Government docs on porn regulator will take six years to access: Justice Department

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OTTAWA —
A New Democrat MP’s request for documents related to a new regulator that will handle child pornography and exploitive material could take over half a decade for the government to process.

In a letter responding to NDP ethics critic Charlie Angus’s access-to-information request, the Justice Department says it will take more than six years to provide correspondence and briefings from a three-month period between December and March related to the regulator.

In April, the Liberal government announced it would introduce legislation to create a new regulator that will ensure online platforms remove harmful content, including depictions of children and intimate images that are shared without consent.

Conservative and New Democrat MPs have questioned why a regulator is needed to crack down on exploitive content when the Criminal Code already bars child pornography and the knowing distribution of illicit images.

Angus says the lack of details or timelines around the regulator prompted his request, calling the 75-month waiting period “ridiculous.”

The Justice Department says in an email that time frames for processing requests are based on the estimated number of records and that interim release of documents is possible in high-volume cases.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 22, 2021.

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