Canada's DNA database was introduced in 2000.
The 2008 Interpol survey reports that 34,254 crime scene DNA profiles and 110,930 individuals' profiles were held in Canada at the time of the survey. According to Interpol, Canada's DNA database grew to 64,000 crime scene DNA profiles and 215,000 reference DNA profiles from individuals in 2011. A DNA database legislation had been adopted at that time according to Interpol.
In 2014, the Federal Government proposed a new missing persons' DNA database.
- External links
- BCCLA: Genetic Privacy and Dicrimination (19th January 2012)
- Bill C-104 (13th July 1995)
Bill C-104 (2005) enables a judge to issue a warrant to police for the collection of biological samples from suspects in a criminal investigation for DNA analysis and compare those samples against evidence left at a specific crime scene.
- Bill C-3 (1997-98)
Bill C-3 establishes a National DNA Data Bank and allows for a judge to authorise the police to collect DNA samples from convicted offenders for inclusion in it.
- National DNA Data Bank website
- Press articles
- Canada Free Press: New DNA technology aids in fighting crime and thwarting terrorism (14th March 2017)
- Motherboard: Police Released a Suspect Photo Based on DNA From a Decades-Old Murder (26th January 2017)
- Ottawa Sun: Family-member DNA searches could help crack Canadian cold cases (7th January 2017)
- 680 News: Privacy laws, bureaucracy make Canada a challenging place for solving cold cases (8th June 2016)
- Mississauga: Canada a tough place to solve cold cases:experts (8th June 2016)
- The Star: Toronto cold cases push haunted detectives to dig deep (6th June 2016)
- Metro News: Canada's cold cases haunt the investigators working to solve them (6th June 2016)
- The Georgia Straight: Reasonable Doubt: Drawbacks with DNA dragnets, Part 2 (4th March 2016)
- The Georgia Straight: Reasonable Doubt: The drawbacks with DNA dragnets (26th February 2016)
- CBC News: Human rights advocate slams collection of DNA samples from men, boys in Manitoba First Nation (4th February 2016)
- Coast Reporter: Policing committee briefs (14th January 2016)
- CTV News: Conservatives make campaign promise to create new Winnipeg human trafficking team (22 September 2015)
- Huffington Post: RCMP Database On Missing Persons Is Overdue, Overbudget (31st August 2015)
- KOMO News: Remains of Vancouver homicide victim ID'd 41 years later (14th July 2015)
- Norfolk News: Norfolk joins Sarah’s Drive for Hope (8th June 2015)
- Chatham Daily News Case reopened on Chatham man last seen Dec. 31, 1973 (3rd June 2015)
- Global News: Feds admit more needs to be done to help domestic violence victims; Tories vote down national plan (27th May 2015)
- Metro: DNA tests on Russell Williams murder victim took 10 weeks (16th May 2015)
- Globe and Mail: Not enough data, not enough answers, on missing indigenous women(27th February 2015)
- Open Democracy: Missing and murdered: Am I next? (27th October 2014)
- Kelowna Now: Federal Government Announces DNA Database for Missing Persons (27th October 2014)
- Globe and Mail: Ottawa moves closer on DNA database (27th October 2014)
- The First Perspective: Growing outrage over inaction on missing and murdered Aboriginal women(May 2014)
- The Chronicle Herald: Loretta Saunders vigil calls for inquiry into missing, murdered native women (5th March 2014)
- The Spec: OPP faces scrutiny over DNA testing sweep (4th March 2014)
- Calgary Herald: DNA database offers hope for families haunted by loss (16th February 2014)
- The Record: New missing persons’ DNA database celebrated (15th February 2014)
- The Vancouver Sun: For B.C.’s Judy Peterson, victim DNA database triggers bittersweet emotions(12th February 2014)
- CBC: Missing persons, body ID centre shows promise but needs ‘time to work’ (3rd February 2014)
- The Star: OPP faces racial profiling complaint from migrant workers asked for DNA samples (12th December 2013)
- Globe and Mail: Feds looks at plan to collect DNA from suspects upon arrest (2nd October 2013)
- Forensic Connect: Law enforcement pushes for power to swab for DNA on arrest (28th May 2013)
- Why Are the Freemasons Collecting Our Children's DNA? (26th September 2012)
- Cape Breton Coast: Canada Police Chief Calls for Missing Persons Index (22nd August 2012)
- The Globe and Mail: Exclusion of DNA in missing persons database draws criticism (22nd July 2012)
- ForensicTalk.ca: Canadian Lab Closure Prompts Criticism (11th June 2012)
- Times Herald: More signatures for petition to create national DNA database for missing persons (25th May 2012)
- Regina Leader-Post: MP presents petition to create national DNA database (2nd February 2012)
- Vancouver Sun: Improved genetic mapping leads to privacy concerns - B.C. Civil Liberties Association (19th January 2012)
- Law Times: Youth DNA collection a burning issue (30th May 2011)
- Rights watchdog calls for halt to DNA testing (25th May 2011)
- The Vancouver Sun: New Westminster cold case revived by Alberta DNA (17th May 2011)
- The Globe and Mail: The dark side of DNA (13th March 2010)
The DNA Identification Act, 1998 provides for the establishment of a DNA databank and amended the Criminal Code of Canada to provide a mechanism for a judge to order persons convicted of designated offences to provide blood, buccal or hair samples from which DNA profiles could be derived. The DNA Identification Act includes strict guidelines on genetic privacy and stipulates that samples collected from convicted offenders can only be used for law enforcement purposes. The Canadian DNA database is therefore restricted in its application to convicted offenders and is limited to those convicted of designated offences as defined in the Criminal Code. The DNA data bank of Canada manages two principal indices, namely: a) The Convicted Offender Index; and b) the Crime Scene Index containing DNA profiles obtained from crime scenes.
The National DNA Data Bank conforms with the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025 and is recognized as an accredited testing laboratory for specific tests listed in the scope of accreditation approved by the Standards Council of Canada.
Section 9(1) of the DNA Identification Act, provides that information in the convicted offenders index is to be kept indefinitely. Section 9(2) however provides for the removal of information from the convicted offenders index if the person’s conviction is set aside or if the person is subsequently acquitted of the offence. If a person’s profile was entered into the convicted offenders’ index and that person is subsequently granted a pardon then the Act stipulates that his or her profile may not be used for forensic DNA analysis (section 9(8) of the Act). With regard to children, the Act provides that information may be kept on the convicted offenders’ register, but must be removed when the record relating to the same offence is required to be destroyed, sealed or transmitted to the National Archivist of Canada under Part 6 of the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Samples may only be used for forensic DNA analysis and may only be used for comparing offender profiles with crime scene profiles.
The Act provides for the retroactive collection of profiles. In R v Rodgers (2006), the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the legality of the DNA database, including the retroactive collection of profiles. The Court held that “DNA sampling is no more part of the arsenal of sanctions to which an accused may be liable in respect of a particular offence than the taking of a photograph or fingerprints. The fact that the DNA order may have a deterrent effect on the offender does not make it a punishment”.