Sexual Offenders Information Registration Act (SOIRA)
The Canadian government, through SOIRA, established the National Sex Offenders Registry. This registry monitors and tracks persons convicted of designated sex related offences.
The database is only accessible to Canadian police services and is not public information. The sex offender database identifies all registered offenders living within a particular geographic area. It includes such information as:
- The offender’s current address
- Personal circumstances (school, work, living arrangements)
- A current photograph,
- Identifying marks (tattoos and scars)
- Vehicle information
- A description of the offender’s criminal history and their modus operandi.
Sex Offenders Registration
Persons on the Sex Offenders Registry are required to register every year with police and must provide all required information. They must also notify police if they expect to be away from their registered address for more than seven days.
Requirement for the registry is mandatory when a person is found guilty of a designated sexual based offence. A judge must order that a person complies with the registration provisions of SOIRA. As of April 2011, judges no longer have discretion on this matter. Designated offences requiring the mandatory SOIRA order are listed in Section 490.011(1)(a):
- Section 7(4.1) – offence in relation to sexual offences against children
- Section 151 – sexual interference
- Section 152 – invitation to sexual touching
- Section 153 – sexual exploitation
- Section 153.1 – sexual exploitation of person with disability
- Section 155 – incest
- Section 160(2) – compelling the commission of bestiality
- Section 160(3) – bestiality in presence of or by a child
- Section 163.1 – child pornography
- Section 170 – parent or guardian procuring sexual activity
- Section 171.1 – making sexually explicit material available to a child
- Section 172.1 – luring a child for a sexual purpose
- Section 172.2 – agreement or arrangement – sexual offence against child
- Section 173(2) – exposure of genitals to a person under the age of 16 years
- Section 212(1)(i) – stupefying or overpowering for the purpose of sexual intercourse
- Section 212(2) – living on the avails of prostitution of a person under the age of 18 years
- Section 212(2.1) – living on the avails of prostitution of a person under the age of 18 years
- Section 212(4) – obtaining, or communicating for the purposes of obtaining, the sexual services of a person under the age of 18 years
- Section 271 – sexual assault
- Section 272 – sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm
- Section 273(2)(a) – aggravated sexual assault – use of a restricted firearm or prohibited firearm or any firearm in connection with criminal organization
- Section 273(2)(a.1) – aggravated sexual assault – use of a firearm
- Section 273(2)(b) – aggravated sexual assault
- Section 273.3 – removal of a child from Canada with the intent to commit a sexual act in respect of that child
How Long Does a Sex Offender Registry Order Last?
The length of a Sex Offender Registry order depends on circumstances. It lasts for a period of between 10 years to life.
Pursuant to Section 490.012(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada, when sentencing a person for designated offences, the judge must make an order requiring the person to comply with SOIRA for a period of 10 years or 20 years or for the remainder of the person’s life.
This is automatically determined by a provision set out in Section 490.013. A person may apply for a termination of the SOIRA order if a record suspension (pardon) is granted. Section 490.015 also allows a person to apply for a termination of the SOIRA order after the expiry of specified time periods determined by the duration of the SOIRA order.
Conviction of the above sexual based offences are not the only Criminal Code offences that could force a person onto the Registry. Section 490.012(2) allows a Crown Attorney to request an order requiring a person to comply with the provisions of SOIRA if they can establish that the person committed an offence listed in Section 490.011(1)(b) with the intention to commit a sexual related offence. The designated offences listed in Section 490.011(1)(b) are:
- Section 162 – voyeurism
- Section 173(1) – indecent acts
- Section 177 – trespassing at night
- Section 230 – murder in commission of offences
- Section 231 – murder
- Section 234 – manslaughter
- Section 246(b) – overcoming resistance to commission of offence
- Section 264 – criminal harassment
- Section 279 – kidnapping
- Section 279.01 – trafficking in persons
- Section 279.011 – trafficking of a person under the age of 18 years
- Section 280 – abduction of a person under the age of 16 years
- Section 281 – abduction of a person under the age of 14 years
- Section 348(1)(d) – breaking and entering a dwelling house with intent to commit an indictable offence
- Section 248(1)(d) – breaking and entering a dwelling house and committing an indictable offence
- Section 348(1)(e) – breaking and entering a place other than a dwelling house with intent to commit an indictable offence
- Section 348(1)(e) – breaking and entering a place other than a dwelling house and committing an indictable offence
It is a criminal offence for a person subject to a SOIRA order not to comply with every provision imposed. Once ordered by a judge every person subject to a SOIRA order must:
- Report within 7 days after release from custody, or from the date of the SOIRA order. Report to the police service in the jurisdiction where the person resides at the place. And during the times determined by the police service;
- The same applies to those found not criminally responsible on account of a mental disorder after being granted a conditional discharge or an absolute discharge by the Ontario Review Board;
- Report annually between the 11th and 12th month after the person’s last reporting date;
- Notify the National Sex Offender Registry by registered mail or by another means authorized by the respective province or territory after a change of address, after a change of name, and before the person’s departure from the person’s residence if the person will be absent for seven consecutive days or more.
Young persons, as defined in the Youth Criminal Justice Act, will not be subject to a mandatory SOIRA order. Unless sentenced as an adult and the court makes a SOIRA order.
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