The offence of kidnapping is outlined in section 279(1) of the Criminal Code.

A person commits the offence of kidnapping when they intend to cause another person, against that person’s will, to be confined or imprisoned, to be transported out of Canada, or to be held for ransom or to service.


Person A locks person B in their basement for several hours against person B’s will as a prank. Person A is aware person B wants to be let out but refuses.

Person C puts person D into the trunk of a car against person D’s will and drives person D across the border to the United States

Person E keeps person F locked in their bedroom until person G pays person E a $250,000 ransom.


R. v. Gosk, 2016 ONSC 2185

In R. v. Gosk, the accused was charged with one count of kidnapping when he and six friends abducted the victim from the victim’s workplace and handcuffed him to a pole in the basement of a house where he was held for a million-dollar ransom.

R. v. Ramdeo, 2021 ONSC 1784

In R. v. Ramdeo, the accused was convicted on one count of kidnapping when he bound and forced the victim into his car, threatening to kill the victim if he left the car, in an attempt to get information on a friend of the victim who owed the accused money.

R. v. Gunalingam, 2014 ONSC 7347

In R. v. Gunalingam, the three accused were charged with kidnapping when they forced entry into the victim’s home and confined her to her basement before transporting her to another home where she was tied to a bed and sexually assaulted for two days.

Offence Specific Defence(s)

No Intention

Where the person does not intend to hold the other captive, they may not have completed the offence of kidnapping. For example, if person A steals a car and drives it across the border into the United States unaware that person B is hiding in the backseat, person A has not completed the offence of kidnapping. They have, however, committed a theft offence.


Where the person is willingly being confined somewhere or transported out of Canada, the person confining or transporting them may not have completed the offence of kidnapping.

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Offences in Canada are listed in the Criminal Code. They include crimes related to people, vehicles and weapons.