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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Legislation to crack down on cyberbullying comes into force


Department of Justice Canada

  • Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act will help protect young Canadians from cyberbullying

On March 9 Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced the coming into force of the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act. The new legislation demonstrates the Government of Canada's firm commitment to help ensure that Canadians are better protected against online exploitation by helping to protect young Canadians from cyberbullying and to stand up for victims. The Minister was joined by Bernard Trottier, Member of Parliament for Etobicoke-Lakeshore, and Lianna McDonald, Executive Director for the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.


The new measures will help law enforcement officials better protect young Canadians from online exploitation. The Government will continue to give law enforcement officials the tools they need to help prevent young Canadians from falling victim to cyberbullying.

The measures coming into force today build on the numerous measures implemented by the Government of Canada to help ensure the safety of young Canadians and bring the rights of victims back to the heart of the criminal justice system, including introducing the Bill C-26, the Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act; introducing Bill C-32, the Victims Bill of Rights Act; bringing forward legislation to make the reporting of child pornography by Internet Service Providers mandatory; and launching the anti-cyberbullying awareness campaign Stop Hating Online, a comprehensive resource for parents and youth that includes information, advice, and tools needed to help identify, prevent and stop cyberbullying.

Quick Facts

  • The measures coming into force March 9 make it an offence to share an intimate image without the consent of the person in the image.
  • These measures will also empower a court to:
  • order the removal of intimate images from the Internet;
  • order forfeiture of the computer, cell phone or other device used in the offence;
  • provide for reimbursement to victims for costs incurred in removing the intimate image from the Internet or elsewhere; and
  • make an order to prevent someone from distributing intimate images.
  • The Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act provides police with the necessary means to investigate crime in today's high-tech environment while maintaining judicial checks and balances to protect Canadians' privacy.

"Our Government is committed to ensuring the safety of our children and youth, who deserve to feel safe in their communities and in their homes. When cyberbullying reaches the level of criminal activity, it can destroy lives. Sadly, cyberbullying is a harmful reality experienced by many young Canadians across the country. That is why I was proud to introduce the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act, to help better protect young Canadians from the harmful and devastating effects of cyberbullying. We are proud to announce that these important measures come into force today. For too long, the justice system was about protecting the rights of criminals, but our Government understands that the rights of victims need to be at the heart of the criminal justice system."
- The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada


"We all have a role to play in confronting the growing problem of bullying and cyberbullying, whether it is teaching young people about how to stay safe online or making sure the law keeps pace with evolving technologies. I am pleased that with this new legislation, we have taken another step to help keep our young people safe."

Bernard Trottier
Member of Parliament, Etobicoke-Lakeshore


"The Canadian Centre for Child Protection applauds the Government of Canada's efforts to increase the protection and safety of young people through this new legislation. Our agency is all too familiar with the tragic outcomes of cyberbullying and the collision between sexual violence and technology. We welcome this legislation and will continue to educate Canadians about ways to keep our youth safe and secure while using new technologies."

Lianna McDonald
Executive Director, Canadian Centre for Child Protection
Related Documents
Backgrounder: The Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act
Backgrounder: Myths and Facts Bill C-13
Fact Sheet: Privacy Protection and the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act

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