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This information was provided by David Basford,
past President of the Federation of Canadian Naturists.

Part 1

             The Canadian Criminal Code pertaining to Nudity                

                             Section 173 (extract)

(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 offense 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 offense punishable on summary conviction.

Sunbathing - Mere nude sunbathing is not of sufficient moral turpitude to
support a charge for doing an indecent act. (Beaupre(1971)) British Columbia
Supreme Court

"Wilfully" means "deliberate" or "intentional" as opposed to "accidental"  or
"inadvertent" and it is not further necessary to show that the accused  knew
and intended to perform the indecent act in the sight of others. (Miceli(1977))
Ontario Provincial Court

                             Section 174 (extract)
(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      
        guilty of an offence...

(2) For the purpose 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.

Under "Annotations", it is also stated: "This offence is not aimed at conduct
such as swimming nude at an isolated beach, even where the accused
misjudges the loneliness of the beach." (R.v. Benolkin et al., 1977)

Part 2

        An Appeal to all Canadian and North American Nudists/Naturists

The FCN, with the support of other North American organizations (FQN, WCANR,
TNS, NAC, AANR) sent a letter in 1998 to the Minister of Justice, Mr. Allan
Rock requesting changes to Section 174 of the Canadian Criminal Code (CCC),
to better reflect present day attitudes of a more-enlightened society towards
nudity in the context of nudist /naturist recreation and lifestyle. But, to
be effective, it is vital that individual nudists write to the Minister. We
need letters from as many nudists as possible, Canadians, visitors, and from
all who care about naturist freedoms in Canada.

To facilitate this, we are suggesting a few points you may wish to include
in your letter:

* Few people in a our society today are shocked or harmed by seeing nude
  swimming and sunbathing on a beach.

* It is insulting to women to suggest that the sight of their bare breasts
  could cause "harm". To do so reflects a confused and out-moded attitude.

* More Canadians and North Americans than ever have experienced being on
  "nude" beaches in Europe and the Caribbean. Many want to know why they
  cannot enjoy the same freedom here. As a country respected for its
  tolerance, surely Canada can be more accepting of beach nudity, and
  follow its BC Wreck Beach lead.

* Public nudity in several European countries such as Denmark, Germany and
  Holland is not treated as a criminal offence. Rather it is allowed or not 
  according to the circumstances in which it occurs, and whether it shows
  consideration towards others.

* Present Canadian law indicates that it is not an offence to be nude on an
  "isolated" beach. Yet this suggests that when nude, a person is no longer
  fit to be seen, and should be separated from others - a most prejudicial
  point of view.

* Nude people on a beach or in the back garden at home, are no different
  from those who prefer clothing. It is not acceptable that they should
  be made to feel as if being nude for sunbathing or swimming is somehow
  immoral or even criminal.

* For many, women especially, body acceptance is very difficult. Nudism
  helps people feel better about their bodies, and helps enhance self-
  esteem. The human body deserves to be respected both for its beauty and
  its so-called "imperfections".

* We live in times of great stress. Nude relaxation and recreation is known
  to be one of the most effective antidotes to this stress.

* "Body acceptance is the idea - nude recreation is the way".

Please speak up! Silence is tantamount to surrendering to those who would
impose their repressed moral standards on us! This could, on the other hand,
be the best opportunity for us to make a real advance in the acceptance and
practice of Naturism in Canada.

Thank you for supporting our beloved and cherished lifestyle.

Federation of Canadian Naturists

Part 3

     The Honorable Ms. Anne McLellan
     Minister of Justice,
     323 West Block,
     House of Commons,
     Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6
                                                  28 July, 1997
     Dear Ms. McLellan,

     In relation to the uncertainties arising from the Ontario
"topless" issue, I am writing to you as President of Canada's
national nudist organization, the Federation of Canadian
Naturists (FCN), and with the support of La Federation Quebecoise
de Naturisme (FQN), the Western Canadian Association for Nude
Recreation, the US-based Naturist Society, and the International
Naturist Federation , together representing hundreds  of
thousands of nudists. The purpose of this letter is to
communicate the deep concerns of many thousands of naturists
across Canada about the implications of any changes in the
Canadian Criminal Code  (as may be requested by the Ontario
Attorney General, Mr. Charles Harnick), relative  to those
sections pertaining to public nudity.

     The naturist/nudist movement arose out of a philosophy based
on humanist ideals. "Naturism"/ "Nudism"  has been defined as "a
way of life in harmony with nature, characterized by the practice
of communal nudity, with the intention of encouraging self-
respect, respect for others, and care for the environment." In
this context, nudity is non-sexual and non-commercial. It is
practiced under circumstances for which it is appropriate, such
as swimming and sunbathing. Furthermore, many studies have
demonstrated both the physical and psychological benefits of the
"naturist lifestyle".

     Naturism in Canada is practiced in nudist clubs, on a few
officially-sanctioned "clothing-optional" beaches (such as the
world renowned Wreck Beach, Vancouver), and on many quiet lake
and river sides across Canada. The peaceful, family-oriented
atmosphere of the nearly fifty Canadian nudist /naturist clubs.
provides a valuable respite from the stresses of everyday life.
Children who have grown up in the naturist environment tend to
have healthier attitudes toward their bodies and have better self-
esteem. In addition, Canadian nudist clubs attract thousands of
visitors every year, thus contributing to the tourism industry,
and to the local economy through taxes and employment.

     We respectfully urge you not to remove or alter Section 174
(3) of the Canadian Criminal Code ("No proceedings shall be
commenced under this section without the consent of the Attorney
General".).  To do so would make it easier for criminal charges
to be inappropriately brought against
     any person nude to public view, whether on a clothing-
optional beach or even at a nudist club. We feel strongly that
proper consideration by the Attorney General with regard to
circumstances should remain a requirement in any situation where
criminal charges have been brought under the section.

     We feel, both as naturists and as part of Canadian society,
that it is unacceptable that a woman who bares her breasts, or
indeed that a  person who is totally nude, for such activities as
swimming and sunbathing on a quiet beach, should be in fear of
being charged under the Canadian Criminal Code.  Further, we
feel it to be equally unacceptable that naturists who respect the
spirit of Sections 173 and 174, should be harassed by local
officials / bylaws that treat them (naturists) as "undesirables".
The vast majority of those who enjoy nude or semi-nude
relaxation, are ordinary, law-abiding citizens, sensitive to the
feelings of others and respectful of what is appropriate with
regard to time and place.  Nudists are not exhibitionists, but
neither do they believe they should be ashamed of their bodies,
nor that the sight of the nude human body is a cause of potential

     Many of Canada's visitors come from countries  such as
Denmark, Germany and Holland, where "toplessness" and total
nudity on beaches, in quiet park areas, and in home back gardens
is considered normal and appropriate. They find it surprising
that in Canada, a country associated with tolerance, they must
either be hidden in isolated areas, or be denied the simple
pleasure of naturism.

     With the demographics of our country, and more demands being
made for clothing-optional recreation, the FCN believes that
provincial Attorneys General will have to take a position on the
issue of designating clothing-optional beaches and other naturist
recreational public areas. Delegates of the FCN would be pleased
to meet with you or your representatives at your convenience, for
we believe that any consideration being given to changing the CCC
should be done with full public input, and that an in-person
meeting would be a good first step in that process.

     Yours sincerely,

     David Basford
     President, Federation of Canadian Naturists
     President FQN-FCN Union

     Judy Williams
     Public Relations, Federation of Canadian Naturists
     Member of The Naturist Society - Naturist Action Committee
     Chairperson, Wreck Beach Preservation Society, Vancouver, BC


     1.  Directors and members of the Federation of Canadian
          Naturists (FCN)
          P.O. Box 186, Islington, Ontario, M9A 4X2
     2.  Robert Richer, President
          La Federation Quebecoise de Naturisme (FQN)
          4545 Pierre-de-Coubertin, C.P.1000, Succursale M,
          Montreal, Qu=82bec, H1V 3R2
     3.  Bob Migliore, President
         The Western Association for Nude Recreation (WCANR)
          P.O.Box 1113, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2K9
     4.  Lee Baxandall, The Naturist Society, President
          Shirley Mason, The Naturist Action Committee,
          Box 132, Oshkosh, WI 54902, USA
     5.  Karl Dressen, President
         The International Naturist Federation, Antwerp, Belgium
         St. Hubertusstraat 5, B-2600 Antwerp, Belgium

     The FCN and FQN have a membership of more than 3000
naturists mainly in Quebec and central Canada. They are
affiliated to the International Naturist Federation through the
FQN-FCN Union.

     The WCANR has more than 1500 members, mainly in western
Canada It is affiliated with the American Association for Nude
Recreation, which has total a membership of over 40,000.

     The Naturist Society, with nearly 20,000 members has
supported the use of clothing-optional beaches both in the United
States and in Canada. The Naturist Action Committee actively
devotes itself to the protection of these areas for the benefit
of all naturists.

     The International Naturist Federation was founded in 1952 in
France, with the major goal of encouraging naturism and naturist
organizations world-wide. Based in Antwerp, Belgium, its members
are the national naturist federations from 30 countries
representing more than 300,000 naturists.

     It is estimated that there are approximately 10,000 club-
member nudists in Canada, and more than 50,000 occasional non-
club nudists. These numbers are but a fraction of the many
ordinary people who regularly swim and sunbathe nude in hundreds
of quiet, secluded areas.

Part 4

The Honorable Mr. Mike Harris
Premier of Ontario,
Room 281, Legislative Building,
Queen's Park,
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A1
                                                  28 July, 1997
Dear Mr. Harris,

I am writing to you in my capacity as president of the Federation
of Canadian Naturists, representing, with our sister
organizations in Quebec and Western Canada, many tens of
thousands of nudists. As part of the International Naturist
Federation, we represent Canadian naturism/nudism  to hundreds of
thousands of nudists world-wide.

We understand that, in response to the "topless" situation in
Ontario, a request may be made by the Ontario Attorney-General,
Mr. Charles Harnick, to the Federal Justice Minister, Ms. Anne
McLellan, to change the relevant sections of the Canadian
Criminal Code. We ask that changes not be made which would seek
to criminalize innocent nudity as practiced by naturists/nudists
on some beaches, and other quiet recreational areas. Our letter
to Ms. McLellan is enclosed.

With particular regard to "toplessness", it must be emphasized
that  the issue is primarily one of allowing women to have the
same right as do men, to make their own decision to wear or not
to wear a top. The fact is that the great majority of both women
and men understand and respect what is appropriate for the time
and place, and are not about to start parading semi-nude through
our towns. As evidence of this, we include a letter from Mr.
Morley Schloss of Rochester, NY., a representative of the New
York State Coalition for Topfree Equality. He confirms the
experience of other countries where top-free equality has been
granted: that women have not walked around the streets without
shirts, but have exercised their right sensibly, in such places
as in their backyards and on some beaches. Similarly, in several
European countries (Denmark, Holland) where the equal right to be
"topless" has long been acknowledged, and beach nudity/seminudity
is common, the sight of women or men in town streets without a
top is rare.

Far from some commonly held ideas, nudity as practiced by
naturists/ nudists is in the context of a philosophy of accepting
our whole selves as part of natural creation. Naturism/nudism is
based on humanistic ideals: it has been defined as "a way of life
in harmony with nature, characterized by the practice of communal
nudity, encouraging self-respect, respect for others, and care
for the environment."  Such nudity is non-sexual and non-commercial,
but is practiced under circumstances for which it is appropriate,
such as swimming and sunbathing. The vast majority of
naturists/nudists are not exhibitionists and do not condone overt
sexual behaviour. They are ordinary, law-abiding, citizens,
sensitive to the feelings of others, merely wishing to enjoy
their holiday relaxation on the beaches quietly, and in the way
they find most natural.

We understand and respect that in Canada, as compared to some
European countries, nudity on public beaches is unfamiliar and
even offensive to some. Yet it is a growing trend, and an
increasing number of naturists/nudists feel that "clothing-
optional" beaches, designated by appropriate signs, should be
established in Ontario. The example of the well known Wreck Beach
in Vancouver has shown how successful this can be. Naturists have
typically taken responsibility for the cleanliness of their
beaches, and the good behaviour of those who use them. We suggest
that such beaches be established, preferably in co-operation with
a recognized nudist group (such as a Federation of Canadian
Naturists affiliated naturist club).

Finally, may we appeal to you not to allow vocal groups with
extreme views to manipulate our laws in an attempt to control
those with whom they disagree.


David Basford
President, Federation of Canadian Naturists,
Director, Topfree Equal Rights Association

Judy Williams
Public Relations, Federation of Canadian Naturists,
Chairperson, Wreck Beach Preservation Society,
Topfree Equal Rights Association, special advisor

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