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This booklet provides information on what is meant by the age of consent to sexual activity and an overview of some of Canada’s laws on sexual assault, and other offences involving sexual exploitation. This is the age that criminal law recognizes the legal capacity of a young person to consent to sexual activity.
Generally, it is legal to have sexual contact with someone who is 16 years or older if they agree to have sex with you. It is important to know that in some situations a person must be 18 years old to consent to sexual activity.
There are exceptions for young persons under 16 years of age who have consensual sexual activity with someone close in age.
These exceptions make sure the law does not label consensual activities between young people as criminal offences.
You may be in a long-term or casual relationship or you might just have sex with someone once.