STOP SEX OFFENDERS | Canada: Justice ministers agree to establish federal sex offender registry.
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Canada: Justice ministers agree to establish federal sex offender registry.

November 6, 2002

By Judy Monchuk

CALGARY (CP) - A new national sex offender registry won't apply to some of Canada's most notorious pedophiles, Alberta's solicitor general said Wednesday.

"I cringe that we have people like Karl Toft and Karla Homolka who won't be included," said Heather Forsyth. Federal officials announced earlier Wednesday that legislation for a national sex offender registry will be introduced in Parliament by mid-December. It would force convicted sex offenders to provide police with up-to-date addresses and identifying marks such as tattoos within 15 days of conviction or release from jail.

But it won't apply to anyone whose conviction predates the legislation, such as Toft, who was convicted of molesting dozens of young boys at the New Brunswick reform school where he worked. Homolka is serving a 12-year sentence for the sex killings of two Ontario schoolgirls and is scheduled for release in 2005.

Federal Justice Minister Martin Cauchon said it's important to try to balance an individual's privacy and rights under the charter with the wants of society.

Forsyth said she's not concerned about constitutional rights of sex offenders.

"The No. 1 priority is vulnerable Canadians and vulnerable children," said Forsyth. "That's what Canadians want.

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Source: 2002 Guelph Mercury