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The principles of consent that apply to assault also apply to sexual assault. The victim of sexual contact must voluntarily consent to the act and understand the nature of the act to which he or she consented. The courts have applied the definition of consent to the effect that a person cannot consent to serious physical harm (R. v. Jobidon (1991, S.C.C.)). Legal rape in Canada is defined as any sexual contact with a person under the age of consent. This is usually an adult who touches children for sexual purposes. In 1890, the age of consent was raised from 12 to 14.  For sexual activities of exploitation (prostitution or pornography or if there is a relationship of trust, authority or dependence), the age of consent is 18 years. LGBT activists have criticized the law for failing to address equality and maintaining Canada`s age of consent for non-marriage-related sex at 18. Hillary Cook, a spokeswoman for gay rights group Egale Canada, said the bill was “an attempt to score partisan points.”  In June 2019, Bill C-75 was passed by both Houses of parliament and received Royal Assent, which repealed section 159 with immediate effect and ensured that the age of consent was the same for all persons aged 16.
 In this case, there was concern that child molesters, not only in Canada but also abroad, had taken advantage of Canada`s low age of consent to sexually exploit vulnerable children while escaping prosecution.  Section 159 of the Criminal Code sets the age of consent for intercourse for unmarried couples at 18. In June 2019, Bill C-75 was passed by both Houses of parliament and received Royal Assent, repealing section 159 and compensating the age of consent for all types of sexual intercourse at 16.  Prior to its repeal, section 159 had been declared unconstitutional and found unenforceable by several courts, including 4 courts of appeal.  Consent means giving permission for something to happen or entering into an agreement to do something. A person who engages in sexual activity must take reasonable steps to establish consent and actively seek it during sexual activity. Children under the age of 12 can never consent to sexual activity with anyone of any age, whether they say so or not. To protect teens from sexual predators and combat the sexual exploitation of children, which has become increasingly important in the age of the Internet, the Canadian government has passed new laws that increase the age of consent for sexual activity. The new legislation came into force on May 1, 2008, bringing Canada`s age of consent back to that of many other countries.
It is important to know the law and understand sexual consent. What is consent, who cannot give consent and what to do if intimate images have been posted without your consent. Former Toronto police officer Paul Gillespie said the bill would give police “more tools” in the fight against internet predators.  The intent of the bill is to target “sexual predators” and pimps. Other groups that supported raising the age of consent were the National Council of Women of Canada (NCCC), the Family Action Coalition of Canada (CCFC), the Canadian Foundation for Victims of Crime (FCVC), Beyond Borders Inc., and Canadians Tackling Sexual Exploitation (CAS). In other words, a person must be at least 16 years of age to legally consent to sexual activity. Any sexual activity without consent is a criminal offence, regardless of age. Even if the person consented to the images or videos, their distribution is a crime if they had a reasonable expectation of privacy at the time of recording.
The Canadian AIDS Society stated that “raising the age of consent could cause young people to make their sexual practices more mysterious and not seek the information they need. This will increase the risk of adolescents contracting HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections. [ 19] The Canadian Council on the Rights of the Child also referred to an article in The Globe and Mail and expressed concern that this would reduce condom tracking.  In some situations, the age of consent is raised from 16 to 18. The age of consent is raised to 18 if: In the past, the Canadian Criminal Code stated that any anal sexual act is illegal under criminal law, unless both persons are a married couple or both participants are over 18 years of age. In these situations, the Age of Consent Act is very clear and stipulates that both persons must be over 18 years of age or be married to have intercourse. However, in 2008, the law was amended to treat intercourse between two people in the same way as other types of sexual intercourse. Therefore, narrow age exceptions now also apply to anal sex. The age of consent for sexual activity is 16 years.
In some cases, the age of consent is higher (e.g., if there is a relationship of trust, authority or dependency). It is a criminal offence for a person to knowingly publish, distribute, sell or make available an image, film or intimate recording of another person without the person`s consent.