OTTAWA, Feb. 9, 2006 – The Catholic Civil Rights League ( today welcomed the announcement that the newly-appointed federal Justice Minister Vic Toews plans to raise the age of consent for sex from 14 to 16. Mr. Toews said he will introduce legislation when Parliament re-convenes in April.

The legislation would include a close-in-age exemption so that sexual activities between young people would not be criminalized. Mr. Toews said the goal is to protect young people from adult sexual predators. Many police forces and provincial attorneys-general have urged that the age be raised to help combat Internet luring. In most western democracies, the age is 16.

“We welcome any attempt to protect young people and support families in creating safe, stable environments for their children,” said League President Phil Horgan. “Few people believe that teenagers are capable of making a decision of such lasting consequence – a full two years before they’re allowed to drive, to take just one example – and it’s time our law reflected that reality.”

About CCRL
Catholic Civil Rights League ( assists in creating conditions within which Catholic teachings can be better understood, cooperates with other organizations in defending civil rights in Canada, and opposes defamation and discrimination against Catholics on the basis of their beliefs. CCRL was founded in 1985 as an independent lay organization. The Catholic Civil Rights League is a Canadian non-profit organization entirely supported by the generosity of its members.

For further information: Joanne McGarry, Executive Director, 416-466-8244;