The age of consent, also known as the "age of protection", refers to the age at which a young person can legally consent to sexual activity.
All sexual activity without consent, regardless of age, is a criminal offence.
The age of consent laws apply to all forms of sexual activity, ranging from sexual touching (e.g., kissing) to sexual intercourse.
It was raised from 14 years on May 1, 2008 by the .
However, the age of consent is 18 years where the sexual activity "exploits" the young person -- when it involves prostitution, pornography or occurs in a relationship of authority, trust or dependency (e.g., with a teacher, coach or babysitter).
Sexual activity can also be considered exploitative based on the nature and circumstances of the relationship, e.g., the young person's age, the age difference between the young person and their partner, how the relationship developed (quickly, secretly, or over the Internet) and how the partner may have controlled or influenced the young person.
The and there is no relationship of trust, authority or dependency or any other exploitation of the young person.
This means that if the partner is 5 years or older than the 14 or 15 year old, any sexual activity will be considered a criminal offence unless it occurs after they are married to each other (in accordance with the "solemnization" of marriage requirements that are established in each province and territory, governing how and when a marriage can be performed, including the minimum age at which someone may marry).
There is also a "close-in-age" exception for 12 and 13 year olds: a 12 or 13 year old can consent to sexual activity with another young person who is protects 16 and 17 year olds against sexual exploitation, where the sexual activity occurs within a relationship of trust, authority, dependency or where there is other exploitation.Whether a relationship is considered to be exploiting the 16 or 17 year old will depend upon the nature and circumstances of the relationship, e.g., the age of the young person, the age difference between the young person and their partner, how the relationship developed and how the partner may have controlled or influenced the young person.As well, 16 and 17 year olds cannot consent to sexual activity that involves prostitution or pornography.The contains offences that protect everyone against all forms of sexual assault (section 271); sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm (section 272); and aggravated sexual assault (section 273), voyeurism (section 162), obscenity (section 163) and trafficking in persons (section 279.01).There are many laws relating to underage dating, depending on the age of the individuals involved and the age difference between the couple.It is important to understand that while underage dating is not illegal, sexual activity between a minor and adult is.