Canada: Ontario and Alberta succeed in achieving national sex offender registry.
February 13, 2002
MONCTON, NB, Feb. 13 /CNW/ - The provinces of Ontario and Alberta today
were successful in obtaining a commitment from the federal government to
establish a national sex offender registry that will protect vulnerable
Canadians and make our communities safer.
"For years, our government has been calling on Ottawa to heed the call of
police services and a coroner's jury recommendation for a national registry,"
Ontario Solicitor General David Turnbull said. "I am pleased that federal
Solicitor General Lawrence MacAulay has recognized the strengths of Ontario's
registry, and is now ready to implement a similar system nation-wide. This
will provide an invaluable and seamless investigative tool for police services
Alberta Solicitor General Heather Forsyth said she was pleased the
federal government is taking action, but expressed concern about the lack of
"Finally, the federal government is taking responsibility for the safety
and well-being of Canadians and is making a common-sense commitment to
mandatory registration," Forsyth said. "I am pleased that the federal minister
said he would act as quickly as possible on these changes. Until they are put
into effect, Canadians will continue to be at risk from convicted sex
In 1992, Turnbull introduced sex offender registry legislation as a
member of the opposition. The Harris government established the country's
first sex offender registry in April 2001. The registry includes mandatory
registration, up-to-date photographs and addresses of offenders, tracking and
mapping capabilities and is backed up by stiff penalties for non-compliance.
"While we welcome the federal government's decision, we are urging
Solicitor General MacAulay to move quickly to implement a national registry,"
Turnbull said. "Police and communities across the country need this registry
now to protect children and vulnerable adults."
Last fall, Ontario's Premier, Mike Harris, had offered the province's
software -- a $2 million investment -- to other Canadian governments free of
charge. Turnbull said that he is hopeful the federal government will use the
successful Ontario registry as a model for a national system.
Forsyth noted that Ontario's offer of its innovative sex offender
registry software is still welcome by Alberta.
"Until we have a true national sex offender registry in place, we will
continue to look into safeguards in Alberta to ensure children and in fact all
Albertans are protected from convicted sexual offenders," Forsyth said.
The Ontario Sex Offender Registry was sparked by the brutal murder of
11-year-old Christopher Stephenson at the hands of a convicted pedophile on
federal statutory release. Turnbull said much of the credit for obtaining
Ottawa's commitment to a national registry is the result of the tireless work
of Christopher's father, Jim Stephenson.
Turnbull and Forsyth were in Moncton for the Federal-Provincial-
Territorial Justice Ministers' meeting, which concludes tomorrow.
Disponible en français
For more information visit gov.ab.ca/just/ or solicitorgeneral.msg.gov.on.ca">
Click here to read the source of this news release.
Source: © 2002 Canada NewsWire