By John-Henry Westen

OTTAWA, December 14, 2007 ( – Although not reported in the mainstream press, the Conservative Government’s Bill C-2, the ‘Tackling Violent Crime Act’, passed the House of Commons on November 28. The Bill has since gone through first and second reading in the Senate and is in committee as of December 12.

The omnibus crime bill includes a provision which would see the age of consent for sexual activity raised from 14 to 16-year-of-age. Having the age of consent at 14 has been a bone of contention for many Canadians.  With one of the world’s lowest ages of consent, Canada has been a target destination for pedophiles.

According to child advocacy groups in the United States, pedophile websites that are forced out of the United States by authorities find their material welcomed in Canada. (see coverage: )

A 2000 international report on child sexual abuse singled out Canada as a haven for sexual predators of children. The report released by the committee to End Child Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking (ECPAT). The 178-page report, titled “Looking Back, Thinking Forward,” slammed Canada for having one of the youngest ages of consent for sex at 14 whereas most countries are raising the age to 18. The report also cited the BC Court of Appeal decision to strike down the child pornography law.

At the time, Debbie Mahaffy, whose daughter Leslie was tortured and murdered by sex killer Paul Bernardo, described the country’s lack of coordinated action as “mind-boggling”. “We don’t seem to have a problem getting people’s attention when it comes to protecting them from violence,” said Ms. Mahaffy. “So why can’t we enact the most basic mechanisms to protect our children from sexual exploitation? It’s simply inadequate.”