September 27, 2021 – The Federal Government must create a regulatory framework specifically aimed at technology-facilitated gender-based violence (TFGBV), says the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF).

Last week, LEAF provided a submission to Canadian Heritage on the Federal Government’s proposed approaches to address harmful content online.

While LEAF supports the development of a federal regulatory framework to address the growing issue of TFGBV, it does not support the Federal Government’s proposed “online harms” framework. The framework poses serious concerns from a substantive equality and human rights perspective. It also risks exacerbating existing inequalities, particularly because it purports to deal with five very different “online harms” with a single approach.

LEAF urges the government to:

  1. Revise the regulatory framework to explicitly recognize substantive equality and human rights as guiding principles;
  2. Provide more immediate and direct support to victims experiencing TFGBV;
  3. Provide alternative remedies to those provided through law enforcement and the criminal justice process;
  4. Recognize forms of TFGBV that are not currently captured by the criminal law; and
  5. Ensure responses are tailored to and account for the specific harms of TFGBV.

You can read and download the submission here.

Media Contact

Rosel Kim
Staff Lawyer, LEAF
[email protected]

About the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF)  

The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) is a national not-for-profit that works to advance gender equality in Canada through litigation, law reform, and public legal education.  

Since 1985, LEAF has intervened in more than 100 cases that have helped shape the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, responded to violence against women and gender diverse people, pushed back against discrimination in the workplace, allowed access to reproductive freedoms, and provided improved maternity benefits, spousal support, and the right to pay equity. 

LEAF understands that women and gender diverse individuals in Canada experience discrimination in different ways, and builds partnerships across communities to inform our understanding of how race, gender identity, sexual orientation, (dis)ability, class, and other intersectional identities underlie legal structures that perpetuate inequality, discrimination, and harm.