MP Arnold Viersen has introduced a bill targeting online exploitation. Photo from

Conservatives all in on exploitation bill

  • March 13, 2024

In contrast to the controversial Online Harms Act (Bill C-63) recently tabled by the federal government, Conservative MPs are putting their weight behind Bill C-270 to prevent young people from being exploited by online pornography.

Bill C-270 is also known as the Stopping Internet Sexual Exploitation (SISE) Act. If it becomes law, making or distributing online pornographic material for a commercial purpose without verifying the age and express consent of each person depicted would be Criminal Code offences. Individuals shown in graphic videos or images also have the right to revoke their consent.   

The second reading debate for the SISE Act in the House of Commons is scheduled for March 22. This occasion has been a long time coming for Peace River-Westlock MP Arnold Viersen. Not only was the first reading of the legislation on April 28, 2022, but he also introduced a similar private member’s bill, C-302, in May 2021 during the 43rd Canadian Parliament. That effort was nullified when an election was called later that year. 

Viersen crafted his original bill in response to the testimony from the 2021 Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics meetings about the scandal engulfing Pornhub — the Montreal-based company that markets itself as the world’s leading online porn site — and its then-parent company MindGeek. Women stepped forward to testify they pleaded with Pornhub to remove videos of them, but the Internet company dismissed these requests. Victims also declared Pornhub perennially shared child pornography and sexual-assault videos.

“This (bill) was a total answer to some of the testimony that we heard from girls who had their images put up and then really struggled to take them down,” said Viersen. “It is already illegal to post underage images or non-consensual images. The problem with the law right now is that the police have to prove that the person is underage or the person did not consent. (C-270) is a record-keeping law that will send you to jail for up to two years if you fail to keep records.”

A 37-year-old Christian and father of six, Viersen anticipates his bill will pass the House of Commons. The SISE Act is endorsed by notable organizations such as The Salvation Army and the National Council of Women of Canada.

During his sponsor’s speech to launch the second reading debate, Viersen will remind his parliamentary colleagues about the story of Pornhub victim Serena Fleites. She was 14 years old in 2014 when her crush at the time pressured her to send him a video of her naked. She complied with multiple requests. She found out that the videos were on Pornhub. The first video had already garnered over 400,000 views before Fleites discovered the exploitation. She told the ethics committee it was impossible to remove the video.

“I stopped going to school,” said Fleites. “I got really depressed. I thought that once I stopped being in the public so much, once I stopped going to school, people would stop re-uploading it. But that didn’t happen, because it had already been basically downloaded by people all across the world. It would always be uploaded over and over and over again. No matter how many times I got it taken down, it would be right back up again.”

Fleites’ world was upended. She would attempt suicide, become addicted to drugs and end up homeless for a time. A successful crowdfunding campaign helped get her off the streets.

Viersen said combatting the societal ills of pornography, sexual abuse and human trafficking has driven him since he entered federal politics in 2015. 

“It has been rewarding to see how the Canadian public’s perception about these things have come along.”

To learn more about the SISE Act, visit

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