Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Frank Caputo supported an amendment this week to change the terminology in the Criminal Code.
Bill C-291, tabled by North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold, seeks to change the sub-section term “child pornography” to “child sexual abuse material.”
Arnold said small changes like the proposed amendment can make big differences in people’s lives, especially children. Ensuring the Criminal Code reflects and correctly identifies that the material contains the abuse of children, he added, is the “minimum Canadians should expect in modern legislation.”
Caputo had originally raised the issue in his maiden speech to the House of Commons in November. The goal, he said then, was for the bill to reflect the community values that denounce the abuse of children.
“Words matter,” he told the House. “Pornography describes media between consenting adults. Children can never consent to sexual activity with adults. This is why sexual depiction of a child must be called what it is: abuse.”
The term child pornography, he added, “sanitizes” the harm done to children, who are forced to live with the trauma for the rest of their lives. Caputo said the seriousness of the outcome should be reflected in the terminology used in legislation.
“This is a change that victims and advocates have been seeking for too long,” he said. “The time to make this simple, yet meaningful, change is now.”