Ministry of Justice

Sex Offender Registry

On December 15, 2004 the Government of Canada proclaimed the Sex Offender Information Registration Act and made changes to the Criminal Code – Sex Offender Registry (sections 490.011 to 490.032). In cooperation with the provinces and territories, the national sex offender registration program was subsequently implemented to enable police to have rapid access to information about convicted sex offenders. The legislation compels offenders who are convicted of designated sex offences to register specified information about themselves with the police for 10 or 20 years, or for life, depending on the offence.

The cornerstone of the legislation is the National Sex Offender Database which is maintained by the RCMP. The database may be searched by police across the country. Police can query the system, with the assistance of the National Sex Offender Registration Centre, using specific criteria (i.e. by geographical area) and produce data identifying registered sex offenders matching the physical descriptors of the suspect or who are residing in the geographical area where an offence took place.

The database is only accessible to police agencies and is only used to investigate or prevent crimes of a sexual nature. The legislation prohibits public access to the information in the database and the information cannot be used for the purposes of public notification. Additional information about the National Sex Offender Registry is posted on the RCMP website.