Experts mixed on proposed sex offender website
TORONTO - A proposed website that would list the names and addresses of thousands of registered sex offenders in Ontario is getting a mixed reaction from experts.
The election promise by the Progressive Conservatives goes further than any other system currently in place in Canada to warn the public about high-risk offenders.
Child crime crusader Paul Gillespie says the website is "absolutely needed" to protect kids and that parents deserve to know if there's a sex offender living near them.
But Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian says police already keep tabs on registered sex offenders and can notify the public if there's a danger to a community.
She says making names and addresses public could lead to some unintended consequences -- such as retaliation and vigilante action.
Alberta is currently the only province that has a website listing the names and photos of high-risk offenders. However, it doesn't list their exact addresses for safety reasons.
The Conservative proposal would effectively put Ontario's sex offender registry online, providing public access to the names and addresses of more than 13,000 offenders.