Toronto
1 min

Sharpe expects abuse

John Robin Sharpe, 66, says he didn’t really notice the busload of protesters from Toronto parading around the Supreme Court on a frigid Ottawa day. He’s accustomed to abuse, saying he gets plenty of phone calls to his public number in Vancouver.



But he did speak about his feelings on child pornography, favouring restrictions on porn which abuses children. His photos, drawings and short stories (like Sam Paloc’s Boy Abuse: Flogging And Fortitude).



“When you look at the cases involving adolescent boys, they’re victimized by the police and by social service agencies,” he said. “They’re leaned on to testify against the men involved – what they suffer from the police is worse.”



He singled out London, Ontario’s Project Guardian, which

local queer activists called a witch-hunt for gay men.



In his brief comments, Sharpe said laws “should be designed to protect children and not the sensibilities of the righteous.” He wouldn’t elaborate on what he thought child pornography laws should be, but did say that “nothing written should be illegal.”



DOIN’ IT HIMSELF



Ontario Attorney-General Jim Flaherty went to the Supreme Court Of Canada to deliver his argument in person this month.



He mentioned Canada’s international treaty obligations, specifically the United Nations Declaration Of The Rights Of The Child.



He argued the current law’s breadth is its strength, since it captures all forms of new technology. Flaherty mentioned morphed photographs – putting the head of one person on another’s body, for example – as one such development.



He said Internet trafficking of child pornography is a major concern. This risk of dissemination leads him to favour banning fictional material, since it could be stolen or distributed. “It is not a victimless crime and it is not messageless,” he said. “Self-authored material should be included because of the risk of escape. The source is irrelevant.”