KAWARTHA LAKES-MPP Laurie Scott, Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, and MPP Laura Smith, Thornhill, tabled a joint Private Member’s Bill today to stop convicted offenders under Christopher’s Law from legally changing their names in Ontario. This bill, if passed, will prevent sex offenders who have committed horrific crimes from having the ability to hide their identities.
“No new life for these criminals – something that their victims will never have,” said MPP Laura Smith, Thornhill. “That’s why we’re closing a long-standing loophole already addressed by other provinces that provides sex offenders anonymity and an opportunity to escape accountability.”
“Sexual offenders should be denied opportunities that could enable them to re-offend or easily hide their past from unsuspecting communities,” said MPP Laurie Scott, Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock. “This bill would be another measure by our government to support victims and their families on their path to healing.”
In February of 2023 the Ontario government says it invested $307 million in supporting victims and survivors of Human Trafficking through its Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy. This investment includes a whole of government approach and leverages community partners to raise awareness, intervene earlier, protect victims, support survivors and hold offenders accountable. Ontario also invested $6.5 million to help women and children who have experienced violence and are survivors of human trafficking access the support and services they need to stay safe and rebuild their lives.
“Christopher’s Law was put in place to help protect survivors. This amendment is needed to take into consideration the impact on survivors whose lives have been irrevocably impacted by such serious crimes. A survivor’s physical and emotional safety and well-being must be considered utmost priority in such a decision. We commend the MPPs for putting survivors’ rights and needs as a priority.” said Gillian Freeman, Executive Director, Victim Services of York Region.
The bill will receive its second reading on November 14, 2023.