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Statement from the Attorney General on the release of the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Report on Cyberbullying and Non-consensual Distribution of Intimate Images

Statement

Statement from the Attorney General on the release of the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Report on Cyberbullying and Non-consensual Distribution of Intimate Images

Ministry of the Attorney General

Today, Attorney General John Gerretsen issued the following statement on the release of a Federal/Provincial/Territorial report on Cyberbullying and Non-consensual Distribution of Intimate Images:

"Ontario has been concerned about the non-consensual distribution of intimate images for a number of years.

Since 2011, we have been calling on the federal government to amend the Criminal Code to make it an offence to distribute sexually explicit images of a person without their consent. 

The report of the Coordinating Committee of Senior Officials (CCSO) Cybercrime Working Group, released Friday, recommends that a new criminal offence be developed to address this gap in the Criminal Code.  Individuals who use technology to distribute sexually explicit images of others to embarrass, humiliate or harass them would be held criminally responsible for their actions.

I urge Minister MacKay to act on the recommendations in this report, and introduce new legislation in the fall session of Parliament to create this new criminal offence.

Ontario is committed to ensuring our children are able to thrive in schools and communities that are safe, inclusive and accepting.

In 2009, with the Keeping Our Kids Safe at School Act, we became the first province in Canada to make it mandatory for school staff to report bullying to principals.

In 2012, we passed the Accepting Schools Act, which requires school boards to have bullying prevention and intervention plans in place.  

The Ontario Provincial Police recently helped launch "I've got your back", a program developed by high school students. Police officers work with high school students on Internet safety, anti-cyberbullying and anti-sexting strategies. It encourages students to listen to friends who are being bullied and stand up for them.

We will continue working with the federal government and our partners in the justice and education sectors to make sure our resources are being used effectively to put an end to cyberbullying." 

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