Vol. 145, No. 8 — April 13, 2011
SI/2011-35 April 13, 2011
PROTECTING VICTIMS FROM SEX OFFENDERS ACT
ARCHIVED — Order Fixing April 15, 2011 as the Day on which the Protecting Victims From Sex Offenders Act Comes into Force
P.C. 2011-485 March 25, 2011
His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, pursuant to section 65 of the Protecting Victims From Sex Offenders Act, chapter 17 of the Statutes of Canada, 2010, hereby fixes April 15, 2011 as the day on which that Act comes into force.
(This note is not part of the Order.)
Coming into force of Bill S-2, Protecting Victims From Sex Offenders Act.
To seek the approval of the Governor in Council to fix April 15, 2011, as the coming into force date of the Protecting Victims From Sex Offenders Act (Bill S-2).
In 2004, the Sex Offender Information Registration Act established authority for the creation of a national database of convicted sex offenders — the National Sex Offender Registry — to be administered by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), on behalf of the provinces and territories, for use by police in the investigation of crimes of a sexual nature.
Bill S-2, Protecting Victims From Sex Offenders Act, was introduced in the Senate on March 17, 2010. The Protecting Victims From Sex Offenders Act, Bill S-2 (the Act) was assented to on December 15, 2010. The Act amends the Criminal Code, the Sex Offender Information Registration Act and the National Defence Act to enhance police investigation of crimes of a sexual nature and allow police services to use the national database proactively to prevent crimes of a sexual nature. The Act also amends the Criminal Code and the International Transfer of Offenders Act to require sex offenders arriving in Canada to comply with the Sex Offender Information Registration Act. The Act also amends the Criminal Code to provide that sex offenders who are subject to a mandatory requirement to comply with the Sex Offender Information Registration Act are also subject to a mandatory requirement to provide a sample for forensic DNA analysis. The Act also amends the National Defence Act to reflect the amendments to the Criminal Code relating to the registration of sex offenders.
The federal costs of this initiative will be managed within current allocations of the RCMP.
The provinces/territories are responsible for the administration and enforcement of the National Sex Offender Registry in their respective jurisdictions. Provincial/territorial costs associated with the legislative amendments will be absorbed by the respective jurisdictions.
An extensive consultation process led to the reforms of the National Sex Offender Registry in Bill S-2. Since the Registry was established in 2004, federal/provincial/territorial officials, including representatives from Public Safety Canada, Justice Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Correctional Service of Canada, the provincial/territorial jurisdictions, and police organizations, have regularly met to review the implementation of the Registry and proposals to address operational and administrative concerns. In 2008, the Minister of Public Safety formally consulted with all provincial/territorial Justice and Public Safety ministers to seek their views on possible legislative amendments to strengthen the National Sex Offender Registry. There was general support for moving forward with reforms.
Bill S-2 was supported by victim advocates who appeared before the House of Commons and Senate Committees to give testimony on this legislation in 2009 and 2010, and who appeared during the Statutory Review of the Sex Offender Information Registration Act by the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security in 2009.
The Protecting Victims from Sex Offenders Act includes the following fundamental reforms:
- automatic inclusion of convicted sex offenders in the Registry;
- mandatory DNA sampling for convicted sex offenders;
- proactive use of the Registry by police;
- registration of sex offenders convicted abroad who return to Canada;
- notifications to other police jurisdictions when high-risk registered offenders travel;
- operational and administrative amendments to enhance Registry operations; and
- amendments to the National Defence Act to ensure these reforms also apply to those convicted of sex offences through court-martial.
The key messages developed are that by passing the Protecting Victims From Sex Offenders Act, the Government has demonstrated its resolve to protect our communities from sex offenders, and has responded to the concerns of police services and victim groups. The Minister of Public Safety issued a media release on December 15, 2010, to announce that Bill S-2 received Royal Assent and that this legislation strengthens the National Sex Offender Registry and the National DNA Data Bank to make them effective tools for police to protect the safety of our families and communities.
Further announcements with respect to the coming into force of the legislation are to be determined. The Department has developed media lines and Questions and Answers to respond to inquiries.
For more information, please contact
Mr. Cliff Yumansky
Corrections Programs and Community Development
Corrections and Criminal Justice Directorate
Public Safety Canada