Canada Labeled a “Pedophile Haven”

Fresh off unsubstantiated claims that Canada is a piracy haven, the media is now reporting that Canada is also a "pedophile haven."  At least two groups are quoted in a CTV article claiming that Canada has lax laws and should require Internet service providers to take stronger action against pedophile and child porn sites.  Moreover, Conservative MP Art Hanger infers that the law should be changed to require ISPs to report sites, even if they are not illegal.

Pedophelia and child pornography are obviously unconscionable and all countries should have strong laws to criminalize such behaviour.  To my knowledge, there is no reason to think that Canada falls short in this regard.  Not only are there criminal code provisions to address these issues, but Canadian ISPs voluntarily launched the controversial Project Cleanfeed initiative to block child pornography images.  Moreover, the OpenNet Initiative summary of Canada and the U.S. leaves no reason to believe that U.S. ISPs face stricter scrutiny or liability for this form of conduct (several U.S. law initiatives have been struck down as unconstitutional).  Everyone wants to find effective tools for addressing this issues, but misleading and inaccurate characterizations of Canadian law is simply not the way to do it.


  1. ME
    A Canadian Justice Foundation founder is Shawn Howard. Howard is currently an alderman in Airdrie, Alberta and shills for Pengrowth Management as their Director of Public & Government Affairs. Federally, Airdrie is represented by 71 year old american born and educated Conservative MP Myron Thompson.

    If I were a cynic: I’d say Shawn Howard is polishing apples in a hope to claim the Conservative nomination when Thompson hangs up his spurs.

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  2. Mr.
    Maybe this perception as a “pedophile haven” is due to the John Robin Sharpe case.

  3. Hold on a second…
    When is the last time anyone stumbled across a “child porn” site by accident? I think I have the answer: never. They don’t exist.

    It’s also not an ISPs job to enforce censorship. We do not need some self-serving, private and back-door tool to be taking things into its own hands.

  4. Jeff Rybak says:

    Not to ignore the problem…
    I’d never go so far as to claim that child pornography on the Internet isn’t a problem, but Brent is right to a point. Child porn “sites” aren’t really the problem, to my knowledge, anymore. I get the sense it’s all moved to p2p. Any time I read about it now, police have busted some kind of group that trades and produces this crap internally. It’s pretty easy to bust a website, after all, since it has to be hosted somewhere. Attempts to stop p2p trading are what lead us to the point where some legislators want ISPs to monitor what’s coming in and going out of our private systems. I offer that point in the interest of clarity. I don’t favor such monitoring, but merely establishing the fact that child porn “sites” seem a myth shouldn’t minimize the problem.

    That said, I’m really sick and tired of references to Canada as some kind of lawless, liberal haven just north of the goodthinkful idiots down south. I wish we could trade places with the Netherlands sometime, and see what right-wing Americans would have to say about -them- if they only shared a common border. The problem isn’t Canada. The problem is being in proximity to the most Conservative regime this side of the Middle East, that gets freaked out by anything it can’t control.

  5. As p2p moves towards fully-distributed, fully encrypted transfer, the chance of catching a criminal in this way is exceedingly remote. The only way to do it would involve complete surrender of control of the home PC to the government. Surely there must be a better way to tackle the problem of child-pornography. This way will never work, at least, not for long.

  6. These people have no chance of rehabilitation it has been stated for years! so just neuter them. make there sex drive go away and save our children! why protect these pedopiles rights?? what about our childs rights? either that or just execute these sick people who get off on children!

  7. A.B.
    Am I the only one bothered by the fact that a repeat offender pedophile is a regular preacher at an Ottawa Baptist Church?

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    He was convicted before the new law in Canada was passed that makes a repeat offender a lifelong registered pedophile. If the law was passed a year or so earlier he would have to be registered and controlled by terms like “cannot be around children, playgrounds, or alone with children, or take on any position of authority that would give him access to children”.

    So this group of blinded idiots tried to make him pastor but the gov. stopped them for a year by a court order. As soon as the court order was over they had him preaching to the little ones he loves so much.

  8. A.B.
    The church is Grace Baptist of Ottawa, the split from Westboro Baptist when the assistant Roy Lawrence tried to have the senior pastor kicked out. Even after being exposed, he said in a taped testimony ” I leave this church with my head held high”.He had been having church kids sleeping over in the months before this happened. Christians can be reall dumb (due to pride) sothosewho left with him still refuse to see God slapping them in the face – as a month after they splitthe church and followed thisman they found out about his past – and would not admit they had been shamed by God…blind or what!

  9. Perverted redneck canadians
    I hope all you sick, child diddling canadian rednecks die in a fire.

  10. pedo working at children services
    was at a friend the other day when some investigator from children services came about his kid brother and it turns out the investigator was a pedophile as he dealt with me before in the past and fondled me and promised he was going to make it all ok and that i would be back with my parents soon and that never happened and he messed up my life big time and now I am messed up because of him and he is in charge of investigating in calgary?? his name is Brad but I don’t remember his last name the whole system is messed up when children services are the ones in charge of molesting us and there is no place we can turn to

  11. Perverts and pedophiles are rampant in canada
    Our chief justices of canada, should feel the pain, terror and injustice our children indure daily. These supreme justices consciously ignore our children. Because these perverts have more rights than the victims , the pervs still antagonize their victims in full view of public. We can instill our human voice to the united nations council and ask that they help all child victims of this horrid and evil abuse on children end today.

  12. slack canadian laws keep these pedophiles in canada
    I hope that all theses lawmakers and perverts all burn in hell. Especially since they go hand in hand with devil they serve for now and eternity. Rot in hell you fucken perverts and justices.

  13. Clergy Killers: Christians In Satan’s Service
    What is interesting is that the pedophile is still preaching regularly at Grace Baptist, the group that split Westboro Baptist and wanted him as Pastor. has many of Lawrence’s sermons. I wonder if they notify all parents with children who visit or attend this group that the preacher must never be alone with their kids. Or do they keep them in the dark in order to try to get their church to grow. Of the original 40 they took from Westboro only about 20 remain. But to not allow the pedophile to preach would be to admit they were wrong in following him. They are far too proud for that to ever happen, apart from a real miracle!

    Roy Gordon Lawrence is a convicted child molester.

    Lawrence was as a Baptist pastor in Ottawa. [1]

    Previously he resided in St. Albert, Alberta, when he was a 10-year veteran of the Edmonton Police Service. He was suspended and then resigned in 1991, after he had been charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting three children. He captured the three children under ten years of age at knife point. All three were forced to perform sexual acts on each other and on Lawrence. Two of the children were brother and sister. Lawrence had rented a video camera and taped the four to five hours of abuse. Police alleged that there was a knife near the man during the incidents. It was alleged the attacks were well-planned.

    Lawrence told a psychologist he had sex with children on earlier occasions, according to submissions in Court. Lawrence was convicted, and on appeal, his five year sentence was increased to eight years. Paul Bourque, for the Crown, quoted from the psychologist’s report in which Lawrence said “he planned to try something different from his past sexual encounters with children.” This, apparently, was the filming of his offences. Lawrence carried out his offences by driving to an “impoverished” area of the city, figuring he might find children who were already sexually abused, he later told a psychologist. At a playground, he offered two brothers money for delivering packages. The eight-year-old agreed, then changed his mind. Lawrence had a small knife and tried to drag the boy into his car. The child kicked the man and escaped. The boy suffered a bruised right arm and scraped chest. After driving to a school playground Lawrence approached a 10-year-old girl, her eight-year-old brother and his buddy, also eight. They agreed to the package delivery scheme and Lawrence drove the trio to his St. Albert home. For the next four hours, the children were forced assaulted. Lawrence used a rented video camera to film the children’s acts. He said that he was making a commercial and demanded they swear. He also waved a kitchen knife at the three, threatening to kill them if they told anyone about the evening. At about 2 a.m., the children were returned to their neighborhood. Each received $20. The next morning, the children revealed the abuse. Lawrence was arrested August 13 and resigned from the police service soon after charges were laid. He said he had destroyed the video. Victim impact statements revealed the children and their families now have emotional problems. One eight-year-old boy, who used to be “happy-go-lucky,” now gets violent and doesn’t listen to adults. A victim impact statement is a written or verbal statement made as part of the judicial legal process, which allows a victim of crime the opportunity to speak during the sentencing of their attacker or at subsequent parole hearings.

    Edmonton Police Service is responsible for policing in the City of Edmonton, Alberta. … Citywide Church (formerly Westboro Baptist Church) is located at 307 Richmond Rd.


  14. Prison and post-release career as pastor
    Prison and post-release career as pastor
    Lawrence was convicted and sent to prison. He was released in 1997 [3] After prison Lawrence graduated from Toronto Baptist Seminary. He moved to Ottawa and became involved with local Baptist churches. In 2002, having covered his past, Lawrence became an associate pastor of Westboro Baptist Church (no relation to Westboro in Kansas).

    The senior pastor of Westboro Baptist at the time, Rev. William Oosterman, along with the Deacons Board and the whole congregation, knew that Lawrence had a criminal past and had spent several years in prison. Mr. Lawrence came highly recommended by Toronto Baptist Seminary, and by the Ottawa church Alta Vista Baptist and their Pastor Rev. Gorden McLeod, where he had volunteered for several years. Rev. William Oosterman attests he was lied to by Lawrence who told him he was sent to prison for being involved with an underage prostitute. This is verified by the fact that he told the same lie to Pastor George Wallingford of Parkdale Baptist where Lawrence also tried to get a job. Certainly, sleeping with an underage prostitute is a lot less vile and disgusting than the acts Lawrence was truly guilty of. Mr. Lawrence covered his full gory past from the church in order to get a job. Based on the strong commendations from Toronto Baptist Seminary and Alta Vista Baptist church the Deacon’s Board had no problem allowing the church to vote on Mr. Lawrence. Rev. Oosterman had informed the Deacons that Lawrence had a criminal past, as did some of the Disciples of Jesus Christ Himself, and they appointed Deacon Andrew Babcock to spend time with Lawrence to get all of the details. It was later proven that Lawrence did reveal his sordid past in molesting three children to Mr. Babcock. Mr. Lawrence failed to report the other 15 children he molested to this Deacon Andrew Babcock. As the Deacon’s Minutes prove, when asked to report his three-hour meeting with Lawrence, Mr. Babcock said he had nothing to report. He gave Lawrence his personal vote of confidence, along with the rest of the Deacon’s Board and allowed and supported Lawrence to become the associate pastor of Westboro Baptist Church. The Congregation was informed months before the vote that Lawrence had been in prison for a sex crime and they were encouraged to ask Mr. Lawrence and/or the Board for details. None of them availed themselves of this opportunity and Lawrence was voted in by 100% of the members. Along with his associate pastoral duties, Mr. Lawrence held the Sunday School Superintendent position. As the term “Superintendent” indicates to educated people, he did not actually teach any children’s classes. Lawrence was in charge of assigning teachers for the classes at Westboro Baptist.[1] He did teach the Westboro adult class some of the time. Lawrence was asked by Ninon Proux, the Principle of the independent Christian School that operated in the same building, to teach the children some Bible classes. The children he took home for the sleep overs in January 2004 attended this school as well as Westboro Baptist.[1]

  15. Pedophile pastor still preaching in Ottawa
    Westboro Baptist went through a church split in March 2004, with a group of people attempting to replace Pastor Oosterman with Mr. Roy Lawrence. The church had guaranteed by a special agreement, in February 2003, approved by 98% of the members, that Pastor Oosterman be given ten months medical leave to recover from the severe medical treatment (Pegatron and Interferon) he was receiving for Hep C, which had resulted in a mild heart attack, a complete breakdown and system collapse. The written agreement, drafted and read out by Pastor Oosterman, included the following:

    “I suggest now that a bloodbath, with all of the terrible accusations flying back and forth, with all of the grief and tearing of this precious flock, for which we would all have to give account before Christ, that this can and should be avoided. How? Follow Andrew Caldwell’s suggestion ”d” which is “a disability leave and/or sabbatical”. This is a way out of an otherwise terrible time for all. Westboro needs time to sort out many important issues. It will give this church time to calm down and heal. Time, with much prayer and humility, will put this turmoil into a much more sane context. At the end of that time you may say “We really do miss you. Please come back” or “It is time for us to lovingly and graciously part company”. I can and will accept either. (N.B.) After almost eleven years of intense and demanding ministry, and while I am taking this Hep-C treatment, it will give your loved (I hope) Pastor a time to heal. Both Dorothy and I desperately need this. I will have minimal contact. I am on the medicine for another nine months, with a month of recovery after this. The period I have in mind is March through December of this year. By then God will have revealed to this flock and to myself what his will is. Hopefully, no one will leave this church (I will be out of the picture) and this family of God can heal. I truly hope that the kind hearts and wise minds of the people I have come to love will prevail. If you accept this now, I urge you all, my supporters and detractors, to stop all attempts to build up or tear down. Resist the temptation to either attack or justify. We are all sinners saved by grace. If you choose to open fronts and draw the battle lines and attack, this evening you will find that Jesus will depart. Is it worth that to prove your point, what ever it is? I beg you as one who loves and cares for you, spare my wee little ones the carnage, the blood and guts of a terrible battle among saints.”

  16. Pedophile preacher in Ottawa
    The above covenant, a contract, was passed by 99% and submitted in writing to the church clerk to be added to the official Minutes. All but one couple voted for it. If it had been followed, the church would still be there. In an act of blatant betrayal and hypocrisy, after having agreed to give their Pastor tens months much needed medical leave, a group of people, including Roy Lawrence, immediately began organizing for a vote to have the pastor dismissed. In fact, a day later they changed the locks on the church building and the pastor’s office, without the Trustees or members being informed. During this split, Lawrence’s past started to become public knowledge — to the shock of some of the congregation. It did not stop the break away group from calling Mr. Lawrence as Elder, as their Official Minutes of April 4, 2004 record, or defending him as a “pastor” in the Ottawa Sun articles. To date Pastor Oosterman is the only one who has publicly admitted his failure (Sun Articles and Letter) in giving Mr. Lawrence the benefit of the doubt and allowing Mr. Lawrence to become an Assistant Pastor. After the articles in the Ottawa Sun, The Chairman of a Canadian Group of sexual abuse survivors wrote to Pastor Oosterman thanking him for taking responsibility. The letter said, “You are the first church leader in Canada to publicly go on record as accepting responsibility and we thank you for setting this example”. [4]

    Lawrence resigned from the Westboro Pastoral position in March 2004 to become pastor of the newly formed Grace Baptist Church. Shortly thereafter, Ottawa police obtained a protective order against Lawrence, upon learning that he had hosted a sleepover with children in January 2004 and that he was involved with other children’s ministries at the Grace Baptist Church.[3] The church was in the process of firing Lawrence when he resigned.[citation needed]

    A group of people left Westboro Baptist with Roy Lawrence in March 2004. They formed Grace Baptist of Ottawa where, amazingly, Roy Lawrence still teaches and preaches on a regular basis. The Ottawa police protective order was in place for a year and was to prevent him from any kind of leadership position in the newly formed church. The Police were concerned that children would look up to Lawrence and he would be able to gain their trust. As soon as the court order expired this group began to have him preach and teach on a regular basis. It is not known if they inform all new families who attend of Lawrence’s pedophile past and recent activities.[citation needed]

    Pastor Oosterman is now ministering in the Dominican Republic, preaching in various Spanish and English churches, training pastors and bringing aid to destitute villages. He is working on his second novel Clergy Killers: Christians In Satan’s Service which will be based on the above events.

  17. Concerned ANON says:

    A Need for Adequate Screening for Adults working with Children
    My brother was molested by his boy scout leader (a child protection worker and volunteer for big brothers and sisters) and my 10 year old sister was raped by her father in the 1980’s. My sister is an alcoholic who struggles every day with what happened to her as a child. My brother has difficulty controlling his anger and it took him years to admit what had happened to him. He laid charges against his rapist but due to a hung jury, and my brother having experienced far too much in the first trial, to pursue another one, the rapist is still free to hurt more young boys. However, 2 other men who were victims of this person’s abuse have laid charges against him and one of the victims is in the trial process now. My hope is that finally the system will shut the man away so that he stops hurting children. Pedophiles need to be locked away and when they are out, as unfortunately they will be, we can’t let them just be shuffled to a new place where they can live in anonimity and hurt more children. These people DO NOT CHANGE! They are sick people but there is no magic pill that will make them stop what they are doing. It was believed that after my brother’s rapist moved away from our town, and started working elsewhere as a child protection worker, he molested another young boy. The boy came from a troubled home life so the child protection worker/my brother’s rapist, offered for the teen to move in with him. Within months the teen committed suicide and the story from people close to him was that he did it because he was being molested by the man who took him in. I am not a devoutly religious person but I pray that the screening processes for child protection workers and others with direct contact with young children are better than they were in the 80s, though the stories above make me think that they are not. I also pray that those people who have been victims, know that they can reach out for help – if not to a child protection worker or a religious leader they feel they can trust, then to a family doctor or the police. Just a kid…I am so sorry for your experience. Reach out to someone you can trust if you can. I hope you find some peace in your life.

  18. A.B.
    Am I the only one bothered by the fact that a repeat offender pedophile is a regular preacher at an Ottawa Baptist Church?
    ( That seems to be the case – he is still there and preaching…..dangerous for kids!)

  19. Seems the “Grace(less) Baptist of Ottawa has finally taken the pedophile out of the pulpit after giving him ten years. Wonder what happened? More kids at risk?