An Alberta MP and a feminist senator take on Big Porn

By Jonathon Van Maren

For months, the porn industry has received wave after wave of bad news. An Ontario judge decided that Internet companies can be held liable if child porn is hosted on their servers. The New York Times ran an article by Nicholas Kristoff titled “The Children of Pornhub” accompanied by Kristoff calling on Justin Trudeau to investigate Pornhub’s parent company MindGeek, which is based in Montreal.

Days later, the federal government was promising legislation. In a panicked response, Pornhub deleted 10 million videos overnight. An Ontario resident launched a class-action lawsuit against MindGeek in Quebec, accusing the company of profiting from sexual exploitation and assault. The lawsuit, which follows a similar suit filed by 40 Pornhub victims in California, is seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.

The Trudeau government, forced into a response by the New York Times, is late to the game. In Canada, the war against the porn industry has brought together unlikely allies from across party lines. They disagree on many things but stand shoulder to shoulder in their commitment to protect children and uphold the dignity of women. The relationship that has developed between Arnold Viersen, a socially conservative MP from the riding of Peace River-Westlock in northern Alberta, and Independent Quebec Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne is a perfect example of this.

Viersen has been at the forefront of the fight against sexual exploitation since he was elected to Parliament in 2015. For the Alberta MP, the issue is a deeply personal one. After his first daughter was born, he learned about the heartbreaking story of Rehtaeh Parsons, who killed herself in 2013 because images of her alleged rape were circulated by the perpetrators.

“At the time I remember asking myself, ‘What gave these boys the idea that it was okay to objectify and assault a heavily intoxicated young woman, and where were they learning that making and sharing videos of violent sexual acts online was normal?’”

Shortly after his election, Viersen had the opportunity to do something about it.

READ THE REST OF THIS COLUMN AT CONVIVUM MAGAZINE

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One thought on “An Alberta MP and a feminist senator take on Big Porn

  1. Sandra says:

    None of the Prime Minister’s seem to tackle this issue. Most Canadians know the implications of porn but somehow it has this underlying “agreed to just ignore and let it happen” agenda. Thanks Arnold Vierson for taking this issue by the horns.

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