Critics are urging the Ontario government to tighten the rules for name changes to prevent people with criminal records from hiding their pasts.
Fingerprints clearly should be required for a name change; however, it is important to note that you can still change your name if you have a record. In British Columbia and Alberta, the fingerprint submission to the RCMP adds the individual’s new name to the existing criminal record so that both names are now associated with the criminal file.
In regards to residency, it is interesting that you can change your name after having lived in Canada for only 1 year, whereas you would not be able to work in the Federal Government, with the lowest level of screening, unless you have lived in the country for a minimum of 5 years.
It seems to me that this is a simple policy to change, as Reliability Screening Solutions Inc. ( www.ReliabilityScreening.ca ) is able to provide fingerprint-based checks in less than 3 days from anywhere in Ontario. Starting in July of 2014, the RCMP stopped accepting ink fingerprints. This is a non-issue because we are able to convert your ink files into digital submissions at our Ottawa scanning facilities. The RCMP is also targeting July of 2015 as the end date for name-based criminal record checks, ending the problem of name changes.