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Proposed Ontario law would ban sex offenders from legally changing their names

TORONTO — Registered sex offenders in Ontario would not be able to legally change their names if a bill that’s before the legislature passes.

The legislation jointly introduced by Progressive Conservatives Laurie Scott and Laura Smith is all but ensured passage, with their party – which has a majority in the legislature – supporting it.

Smith says the bill would stop the Karla Homolkas from becoming the Leanne Teales, referring to the infamous killer and her name change.

Scott and Smith say other provinces such as Saskatchewan and Alberta have similar laws, so it’s time Ontario closed a loophole they say allows sex offenders to escape accountability.

The legislation would see anyone on Ontario’s sex offender registry unable to legally change their name, including people convicted of child pornography, sexual assault, and sexual exploitation.

Another Progressive Conservative backbencher first introduced the bill in 2020, but it did not get passed before the 2022 election.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 20, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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