North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold sponsored a bill that gives child pornography a new name. The bill has cleared a key stage in the legislative process.
Bill C-291 was approved by all parties on December 5 after being examined by the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.
Arnold presented Bill C-291, which would change the legal definition of “child pornography” in Canada to “child sexual abuse material.” The term “child sexual abuse and exploitation material” was added to the bill at the committee meeting on December 5.
Arnold said, “I am grateful that members from all parties have recognized the need to amend this term in the Criminal Code and other federal laws to recognize the seriousness of child sexual abuse and exploitation material and the harm inflicted on victims and those who have to investigate such offences. “I am honoured to contribute to the fight against child abuse and exploitation, even if this bill is just one tiny step in that struggle.”
Frank Caputo, a member of parliament for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo who formerly worked as a Crown prosecutor before being elected, is the author of the original version of the bill. At the justice committee’s examination of the measure on December 5th, Caputo joined Arnold in attendance.
It’s time to start treating sexual offences, especially those committed against minors, with the seriousness they require, according to Caputo.
Bill C-291 has now received two of the necessary three votes to advance to the senate.
Arnold stated, “I look forward to continuing to advance this legislation through the House of Commons in preparation for Senate scrutiny and, ideally, Royal Assent to become law.” “I hope that this measure signals the first of many actions that will be taken to combat sexual abuse and exploitation of children in Canada.”