On November 8th, 2011 the Nova Scotia Minister of Services and Municipal Relations tabled a Bill to amend the Change of Name Act. The new Act proposes the following:
(a) requires that a person whose name is to be changed be fingerprinted by an authorized agency;
(b) requires that the fingerprints be forwarded to the RCMP to enable it to link the person’s present and proposed name if the person has a criminal record;
(c) prevents the Registrar from approving a person’s name change unless the person’s fingerprints have been provided to the RCMP;
I contacted my local MLA Gary Ramey by email pointing out that these amendments marginalize transgendered persons further if records are retained after they are submitted. Today, several days later, I received a phone call from Gary Ramey and the Minister of Justice Ross Landry with whom I spoke for almost half an hour to discuss my concerns regarding the bill.
I was told by the Minister that records are not retained to track persons who have had a name change, but that the records are destroyed immediately after they have been compared to the database of convicted persons. The fingerprint records of those who have no criminal record will be destroyed completely, the fingerprint records of those who have a criminal record will have the name change attached to them and will be retained.
I was very impressed with the response to these concerns.