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article imageCanadian government proposes to crack down on child sex predators

By Arthur Weinreb     Feb 27, 2014 in Politics
Ottawa - A new bill would increase minimum and maximum sentences for child sex offenders as well as create a public database of high-risk offenders who have been released back into the community.
Bill C-26, known as the Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act, was introduced in the House of Commons yesterday by Justice Minister Peter MacKay. The proposed legislation contains nine changes to Canada's criminal justice system in order to crackdown on pedophiles.
One change is the creation of a federal database of child sex offenders deemed to be high-risk. Where police in a province or territory notify the public of the release of a high-risk child sex predator, the person's name and location will be entered into the database. This information will be accessible to the public.
Both the minimum and maximum sentences for some sexual offences involving children will be increased. As well, penalties for breaches of conditions of supervision orders made in relation to child sex offences will be increased.
Bill C-26 also provides those who are sentenced at the same time for contact sexual offences against multiple children will be required to serve those sentences consecutively and not concurrently as is permissible now. And where an offender is sentenced at the same time for contact sexual offences with children as well as child pornography charges, those sentences cannot be imposed concurrently and must be served consecutively.
If a person is convicted of a sexual offence against a child that was committed while the offender was out on bail, parole, an unescorted pass from prison, or under house arrest, the sentencing judge must take that fact into account as an aggravating factor.
The Canada Evidence Act will be amended to ensure that people can testify against their spouses who are charged with child pornography offences.
The remaining changes deal with sex offenders who travel abroad. They will be required to provide more information to the government before leaving Canada. And a system will be put in place to make it easier to share information between the National Sex Offender Registry and members of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
In making the announcement of the bill's introduction, MacKay said, "If you're going to sexually assault a child, you're going to jail." The Minister added, "People have the right to know if a child abuser lives in their neighbourhood."
Public Safety Minister Steve Blaney, who was with MacKay, said, "These measures are tough and I make no apologies for them."
Bill C-26 fulfils a promise the government made in the throne speech last October to get tougher on pedophiles.
More about justice minister peter mackay, sex offender database, Child predators, tougher penalties for child predators act, Child pornography
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