Offenders Can Now Face Financial Consequences



    
    McGuinty Government Improves Justice For Victims Of Child Pornography And
    Hate Crimes
    

    TORONTO, May 28 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    A new Ontario law taking effect today will allow for victims of child
pornography, hate crimes and other offences to sue offenders for damages.
    The change to a regulation under the Victims' Bill of Rights strengthens
victims' rights. These changes will make it easier for victims of hate crimes
and child pornography to sue offenders for damages such as emotional distress
and bodily harm arising from the distress. The change applies to specific
types of hate crimes as defined by the Criminal Code, such as publicly
inciting, or wilfully promoting, hatred.

    QUOTE

    "The McGuinty government has zero tolerance for child pornography and
hate crimes. We are committed to holding offenders accountable for their
actions and empowering victims."
    - Chris Bentley, Attorney General

    
    QUICK FACTS

    -   In order for a victim to sue under the Victims' Bill of Rights, the
        offender must have been convicted of the crime. Any lawsuit would be
        in addition to penalties imposed by the court.
    -   In 2006, the U.S. created a similar law - "Masha's Law" - increasing
        civil penalties for anyone found guilty of downloading child
        pornography from the Internet.

    LEARN MORE

    Read what people are saying
    (http://webx.newswire.ca/click/?id=615228d7c9fd517) about today's
    announcement.

    Learn more about the child pornography amendment
    (http://webx.newswire.ca/click/?id=aa9575e1c35efc1).

    Learn more about the hate crimes amendment
    (http://webx.newswire.ca/click/?id=9d6358b9543abde).

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                                             ontario.ca/attorneygeneral-news
                                                      Disponible en français


                                                                BACKGROUNDER

                 CHILD PORNOGRAPHERS CAN NOW FACE FINANCIAL
                                 CONSEQUENCES

                                                                May 28, 2009
    

    Ontario is making it easier for victims of child pornography to sue
offenders who have been convicted of making, distributing, possessing or
accessing child pornography for damages such as emotional distress and bodily
harm arising from the distress.
    The change to a regulation under the Victims' Bill of Rights allows
victims to seek financial compensation directly from an offender. If victims
are under the age of 18, a litigation guardian can initiate a lawsuit for
them. This law will serve as a further deterrent to offenders as any lawsuit
would be in addition to penalties imposed by the court.
    The amendment responds to recommendations made in the 2007
report(http://www.innovationlaw.org/publications/oce/white2007.htm) of the
University of Toronto's Centre for Innovation Law and Policy, "Staying Safely
Connected: Updated Strategies for Protecting Children and Youth From
Exploitation Online".
    The McGuinty government is using all the tools at its disposal to help
keep kids safe online.

    
    OTHER GOVERNMENT ACTION TO FIGHT CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

    Ontario has taken a number of other steps to combat child pornography,
including:

    -   Created the Attorney General's Task Force on Internet Crimes Against
        Kids to work with Internet service providers to improve cooperation
        between service providers, law enforcement agencies, and Crown
        prosecutors
    -   Invested $7.6 million in a provincial strategy to protect children
        from sexual abuse and exploitation, including child pornography and
        Internet luring
    -   Provided $1 million in additional funding, for a total of
        $2.4 million, for the OPP's "Project P" child pornography unit, and
        $700,000 to the Toronto Police to monitor sex offenders in the
        community through the provincial sex offender registry
    -   Provided $500,000 to the Kids' Internet Safety Alliance (KINSA), a
        group dedicated to eliminating the online sexual exploitation of
        children
    -   Created the Internet Child Exploitation Counselling Program to
        provide short-term, immediate counselling for child victims of
        Internet sexual exploitation.
    

    LEARN MORE

    Learn more about Ontario's Internet Child Exploitation Counselling
Program(http://webx.newswire.ca/click/?id=64a977f5a644903).

    Find more information and resources at
Cybertip.ca(http://www.cybertip.ca/app/en/), Canada's national tipline for
reporting the online sexual exploitation of children.

    Read an innovative cyber-safety
comic(www.kinsa.net/Programs/Category/Program/?contentId=136) for kids.

    
                                                                BACKGROUNDER

             PERPETRATORS OF HATE CRIMES CAN NOW FACE FINANCIAL
                                 CONSEQUENCES

                                                                May 28, 2009
    

    The McGuinty government is committed to fighting hate crimes, racial
intolerance and discrimination. Ontario has strengthened a regulation under
the Victims' Bill of Rights to make it easier for victims of hate crimes to
sue offenders for damages such as emotional distress and bodily harm arising
from the distress.
    The change applies to specific types of hate crimes as defined by the
Criminal Code, such as publicly inciting, or wilfully promoting, hatred. It
also applies to any offence where the sentencing judge determines the crime
was motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on:
    
    -   Race
    -   Language
    -   Colour
    -   Religion
    -   Age
    -   Sex or sexual orientation
    -   Mental or physical disability
    -   National or ethnic origin, or
    -   Any other similar factor.

    Ontario's amendment responds to recommendations made in the:
    -   2008
report(http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/resources/discussion_consultation/finalangler)
of
        the Ontario Human Rights Commission, "Fishing Without Fear"
    -   2006 report
        (http://webx.newswire.ca/click/?id=e4b213a70e1ec82) of the
        Hate Crimes Community Working Group, "Addressing Hate Crime in
        Ontario".

    OTHER GOVERNMENT ACTION TO FIGHT HATE CRIMES

    Ontario has invested $1.35 million in 23 projects that will help:
    -   Bring together communities targeted by hate crimes
    -   Encourage communities to develop new and innovative ways to address
        hate crimes and the needs of those who have been victimized
    -   Increase awareness of hate crime issues, and
    -   Improve existing resources for victims.

    LEARN MORE

    Access hate crime resources
    (http://webx.newswire.ca/click/?id=f4bb0c0e564b60b) created through
Ontario's Community Grants Program.

    Download a hate crime tip sheet  
(www.opp.ca/Intranetdev/groups/public/documents/pdf/opp_001882.pdf) created by
the Ontario Provincial Police.

    Learn more about the Ontario Human Rights
Commission(http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/commission/about), the Human Rights
Tribunal of Ontario(http://www.hrto.ca/NEW/default.asp) and the Human Rights
Legal Support Centre(http://www.hrlsc.on.ca/).


                                                                BACKGROUNDER

                 FIGHTING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY AND HATE CRIMES

                                                                May 28, 2009
    

    Through an amendment to a regulation under Ontario's Victims' Bill of
Rights, Ontario has made it easier for victims of child pornography, hate
crimes and other offences to sue offenders for damages. Here's what people are
saying:

    "We applaud the government for making this important change to better
empower victims of hate crime, sexual exploitation of children on the Internet
and other crimes. It sends a strong message that our society will not tolerate
this kind of abuse, especially as it relates to children and youth."
    - Karyn Kennedy, Executive Director, BOOST Child Abuse Prevention and
Intervention

    "Internet child exploitation is a growing problem in our society. We are
pleased that the government is taking another step to fight this insidious
crime and hold offenders accountable for their actions."
    - Paul Gillespie, President and CEO, Kids' Internet Safety Alliance

    "Hate crimes against people who are targeted merely on the basis of their
race, ethnicity, religion, sexual identity or other factors have profound and
lasting effects. The report of the Hate Crimes Community Working Group
endorsed the kind of action that the government announced today to empower
victims of these terrible crimes."
    - Karen Mock, Former Chair of the Hate Crimes Community Working Group

    "The Office for Victims of Crime is pleased that the government has
instituted this important change to better respond to the needs of victims in
Ontario."
    - Ruth Campbell, Chair, Office for Victims of Crime




For further information:

For further information: Erin Moroz, Ministry of the Attorney General,
Minister's Office, (416) 326-1785; Brendan Crawley, Ministry of the Attorney
General, Communications Branch, (416) 326-2210

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