The Canadian Press, by Kimberley Shearon, April 30, 2008
OTTAWA - Canada's age of sexual consent will be bumped up two years to 16 beginning Thursday.
The change means adults who have sex with boys or girls aged 14 and 15 years old could face criminal charges.
Canada's age of consent has been 14 since 1892.
The legislation was brought in by the Conservative government in part to deal with older internet predators who troll the web looking for younger victims.
Canada's age of consent will now be in line with other countries, such as Britain and Australia, and most American states.
The Globe and Mail, Tralee Pearce, May 2, 2008
When it comes to sex, 16 is the new 14. Under a law that went into effect yesterday as part of the federal government's omnibus crime bill passed in February, a teen under the age of 16 cannot consent to sex with an adult five or more years older.
The bill is intended to target sexual predators, but many youth advocates say that by focusing on age, the new law will confuse teens, make their sexual activities more clandestine and expose them to other risks, including abuse, early pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
Children and Sex
By Katherine Covell, Ph.D.
This is the third article in a continuing series exploring the rights of the child. Dr. Covell is a professor of psychology at Cape Breton University, and the executive director of the CBU Children's Rights Centre.
No one wants to see children and young people sexually exploited. Youth, law enforcement officials, lawmakers and the public agree that all forms of sexual abuse and commercial sexual exploitation of children are unacceptable. There is, however, no such agreement on how best to protect children from sexual predators or how to balance protection with age-appropriate freedom for consensual activity between peers. The focus of disagreement has centered on Canada's age of sexual consent law.
CBC News, June 22, 2006
The Conservative government introduced a bill on Thursday that would raise the age of sexual consent by two years to 16.
If passed, the new law would mean most adults who have sex with girls or boys aged 14 or 15 could face criminal charges.
VANCOUVER - Canada's largest study into the sexual exploitation of street kids and runaways has shattered some myths about who the abusers might be - with the most surprising finding being that many are women seeking sex with young males.
"Some youth in each gender were exploited by women with more than three out of four (79 per cent) sexually exploited males reporting exchanging sex for money or goods with a female," said Elizabeth Saewyc, associate professor of nursing at the University of British Columbia and principal investigator for the study conducted by Vancouver's McCreary Centre Society.
"I must admit it wasn't something we were expecting."