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However, Bill C-53 was never passed and a later version, in the form of Bill C-127,(2) brought about significant changes to the criminal law in the area of sexual offences but did not specifically address the sexual exploitation of young persons.The Criminal Code does not now criminalize consensual sexual activity with or between persons 14 or over, unless it takes place in a relationship of trust or dependency, in which case sexual activity with persons over 14 but under 18 can constitute an offence, notwithstanding their consent.It is currently illegal for Canadians under 18 to have anal sex, meaning two gay or bisexual 17-year-olds who engage in the act could end up in jail something the new law does not address.Other groups, such as Justice for Youth and Children, said the new law, if misunderstood, could end up driving teenage sexual activity underground.
Furthermore, the offences of unlawful sexual intercourse did nothing to protect young women from other forms of sexual contact short of intercourse.
That age limit has not changed and remains in place today, with narrow exceptions for consensual activity between young persons less than two years apart in age. For example, the Badgley Report notes that seduction of a girl over 12 and under 16 "of previously chaste character" was made an offence in 1886.
The offence was retained in the 1892 Criminal Code, in respect of girls between 14 and 16, and remained in force until 1920, when the offence was changed to prohibit "sexual intercourse." After 1920, the question of who was more to "blame" became an issue that could lead to acquittal but the offence remained in force until 1988.
OTTAWA — Canada’s age of sexual consent increases by two years to 16 beginning today.
The change means adults who have sex with boys or girls aged 14 and 15 years old could face criminal charges. The legislation was brought in by the Conservative government in part to deal with older internet predators who troll the web looking for younger victims.
Canada’s age of consent will now be in line with other countries, such as Britain and Australia, and most American states.