Judge slams Nunavut government over lack of sex offender programs

A Nunavut judge criticized the territorial government Friday for what he says is a lack of treatment options for sex offenders.

'This is a critical need in this jurisdiction,' Chief Justice Robert Kilpatrick says

Nunavut Chief Justice Robert Kilpatrick criticized the Nunavut government for a lack of counselling options for sex offenders. (CBC)
A Nunavut judge criticized the territorial government for what he says is a lack of treatment options for sex offenders.

Chief Justice Robert Kilpatrick made the comments in December during a sentencing for an Iqaluit man who pleaded guilty to sexual interference against a 12-year-old girl.

The Nunavut Court of Justice released a transcript of the decision Friday.

"For years, this court has commented in its decisions about the lack of sex offender counselling available to citizens once they are released from custody through community corrections," Kilpatrick said in his reasons for judgment.

"This is a critical need in this jurisdiction. We lead the country in our per capita rate of sexual violence, and it is high time that the Government of Nunavut provides the remedial provisions necessary to address what amounts to a significant problem in this jurisdiction."

The man, whose victim cannot be identified, admitted to fondling the girl while he was drinking. Kilpatrick credited the man for pleading guilty and sparing the victim from having to testify in court.

The judge sentenced the man to 20 months in jail and two years of probation. He also ordered the man to undergo drug and alcohol counselling following his release and ordered the territorial probation office to ensure the counselling takes place, 

"I am not prepared to leave the provision of addictions treatment to the discretion of the Government of Nunavut," Kilpatrick said.

Kilpatrick has previously criticized the lack of substance abuse treatment options available in the territory.