Calgary

Minister calls on sex offender near Calgary school to move

A senior member of the Alberta government is calling on a registered sex offender to move from his home directly across from an elementary school and daycare in southwest Calgary.

Alberta's justice minister weighs in on Stephen Huggett living across from elementary school

A senior member of the Alberta government is calling on a registered sex offender to move from his home directly across from an elementary school and daycare in southwest Calgary.

Stephen Huggett, seen here in 2009 shortly before he was jailed for child pornography offences, is being asked by Alberta's justice minister to move away from an elementary school. (CBC)

Stephen Huggett, 59, is a retired police officer who lives in Willow Park.  

He was convicted on child porn charges in 2009 and last week was arrested on new charges stemming from the 1990s, but was released on bail. 

The charges include with one count each of invitation to sexual touching with a child under 14 years and sexual interference with a child under 14 years.

Huggett should relocate, said Justice Minister and Calgary-Acadia MLA Jonathan Denis.

"The concern arises with the past conviction in 2009 and the fact that he is actually … part of the condition of his sentence is that he not attend at a playground, yet interestingly enough he lives across the street from one."

Opposition calls for legislation

Neighbours and staff at the daycare have expressed concern about Huggett, although there's no evidence he has broken the conditions of his release.

Denis said he can't force Huggett to move, but is hoping he will do it voluntarily. He went door-knocking in the area of Willow Park to hear concerns from local residents.

  •  Listen to his full interview on the Calgary Eyeopener:

But Wildrose Party justice critic Shayne Saskiw says Denis should look at strengthening legislation.

"Simply asking sex offenders to show good will to our communities and relocate isn’t good enough and is a sign of weak leadership," Saskiw said in a release. 

"After scrapping electronic monitoring bracelets for sex offenders earlier this year, Minister Denis needs to put an end to his soft-on-crime polices and ensure families and communities are protected by passing laws that keep sex offenders away from our schools."

Saskiw would like to see legislation that would create a "predator-free zone" in areas that children frequent, like daycares and schools.