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(LifeSiteNews) — On May 17, Conservative MP Karen Vecchio of Elgin-Middlesex-London tabled Bill S-210, the “Protecting Young Persons from Exposure to Pornography Act” (long version:An Act to restrict young persons’ online access to sexually explicit material.”) 

The bill, introduced in the Senate in November 2021, passed unanimously last month. Vecchio, who is the Shadow Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, noted, “This is a very important Bill to ensure that pornography is not easily accessible to children we know there is a strong correlation between intimate partner violence and pornography. We do not want children to think that what they see on the Internet is real life.”  

MP Arnold Viersen of Peace River-Westlock, who has been working to battle the effects of pornography in Canada for years, posted a video of the moment to his Facebook page: “History in the making! Thousands of you have signed petitions over the past seven years calling for age verification for kids. MP Karen Vecchio has now tabled the Protecting Young Persons from Exposure to Pornography Act in the House of Commons after Sénatrice Julie Miville-Dechêne brilliantly steered it through the Senate. I am honoured to second this Bill and help champion it into law.” Viersen first put forward a motion to have the Standing Committee on Health research the connections between porn and sexual violence several years ago – in a rare moment of partisan unity, it passed unanimously.

For Canadians who support this incredibly important bill, Viersen has provided petitions on his website, noting that consumption of pornography is “associated with a range of serious harms, including the development of pornography addiction, the reinforcement of gender stereotypes and the development of attitudes favourable to harassment and violence – including sexual harassment and sexual violence, particularly against women” and that “online age verification was the primary recommendation made by the stakeholders during a 2017 study by the Standing Committee on Health.”  

Unlike other Conservative bills dealing with socially conservative issues put forward under the Trudeau government, Bill S-210 might just pass. According to the Globe and Mail, the Trudeau government was considering mandatory age verification for porn sites that would “likely require those accessing sexually explicit sites to produce an official ID, possibly through an age verification company.” From the Globe and Mail

Child-protection experts have warned that children are watching adult explicit material that is warping their sex education and understanding of relationships. Lianna McDonald, executive director of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, said there’s a ‘generation of boys and girls whose understanding of sexual relationships is being shaped by unfettered access to violent and misogynistic violent adult content.’

McDonald, a member of an expert panel appointed by Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez to look at the parameters of the online safety bill, said the over-18 rule on buying adult magazines in a store should apply to accessing porn online. ‘We agreed long ago that bricks and mortar retailers should be prohibited from making age-restricted material available to children, but we’ve not applied these same set of values and restrictions in digital spaces,’ she said. ‘Age verification is desperately needed, particularly on user-generated platforms if we hope to reverse the damage occurring online to children.’

Indeed, Trudeau himself has mused that pornography might be a contributor to violence against women and when a Trudeau critiques any aspect of the Sexual Revolution, you know the pernicious effects of pornography are become very obvious indeed. As I’ve noted before, the United Kingdom as well as a number of U.S. states are pursuing the age verification route and if Canada joins them, we may be seeing the emergence of a collective commitment to keeping porn away from minors. Unsurprisingly, this bill protecting children is opposed by the porn industry.

As one Pornhub executive bluntly put it: “Mindgeek loses money. Any age verification devastates traffic Pornhub stands to lose 50%+ traffic.” In short, they know that a huge percentage of their audience is children, and they don’t care. They cannot be permitted to get away with this any longer.

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.