Cover image: SEAN KILPATRICK / THE CANADIAN PRESS
Yesterday the Canadian government gave the green light to Motion M-47, introduced by Member of Parliment Arnold Viersen, to examine the harmful effects of pornography on Canadian citizens and explore options to protect children from sexually explicit online material. The motion was unanimously adopted by House of Commons and was the fifth Private Member’s motion to be adopted in the 42nd Parliament.
Since being introduced on March 8, 2016, M-47 has garnered the support of over 50 organizations representing a broad coalition of child advocacy agencies, women’s support centers, and victims’ rights organizations. An important fact that helped pass the motion was that parliament has not studied the impact of sexually explicit material since 1985 – before the internet was invented.
We posted about the motion earlier this past summer, lending Fight the New Drug’s support to this important issue. The motion falls perfectly in line with our mission, allowing the Canadian government to conduct in-depth research on the harmful effects of pornography on its citizens in order to better understand how to deal with the issue and educate on its effects.
“I am grateful for the bipartisanship on this issue and unanimous adoption of M-47,” says Viersen. “Parliament is tackling a complex but necessary issue, and we must work together to ensure young boys and girls grow up and develop positive attitudes on sexuality which foster dignity instead of objectification and affection instead of coercion.”
Throughout the debate, politicians highlighted that easily accessible violent and degrading explicit material is damaging the sexuality of boys and limiting their chances for meaningful relationships, teaching girls to expect and endure violent and degrading sexual behavior, and harming the physical and mental health of individuals, especially adolescents.
“I am also encouraged that Motion M-47 has increased awareness about the public health impact of sexual violence online from coast to coast to coast.” said Viersen. “In fact, inspired by Motion M-47, the Alberta School Boards Association has voted 85% in favor of integrating education on the harmful impact of pornography into provincial curriculum.”
Viersen is referring to the fact that this fall, Alberta Education began developing new curriculum across all grades and subject areas, and pornography is set to be part of the new overhaul. The process will take six years and $64 million to complete, but educators are committed to making sure kids know the harmful effects of porn.
With the adoption of Motion M-47, the Health Committee will be tasked with undertaking a study and reporting to Parliament with recommendations by July 2017. Cities in British Columbia have already formally expressed support for the study.
“I look forward to working with stakeholders, parents, and my colleagues on the Health Committee to find solutions that foster the healthy development of youth, increases child protection, and reduces violence,” says Viersen.
What YOU Can Do
We fully support our friends up in the Great White North taking a stand against pornography and being passionate about spreading the facts on its harmful effects. SHARE this article to applaud the passing of this motion and hopefully encourage others to do the same.
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