Toronto

Porn filters needed in schools, libraries: MPP

A Conservative MPP has tabled a private member's bill that would force libraries and schools in Ontario to install software that will block pornography sites.

A Conservative MPP has tabled a private member's bill that would force libraries and schools in Ontario to install software that will block pornography sites.

The bill was proposed by Gerry Martiniuk, who represents the riding of Cambridge. It received routine first reading at Queen's Park Wednesday afternoon.

Martiniuk said the idea came from Rob Nickel, a former OPP officer and expert on online pornography, who witnessed a man downloading pornography at a Cambridge library with children sitting nearby.

The rules are needed because libraries have a patchwork of policies on the issue, and some computers in some schools lack filters, Martiniuk said.

"We all know that there's a shortage of manpower both in our public libraries and in our schools," he told CBC News.

"You can't supervise the kids 24 hours a day. This would alleviate that problem."

The former police officer acknowledged there is some concern that his bill is seen by some as a form of censorship.

But he disagrees, and believes prohibiting access to porn sites on school and library computers will protect children.

The bill needs the support of the Liberals to be passed into law.

Premier Dalton McGuinty wouldn't say whether he'd support such filters, adding he's not yet sure whether mandating such standards are up to the province.

But he said parents — not the government — must be responsible for keeping children away from pornography.

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