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Consent is an active, direct, voluntary, and conscious choice and agreement between adults to engage in sexual activity. It is the responsibility of the initiator of sexual activity to obtain consent at all stages of sexual engagement. More specifically, consent:

  • is not silence or the absence of “no”;
  • cannot be assumed or implied;
  • cannot be given by an individual incapacitated by alcohol, drugs or some other reason, and/or who is unconscious, or otherwise incapable of providing consent;
  • can be revoked at any time, despite whatever other sexual activities have taken place;
  • can never be obtained through an abuse of power, threats, intimidation, coercion or other pressure tactics;
  • cannot be obtained if the respondent abuses a position of trust, power or authority; and/or
  • cannot be assumed from previous consent to similar activities.

Consent, as defined in the Criminal Code:

273.1 Meaning of consent:

The voluntary agreement to engage in the sexual activity in question.

No consent is obtained, where:

  • the agreement is expressed by the words or conduct of a person other than the complainant;
  • the complainant is incapable of consenting to the activity;
  • the accused induces the complainant to engage in the activity by abusing a position of trust, power or authority;
  • the complainant is incapable of consenting to the activity;
  • the complainant expresses, by words or conduct, a lack of agreement to engage in the activity; or
  • the complainant, having consented to engage in sexual activity, expresses, by words or conduct, a lack of agreement to continue to engage in the activity.