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NEWS RELEASE - SEXUAL OFFENDER REGISTRY

MOOSE JAW, May 31, 2001 -- Premiers expressed concern about violent sexual offences. They highlighted the importance of providing the police with the tools they need to protect our communities - and particularly our children - from high-risk sex offenders. They noted that since sexual offenders often move, there is a need to keep track of their movements. Premiers agreed that a national sex offender registry would be the most effective solution to this problem.

In the absence of a federal commitment to a national registry, Premiers agreed that provinces and territories should take action on this matter. Accordingly, western provinces will examine the feasibility of establishing a network of provincial registries, building on the registries that are currently in development (or under consideration) in several provinces and territories. This network could eventually form the basis of a national registry.

Premiers called on the federal government to commit to the establishment of a national sex offender registry.

Western Premiers also agreed to cooperate on other child protection measures, including sharing information and best practices to protect children from being exploited on the internet.

Note: Mr. Gordon Campbell, Premier-elect of British Columbia, attended the 2001 Western Premiers' Conference. However, in his current role as Premier-elect, Mr. Campbell was unable to give the official endorsement of the Province of British Columbia to the positions and commitments outlined in this Communiqué.

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