section 490.011(1)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section defines Ontario Act as Christophers Law (Sex Offender Registry), 2000.

SECTION WORDING

490.011(1) In this part, "Ontario Act" means Christophers Law (Sex Offender Registry), 2000, S.O. 2000, c. 1.

EXPLANATION

Section 490.011(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada defines the term "Ontario Act" in the context of the Criminal Code. The definition refers to Christopher's Law (Sex Offender Registry), which is a piece of legislation passed by the province of Ontario in the year 2000. This law established a sex offender registry in Ontario, which was designed to track the movements and activities of individuals who have been convicted of sex offenses. The purpose of the sex offender registry is to protect the public from individuals who have a history of sexual offenses. When a person is convicted of a sexual offense in Ontario, they are required to register in the sex offender registry. The registry contains information about the individual's name, address, date of birth, and photograph. This information is then made available to the police and the public. Section 490.011(1) is important because it clarifies the relationship between the Ontario Act and the Criminal Code of Canada. The Ontario Act is a provincial law, whereas the Criminal Code is a federal law. By including a definition of the Ontario Act in the Criminal Code, it ensures that there is consistency and uniformity in the application of the law across Canada. In conclusion, Section 490.011(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a crucial provision that helps to clarify the relationship between the Ontario Act and the Criminal Code. It ensures that individuals who have been convicted of sexual offenses in Ontario are registered in the sex offender registry and that their information is available to the police and the public for safety purposes.

COMMENTARY

Section 490.011(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides a definition of the term "Ontario Act" which refers to Christopher's Law (Sex Offender Registry), 2000, S.O. 2000, c. 1. This legislation was passed in 2000 by the Ontario government in response to the abduction and murder of an eight-year-old boy named Christopher Stephenson in 1988 by a convicted sex offender who had been released back into the community. Christopher's Law established a sex offender registry for people convicted of designated sexual offenses, requiring them to register with the police and provide personal information such as their name, address, photograph, and fingerprints. The registry is accessible to law enforcement agencies, and certain authorized organizations and individuals, such as schools, daycares, and healthcare facilities, upon request. The purpose of Christopher's Law and similar legislation in other jurisdictions is to protect the public from sex offenders by notifying authorities and relevant parties of their whereabouts and limiting their ability to reoffend. The information contained in the registry is meant to assist law enforcement in investigations and enhance public safety by alerting the community to the presence of a sex offender living in their area. However, despite the good intentions behind these laws, there have been some criticisms and controversies surrounding them. Some argue that sex offender registries are ineffective, as they rely on self-reporting by offenders and may not capture all relevant information. There is also concern that these registries may stigmatize and harm offenders who have served their sentence and are trying to reintegrate into society. Moreover, there have been legal challenges to sex offender registries on human rights grounds. In 2011, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down provisions of the federal sex offender registry that retroactively applied to people who had already completed their sentence, finding that this violated their right to liberty and security of the person under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In light of these issues, it is essential that sex offender registries are crafted carefully and with consideration for the rights and well-being of all parties involved. The definition of the "Ontario Act" in section 490.011(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada serves to ensure that this important piece of legislation is recognized and incorporated into the criminal justice system. It is crucial that authorities maintain a delicate balance between protecting the public and respecting the rights of offenders, and the Ontario Act is a significant step forward in achieving this goal.

STRATEGY

Section 490.011(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada makes reference to Christopher's Law, which is also known as the Sex Offender Registry Act. This law was established to track and monitor convicted sex offenders and to provide public safety. The law requires that all sex offenders in Ontario register with the police and provide personal information such as their name, address, and other significant details. The registry is accessible by law enforcement and other authorized personnel, but information about specific individuals is not available to the general public. Strategic Considerations When Dealing with Section 490.011(1) When considering Section 490.011(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada, there are several strategic considerations that come to mind. One of the primary concerns is to ensure that the registry is accurate and up-to-date. To achieve this objective, it is essential to establish clear protocols for updating the registry information, including mandatory reporting requirements for offenders. This will help ensure that law enforcement officials have access to the most current and accurate information about sex offenders who reside in their jurisdiction. Another strategic consideration is ensuring that the registry is used appropriately. Law enforcement officials need to be aware of the limited purpose of the registry and the restrictions on the use of registry information. The sex offender registry is not intended to be used as a tool for vigilantism or community harassment. Therefore, clear guidelines and policies should be developed to ensure that the registry is used only for legitimate law enforcement purposes. Strategies That Could Be Employed To implement these strategic considerations, several different strategies could be employed, including: 1. Establishing clear protocols for updating the registry: This could involve requiring sex offenders to report regularly to their local police station to update their personal information, or setting up an online portal where offenders can update their information themselves. 2. Providing training on the use of the registry: Law enforcement officials should receive training on how to access and use the registry, as well as the limitations on its use. This will help ensure that the registry is used appropriately and that officials are aware of the legal requirements surrounding its use. 3. Encouraging public education: Members of the public should be educated about the purpose of the registry and its limitations. This will help mitigate the risk of vigilantism and harassment of sex offenders in the community. 4. Developing policies and procedures for the use of registry information: Law enforcement agencies should establish clear policies and procedures governing the use of registry information. These policies should include guidelines on when and how registry information can be accessed and shared, as well as penalties for inappropriate use. Conclusion Section 490.011(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important tool for preventing sexual offences and protecting public safety. However, its effectiveness depends on the accuracy of the information contained within it and the appropriate use of that information by law enforcement officials. By developing clear protocols, providing training and education, and establishing policies and procedures for the use of registry information, we can ensure that the registry is used effectively and responsibly.