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'Completely beyond the pale' that killer in BC was able to legally change his name

<who>Canadian Press

Brad West, Mayor of the City of Port Coquitlam, said today that he has written to Premier David Eby to prohibit name changes for individuals who “commit the most heinous crimes.”

This comes after a man who killed his children in 2008 was able to recently legally change his name.

Allan Schoenborn killed his three children in 2008 and was found not criminally responsible after being diagnosed with delusional disorder.

Schoenborn has been held at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam since 2010.

On March 11, 2024 an application was made to partially restrict publication of Schoenborn’s name following a legal name change. That application was denied on April 16.

The realization that Schoenborn was able to legally change his name has resulted in criticism of BC’s justice system.

“People like Allan Schoenborn should never be able to cover-up their horrific actions & hide from the public,” said West.

In 2022, the BC Review Board granted Schoenborn eligibility for overnight, unescorted leave in the community for periods of up to 28 days, while being barred from possessing weapons or using non−approved drugs or alcohol. He also was told not to have contact with the family members of the slain children.

It was said during a dramatic hearing that took place on Wednesday that 15 instances of aggressive behavior from Schoenborn have been reported over the last two years. Furthermore, the director of the institute where he is staying said he believes Schoenborn is a threat to public safety.

“It is absolutely unacceptable that an individual who has committed such heinous crimes, and continues to demonstrate this type of behaviour, is able to roam the community unescorted,” continued West in his letter to the Premier.

West added that it is “completely beyond the pale” that people like Schoenborn have the ability to legally change their names in an attempt to “dissociate themselves from their horrific crimes and to evade the public.”

“Surely, the rights of victims and the public to safety must trump the right of a three-time child killer to change his name.”

West points to 2021 legislation passed in Alberta that prohibits legal name changes for individuals convicted of certain offences and those designated as dangerous offenders, long-term offenders, or high-risk offenders, and urged similar action in BC.

Kevin Falcon, leader of the BC United party, commented on the situation by blaming Eby and the NDP government.

“Name changes are provincial jurisdiction,” said Falcon on X. “Who will be held accountable for helping this heinous killer change his name?”

“Name change authority rests under Health Minister Adrian Dix through the Vital Stats branch but the buck stops at David Eby. Especially since Eby, as Attorney General in 2017, was the one who chose not to appeal the judicial decision to not designate Schoenborn as high-risk.”

Eby told media on Thursday that nobody should be able to hide their identity after committing such a crime, and claimed that Falcon introduced an amendment in 2002 that allowed name changes to be made with public notice.


-With files from the Canadian Press


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