This open letter was written to the Prime Minister regarding online sexual exploitation and MindGeek. The letter has been signed by over 65 Senators and MPs from multiple parties/groups including the Liberal, Conservative, Bloc Québécois and Green parties, Independent Senators Group, Progressive Senators Group and the Canadian Senators Group. Full tweet thread here: https://twitter.com/ArnoldViersen/status/1650616229931933701
This letter follows previous open letters:
MindGeek continues to operate with impunity and earn millions in revenue and profit. As a result, victims and survivors of online exploitation have had no justice. They should not have to fight these battles by themselves. We stand with them.
Arnold Viersen, MP for Peace River - Westlock
Co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group to End Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking
Since her appointment to the Senate in June 2018, Senator Miville-Dechêne has introduced two Senate public bills :
- Bill S-211, a bill against forced labour and child labour in supply chains; and
- Bill S-210 that would require the implementation of age verification methods online to protect minors from exposure to online pornography. Many groups across Canada including the CWL have worked on this issue for the past number of years and our efforts have paid off! The Senate has passed the Protecting Young Persons from Exposure to Pornography Act.
Bill S-210 is in the House of Commons
Bill S-210: Age Verification, Blocking Orders and Privacy Protection will require all pornographic websites accessible in Canada to implement effective age-verification mechanisms to limit children’s access to their content. Non-complying sites would be subject to significant fines or, especially for websites based abroad, a blocking order in Canada. During the study of Bill S-210 by the Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, an amendment was adopted to ensure that any age-verification mechanism prescribed by regulation maintains user privacy and protects user personal information, collects, and uses personal information solely for age-verification purposes, destroys any personal information collected and complies with best practices in the fields of age verification and privacy protection.
As illustrated above, Bill S-210 was adopted In the Senate with broad support from all groups and it passed First reading in the House of Commons within a month of Third reading in the Senate. We pray that it will be adopted and implemented without delay will broad support from all parties.
We can't stop our letter writing now. Yes, this is a win for our youth and families, but there's still work to do. Please share this information with your councils asking them to contact their MP immediately, asking them to support this Bill.
Pornography dictates that the satisfaction of one’s own desires is all that matters. It leaves in its wake broken marriages, estranged and molested children, shattered young people, and deteriorating neighborhoods.
The chairperson shall:
• become aware of the influence that pornography has on children and adults
• support national campaigns such as Pornography Hurts
• promote organizations concerned about and working towards the elimination of pornography
• encourage members to continue writing to the prime minister, minister of justice and local members of parliament urging them to continue to object to pornography in all its forms
Mandatory Age Verification for Adult Pornographic Websites
Organize your campaign for any month that is convenient for your council. The information leaflet provides campaign tips and facts on pornography; the sample letter is an optional communication mode. For either one, ensure to include your full name, mailing address and a question that elicits a reply. To use the letter, also include the date sent, name of your local member of parliament (to send a copy), and your signature. No postage is required for mail sent to elected officials in Ottawa.