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Offenders Can Now Face Financial Consequences

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Offenders Can Now Face Financial Consequences

McGuinty Government Improves Justice For Victims Of Child Pornography And Hate Crimes

Ministry of the Attorney General

A new Ontario law taking effect today will allow for victims of child pornography, hate crimes and other offences to sue offenders for damages.

The change to a regulation under the Victims' Bill of Rights strengthens victims' rights. These changes will make it easier for victims of hate crimes and child pornography to sue offenders for damages such as emotional distress and bodily harm arising from the distress. The change applies to specific types of hate crimes as defined by the Criminal Code, such as publicly inciting, or wilfully promoting, hatred.

Quick Facts

  • In order for a victim to sue under the Victims' Bill of Rights, the offender must have been convicted of the crime. Any lawsuit would be in addition to penalties imposed by the court.
  • In 2006, the U.S. created a similar law - "Masha's Law" - increasing civil penalties for anyone found guilty of downloading child pornography from the Internet.

Background Information


“The McGuinty government has zero tolerance for child pornography and hate crimes. We are committed to holding offenders accountable for their actions and empowering victims.”

Chris Bentley

Attorney General



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