By Hilary White

OTTAWA, September 14, 2007 ( – With the announcement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper of the proroguing of Parliament, the bill to change the age of sexual consent in Canada will die on the order paper. The bill that proposed to raise the age of consent from its current 14 years to 16, had passed in the House of Commons in May this year, and was to head to the Senate. Parliamentary sources had told that its passage there was not certain.

The legislation was to have increased the legal age for heterosexual activity from 14, one of the lowest in the developed world, to 16. After much debate, it was also to have carried a so-called “near-in-age exception” that would allow teenagers to engage in ‘consensual’ sex below the legal age limit with persons within 5 years of their age.

Homosexual activists, including a Parliamentary “youth” committee had complained that the proposal was an “unfair attack on youth rights and sexual freedom”. As well, C-22 did not remove the age of consent for anal sex, which is now set at 18 under Canada’s Criminal Code.

Read previous coverage:

Canada Bill to Raise Age of Consent for Sex Passes Commons

Age of Consent at 14 Makes Canada Favoured Sex Tourism Destination