January 16, 2015 – Ottawa – Public Safety Canada
Today, the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness announced that the Harper Government was fulfilling its Economic Action Plan 2014 commitment to create a national DNA-based Missing Persons Index and that this legislation has now received Royal Assent.
In October 2014, as part of Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2, the Government introduced legislation that would make it legally possible to create a number of indices, including a Missing Persons Index. The legislation received Royal Assent on December 16, 2014 and will be known as “Lindsey's Law” in honour of Lindsey Nicholls, who disappeared in 1993 and has never been found. Lindsey's mother, Judy Peterson, has been a tireless advocate for the creation of a DNA-based Missing Persons Index.
The Missing Persons Index will be one of five new indices created in the RCMP's National DNA Data Bank. These indices will be valuable new tools for investigating missing persons, unidentified remains and criminal cases, and will supplement the work currently undertaken by the National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains (NCMPUR). The legislationincludes important safeguards to ensure that the privacy rights of Canadians are respected.
“Giving law enforcement the tools they need to carry out their essential role in keeping Canadians safe remains a priority for our Government. I am very pleased that this legislation received Royal Assent and that the RCMP can proceed with developing these important tools for coroners, medical examiners and police investigating cases of missing persons and unidentified remains. I wish to congratulate and thank Judy Peterson for her input, as her vision of a national Missing Persons Index finally becomes reality.”
– The Honourable Steven Blaney, Canada's Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
“The Missing Persons Index will build on the work of the RCMP's National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains and the National DNA Data Bank to provide investigators with a new tool to help locate missing persons and identify human remains. I hope that this new tool will also help reassure families that police are pursuing every avenue to find their missing loved ones.”
– Commissioner Bob Paulson, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Public Safety Canada
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