Tories propose sex registry changes

Posted on June 1, 2009 in Child & Family Debates, Inclusion Debates – Canada – Tories propose sex registry changes
June 01, 2009.   Tonda MacCharles, Ottawa Bureau

OTTAWA- The Conservatives are proposing changes to close gaps in the national sex offender registry that police have identified.

Under amendments tabled today, the government would:

– Automatically include all convicted sex offenders in the registry. Currently, a prosecutor has to apply and a judge has discretion over whether to put someone’s name in the registry;

-Require convicted offenders to provide a DNA sample for the national databank;

-Allow police to search the registry when hoping to prevent a sex crime, say after a child has been reported missing. Currently, the police are only permitted to search records after a crime, say a sex assault, has been committed;

– Require people jailed for sex crimes in another country and transferred to Canada to serve out their jail term, to also be registered with the databank in Canada;

-Require Canadians who serve out a sentence for a sex crime abroad and return home to report their conviction to police within one week of arriving in Canada, or be charged for failing to register;

-Allow police to notify other foreign or Canadian police when high-risk offenders are travelling to the other’s area;

-Apply the same measures to those convicted in the military justice system;

-Require offenders to report their employment and employer’s names, and any volunteer work, as well as notify police of any absences longer than a week from their home.

Many of the loopholes were reported to a Commons committee this year which is studying the registry and the national DNA databank.

The Conservative government, looking to strengthen its record for the parliamentary session before the summer recess, rolled out seven ministers to make the announcement in regions across the country.

With just three weeks left before the House rises, however, it’s unlikely legislation will pass before late next fall, provided no election intervenes.


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