Walking the walk on the seawall in Vancouver, BC.

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CRIMINAL LAW OF NUDITY:

[53] Sections 173 and 174 of the Criminal Code deal with nudity and indecent acts:

S.173(1) Every one who wilfully does an indecent act

(a) in a public place in the presence of one or more persons, or

(b) in any place, with intent thereby to insult or offend any person, is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

(2) Every person who, in any place, for a sexual purpose, exposes his or her genital organs to a person who is under the age of fourteen years is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

S.174(1) Every one who, without lawful excuse,

(a) is nude in a public place, or

(b) is nude and exposed to public view while on private property, whether or not the property is his own,

is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

(2) For the purposes of this section, a person is nude who is so clad as to offend against public decency or order.

(3) No proceedings shall be commenced under this section without the consent of the Attorney General.

[54] Indecency is not defined in the Criminal Code. It is to be measured on an objective, national, community standard of tolerance. The standard of tolerance is not defined by what Canadians think it is right for them to see, rather it is what they would not abide other Canadians viewing. [Towne Cinema Theatres Ltd. v. The Queen, [1985] 1 S.C.R. 494].

[55] In R. v. Jacob, supra, a woman who walked bare-breasted on a city street and then reclined top-free on the front step to her home was acquitted on appeal of committing an indecent act. The Court found the baring of her breasts was not harmful to anyone. There was nothing degrading or dehumanizing in her conduct. The Court noted anyone who was offended was not forced to look.

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