Saskatchewan wants to prevent sex offenders from changing names

REGINA — The Saskatchewan government is working to ban released sex offenders from changing their names.

Stricter rules have been drafted and are expected to be presented to cabinet within weeks.

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Justice Minister Don Morgan says the province wants anyone wanting a name change for other than marriage or adoption reasons to undergo a criminal record check.

The latest reported case is of a 76-year-old man recently deported to Canada after serving 20 years for child pornography in Nevada.

It's believed he has settled in Saskatchewan and changed his name through the government’s eHealth online registry.

The John Howard Society, which works with prisoners in an effort to develop effective responses to crime, says it's important to focus on preventing repeat sex offences.

"Obviously if someone is trying to hide their past, no matter the nature of the crime, we shouldn't allow that," said spokesman Shawn Fraser.

"But if somebody is trying to leave their past behind ... then I think there need to be allowances made for that."

(CTV Regina, The Canadian Press)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 9, 2020

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