Legal dating age restrictions
That age limit has not changed and remains in place today, with narrow exceptions for consensual activity between young persons less than two years apart in age. For example, the Badgley Report notes that seduction of a girl over 12 and under 16 "of previously chaste character" was made an offence in 1886.
The offence was retained in the 1892 Criminal Code, in respect of girls between 14 and 16, and remained in force until 1920, when the offence was changed to prohibit "sexual intercourse." After 1920, the question of who was more to "blame" became an issue that could lead to acquittal but the offence remained in force until 1988.
The documents on this site were originally prepared for general distribution to Canadian Parliamentarians to provide background and analysis of issues that may arise in the course of their Parliamentary duties.
They are made available here as a service to the public.
In addition to those offences reviewed above, the "seduction" of a female under 18 "under promise of marriage" was made an offence in Canada in 1886 and amended in 1887 to apply to females under 21.
In 1920, the offence of "seduction" (without reference to promise of marriage) was made applicable to girls "of previously chaste character" between 16 and 18.
Staff of the Parliamentary Research Branch (PRB) of the Library of Parliament work exclusively for Parliament conducting research and providing analysis and policy advice to Members of the Senate and House of Commons and to parliamentary committees on a non-partisan and confidential basis.
Amendments to the Criminal Code in 1988 repealed the aforementioned unlawful intercourse and seduction offences.