Documents des comités: Comité permanent de la justice - 2008-avr.-16 - Projet de loi 16, Loi de 2008 modifiant la Loi Christopher sur le registre des délinquants sexuels

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STANDING COMMITTEE ON
JUSTICE POLICY

COMITÉ PERMANENT
DE LA JUSTICE

Wednesday 16 April 2008 Mercredi 16 avril 2008

SUBCOMMITTEE REPORT

CHRISTOPHER’S LAW
(SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY)
AMENDMENT ACT, 2008
LOI DE 2008 MODIFIANT
LA LOI CHRISTOPHER
SUR LE REGISTRE
DES DÉLINQUANTS SEXUELS


 
   

The committee met at 1003 in room 228.

The Clerk of the Committee (Ms. Susan Sourial): As we’re waiting for our Vice-Chair, I thought we would move ahead and have an Acting Chair. Are there any nominations for an Acting Chair?

Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Yes. While we’re waiting for the Chair, I would like to nominate my good friend David Zimmer as Acting Chair.

The Clerk of the Committee (Ms. Susan Sourial): Any further nominations?

Mr. Peter Kormos: Who is the Chair?

The Clerk of the Committee (Ms. Susan Sourial): Mr. Berardinetti.

Mr. Peter Kormos: And neither Mr. Berardinetti nor Mr. Leal can bother showing up for a 10 o’clock meeting?

Mr. David Zimmer: Mr. Berardinetti is ill today. Mr. Leal is going to chair but he’s just speaking to a report in cabinet, for one of the cabinet committees. He’ll be here in a couple of minutes. He knows he has to be here at 10. I’ll find out if he’s going to be another five minutes—

Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Could we carry on, please?

Mr. Peter Kormos: I don’t care who chairs it.

Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Let’s carry on.

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: I’ll second his motion.

The Clerk of the Committee (Ms. Susan Sourial): Seeing no further nominations: Mr. Zimmer.

SUBCOMMITTEE REPORT

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Zimmer): I call the committee to order. The first order of business is the report of the subcommittee on committee business. Will someone move that report?

Mr. Lou Rinaldi: I’ll move it. Have you got—

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Zimmer): You’ll have to read it into the record. Do you have a copy, Mr. Rinaldi?

Mr. Lou Rinaldi: I have it. We need to read it.

Mr. Peter Kormos: Do you want me to do it, Chair?

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Zimmer): We’ll hang onto this one.

Mr. Peter Kormos: With great difficulty, as I can see.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Zimmer): Mr. Rinaldi.

Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Your subcommittee on committee business met on Tuesday, April 8, 2008, to consider the method of proceeding on Bill 16, An Act to amend Christopher’s Law (Sex Offender Registry), 2000, and recommends the following:

(1) That the committee hold one day of clause-by-clause consideration during its regular meeting time on Wednesday, April 16, 2008.

(2) That the deadline (for administrative purposes) for filing amendments be 12 noon, Monday, April 14, 2008.

(3) That the research officer provide the committee with any academic articles on the effectiveness of sex offender registries.

(4) That the clerk of the committee, in consultation with the Chair, be authorized, prior to the passage of the report of the subcommittee, to commence making any preliminary arrangements necessary to facilitate the committee’s proceedings.

That’s your subcommittee report, Mr. Chair.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Zimmer): Carried? Carried.

CHRISTOPHER’S LAW
(SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY)
AMENDMENT ACT, 2008
LOI DE 2008 MODIFIANT
LA LOI CHRISTOPHER
SUR LE REGISTRE
DES DÉLINQUANTS SEXUELS

Consideration of Bill 16, An Act to amend Christopher’s Law (Sex Offender Registry), 2000 / Projet de loi 16, Loi modifiant la Loi Christopher de 2000 sur le registre des délinquants sexuels.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Zimmer): We’re here to consider Bill 16, An Act to amend Christopher’s Law (Sex Offender Registry), 2000, Minister Bartolucci.

Are there any comments, questions or amendments to any section of the bill, and, if so, to which section?

Mr. Peter Kormos: I have a comment on section 1, for the sake of argument. I appreciate the wonderful briefing book that’s been prepared. They’re always well done. But as you know from your experience here, Chair, the issue today isn’t the contents of the bill; it’s the amendments. You know that it always expedites these things—this seems to be a cleanup of some really sloppy political supervision of the preparation of the bill. It doesn’t amaze me or surprise me. But we could perhaps accelerate this if we had similar explanatory notes. Otherwise, we’re going to have to go through the exercise of asking somebody over there what that amendment serves, and then he or she will be reading from their script, whereas, I can assure you, all three of us over here can read. Sometimes we’re not very good at it; we’re simple people. But if we could read it, we could expedite this whole exercise.

This isn’t partisan. These aren’t partisan amendments. This is, again, cleanup. A mess was created because of the haste with which the government pursued this matter. Now the government’s trying to clean up its mess. Have we got explanatory notes for these so we can accelerate this?

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Zimmer): Mr. Naqvi?

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: Mr. Kormos, I was intending to provide, every time I move a motion, the rationale, explanation, for each particular motion. We can discuss it. As you even noted yourself, most of these amendments are technical in nature, just to make sure that cleanup can be taken in the legislation or in the bill.

Mr. Peter Kormos: If I might ask, Chair, why was it necessary to do cleanup post facto? What happened?

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Zimmer): Mr. Kormos, with respect, we’ll go through the normal procedure, calling the government motions and any opposition motions, and we’ll—

Mr. Peter Kormos: There are no opposition motions.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Zimmer): Well, I’ll call for them. You may have them; you may not. Ms. Elliott, any comment?

Mrs. Christine Elliott: If we could precede with the normal explanation, that would be satisfactory.

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: I think, based on our comments in the Legislature and our comments in subcommittee, and even today, our party, the Progressive Conservative Party, is quite proud of this bill. It was our bill in the beginning—Dave Tsubouchi and Bob Runciman. If this, in fact, is an improvement and it is supported by the stakeholders—I’ve contacted the stakeholders, and they do support it—then I look forward to these technical types of changes being cleaned up and getting on with it, getting it into the House and getting it, in fact, to become law as soon as possible.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Zimmer): All right. On that note, let’s move to government motion number 1.

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: I move that section 1 of the bill be amended by adding the following subsection:

“(2) The definition of ‘sex offence’ in subsection 1(1) of the act is amended by striking out ‘or’ at the end of clause (b) and by adding the following clause:

“‘(b.l) an offence referred to in paragraph (b) or (f) of the definition of “designated offence” in subsection 490.011(1) of the Criminal Code (Canada) in respect of which an order in form 52 has been or is made under subsection 490.012(2) of that act, or.’”

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The Acting Chair (Mr. David Zimmer): Any debate? Shall it carry? Carried.

Government motion 2.

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: I move that section 1 of the bill be amended by adding the following subsection:

“(3) Section 1 of the act is amended by adding the following subsection:

“‘Custodial portion of a sentence

“‘(3) For the purposes of this act, the custodial portion of a sentence does not include the portion of the sentence served on parole.’”

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Zimmer): Debate?

Mr. Peter Kormos: That requires some explanation.

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: This particular motion goes in conjunction with subsequent motion 3, right after this motion. This deals with catching those individuals who are released from custody on parole. They will also be required to be registered on the sex offender registry.

This is a technical amendment so that motion 3 can catch people who have been released on parole from custody.

Mr. Peter Kormos: Then perhaps the parliamentary assistant could explain why it says that, “For the purposes of this act, the custodial portion of a sentence does not include the portion of the sentence served on parole.”

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: Because the third motion, which we’ll be moving, talks about that within 15 days after an offender is released from custody on parole in respect of a sex offence, he or she has to register on the sex offender registry.

Mr. Peter Kormos: I wonder if the parliamentary assistant has any personal views on this.

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: My personal view is that we are following the Auditor General’s report and are requiring those individuals who have been released on parole from custody to register within 15 days.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Zimmer): Further debate? Shall it carry? Carried.

Shall section 1, as amended, carry? Carried.

Government motion 3.

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: I move that section 2 of the bill be amended by adding the following subsection:

“(0.1) Subsection 3(1) of the act is amended by adding the following clause:

“‘(a.0.1) within 15 days after he or she is released from custody on parole in respect of a sex offence.’”

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Zimmer): Debate? No debate. Shall it carry? Carried.

Government motion 4.

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: I move that section 2 of the bill be amended by adding the following subsection:

“(1.1) Subsection 3(1) of the act is amended by adding the following clause:

“‘(c.1) within 15 days after he or she changes his or her name.’”

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Zimmer): Debate?

Mr. Peter Kormos: Why wouldn’t there be any provisions in the Change of Name Act that would require criminal record searches of people who wish to change their names? It seems to me that there were some amendments made some time ago—you recall this, don’t you, Chair, and Mr. Dunlop may recall this as well—where the Change of Name Act was addressed with respect to people using the Change of Name Act to avoid consequences.

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: There are provisions in the Change of Name Act.

Mr. Peter Kormos: To what effect?

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: To ensure that when individuals are changing their names, they have a reporting requirement, as I understand.

Mr. Peter Kormos: Why would the Change of Name Act allow a criminal to change his or her name? Why would we allow that, just as a policy issue?

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: We have to remember that individuals on the sex offender registry are perhaps individuals who were convicted and have served their sentence as well, and are back in the community. Legally speaking, they are not criminals per se anymore, once they have served their sentence.

Mr. Peter Kormos: Chair, if I may, the sex offender registry identifies them as criminals; of course they’re criminals after they have served their sentence. If you have been convicted of rape or of molesting a child, you remain a criminal for the rest of your life. Merely serving your sentence doesn’t absolve you of criminal culpability, does it?

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Zimmer): Mr. Moridi?

Mr. Reza Moridi: I think we are not discussing the name change act here. We are just working on the current act.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Zimmer): Further debate?

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: To the parliamentary assistant: I’m curious. Under the sex offender registry, has this been common, the change of names? Is this something that we’re seeing on a fairly regular basis, or is it a remote chance that someone would do that? How severe is this?

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: I’m not aware of in how many instances that has occurred, but this is a possibility, that people change their addresses, and individuals can change their names as well. This allows the OPP and local police services the opportunity to ensure that those individuals who might try to get around the system by changing their names are still caught and required to report and be on the sex offender registry.

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: And if I could, when you track someone who has had a sex offence out in, let’s say, one of the other provinces, where they are under the national sex offender registry, what kind of impact does it have when they come into Ontario with a name change?

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: Sorry?

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: If they move back to Ontario, is that clearly tracked?

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: Can I ask, perhaps, the legal counsel at this moment to come in and provide you with the technical answer?

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Zimmer): Yes, thank you. Have a seat, and if you would just identify yourself for the record.

Ms. Marnie Corbold: My name is Marnie Corbold. I’m counsel with the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: Say someone has committed a sexual offence in another province and they move to the province of Ontario with a name change. Is that clearly tracked from the other provinces into Ontario?

Ms. Marnie Corbold: I’m not sure you’d actually have to track it, because the reporting obligation—as you know, the act applies to anyone convicted of a sex offence anywhere in Canada, but the reporting requirement within the act doesn’t kick in until the person is actually resident in Ontario. So if a person was living in BC, for example, and changed their name in BC at some point and then became resident in Ontario, the act currently requires them to report within 15 days of becoming resident. At that point, they would report under, presumably, their new name that they had changed to in BC. If they subsequently chose to change their name again, when they were in Ontario, then this new provision would kick in and require them to report within 15 days of making that change of name.

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: Okay. So what I’m saying is, after they have committed the sexual offence and they’ve been charged and they’ve served their penalty out there, and then they change their name, is there a way we know that they have moved to the province of Ontario with the name change?

Ms. Marnie Corbold: Not that I’m aware of. They would just be coming to the province with their name as of the time they moved to the province, which is now the new name.

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: Yes. So the question is: What if they don’t report? How do we find them under that?

Ms. Marnie Corbold: It’s not really a legal question. That is one of the challenges, of course—tracking offenders who are in other provinces and who move to Ontario. That is one of the challenges that I think the auditor had identified: how the Ontario police know about the whereabouts of those people. It’s just the reality of it.

The Acting Chair (Mr. David Zimmer): Further debate?

Mr. Peter Kormos: Okay, let’s take a look at this amendment: “(c.1) within 15 days after he or she changes his or her name.” If one changes their name in another province and arrives in Ontario, within 15 days they’re required to report, pursuant to this section. If they arrive in Ontario with whatever name as a sex offender, they’re required to register.

My concern is, why in God’s name would the province of Ontario let convicted sex offenders change—we can’t speak for British Columbia; we can’t speak for Alberta. A change of name is provincial jurisdiction. Why would we let somebody change their name if they were a convicted sex offender? Look: The sex offender registry doesn’t protect the public per se, because the public doesn’t have access to it.

Let me put this to you: If I happen to find out that there’s a fellow around 60 years old or so—I don’t know if Clifford Olson is still alive or not—who moves in down the street and his name is Clifford Olson, it’s going to get my attention, right? Rightly so. Convictions are matters of public record. People have a right to protect their children. People have a right to protect their families.

The sex offender registry doesn’t do that, and I’m not criticizing it for that. But let’s not misunderstand what this legislation does. It’s not public disclosure. It’s not disclosure laws or scarlet-letter laws, like in some of the American jurisdictions. There’s debate on both sides of that. I’m not engaging in that debate.

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What I’m saying is, surely it’s not good public policy to permit a change of name for a person with a serious criminal record when that is one of the few ways the public has—I’d want to know if the car salesman I’m dealing with five years from now is Conrad Black. I wouldn’t trust him for a minute because the guy’s a thief—not that he should ever be allowed back into Canada, of course, because he has renounced his Canadian citizenship. Now he’s an indicted felon—a convicted felon, not just indicted. I wish he was doing hard time, and I wish he was sharing his cell with some big ape with tattoos all over him who had a penchant for elderly men.

It’s a serious issue. Doesn’t the public have a right? If there’s public disclosure, that’s what the public has to rely on: newspaper reports etc. The public doesn’t access the sex offender registry, and there are good policy reasons for that, although it’s a debatable sort of thing, but there are clear policy reasons for not wanting that. But why would the province of Ontario allow a rapist, a child molester—because the fact is, as you know, most sex offenders serve less than two years. Most sex offenders are dealt with in provincial institutions. Most sex offenders are out on the street earlier rather than later. It’s the reality, and again, that’s not the subject matter of this debate. That’s federal Criminal Code stuff.

Why would the Change of Name Act in Ontario not require criminal record clearance? It has been simplified, right? It’s no longer necessarily a courtroom judicial process; it’s an administrative process. Why wouldn’t we be denying changes of name to people who hadn’t clearly received a pardon on good bases, who still had criminal records? I raise that. Your amendment provokes that question. I’m not criticizing the amendment in and of itself, except that we’re getting sort of reductio ad absurdum, as they say over in Latin-speaking countries.

As Mr. Dunlop points out, if somebody’s going to go to the trouble to change their name in British Columbia and then move to Ontario as well, if they’re still interested in molesting kids, Mr. Parliamentary Assistant, they’re highly unlikely to report to the local police station. They’re more likely to report to the local elementary school, Boy Scout troop or public swimming pool. You and I both know that. If they come into Ontario to prey on kids, they’re not going to go down to Niagara Regional Police headquarters and say, “Oh, by the way, here I am. I changed my name. I’m no longer Joe Smith. I’m now Jane Doe, and I molest children.”

That’s unfortunately one of the fundamental weaknesses that’s going to be very difficult to overcome, unless and until you have the requirement—you see, part of what the auditor—Mr. Leal, welcome. What time is it? Mr. Dunlop, what time is it? It’s 10:30. Welcome.

Mr. Jeff Leal: It’s good to be here.

Mr. Peter Kormos: I understand.

Mr. Jeff Leal: I wasn’t sure of my responsibilities.

Mr. Peter Kormos: Yes, but you’re paid to be the Vice-Chair, and you weren’t working at that.

Surely part of the concern that the Auditor General was addressing was the lack of integration. The fact that people have to report after conviction, after release etc., underscores the fundamental flaw in the non-communication of courts, for instance, communicating to various police authorities and the lack of centralization.

I support the amendment, but at the end of the day, it’s a little bit of overkill. It’s minutiae that, as Mr. Dunlop says, is there simply to complete the package more so than have a practical impact.

Thank you, Chair. I have no further comments on this motion.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): Thank you very much, Mr. Kormos. Further discussion?

All in favour of the amendment? Opposed? It’s carried.

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: Could I move the fifth motion, Mr. Chair?

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): Yes.

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: I move that clause 3(1)(f) of the act, as set out in subsection 2(2) of the bill, be amended by striking out “under clause (a), (a.1), (a.2), (a.3), (b), (c) or (d)” and substituting “under any of clauses (a) to (d).”

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): Comments or questions?

Mr. Peter Kormos: An eminently reasonable amendment. For the life of me, when the parliamentary assistant first read the bill in its draft form, I don’t understand why he wouldn’t have caught that. He’s a clever man. This is the sort of thing that should have jumped off the page at him. But I suppose, as he gets more experience, we won’t have a need for these types of amendments cleaning up legislation that—

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): Sober second thought is always a good course.

Mr. Peter Kormos: You’re implying he wasn’t sober the first time?

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): No, I was saying—that will always define the Canadian Senate.

Mr. Peter Kormos: Oh, you’re advocating the Senate now, Chair? You’ve placed yourself in an interesting minority.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): No, no. I’m just saying what’s been said about it, Mr. Kormos.

Mr. Peter Kormos: We won’t need to waste all this time on cleaning up stuff because the PA will catch this stuff the first time around. It may never happen again.

The Acting Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): Thank you, Mr. Kormos. Any further comments or questions?

All in favour of the amendment? Carried.

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: I move that section 2 of the bill be amended by adding the following subsection:

“‘(3) Subsections 3(4) and (5) of the act are repealed and the following substituted:

“‘Notice of obligation to report

“‘(4) Every police force shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that it gives written notice of the obligation to report under subsection (1) to every person charged by the police force with a sex offence, at the time he or she is so charged.

“‘Same

“‘(5) The ministry shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that it, or another person or entity, gives written notice of the obligation to report under subsection (1) to every person convicted of a sex offence or found not criminally responsible of a sex offence on account of mental disorder, after the person is so convicted or found.

“‘Same

“‘(6) The notice required by subsections (4) and (5) shall be in a form approved by the ministry.’”

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): Comments or questions?

Mr. Peter Kormos: I want to make sure—we’re dealing with government motion number 6?

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: Yes.

Mr. Peter Kormos: Why would you want to give written notice to somebody necessarily found not criminally responsible of a sex offence on account of mental disorder? They’re insane. They’re out of touch with reality. How meaningful is written notice to them? They were found not guilty because they’re insane. They’re delusional. They’ll either think that they’re receiving radio signal waves through their eyeglasses or through their dentures or what have you. Why?

Mr. David Zimmer: You’ve had those moments in the Legislature.

Mr. Peter Kormos: Listen, I’ve witnessed it for 20 years now.

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: Mr. Kormos, I think you’re generalizing. When we know the issue is mental health, there are ranges in terms of the type of mental health issues and diseases. Not everybody is as you describe, in that position. So there is utility to giving written notice to individuals who are suffering from mental health issues.

Mr. Peter Kormos: Okay, Chair. I hear him, but I hope that the threshold for “not guilty by reason of mental illness” has not dropped that low. As I’ve had it explained to me by the occasional lawyer, it’s pretty darn high. A person’s got to be way out there, like right out of touch with reality. But okay; it’s inoffensive, at the end of the day, to give people written notice. All it does is require reasonable effort. It’s inoffensive. It’s not a bad amendment, but it’s not a good amendment either.

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: To the parliamentary assistant: Is number 5 a recommendation from the auditor? Is that where that came from?

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: Yes, this is part of that effort from the auditor: to ensure that we catch those individuals who have been found criminally not responsible because of their mental health but who had committed a sexual offence—that they are also registered in the sexual offender registry. The subsequent amendments in the bill, you will see, require health facilities to report and register those individuals in the sex offender registry

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: But that was an identification from the auditor’s report.

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: Yes.

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: All right.

Mrs. Christine Elliott: I suppose the intention was to cover off the bases for someone found either guilty or not criminally responsible. But I do share Mr. Kormos’s concern that if they were found not criminally responsible, the presumption is that they lack the capacity to make their own decisions, either with respect to property, personal care or anything else. So I think it’s somewhat meaningless. I agree that it’s not offensive, but I don’t think it’s going to be helpful in any respect, in reality.

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Mr. Peter Kormos: I think, in an obvious sense of generosity, the opposition members have clearly decided not to defeat this motion.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): Any further comments or questions? All in favour of this amendment? Carried.

Shall section 2, as amended, carry? Carried.

We will now proceed to section 3.

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: I move that section 3 of the bill be amended by adding the following subsection:

“(0.1) Section 4 of the act is amended by adding the following subsection:

“‘Verification of address

“‘(1.1) The police force shall make reasonable efforts to verify an offender’s address, as provided to the police force by the offender, at least once after the offender last presented himself or herself to the police force under subsection 3(1).’”

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): Comments or questions? All in favour? Carried.

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: I move that subsection 4(2) of the act, as set out in section 3 of the bill, be amended by striking out “and to enter the community.”

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): Comments or questions? All in favour? Carried.

Shall section 3, as amended, carry? Carried.

Section 4?

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: I move that section 4.1 of the act, as set out in section 4 of the bill, be struck out and the following substituted:

“Reports of unescorted temporary absence passes, leaves

“4.1(1) If an offender who is an inmate of a correctional institution is authorized to be released from the institution on an unescorted temporary absence pass, the correctional institution shall, within 24 hours before the inmate is released, notify the ministry,

“(a) that an unescorted temporary absence pass has been granted to the offender;

“(b) of the proposed dates of the offender’s release under the pass and of his or her return to the institution; and

“(c) of any relevant information about the offender’s proposed activities and whereabouts for the duration of his or her release under the pass.

“Same—young persons

“(2) If an offender who is a young person serving any portion of his or her sentence in a youth custody facility is authorized under section 91 of the Youth Criminal Justice Act (Canada) to be released from the facility on an unescorted leave, the facility shall, within 24 hours before the young person is released, notify the ministry,

“(a) that an unescorted leave has been granted to the offender;

“(b) of the proposed dates of the offender’s release under the leave and of his or her return to the facility; and

“(c) of any relevant information about the offender’s proposed activities and whereabouts for the duration of his or her release under the leave.

“Cancellation, suspension of passes, leaves

“(3) The correctional institution or youth custody facility shall also notify the ministry forthwith if an unescorted temporary absence pass or leave is cancelled or suspended, or if the offender is declared unlawfully at large.

“Manner of notification

“(4) The notification required by subsections (1), (2) and (3) must be given in a manner approved by the ministry.

“Definitions

“(5) In this section,

“‘correctional institution’ and ‘inmate’ have the same meanings as in section 1 of the Ministry of Correctional Services Act; (‘établissement correctionnel’, ‘détenu’)

“‘youth custody facility’ means a place of open custody or a place of secure custody, as defined in section 88 of the Child and Family Services Act; (‘lieu de garde’).”

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): Comments or questions? Mr. Kormos, please; then Mr. Dunlop.

Mr. Peter Kormos: It’s interesting—and I understand the goal here, but let’s understand how this underscores how dangerous it is to have a sex offender registry that’s incomplete and in many respects more dangerous than not having one at all, although I’m loath to say the latter. Clearly, you have no jurisdiction over federal prisons; this only applies to provincial correctional facilities. One wonders why child molesters would be getting unescorted releases; one really wonders. At the same time, one understands that with the maximum sentence—what is it, two years less a day, I think? Mr. Zimmer might know, because he’s a lawyer—at some point, they’re going to be out in any event. I suppose the paucity of treatment of programs in our provincial facilities and the absolute absence of them in federal institutions should be of concern.

Let’s understand that this only applies to provincial correctional facilities. If one presumes that the more serious offenders are going to be in the federal institutions, two-year sentences plus, what it implies—although regrettably some very serious and dangerous sex offenders are in provincial institutions, courts in sentencing impose what I call provincial sentences—is that the most dangerous sexual offenders, who are serving federal sentences, who are out on interim releases and paroles, aren’t going to be reported. How do we deal with that? How do we address that? Surely you share that concern. is that dealt with anywhere in the legislation?

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): Parliamentary assistant?

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: Counsel could probably address that question.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): For the purposes of Hansard, if you could just identify yourself, please.

Ms. Marnie Corbold: Yes. I already did. I’m Marnie Corbold, counsel from the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

I think you answered your own question. In provincial legislation, we can’t dictate how federal prisons operate, so it really is a jurisdictional challenge for us.

Mr. Peter Kormos: Thank you, ma’am. I’m not quarrelling with you and I’m not criticizing you, because the province doesn’t have jurisdiction. It’s as simple as that.

But do you understand what I’m saying, Chair, when I say that this is a serious problem? If the police, by virtue of the sex offender registry, have the names of sex offenders who are released from prison and/or out on day parole, they’re going to be focusing on those people and, in the course of focusing on them, may well neglect or omit to deal with a perpetrator who’s out on a federal release program. In many respects it’s a very dangerous thing. I’m not suggesting that police enter these things with blinders on or with tunnel vision, but it’s a very, very dangerous scenario. Again, I’m not criticizing you, Mr. Parliamentary Assistant. But it seems that there should be some earnest effort—and if there is some, this is not an inappropriate time and place to mention it—to convince the federal parallel to co-operate and collaborate in this exercise.

I hope there’s agreement in that regard. It’s a terribly frightening thing. Again, let’s go back to that horrible scenario we talked about, the one-hour rule and the 24-hour rule about kids being snatched by sex offenders and the likelihood of survival. You’ve got that incredible pressure on cops in any given community. Time is of the essence. They go to the sex offender registry and identify any number of people on the registry who have been released from prison or out of court. They list them in the geographic area and then they find out that there are three or four—Toronto is a big city, and there could be three or four—unescorted leaves on any given day; perhaps more. But then A, B or C out of a federal institution is in town and doesn’t show up on the radar. It will eventually, because the cops are going to investigate, but when you talk about a one-hour rule—am I right? The one-hour rule and the 24-hour rule are the terms of reference? When you talk about 24-hour time frames, yikes.

So I just say this again: Your amendment is inoffensive but for the impression that it might create in some people’s perceptions, the understanding that it’s going to be the less dangerous sex offenders—presuming that they get lower sentences, which isn’t always the case—who end up on the registry as a result of day parole or unescorted day leave, as compared to the more dangerous sex offender. Although, why would a child molester have an unescorted day leave—so they can go and hang out at the Y? I don’t know. It boggles the mind.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): Thank you, Mr. Kormos. Mr. Dunlop or Ms. Elliott?

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: Yes.

In section 4.1 you’ve made a change to clause (c). You’ve left off a sentence of it from the original intent. Subsection (2) is a new section completely, and you’ve added a new definition, the youth facility.

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Mr. Yasir Naqvi: Yes.

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: Can you—my colleague just asked me this. Maybe it’s really her question to ask.

Mrs. Christine Elliott: I’m just wondering if you can explain why there is no requirement to declare the purpose of the pass. You’ve just got “any relevant information.” That seems a little loose to me, where it was much tighter before in terms of what information is required to be provided.

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: Counsel, do you want to address that?

Ms. Marnie Corbold: This was something that, when we were going back and working with legislative counsel on it, we thought the additional language was unnecessary to achieve the purpose we were getting at. It certainly wasn’t intended to be reducing the amount of information. We felt that the tighter wording that we have in the proposed motion did in fact cover it.

Mrs. Christine Elliott: Is it possible to consider that? I think the purpose of the pass is really important and the location of the person and any other relevant information. “Any relevant information” could be up to the discretion of the person who is dealing with it.

Ms. Marnie Corbold: You’ll see that we still have “proposed activities” in the language, and on the actual temporary absence pass forms it’s very specific things like medical leave or bereavement leave. We’ve assumed, given that you had that purpose in there plus the whereabouts and duration, that that was sufficient information for the police to achieve the objective.

Mrs. Christine Elliott: So I understand that all of that information would be already detailed and that would be available in the pass itself.

Ms. Marnie Corbold: Exactly. It’s a fairly detailed form they have to fill out. I don’t think very many sex offenders do in fact get these sorts of unescorted leaves.

Mrs. Christine Elliott: Thank you very much.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): Any further comments or questions? All in favour of the amendment? Carried.

Shall section 4, as amended, carry? Carried.

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: I move that section 5 of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:

“5. Subsection 5(1) of the act is amended by adding ‘or by a correctional institution or youth custody facility in accordance with section 4.1’ after ‘section 4.’”

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): Comments or questions? All in favour? Carried.

Shall section 5, as amended, carry? Carried.

Section 6.

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: I move that subsection 8(1.2) of the act, as set out in section 6 of the bill, be struck out and the following substituted:

“Same

“(1.2) Despite subsection (1), clauses 3(1)(a.0.1) and (a.3) apply to every offender anywhere in Canada who is released from custody as described in clause 3(1)(a.0.1) or (a.3), as the case may be, on or after the day this subsection comes into force.”

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): Comments or questions?

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: More a comment as opposed to a question, and maybe you’ve got some detailed information on it. I want to point out to the parliamentary assistant that the Ontario sex offender registry is in my riding at the Ontario Provincial Police general headquarters, and I’ve been through it numerous times on tours and talked to people with presentations and such.

As soon as you bring Canada into it, if you talk to the experts at the sex offender registry or the policing community, they would like to see the national sex offender registry tightened up a lot and use Ontario’s as the model for Canada. I’ve had one federal cabinet minister from the new government into those meetings. I just want to say that I think it’s important that the government, through the ministry, work strongly with the federal government to try to tighten up some of those laws right across the country, because there are definitely loopholes. As soon as you start bringing the word “Canada” into a section of the bill, remember that—it’s more of a heads-up than anything else—there are some issues around the national sex offender registry. It’s our responsibility as parliamentarians to strengthen that as well, I think.

Mr. Peter Kormos: The Conservative critic prompts some consideration. Let’s face it: The feds—and I’m not blaming any particular partisan government. Look at the gun registry. Do you want that type of efficiency, accuracy and completeness? I would hope not. It’s a serious problem. The federal government has proven itself inept at developing registries. At the end of the day, they’re very, very expensive.

Further to your question, and in sympathy and in support of that, I wonder if the government is prepared to indicate what types of discussions are taking place to create either an integrated—or, in other words, harmonizing this sort of thing. Because you’ve got harmonization and then you’ve got integration—or you’ve got relinquishment. The government has surrendered, for instance, some of its tax inspection revenue authority to the federal government. Is that accurate? Are there any discussions or are there any policy proposals around how you address the point raised by Mr. Dunlop?

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: Thank you both for raising valid points. I can tell you that the ministry is working closely with the federal counterparts on the issue of the sex offender registry to ensure that they work well together. At a technical level, there are discussions as well, in terms of making sure that the software which is used is aligned.

Of course, on our part, we will continue to make those strides to ensure that the federal sex offender registry is as meaningful and in depth in terms of its ambit as the provincial sex offender registry.

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: I think a lot of the expertise that could help you is from people who work in the Ontario sex offender registry. I’m not blaming this on the Liberals or the Conservatives in Ottawa. I just don’t think the expertise that we have in Ontario is getting through to the federal government. I think if you can make a strong enough presentation to Stockwell Day—he’s not soft on crime, like some of the previous ministers. I think there are some real opportunities there, with this government and the Ontario Legislature, to promote a stronger national sex offender registry.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): You’re essentially saying that Ontario has the highest standard and we should evolve, federally, to that standard.

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: The policing community has told me that for some time. They like Christopher’s Law. I think that there are opportunities on a national scale, because most of the provinces are not at that level.

Mr. Peter Kormos: I think Mr. Dunlop has a point, because, after all, the Dion Liberals in Ottawa have been supporting the Harper government at every opportunity. It seems to me that the Dion-Harper coalition should use this opportunity to work out a deal.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): I think that both Mr. Dunlop and Mr. Kormos make—

Interjections.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): The parliamentary assistant is duly noted. I know, under his leadership and with Mr. Bartolucci, that this is something that will be pursued with great vigour.

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: By my count, I think we’re on motion number 12.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): We have to vote on this, Mr. Parliamentary Assistant. We want to follow step-by-step here.

All in favour of this amendment? Opposed? Carried.

Number 12.

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: I move that section 6 of the bill be amended by adding the following subsection to section 8 of the act:

“Same

“(1.3) Despite subsection (1), clause 3(1)(c.l) applies to every offender anywhere in Canada who changes his or her name on or after the day this subsection comes into force.”

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): Comments or questions?

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: This is basically saying that the amendment comes into force when the bill is proclaimed, vis-à-vis the amendment we passed dealing with those offenders who change their names, who have to register within 15 days, on the Sex Offender Registry, of changing their name.

Mr. Peter Kormos: It applies to an offender anywhere in Canada?

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Mr. Yasir Naqvi: Mr. Kormos, you have to remember that one of the clauses in Christopher’s Law, clause 3(1)(d), requires that anybody who moves into Ontario, who resides in Ontario, once they move in, has to report within 15 days of residing in Ontario. So you couple that with the fact that anybody who’s changed their name is under the same obligation, and we are catching those circumstances which you were alluding to earlier.

Mr. Peter Kormos: Maybe you can help. “Every offender, anywhere in Canada”: Do you purport to have jurisdiction over “every offender, anywhere in Canada?”

Ms. Marnie Corbold: You have to read it with section 3 of the act, which says that the reporting obligations don’t kick in until you’re resident in Ontario. So it would actually apply to, I think it was, your scenario, where you had someone who changed their name perhaps five days before they left BC, then moved to Ontario. This would actually cover that in the sense that it applies to every offender. Sorry; now you’ve made me—

Mr. Peter Kormos: No, no. Regardless of where they effected the change of name?

Ms. Marnie Corbold: Yes, if the change of name occurred in BC and then they still come to Ontario before the—but it wouldn’t matter, as we explained before, because when you’re coming in you have to report within 15 days with the new name.

Mr. Peter Kormos: But I suppose—and maybe I’m quibbling. Then again, what do I know about this stuff? To every offender who changes his name anywhere in Canada: That’s what you mean, right?

Ms. Marnie Corbold: Yes.

Mr. Peter Kormos: I understand. This is just hyper-grammatical stuff, right?

Ms. Marnie Corbold: Yes. You have to read it in the full context of section 3.

Mr. Peter Kormos: But I’m just saying where that qualifying phrase is. We know what you mean. I’m being a stickler, and it’s not worth spending any more time on.

Mr. Lou Rinaldi: Say it’s not true.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): Anything further, Mr. Kormos?

Mr. Peter Kormos: Not at this point, Chair. What time is it, by the way?

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): All in favour of this amendment? Carried.

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: Mr. Chair, I move that section 6 of the bill be amended by adding the following subsection to section 8 of the act:

“Same

“(1.4) Despite subsection (1) and section 7, and subject to any other reporting requirement under this act, this act applies to an offender anywhere in Canada who is, on or after the day this subsection comes into force, subject to an order in form 52 made under subsection 490.012 (2) of the Criminal Code (Canada) for as long as such order is in force.”

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): Comments or questions? Mr. Dunlop, please.

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: Just a quick comment. I think I probably already know the answer to this, but with all the recent changes—I forget the legislation. Is it Bill 2 in Ottawa where they’ve made some—it was finally passed through the Senate here just a few weeks ago. Does this have any impact on that at all? They were toughening a lot of the laws. Is there any kind of impact on this? The Criminal Code—how would it affect this?

Ms. Marnie Corbold: Sorry? I’m not totally familiar with Bill C-2 just by the title. If you could shed some light, it might assist.

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: I’m sorry; it’s the bill that was put through the federal Parliament.

Ms. Marnie Corbold: The Senate one on the national defence piece, something like that, amending the sex offender registry?

Interjection: It was an omnibus bill, wasn’t it?

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: It was a bill that tied a bunch of crime bills together that had previously been debated before the throne speech. It came back, and there was controversy around the bill being held up at the Senate level. The Senate passed the bill. The bill had a number of—

Mr. Peter Kormos: There was a whole pile of stuff.

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: It had a lot of impact on the Criminal Code of Canada. I was wondering if there had been thought put into how our amendments would be affected by the Criminal Code—

Ms. Marnie Corbold: My understanding is, it’s not affecting the particular sections we’re referring to here.

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: Okay.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): Anything further? All in favour of the amendment? Carried.

Shall section 6, as amended, carry? Carried.

There are no amendments for section 7. Shall section 7 carry? Carried.

Section 8.

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: I move that clause 14(b) of the act, as set out in section 8 of the bill, be struck out and the following substituted:

“(b) prescribing additional information to be maintained in the sex offender registry and to be provided by offenders under section 3, by a police force under subsection 4(2) or by a correctional institution or youth custody facility under section 4.1, or added to the sex offender registry under subsection 5(2).”

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): Comments or questions?

All in favour of the amendment? Carried.

Shall section 8, as amended, carry? Carried.

Shall section 9 carry? Carried.

Shall section 10 carry? Carried.

Shall the title of the bill carry? Carried.

Shall Bill 16, as amended, carry? Carried.

Shall I report the bill, as amended, to the House?

Mr. Kormos, please.

Mr. Peter Kormos: First of all, I want to thank the ministry staff for the materials. It makes it much easier for us to address these things when it’s put together in that fashion. I would respectfully ask that there be some consideration given, when the government comes forward with a package of amendments like this, if they could share the explanatory notes that the PA has with opposition members. Other parliamentary assistants have done that to great success and have earned some significant acclaim amongst their colleagues. It expedites things and things just move along much more smoothly, although today wasn’t particularly contentious.

I thank the parliamentary assistant for his thorough and exhaustive responses to the queries put to him. I want the minister to know that, once again, his parliamentary assistant is doing the heavy lifting. The minister stands up in the House on first reading and second reading and takes all the glory. But when the screw-ups are exposed after scrutiny by bureaucrats—because, Lord knows, if it weren’t for the bureaucrats, this stuff would slide through here and we’d end up with even bigger messes than we have—it’s the parliamentary assistant who’s sent in to do the cleanup, the dirty work and the heavy lifting. He makes nowhere near as much as the minister does, nor does he get anywhere near as much publicity, although I suspect that in his hometown paper, Ottawa being a mid-sized city, he does reasonably well with the occasional press release and government announcement.

So I want the minister to know that his parliamentary assistant, in perhaps his first bill or the carriage of his first bill, has served his minister well. It can be a challenging task. His colleague Mr. Zimmer will tell him that. Sometimes the lifting gets heavier and heavier. Sometimes the lifting is hernia-generating. Sometimes the lifting is Sisyphean. It is, isn’t it, Mr. Zimmer?

Mr. David Zimmer: Sisyphus.

Mr. Peter Kormos: Mr. Zimmer identifies with that reference.

I simply want to state again that we’ll be speaking to this on third reading. I don’t expect that there will be a whole lot of debate, although I’m sure people will want to address the matter. I’m not going to engage in the classic debate, although I do thank legislative research for putting the material together. I am familiar with some of it, but some of it is new to me and it’s valuable stuff.

I encourage people to read it because there is the, again, false sense of security that can be created by this type of legislation. This type of legislation is but one tool, and a very, very limited one, quite frankly. Even the most generous supporters of it will acknowledge that. It’s a very, very limited tool because it’s more noticeable in terms of the weaknesses than it is in terms of the strengths. Again, without the co-operation of the federal government and without the provincial government being able to engage a computer design firm that is somebody other than Andersen or similar fraud artists—well, it’s true. These sorts of things will never get off the ground.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): I think the company was Accenture.

Mr. Peter Kormos: Andersen became Accenture; that’s right. If we’re going to slander somebody, let’s do it properly, right, Mr. Leal? Except it’s not slander, because it’s true.

Again, there are some serious flaws. I really do believe that communities have a right, families have a right, to protect their kids. Women have a right to protect themselves. That’s why I have some ambivalence about a sex offender registry that is private or that is accessible only to police officers. But at the same time I understand the concern about, let’s say, vigilantism, the concern about misidentifying people and the crises and tragedies that can occur there, which takes us to the whole issue of what happens to sex offenders when they’re released back into the community.

1100

At the provincial level, we should be even more concerned because, as I say, our sentences are two years less a day or less. These people come back into the community. And although this might attract the wrath of some—and I’m not about to echo judges who rank sexual assaults on a scale of one to 10; that’s a very dangerous exercise, and we’ve seen judges suffer as a result of doing that—it seems to me there’s a marked difference between—and, again, maybe this is not a very good example—an immature teenager who does some inappropriate touching with somebody his own age in a context where young people are socializing and where their sexual growth is still developing. Again, it may well be sexual assault, and there are convictions for sexual assault in those contexts, but those people end up on a sex offender registry. Understand that.

I made reference in the Legislature—I recently read some of the history in California, one of the first jurisdictions in North America, if not the first, to develop a sex offender registry, scarlet-letter laws. The targets of that back in the 1930s and 1940s were gays and lesbians who were arrested as found-ins in bars, because it was illegal to dance with each other, etc. So they then became sex offenders, and because of the first sex offender registry in North America, I believe it was, were literally marked for the rest of their lives well into the 1960s and 1970s, when there began to be dramatic changes in perspectives toward gay and lesbian sexuality. So, as I say, I make a marked distinction.

At the same time, how does a community protect itself against a pedophile who’s released from custody, who’s going to live somewhere? I think the Miami Herald had some coverage of a community of sex offenders who literally live in tents under some of the skyways in Miami because the courts have forbidden these sex offenders—this is again a horrible Catch-22; check the Miami Herald over the last week and a half—to live in any number of neighbourhoods. So their parole officers and other supervisors are actually encouraging them to live in tent cities under the skyways, the way homeless people often gather in little tent cities.

One has very little sympathy for the offender and his or her propensity or likelihood of repeating a crime, but, at the same time, if we’re really going to protect our community, we don’t exile sex offenders to places where they can’t be supervised and controlled, and I don’t mean controlled necessarily in a physical sense. We’re not talking about jailing any more.

That means we’ve got to restore some of the post-custody housing situations. We all get phone calls, if there’s a media report about a notorious sex offender being sited somewhere, because they’re publicized, and then finding out that they live in a cheap hotel or motel room a block away from an elementary school. That’s scary stuff. It’s scary stuff for parents. It’s scary stuff for us as legislators or for anybody in a position of leadership. But we’ve got to then decide whether we’re going to invest money in providing secure and appropriately located places for these people to live in a supervised way.

In my view, we’ve also got to give the courts the opportunity to impose lengthier periods—and that’s not a provincial jurisdiction—of post-custody supervision, because once a sentence is served, unless you’re declared any one of those degrees of dangerous offender, it’s, “So long, it’s been good to know you.”

We heard the former Attorney General huff and puff about how he was going to get section 743—is that the old section, Mr. Zimmer?—the restraining order, against a notorious sex offender, or at least how he was going to support the Quebec authorities. He was going to get this condition and that condition and that condition. She had already served her sentence and was out in the community. Well, the Attorney General of the day learned very quickly that all that huffing and puffing didn’t make a whole lot of impact when it came to a judge interpreting the actual Criminal Code provisions. It came to naught.

We have a serious, serious problem. We have a serious problem with youthful sex offenders, and I’m talking about youthful pedophiles and rapists. The absence of mental health treatment facilities for adolescents is critical. It seems to me that if we’re going to treat these types of assaults on people in our community seriously—upon kids, upon women, upon men—we’ve also got to treat the disorder, the perversion, seriously. That means we’ve got to invest in adolescent mental health treatment.

First of all, young offenders aren’t covered by the legislation, by the sex offender registry. Secondly, a young offender’s sentence of a year or a year and a half for sexual assault—at the end of the day, big deal. You’re in, you’re out and nothing’s been done to make any effort to address the hard-wiring that results in that type of very dangerous, sexual, predatory and assaultive behaviour.

Again, I don’t care what riding you’re in; you all know darned well that there isn’t a place in this province where the families don’t have concerns about the lack of treatment and psychiatric beds for adolescents. That means we’ve got the bizarre circumstance—and I suspect it’s happened in all of our communities, in all of our ridings—where you’ve got teenagers being put into adult psychiatric wards with all the risks inherent in there. You’ve also got the horrible phenomenon of mentally ill people in prison. Again, that’s not an uncommon story.

While we support this legislation, we also say that the government, if it’s going to have a broad-based approach to protecting people in their community, might want to add the right for the public to know. We have the notorious Jane Doe case in Toronto. Jane Doe has since revealed her identity to the public. You recall Jane Doe. She sued the Toronto Police Service for the police service not notifying people in a particular neighbourhood about a serial rapist in that neighbourhood; she was then the victim of rape. While the case was never litigated, the Toronto Police Services Board settled with a substantial cash settlement, their lawyers clearly acknowledging that they would be at some risk of significant liability. The court, it was presumed, would have said that that woman had a right to know. How, then, do we address families’ right to know when a sex offender is in their midst? Again, I’m not advocating vigilantism, but how do we address the right of families to know? Families have a right to know. Parents have a right to know. Parents have a right to be able to tell their kid “No, I don’t think so” when Mr. So-and-So asks them to cut his lawn, end of story, without creating trauma and debilitating fear.

So, there’s still one more stage to go, and that is, in a context or in a way that’s suitable in a free, liberal, open and democratic society, how you give families, parents and neighbourhoods the right to know when dangers are in their midst. Newspapers don’t report every crime and not everybody reads every report of every conviction. That still remains a significant challenge.

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: I just wanted to, first of all, put on record at the end—I’m not going to take as much time as Mr. Kormos did—that we thank the Auditor General for pointing out some of the problems with Christopher’s Law. I thank the parliamentary assistant and the government for the bill. As I said earlier, we’ll be supporting it.

This is a bill that our party was very, very proud of in the past because at the time, back in 2000-01, when it was brought in as a piece of legislation here in this Parliament, it was the first of its kind in the country. There were some people who were critical of it at the time, thinking that it might not work, but we think there’s been a lot of success with it. It’s something that, as I mentioned earlier in our comments, we can build on for the future with our federal partners to help other provinces across our country. For that reason, I wanted to point out that we are proud and thank them. I look forward to the amendments being passed and the bill being passed and implemented to help other people.

I did want to point out, though, that your next bill, Bill 50, won’t be quite as easy. We’ve got some real problems with the zoo bill. We’re getting a lot of negative feedback from the rural community, farmers and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, so we’ll have a lot of amendments to that bill when it comes forward.

Mr. Peter Kormos: We’ll have to travel to some rural parts of Ontario.

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: There’s no question that we’ll have to travel for that bill.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): There’s no question that this is a very important bill. I’m the father of a 10-year-old and an eight-year-old, and my wife is a vice-principal. It’s interesting how often this issue now gets discussed within families and communities and schools—to really have in place legislation that protects children, because society has changed dramatically since I was a young guy. This is something that does get a lot of discussion now within school councils and generally when people get together to socialize. It’s important stuff.

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: First of all, I wanted to thank all the members of the committee for making my first experience on a bill a learning one, so thank you very much—and I’m sure Mr. Kormos has more to come as we work out a working relationship. Particularly, I want to thank the ministry staff for their help during this whole process.

I also want to take this advantage to highlight the great work that members of OPP force and local police services do. This is an important tool for them in terms of investigation, to ensure that we do undermine offences of a sexual nature in our community. Obviously, they use this tool every day, and I’m sure that they really will much appreciate the strengthening of this legislation through this amendment.

The Vice-Chair (Mr. Jeff Leal): I just want to note that research has provided some extensive background on this issue. So I recommend that people go through it when they get the opportunity.

One last thing: Shall I report the bill, as amended, to the House? Carried.

Thank you very much for everybody’s co-operation this morning.

The committee adjourned at 1111.

CONTENTS

Wednesday 16 April 2008

Subcommittee report JP-3

Christopher’s Law (Sex Offender Registry) Amendment Act, 2008, Bill 16,
Mr. Bartolucci
/ Loi de 2008 modifiant la Loi Christopher sur le registre
des délinquants,
projet de loi 16, M. Bartolucci JP-3

STANDING COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE POLICY

Chair / Président

Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti (Scarborough Southwest / Scarborough-Sud-Ouest L)

Vice-Chair / Vice-Président

Mr. Jeff Leal (Peterborough L)

Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti (Scarborough Southwest / Scarborough-Sud-Ouest L)

Mrs. Christine Elliott (Whitby–Oshawa PC)

Mr. Peter Kormos (Welland ND)

Mr. Jeff Leal (Peterborough L)

Mr. Reza Moridi (Richmond Hill L)

Mr. Yasir Naqvi (Ottawa Centre / Ottawa-Centre L)

Mr. Lou Rinaldi (Northumberland–Quinte West L)

Mr. John Yakabuski (Renfrew–Nipissing–Pembroke PC)

Mr. David Zimmer (Willowdale L)

Substitutions / Membres remplaçants

Mr. Garfield Dunlop (Simcoe North / Simcoe-Nord PC)

Mr. Phil McNeely (Ottawa–Orléans L)

Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes

Ms. Marnie Corbold, counsel,
Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services

Clerk / Greffière

Ms. Susan Sourial

Staff / Personnel

Mr. Ralph Armstrong, legislative counsel

Documents des comités