Duhaime promises public sex offender registry

QUEBEC | Éric Duhaime has pledged to set up a public register of sex offenders if he is elected prime minister on October 3.

• Read also: PCQ leader’s unpaid taxes: Experts surprised by Duhaime’s approach

• Read also: New leader of the CCP: François Legault cautious with Pierre Poilievre

He made the announcement in front of the Parliament Building on Monday morning, along with lawyer Marc Bellemare and activist Sophie Dupont.

« I make the solemn commitment here before you that under a Conservative government, from the first year of our mandate, we will set up this famous public register of sex offenders, in order to protect victims, children, and to inform the public in full transparency.

Photo QMI Agency, Gabriel Côté

In the 2018 elections, François Legault had made the same commitment, but the register never materialized during the mandate of the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ), a “treason” according to Éric Duhaime.

On the side of the CAQ, it is indicated that « the proactive sharing of information necessary for the establishment of a register would have made it possible to have a more complete portrait » of sex offenders, but that the Quebec government has come up against a refusal from the federal government.

Quebec currently has information on people incarcerated in provincial institutions, and whose sentences are two years less a day. Many sex offenders receive harsher sentences and are therefore incarcerated in federal institutions. This is why the sharing of information between the two levels of government is an issue.

A simple operation?

However, Marc Bellemare argued that creating a sex offender registry is a simple operation, because it only involves making public data that the government already has at its disposal.

Photo QMI Agency, Gabriel Côté

Asked about the fact that the implementation of the registry could be more complicated because of the division of jurisdiction between the federal and provincial levels in matters of criminal law, Éric Duhaime indicated that this is not an issue in his view. “We looked to do it. This poses legal challenges because of the protection of personal data. It’s not as simple as Mr. Duhaime says,” Prime Minister François Legault reacted.

The Conservative leader disagrees.

“We asked ourselves this question. Except that why would it be more complicated in Quebec than in other Canadian provinces. Why in other Canadian provinces was it possible, and why in Quebec it is not? As far as I know, we are governed by the same constitution,” said Éric Duhaime.


While the Conservatives’ desire to create a sex offender registry is clear, the form that this registry would take is less so. Éric Duhaime said he wanted to draw inspiration from the Alberta model which « seems to him to be the most convincing ». He also cited the “California model” as an example.

Marc Bellemare added that registers of this type are “very variable” in the United States, where there is one in each state. « Some states where we give the addresses, in others we don’t give them, we give the neighborhood, we give the city, we give the name, it varies from state to state, » explained the lawyer.

“We are not here to tell you what type of register. We would like to at least work on it, ”he added.

People’s justice

One of the most common criticisms of registries like the one the Conservatives are proposing is that making information about sex offenders public increases the risk of people taking the law into their own hands.

Faced with this possibility, the conservative leader argued that a list of 1,200 sex offenders is already public on the Facebook page managed by Sophie Dupont, and that no such incident has occurred so far.

“In the balance of the disadvantages, we have chosen to take sides for the victims clearly,” added Éric Duhaime.

Do you have information to share with us about this story?

Got a scoop that might be of interest to our readers?

Write to us at or call us directly at 1 800-63SCOOP.


Back to top button