March 3rd, 2024

Senate bill would require age verification for Canadians accessing porn sites

By The Canadian Press on December 14, 2023.

A Senate bill that would require Canadians to verify their age online before accessing porn is moving through the House of Commons without the support of the Liberal government. The Senate of Canada building and Senate Chamber are pictured in Ottawa on Monday, Feb. 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA – A Senate bill that would require Canadians to verify their age online before accessing porn is moving through the House of Commons without the support of the Liberal government.

Independent Sen. Julie Miville-Dechêne, who sponsored Bill S-210, says it is difficult to understand why 133 Liberal MPs voted against the bill on Thursday as other parties agreed to send it to a committee for further study.

A spokesperson for the Canadian heritage minister told The Canadian Press earlier this year that the government was working on its own approach to dealing with online harms, and the Senate bill overlapped with their work.

Quebec Liberal MP Anju Dhillon made similar comments last month when Bill S-210, which passed in the Senate in the spring, was first debated in the House of Commons.

Dhillon says the bill is closely linked to the government’s ongoing work to ensure a safer online experience for Canadians, particularly for children and youth.

Pornhub is fighting against the bill, saying any regulations that require sites to collect significant amounts of highly sensitive personal information will put user safety in jeopardy.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 14, 2023.

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