Madam Speaker, where do I see the rights of the victim as opposed to the rights of the criminals, specifically the rights of a sex offender? I think many people in the country would say that somebody who preys on children should have no rights, but of course we understand that everybody is guaranteed rights under our charter.
However, whose rights should supersede in cases like this? I would suggest that virtually all Canadians would say that the rights of the victim, the rights of the children, the rights of the victims of sexual assault should supersede any rights that a criminal has to privacy.
I do believe one of the reasons the government is reluctant to implement this is that it is concerned about infringing on the rights of these people, especially after they have completed their sentences. It certainly has popped up before in other cases.
I think there is a philosophy at work here, and I would cite one case. A 20 year old person in Victoria, British Columbia was just convicted of a very serious assault. However, we could not identify him because he had been convicted as a young offender for taking part in a brutal murder in Prince Rupert along with five other young offenders. Even though a newspaper article wanted to describe the nature of this person and that he had been previously involved in serious violent activities, it could not name him because of his previous activity as a young offender. The newspaper could not name him in a newspaper article to say that he had been involved in a very serious violent offence and that he had been convicted again as an adult.
We are dealing with some serious issues over protecting identification. I think this is one of the problems the government is having about enacting this legislation. It does not want to go anywhere close to violating any perceived right that sex offenders may have.