On March 14, Justice Minister Anne McLellan introduced the Criminal Law Amendment Act in the House of Commons that will better protect children from cyber criminals. The bill will create one of the toughest legislative regimes in the world to combat online child pornography.

The proposed legislation will:

  • create a new offence that targets criminals who use the Internet to lure and exploit children for sexual purposes;
  • make it a crime to transmit, make available, export and intentionally access child pornography on the Internet;
  • allow judges to order the deletion of child pornography posted on computer systems in Canada;
  • allow a judge to order the forfeiture of any materials or equipment used in the commission of a child pornography offence; and
  • enhance the ability of judges to keep known sex offenders away from children by making prohibition orders, long-term offender designations and one-year peace bonds available for offences relating to child pornography and the Internet.

Offences such as transmitting child pornography by e-mail, providing child porn web site addresses or exporting it from Canada would be punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Accessing child pornography could mean a jail sentence of up to five years.