Ottawa, ON – Today, Mel Arnold, Member of Parliament for North Okanagan—Shuswap, and Frank Caputo, Member of Parliament for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, released the following statement on the tabling of Bill C-291:
Bill C-291 simply amends the Criminal Code to change the name from “child pornography” to “child sexual abuse material”.
“I thank MP Caputo for raising awareness of this needed change in Canada’s Criminal Code. Small changes like the one proposed in this bill can make big differences in people’s lives, especially when it comes to the lives of children who have been subject to abuse,” said MP Arnold. “Terminology in the Code to correctly identify that this type of material involves abuse of children is the minimum Canadians should expect in modern legislation and I hope all members will see the need for this amendment to occur.”
“I would first like to thank my colleague for tabling this important piece of legislation,” said MP Caputo. “This is a simple but incredibly important bill. It changes the name of ‘child pornography’ to ‘child sexual abuse material’.”
“Words matter. Pornography describes media between consenting adults. Children can never consent to sexual activity with adults. This is why any sexual depiction of a child must be called what it is: abuse,” MP Caputo continued. “The term child pornography sanitizes the extreme harm caused to children. Child victims are forced to live with their trauma for the rest of their lives, and we must reflect the seriousness of this in the terms we use.”
“I initially addressed this issue in my maiden speech to the House of Commons last November and my first major project was to ask that this bill be drafted to reflect community values denouncing abuse of children,” continued Caputo. “I am deeply grateful to MP Arnold for collaborating with me on this and using his slot in the PMB Order of Precedence to advance this critical piece of legislation without delay.”
“This is a change that victims and advocates have been seeking for too long. The time to make this simple yet meaningful change is now. I call on all members in this House to support the prompt passing of this bill,” MP Caputo concluded.