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Canada: Province takes measures to prevent sex offenders from getting a name change

In what the provincial government says is a first in Canada, Saskatchewan is taking steps to prevent convicted sex offenders from changing their names.

An order in council approved by cabinet last week will require a criminal record check for people over the age of 18 seeking a name change.

“It would not be in the public interest to register a change of name for a person convicted of specific sexual offences in the past 10 years,” the order reads.

Saskatchewan would be the first province to refuse a name change based on a criminal record, the Ministry of Justice said.

The amendment of the Change Name Act 1995 will take effect on Feb. 18 this year.

“We are moving ahead with proposed changes to prevent offenders who prey on the most vulnerable in our society from changing their name to avoid public disclosure and scrutiny,” said a spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice.

The government said the list of applicable offences will be based around those that require a person to register as a sex offender. read more

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