Should Canada’s Supreme Courts Redefine Child Pornography?

In the past few years it has became noticeable by Police agencies across Canada that news media releases no longer carried the phrase “child pornography,” instead referring to seized images as child sexual abuse material.

The challenge in writing an article about this type of crime is that while you can refer to “child sexual abuse” images in the story, when it comes to the criminal charge laid against the accused in these cases, you still have to call it “child pornography,” because that’s what it’s called in the Criminal Code.

Canada’s Criminal Code says people can be charged with possessing, accessing, producing and distributing child pornography.

A Calgary-based citizens organization called Canada Family Action is pushing for “child pornography” to be eliminated from the Criminal Code and replaced with “child sex abuse materials,” a term they hope will better reflect the criminal nature of the activity.
In January, 2011 the leader of Canada Family Action went before a federal government justice committee to push for the revision, along with other changes, such as larger minimum sentences for people convicted of crimes relating to child sex abuse images. He said they didn’t get much of a reaction to the idea, but he’s hopeful the next new government in Canada’s May 2ond federal election will consider it.

“Every single one of these images is a crime scene,” says the leader of Canada Family Action. “It’s not an image of pornography, as we think of consenting adults involved in erotic behaviour. These are images of crime scenes that are being distributed like trading cards.”

One Canadian Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime did a report a couple of years ago called “Every Image, Every Child: Internet-Facilitated Child Sexual Abuse in Canada.” It refers to “child pornography” as a “dangerous term.”
The very first recommendation of the report is to amend the Criminal Code to more accurately describe this crime and better reflect the harm is does to victims.
The report says, “Children cannot consent to sexual relations. For this reason, use of the term ‘child pornography’ mis-characterizes sexual representations where children are involved. The term does not properly convey the real harm that is experienced by young victims and the seriousness of the activities of those persons who sexually exploit children in this way.”

The report quotes Jim Gamble, former chief of the British Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, explaining why he thinks “child pornography” is inaccurate.
“If a woman is raped and her attacker makes a video of it, no one would dare suggest the video was adult pornography. He is a rapist, not a pornographer.”
Gamble’s quote perfectly sums up why the Criminal Code should be amended. The wording of serious crimes shouldn’t be fuzzy or unclear.
If someone is in possession of photos where children are being raped or forced to have sex with animals, which has nothing to do with pornography. It’s just the worst kind of child abuse.

How does the above scenario reflect on the criminal laws in the United States?

Canada Family Action


If they’re going to call it what it is, how about ‘child victimization filth’?

Pornography has been defined in the US courts as sexually stimulating material which is not art. By that definition much of what we see every day as commonplace advertising is pornographic.

Sexual images of children is pornography. But, it is a special form of porn which makes it more reprehensible than porn with consenting adults as the subject. A pediatrics professor pointed out to me that pederasts suffer too. I agree with that statement. But I think everyone here would agree that the exploitation of children in this way… well it is hard to really express how vile it is to my sensibilities. Anything which the Canadian law enforcement or courts do to distinguish this particular type of porn as such is fine by me.

A pediatrics professor pointed out to me that pederasts suffer too.

Really? IF and only IF they realize the full seriousness, scope and weight of their crime. I strongly doubt though they will receive much compassion from society.
A pedophile seeking mercy is mostly in the sight and hands of God.

I surely wouldn’t want the immense heavy burden of forgiving a pedophile who inflicted atrocities on my child even though it would be in my calling as a Catholic Christian to forgive the sinful trespasses of others upon me or loved ones.

No child should be exploited in a sexual manner, and if such child when they mature turns away from God.

I am reminded of Matthew Chapter 18 verse 6 If anyone should cause one of my little ones to fall astray, better they were born with a millstone around their neck and cast into the depths of the sea.

I don’t believe Jesus made this statement off the cuff.

It should be of no surprise how many victims of rape and incest have turned their life over to God as their are a vast number of victims who have turned their life away from God. Its heart-wrenching.

Its rewarding to know that despite governments and courts legalizing Abortion and Same-Sex Marriage, that their still remains (“some residual”) morality to protect the most vulnerable innocent in our immoral society.


It has been my observation that Canadian law enforcement agencies have a penchant to over-reach their boundaries. Police and agent misconduct on the rise and it’s my position that any proposed changes carefully scrutinized and rigidly defined. For example, is taking a picture of your daughter in the bath tub warrant a charge of creating child sex abuse materials?

The words are effectively interchangeable in US law. Each State, and the Federal government, has their own laws concerning Child Sexual Abuse, the possession of child pornography, etc.

Unlike Canada, in the USA each State is free to criminalize pretty much whatever it chooses to, to set its own penalties for crimes, and so long as their rules fall within the US Constitution, have its own Court procedures.

In Canada, the Supreme Court is NOT the ultimate decider of the law. Parliament can override ANY decision of the Supreme Court, at any time. A perfect example of this was the Powley Case, in which the Supreme Court determined that the children of a Canadian mother had exactly the same right to Canadian citizenship as the children of a Canadian father.

Parliament went along with this for four years, and then they passed a law that once again eliminated the right of citizenship of the children of Canadian born mothers (this applied to children born abroad).

That is NOT the case in the United States. In the US, the Supreme Court is the ultimate decider on what is, and what is not, allowed under the laws and Constitution. In order to override the Supreme Court, it would take an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, or Congress would have to change the law in question is a Constitutional manner.

They can not simply decide that they will not abide by a decision of the Supreme Court.

So, the real answer in Canada is to get Parliament to stiffen the laws that they pass concerning Child Sexual Abuse, the possession of photos/videos etc. of such abuse, the distribution of such materials, etc.

Yes, really. I think it would be a terrible thing to have a sexual compulsion toward children. It is the moral obligation of the pedophile not to act on those compulsions. I also know that the human mind is a tricky thing. These predators come up with all sorts of rationalizations, just as addicts and other compulsive disorders do. I have no doubt that they suffer. I am no expert, but it would not surprise me if the source of such compulsive behavior is not similar abuse that the predator suffered as a victim earlier in life.

I am no expert, but it would not surprise me if the source of such compulsive behavior is not similar abuse that the predator suffered as a victim earlier in life.

I think your statement here states it all on your behalf. You have no proof the pedophiles are victims themselves.

You seem to be defending their actions in the two post you have made, as if their demise is result of their mental affliction.

No doubt pedophiles are mentally deranged, possessed, evil and like ravaging wolves that prey on innocent children. They have NO excuse for their actions.

But you should know that already.

Of course there is no excuse for their actions. But there may be a tangible reason. Is it not common knowledge that most bullies and abusers were at one time abused themselves?

I agree that yes there (“can be”) a psychological tangible reason.

And again yes as you stated the probability exist in…

common knowledge that most bullies and abusers were at one time abused themselves

However; is there also plausibility to support that this perceived common knowledge can also be over-generalized?

My statement here does negate what you said.

The most important issue here is the innocent (“child”] victims and finding better ways through crime detection to put a stop to pedophiles.

The internet itself has been Satan’s greatest advocate of adding fuel to this crime.

I am starting to think that Catholics are irrational. How can you even say these things. Did someone apply high voltage across your temporal lobes?

Please try reading what is written, and stop projecting fantasies. Take a course in logic. Take a course in literature. I understand that religion involves the study of the supernatural, but try to stay in the real world for the purpose of rational discussion.

sorry if i went i bit overboard with my language. no, there is no “excuse” for acting on pedophilic impulses. yes, such people do need help, especially if they are struggling with those impulses and are not molesting children. this topic is hard to bring up without thinking of the many priests who have struggled with the problem. who would say that those men do not deserve psychological and spiritual counseling? this does not in any way diminish any crime which may have been committed, or lessen the needs of the victim. i don’t believe that the only response to a criminal act, or to a psychological problem, must always be purely punitive. even a man on death row may seek salvation.

this topic is hard to bring up without thinking of the many priests who have struggled with the problem. who would say that those men do not deserve psychological and spiritual counseling?

I totally agree with you here. I am not insensitive to such issues. Every sinner deserves the chance of redemptive healing and clemency.

However; without diminishing that which has been said; this thread is focused on the protection of innocent victims and the immense risk of innocent children who are in eminent real danger of becoming victimized.

There are so many horrid stories, victims who have resorted to suicide due to the great stigma and pain they carry within the profound recesses of their entire being and soul.

No great human effort to further protect our justice systems should be left unabated to protect our children in society and place those responsible in prison.

The moment we become comfortable in our self-assurance that our Justice system is adequate, is the moment we have become complacent in our duties to protect innocent children.


Several pederasts tried to abuse me. All of them were in positions of care taking or authority over children. None of the events were overly traumatic because there was no penetration. The scariest one was a big guy who cornered me in a back room of a youth center and put his hands in my pants. He was trying to overpower me. I managed to get out of his grasp and run away. I was so ashamed that I told nobody. Years later, I discussed the incident with my older brother. It turned out that the same predator had approached my brother too. My family did not talk openly about such issues. Looking back at it, I wonder if a more open attitude would have lessened the shame and action would have been taken against the man. Who knows how many boys he tried to molest.

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