Report of the committee

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

The Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs has the honour to present its

SEVENTH REPORT

Your committee, to which was referred Bill S-203, An Act to restrict young persons’ online access to sexually explicit material, has, in obedience to the order of reference of March 16, 2021, examined the said bill and now reports the same with the following amendments:

1.Clause 2, page 2: Replace lines 9 and 10 with the following:

Minister means the minister designated under section 2.1. (ministre)”.

2.New clause 2.1, page 2: Add the following after line 22:

“Designation of Minister

2.1 The Governor in Council may, by order, designate any federal minister as the Minister responsible for this Act.”.

3.Clause 6, page 3: Replace line 32 of the English version with the following:

“secuted for the offence under this Act.”.

4.Clause 7, page 4: Replace line 3 of the French version with the following:

“individus âgés d’au moins dix-huit ans l’accès au matériel”.

5.Heading before line 14, page 4: Replace the heading “Notice to Internet Service providers” with “Enforcement”.

6.Clause 9, pages 4 and 5:

(a) On page 4, replace lines 14 to 36 with the following:

9 The Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of the Minister, designate an agency, division or branch of the Government of Canada as the enforcement authority for the purposes of sections 10 and 10.1.”;

(b)on page 5, delete lines 1 to 24.

7.Clause 10, page 5: Replace lines 25 to 31 with the following:

10 (1) If the enforcement authority has reasonable grounds to believe that a person committed an offence under section 4, the enforcement authority may issue a notice to them under this section.

(2) The notice must state

(a) the identity of the person;

(b) that the enforcement authority has reasonable grounds to believe that the person has committed an offence under section 4;

(c) the steps that the enforcement authority considers necessary to ensure compliance with this Act;

(d) that the person must, within 20 days after the notice is issued, take the steps referred to in paragraph (c);

(e) that, if the person fails to take the steps referred to in paragraph (c) within the period set out in paragraph (d), the enforcement authority may apply to the Federal Court for an order requiring Internet service providers to prevent access to the sexually explicit material to young persons on the Internet in Canada; and

(f) that the person may make representations to the enforcement authority in relation to any element of the notice within the period set out in paragraph (d).

10.1 (1) If a person who receives a notice under subsection 10(1) fails to take the steps referred to in paragraph 10(2)(c) within the period set out in paragraph 10(2)(d), the enforcement authority may, within 20 days after the day on which the period ended, apply to the Federal Court for an order requiring Internet service providers to prevent access to the sexually explicit material to young persons on the Internet in Canada.

(2) The enforcement authority that applies for an order under subsection (1) must name, in addition to the non-complying person, any Internet service provider who would be subject to the order as a respondent to the proceedings.

(3) An application made under subsection (1) is to be heard and determined in a summary way in accordance with any special rules in respect of such application under section 46 of the Federal Courts Act.

(4) The Federal Court must order any respondent Internet service providers to prevent access to the sexually explicit material to young persons on the Internet in Canada if it determines that

(a) there are reasonable grounds to believe that the person who has been given notice under subsection 10(1) has committed the offence referred to in section 4;

(b) that person has failed to take the steps referred to in paragraph 10(2)(c) within the period set out in paragraph 10(2)(d); and

(c) the services provided by the Internet service providers who would be subject to the order may be used, in Canada, to access the sexually explicit material made available by that person.

(5) If the Federal Court determines that it is necessary to ensure that the sexually explicit material is not made available to young persons on the Internet in Canada, an order made under subsection (4) may have the effect of preventing persons in Canada from being able to access

(a) material other than sexually explicit material made available by the person who has been given notice under subsection 10(1); or

(b) sexually explicit material made available by the person who has been given notice under subsection 10(1) even if the person seeking to access the material is not a young person.

Annual Report to Parliament

10.2 The Minister must cause to be tabled in each House of Parliament, within three months after the end of the fiscal year or, if a House is not then sitting, on any of the first 15 days on which that House next sits, a report on the administration and implementation of this Act. The report must include, for the previous fiscal year,

(a) the number of notices issued under subsection 10(1);

(b) the number of applications for an order under subsection 10.1(1); and

(c) the outcome of applications made pursuant to subsection 10.1(1).”.

8.Clause 11, page 6: Replace lines 3 to 13 with the following:

“cluding regulations prescribing the age-verification methods referred to in subsection 7(1).”.

Respectfully submitted,

MOBINA S. B. JAFFER

Chair