as "up skirt" videos; as well as the distribution of any material obtained through such unauthorized recordings.

"It is our hope that this child protection legislation... will be good for law enforcement, but most importantly will be good for children and other vulnerable persons in this country," said Cotler.