Alberta to end name changes for dangerous, long-term, high-risk offenders

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EDMONTON — Alberta is moving to stop dangerous, long-term or high-risk offenders from legally changing their names.

Service Alberta Minister Nate Glubish has introduced legislation in the house to make the change.

Glubish says keeping such offenders from assuming a new identity would provide peace of mind for victims and for other Albertans.

The bill calls for designated offenders to be banned for life from changing their names, even if the designation were eventually removed.

It builds on amendments made to the Vital Statistics Act last year, which barred some convicted sex offenders from changing their name.

Glubish says he is urging other provinces to make similar changes, because it’s critical to prevent someone from changing a name in one jurisdiction only to move to a new province under a new identity.

“Every Canadian should be assured of their safety,” Glubish told a news conference Monday before introducing the bill.

“Albertans should not need to wonder or worry about the ability of a violent dangerous offender to legally change their name and to move in next door or down the street without community members being aware of their violent past.”

A dangerous offender is someone who has been convicted of a serious personal injury offence such as aggravated assault or manslaughter.

A long-term offender has demonstrated a pattern of sexual offences and is deemed likely to reoffend.

A high-risk offender is someone recently paroled and considered a danger to public safety.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 22, 2021.

The Canadian Press