By Thaddeus M. Baklinski
OTTAWA, March 5, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Canada’s new age of sexual consent, raised to 16 from 14, was signed into law on Feb. 28 after passing in the Senate by a narrow 3 votes.
As reported last December by LifeSiteNews.com, the Conservative Government’s Bill C-2, the ‘Tackling Violent Crime Act’, passed the House of Commons on November 28, 2007. This bill included a provision to raise the age of consent for sexual activity from 14 to 16. At 14, Canada’s age of consent was among the lowest of Western nations, where it typically varies between 16 and 18.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper had threatened to call an election if Bill C-2 wasn’t passed in the Senate by March 1, 2008. Even though the Liberal dominated senate complained there was not enough time to meet this deadline, the possibility of giving Harper an opportunity to launch an election over the issue pushed them into action.
Nineteen senators voted for the bill, sixteen voted against, while thirty-one senators - all Liberals but one - abstained from the vote, and another twenty-seven didn’t show up at all.
In an interview with the Winnipeg Free Press, senior cabinet minister Vic Toews said it was satisfying to see Bill C-2 become law, and that his government’s decision to pressure the Liberals to pass the bill or go to the electorate was the right one.
"Most of the measures in the legislation had Liberal support during the last election campaign, and it should never have taken this long to get them into law," Mr. Toews said.
Roz Prober, co-founder of the Winnipeg-based children’s rights group Beyond Borders, told the Free Press, "Common sense has prevailed. Raising the age of sexual consent from 14 to 16 is a huge protection for children. People were stunned to see Canada was so far behind the eight ball on the age of consent."
National Vice President of REAL Women of Canada, Gwen Landolt, told LifeSiteNews.com that she was delighted to have this legislation passed, although she would have preferred to see the age of consent raised to 18 rather than 16, to bring it in line with other legal standards in the Criminal Justice System, such as the legal age for sodomy.
She said the bill was "overwhelmingly supported by Conservative MPs, most of the NDP caucus, as well as the Attorneys General of all provinces, but the Liberal party had resolutely refused to support raising of the age of consent because of political pressure from homosexuals."
See previous LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Bill to Raise Age of Consent for Sex in Canada from 14 to 16 Passes House of Commons
Proposal to Raise Age of Consent for Sex from 14 to 16 Back Before Canadian Parliament
Canadian Bill to Raise Age of Consent for Sex from 14 to 16 Dies as Parliament Prorogues
Age of Consent at 14 Makes Canada Favoured Sex Tourism Destination
Canada a haven for pedophiles