Following some social media backlash from individuals who misunderstood Adam Arreak Lightstone’s intentions with a proposal for a new law that would identify high-risk offenders to potential victims, the Iqaluit-Manirajak MLA is fleshing out his position.

“Real change is necessary to end this cycle of abuse and to protect our youth from further abuse and harm,” says Iqaluit-Manirajak MLA Adam Arreak Lightstone.

Arreak-Lightstone said he isn’t trying to publicly shame abusers. Instead, he wants people living with or considering living with a high-risk offender to be able to find out about their histories of domestic assaults or child abuse via the police or certain GN officials.

“I want to see that our government does all it can to ensure the safety of Nunavummiut,” Arreak-Lightstone stated. “It is unfortunate that our justice department’s legal advisers have failed to brief our minister and cabinet on such an initiative.”

Such legislation has been adopted in some Canadian provinces and it’s sometimes referred to as Clare’s Law. The United Kingdom passed the act first, naming it after a young woman who was killed by an ex-partner with a history of violence against women, the MLA explained.

“Further I had identified that almost half of the individuals who are currently on the (Nunavut) sex offender registry have been charged with offences against children, including a few who are listed as high risk. While there is no way of substantiating this as the registered sex offender listing contains personal information on the abusers, and is closely guarded, I believe it is safe to assume that no jurisdiction in Canada has a higher ratio of child predators per capita,” Arreak-Lightstone stated. “Real change is necessary to end this cycle of abuse and to protect our youth from further abuse and harm. As far as I know no other jurisdiction in Canada has a Clare’s Law which pertains specifically to child abuse. This is why I asked that a Nunavut version of Clare’s Law go beyond giving police the authority to disclose information to potential victims if a partner has a violent or abusive past, but also allow the authorities to warm potential victims of child sexual abuse.”

 

Derek Neary

Derek Neary has been reporting on developments in the North for 18 years. When he's not writing for Nunavut News, he's working on Northern News Services' special publications such as Opportunities North,...

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