The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Public database of child sex offenders to be part of pedophile crackdown

  • Print

OTTAWA - The federal government plans to create a publicly accessible database of high-risk child sex offenders as part of a bill that takes aim at those who prey on young people.

The legislation introduced Wednesday would also require registered sex offenders to provide more information when they travel abroad and permit more sharing of information between federal agencies.

In addition, the bill proposes making those convicted of child sex crimes against multiple children to serve their sentences consecutively.

"Make no mistake about it," said Justice Minister Peter MacKay. "If you sexually assault children in this country, you're going to jail."

The government promised in the October throne speech to get tougher on pedophiles, the latest in a series of Conservative justice measures to boost penalties or create new offences.

The legislation would increase sentences for certain child sex offences as well as penalties for violating conditions of supervision orders.

Spouses could be compelled to testify in child pornography cases.

The most contentious element of the package could be the plan for a public database, which some warn can lead to vigilante-style attacks against sex offenders released from prison.

Public Safety Minister Stephen Blaney said the government would make no apologies for the approach.

"Parents have the right to know if there is a dangerous pedophile in their neighbourhood," he said.

The bill would allow the RCMP to begin discussions with provincial and municipal authorities to establish the national database using existing information on high-risk child sex offenders who have been the subject of a notice to the public.

"What this national database will do is to make sure that this information is available throughout the country in a standardized manner," Blaney said.

Under the bill, registered sex offenders will have to report every address or location at which they expect to stay, as well as specific travel dates for any trip of seven days or longer outside Canada, he said.

Better information sharing will allow the Canada Border Service Agency to flag high-risk offenders in their lookout system and help police ensure compliance with travel identification requirements, Blaney added.

MacKay said the sentencing provisions better reflect the serious nature of the crimes and the harm and hurt they cause.

"Each day, sadly in Canada, there are far too many children who become victims of sexual assault. These crimes cause unimaginable devastation in the lives of children, in the lives of their loved ones."

In 2012-13, more than 3,900 sexual offences occurred in Canada against children, an increase over the previous year, MacKay said.

"These are the reported statistics and many, we know, go unreported."

Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Weekend springtime weather with Doug Speirs - Apr 19

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Horses enjoy a beautiful September morning east of Neepawa, Manitoba  - Standup Photo– Sept 04, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 060711 Chris Pedersen breeds Monarch butterflies in his back yard in East Selkirk watching as it transforms from the Larva or caterpillar through the Chrysalis stage to an adult Monarch. Here an adult Monarch within an hour of it emerging from the Chrysalis which can be seen underneath it.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What are you most looking forward to this Easter weekend?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google