Monday, September 16, 2013

CANADA - Harper: Sex Offenders Will Need To Notify Before Leaving Canada

Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Stephen Harper
Original Article


RICHMOND - Convicted sex offenders who want to travel outside the country will have to alert Canadian authorities before they leave and Canadian officials will, in turn, warn the destination countries if new legislation proposed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper is passed.

Harper made the announcement in Vancouver as part of a package of reforms targeting convicted sex offenders.

"Just as we must protect Canadian children, we should do what we can to protect children abroad," Harper said.

The plan would also step up information sharing between police and border officials to keep track of sex offenders.

Harper promised a national, publicly accessible database of high-risk child sex offenders who have been the subject of public notifications.

"Gaps in information sharing and collection, as well as gaps in enforcement, mean child predators can slip over our borders unmonitored," Harper said. "That is going to change."

As an example, he noted the case of _____, a registered American sex offender who had been returning to the U.S. after a vacation in Mexico.

Border agents had been alerted by authorities in his home state, California, that his travel pattern suggested he might be involved in child sex tourism.

At the border, _____'s laptop and camera were searched. Hundreds of images of _____ molesting a girl under 10 years old were found and _____ was arrested.
- So if the person was not on probation or parole, did they have a warrant or was this an illegal search?

Harper said in Canada, this may have not happened.

Harper has been in British Columbia for the past several days as Ottawa prepares for a federal review panel report on the Northern Gateway pipeline.

The panel will report to the federal minister by the end of the year.


CharlesHiggins said...

People entering the United States are routinely searched for contraband. This includes limits on how much alcohol you can bring in without paying a duty and since child porn is illegal in the United States even if the evidence is excluded because of the lack of a warrant the computer will not be returned until the images have been deleted in a way beyond recovery.

GriffinAldjoy73 said...

At international borders, you don't need a warrant to search peoples belongings. If you have a sex offence record and are travelling internationally, just don't take a laptop or camera with you. Buy a Google Chrome laptop if needed. It has no storage device for CBSA to search and the browser is easily wiped with it's SSD memory. It's what lawyers use when they travel internationally. Just use the Cloud for everything.

Harper is just repeating the same failed American policies on sex offenders. It'll start with the high risk offenders, and then it'll expand to 'all' sex offenders, and finally all offenders. The SOIRA Act (canadian sex offender registry) was the same way. It was originally just a 'high risk' list, and then it expanded to anyone convicted of a sex offence pretty much.

Imkelson said...

Harper argues that "Convicted sex offenders who want to travel outside the country will have to alert Canadian authorities and Canadian officials will warn the destination countries if the legislation is passed." Harper insists this will "keep our streets and communities " In reality Harper's proposed legislation has everything to do with politics and nothing to do with preventing crime.

Let's take a look at what Harper has chosen not to tell Canadians:

There is no evidence in demonstrating the effectiveness of the registry in reducing sexual crimes or helping investigators to solve them (

The registry fails because most individuals never reoffend; most of those that do, do not reoffend sexually (

In addition the vast majority of those who have received pardons have never reoffend ( Mr. Harper eliminated pardons for those convicted of sexual offenses. What's even worse- Mr. Harper knows that denying offenders reintegration into society, may increase recidivism rates- making society LESS safe (

And what about the 'threat' to those living abroad?

Firstly, those on the registry have always had to inform authorities prior to traveling; this is nothing new.

Secondly, Canada’s sex tourism laws, enacted in 1997, ensure the country can prosecute a citizen who commits crimes overseas. According to the RCMP the law has so far been used only five times. How many were on the registry? None that can be determined. Is it any wonder than that Mr. Harper's only recourse was to provide the example of Howard Cotterman, a registered American offender who had been returning to the U.S. after a vacation in Mexico.

Individuals on the registry are not the rampaging rapists/murderers Harper would like Canadians to believe they are (the very few individuals like that are unlikely to be put back into society and thus on a registry). Almost one third of all sex offences in Canada are committed by persons under 21 years of age and most sex crimes are the work of first-time offenders who will never reoffend. Do Canadians believe, as Harper does, that individuals such as these should not have the opportunity to be reintegrated into the community (Harper’s recent legislative changes make their inclusion on the sex offender registry automatic)?


Perhaps if the Prime Minster took some time to examine the evidence, rather than exacerbating the sex-offender hysteria to advance his political agenda, his government may actually construct effective legislation that would prevent sexual offending.

-Canadians for a Just Society