Ages of Consent: Criminal Code of Canada

  1. A child under the age of 16 generally cannot consent to sexual activity.
  2. The law contains “close-in-age” exceptions for youth aged 12-15:
    1. If a youth is 12 or 13, the law allows for consent to sexual activity with someone less than 2 years older and who is not in a position of authority.
  3. For youth who are 14 or 15:
    1. The law allows for consent to sexual activity with someone less than five years older and who is not in a position of authority.
  4. Consent is not a defense when: one person threatens or uses force, a third party says yes for someone, a person is incapable of consent (e.g. intoxicated or has a disability that prevents them from understanding what they are consenting to), one person expressed in words or actions a lack of agreement or changed his/her mind at any point.
  5. Any non-consensual sexual activity is sexual assault regardless of the age.

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