The federal Conservatives have announced they are continuing their pursuit of the lowest of low-hanging fruit: registered sex offenders. The Tougher Penalties for Sexual Predators Act, which was formally tabled in the House of Commons Feb. 26, includes nine proposals for dealing with those convicted of sexual offences, including increasing prison sentences for certain child sexual offences and harsher penalties for violations of release conditions. Some of the proposals, quite appropriately, assign greater severity to a system of punishment that is often derided as far too lenient. But nestled among the fairly uncontroversial amendments is a proposal to create a public sex offender registry that would be accessible to anyone in Canada. While Canada already has a database of registered sex offenders, this proposal would make the names and personal information of high-risk sexual offenders available to anyone who wishes to seek them out. Full Article
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