On January 14, 2023, the CPLA made submissions to the Standing Committee on Justice Policy Regarding Bill 138 (“An Act to amend the Change of Name Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act”).
The CPLA opposes Bill 138. The Government of Ontario has an interest in protecting public safety, but it also has an obligation to do so in a manner that respects Charter rights. As the Supreme Court of Canada reiterated in a case striking down mandatory registration provisions of the Sex Offender Information Registration Act: “[e]ven when Parliament acts with a laudable purpose, it must still legislate in a constitutional manner and comply with the Charter.”
The CPLA is concerned that the framework set out in Bill 138 is inconsistent with section 7 of the Charter, since prohibiting someone from changing their name is a violation of the right to liberty. Moreover, this restriction cannot be saved under the proportionality aspect of the Oakes test.
Read the full document here.