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Proposed sex offenders website getting mixed reactions from Ontarians

TORONTO, Ont. – A proposed website listing names and addresses of thousands of registered sex offenders in Ontario is receiving mixed reactions from experts.

If put into effect, the website – an election promise from Tim Hudak and the Progressive Conservatives – would go further than any other warning system in Canada to provide information about high-risk offenders to the community.

Paul Gillespie, a child crime crusader, said the website is “absolutely needed” to protect children, and parents deserve to know if there is a sex offender living within their neighbourhood.

However, information and privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian said police already keep a close watch on the offenders, and are able to notify the public should there be any concerns.

Cavoukian believes making names and addresses public could lead to unintended consequences, such as retaliation, and some people taking the matters into their own hands.

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