Vol. 147, No. 51 — December 21, 2013

Regulations Amending the Garnishment and Attachment Regulations

Statutory authority

Garnishment, Attachment and Pension Diversion Act

Sponsoring department

Department of Justice

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Background

Enforcement of judgment debts, including support obligations, is primarily a provincial and territorial responsibility. However, the federal government provides tools to assist creditors in their enforcement activities. In addition to provincial and territorial legislation, creditors have access to federal legislation such as Part Ⅰ of the Garnishment, Attachment and Pension Diversion Act (GAPDA).

Part Ⅰ of the GAPDA permits the garnishment of public servants’ salaries and payments to federal contractors where an applicant serves on Her Majesty or on a parliamentary institution an application, a copy of the judgment or order against the debtor and a garnishee summons.

Fourteen garnishment registries are specified in the Garnishment and Attachment Regulations (Regulations) to receive and review all garnishment documents pertaining to Crown employees and contractors. They then forward the documents and instructions to departmental compensation offices. The registries are all part of the Department of Justice except for two that are part of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Four other registries are specified in the Regulations for garnishments relating to parliamentary institutions. The prescribed Crown corporations, except Canada Post, receive garnishment documents at their head office.

Issues and objectives

As a result of changes in federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) legislation and practices, the Regulations are now outdated and inaccurate. Amendments are needed to harmonize the Regulations with provincial and territorial laws, to correct addresses for service of documents, to correct references to federal legislation, to reflect the fact that garnishee summonses are not always issued by courts, to take into consideration changes to the government structure and the creation of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC), to repeal references to abolished Crown corporations, and to add an exclusion to the definition of “salary.”

At present, responses to garnishee summonses vary according to provincial garnishment law. In view of a proposed modernization of the federal pay system, the proposed amendment would allow the use of uniform responses.

The proposed amendments would

  • ensure information in the Regulations is accurate;
  • improve the garnishment process and take advantage of technological capacity; and
  • provide better assistance to provinces and territories in their enforcement activities and support FPT cooperation.

Description

The Regulations would be amended as follows.

Service of documents (section 4)

The Regulations specify the location where the service of garnishment documents is to be done. The proposed amendments would update the names and addresses of the registries where documents are to be served on Her Majesty and parliamentary institutions.

Under the GAPDA, a garnishee summons includes a notice of garnishment issued by a provincial enforcement service (PES) or any other document of a similar nature to a garnishee summons. The current Regulations and application form only refer to a court-issued garnishee summons. The proposed amendment reflects the fact that entities other than courts, such as a PES, can issue the documents.

Under the current scheme, a garnishee summons issued by the court or the PES of a province or territory is served on the registry specified in the Regulations that is located in that province or territory. The provinces of Quebec and Ontario each have a regional registry (respectively in Montréal and Toronto) and share the National Capital Region (NCR) registry (in Ottawa). The current Regulations require garnishee summonses to be served on one of those three registries according to designated regions. Courts throughout Quebec and Ontario issue garnishee summonses. Because the province of Quebec has a centralized PES in the City of Québec and the province of Ontario has a centralized one in Toronto, the current rule does not allow for an efficient administration of the applications served on the registries of Montréal, Toronto and the NCR. The proposed amendment would improve the process by having the place of service determined by the location where the support judgment was rendered in cases where garnishee summonses are issued by the Quebec and Ontario PES.

Currently, the service of documents in Ontario is according to counties, districts and judicial districts. Since the enactment of Ontario’s Territorial Division Act, 2002, those divisions are no longer accurate. As garnishment is linked to court activity, regions under Ontario’s Courts of Justice Act should be specified. As a result, courts located in Hastings County would serve documents on the NCR registry instead of the Toronto registry.

Amendments would transfer the registry responsibilities in New Brunswick and in Newfoundland and Labrador from the CRA to the Department of Justice. The NCR registry would receive documents issued in these two provinces.

The proposed amendments would add a reference to the PPSC to ensure that the salary and remuneration of debtors working for the PPSC may be garnisheed under the GAPDA.

In 2005, the new Public Service Employment Act came into force. The provision relating to a Minister’s staff in section 39 was relocated in section 128 of the new Act. Amendments would reflect this change.

Canada Post (section 4)

The place of service of documents for a debtor who receives remuneration from Canada Post would change from registries at the Department of Justice to Canada Post’s head office. Canada Post would then be in the same position as other Crown corporations that currently receive service of documents.

E-communication (new sections 4.2 and 4.4)

Under the GAPDA, service of documents and responses to garnishee summonses may be effected by any method permitted by provincial garnishment law, by registered mail or any other prescribed method.

This proposal would allow the PES to serve the documents and would allow garnishees to send responses by electronic means. It would ensure that the electronic format used is compatible with the computer systems of the parties involved and provide flexibility for the use of new technologies as they become available. Making the processing of garnishee summonses more efficient would also eventually lead to reduced use of paper and ink and decrease the risk attributable to human error.

The electronic service of garnishment documents by the PES under the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act has proven to be reliable, easy to operate and a better use of available resources. Except for in a few provinces, provincial and territorial legislation does not permit service of garnishment documents and submission of responses by electronic communication other than by fax. Amending the federal Regulations would eliminate the need for provinces and territories to amend their legislation.

Uniform response (new section 4.3)

Presently, responses to garnishment documents are sent according to provincial garnishment law, which varies from one jurisdiction to another. The proposed modernization of the federal pay system could include the option to automate the response process. As it would be inefficient to program 13 variations of such responses, the proposed amendment would allow one uniform response to all garnishee summonses.

Exclusions from salary (section 5)

The Regulations provide a list of the amounts that are deemed to be or to have been excluded from a person’s salary; thus, they cannot be garnisheed. The proposed amendments would replace the reference to “unemployment insurance contributions” with a reference to “employment insurance contributions” to correspond with current federal legislation, and would specify the cost of court clothing required to be worn by court officials, as it is similar to other exclusions currently listed.

Crown corporations (sections 6 and 7)

The proposed amendments would delete the reference to Crown corporations that no longer exist. The Canadian Livestock Feed Board was abolished in 1991, the Canadian Corporation for the 1967 World Exhibition was abolished in 1984, the Canadian Saltfish Corporation was abolished in 1995 when the Saltfish Act was repealed, and Petro-Canada Limited was dissolved in 2001.

The proposed amendments would also change the reference to “Schedule A” of the Public Service Superannuation Act to “Schedule I.”

“One-for-One” Rule

The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply to this proposal as it does not impose any administrative burden on business.

Small business lens

The small business lens does not apply to this proposal as it does not impose any burden on small business.

Consultation

Consultations were held with the relevant federal government departments, Crown corporations and parliamentary institutions and the PES. All were supportive of the proposed amendments.

Rationale

A regulatory amendment is the only means to correct inaccur-acies and ensure the Regulations are reflective of changes to FPT legislation and practices.

Effecting service of documents at Canada Post’s head office would have a limited impact on the operations of the corporation while creating savings for the Department of Justice. The time and effort expended by the registries to process Canada Post garnishment actions, which represent over 25% of the registries’ active files, would be saved. Canada Post would receive the documents directly from creditors, rather than from registries, and would have a slight increase in workload to process the documents.

The impact of transferring registry responsibilities for New Brunswick and for Newfoundland and Labrador applications, and of transferring service of documents for Hastings County, to the NCR registry would be minimal, with any costs absorbed through existing resources, given the low volume of applications from these sites.

Allowing electronic means for service of documents and for responses would improve the efficiency of the garnishment process. The proposal relating to service would only affect the exchange of documents between the garnishee and the PES. Amending the federal Regulations would eliminate the need for provinces and territories to amend their legislation.

Electronic documents, as opposed to hard copies, also allow for the cost-effective management of records. The amendment would save staff time in receiving, processing and filing each document served in paper format and would allow the use of technology to transfer information in a manner that is more secure than the present manual exchange of documents. The proposal, along with the proposed modernization of the federal pay system, would improve the process by simplifying a garnishee’s obligations from beginning to end. Requiring that documents be submitted electronically in a manner through which the recipient is capable of receiving the documents in a usable format would ensure the flexibility to encompass new technologies for upgrades as they become available and ensure the electronic format used is compatible with technological infrastructure and security policies.

Savings are expected for the federal government if uniform electronic responses from garnishees are allowed, as fewer resources would be needed to program responses in the modernized federal pay system. Each variation would be an exception to be programmed in the system, which would be costly and impractical.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

Implementation of the amendments will be carried out by the registries and the compensation offices that are responsible for administering the garnishment process within the federal government departments, the prescribed Crown corporations, the parliamentary institutions and the PES. Compliance with the GAPDA, Part Ⅰ, and its Regulations will continue to be assured by those parties.

Contact

Sylviane Deslauriers
Counsel
Support Enforcement Policy and Implementation Unit
Family, Children and Youth Section
Department of Justice
284 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0H8
Telephone: 613-954-4723
Fax: 613-952-9600

PROPOSED REGULATORY TEXT

Notice is given that the Governor in Council, pursuant to section 12, subsection 14(3) and sections 24 (see footnote a) and 29 of the Garnishment, Attachment and Pension Diversion Act (see footnote b), proposes to make the annexed Regulations Amending the Garnishment and Attachment Regulations.

Interested persons may make representations concerning the proposed Regulations within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. All such representations must cite the Canada Gazette, Part Ⅰ, and the date of publication of this notice, and be addressed to Sylviane Deslauriers, Counsel, Support Enforcement Policy and Implementation Unit, Family, Children and Youth Section, Department of Justice, 284 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H8 (tel.: 613-954-4723; fax: 613-952-9600).

Ottawa, December 12, 2013

JURICA ČAPKUN
Assistant Clerk of the Privy Council

REGULATIONS AMENDING THE GARNISHMENT AND ATTACHMENT REGULATIONS

AMENDMENTS

1. Section 2 of the Garnishment and Attachment Regulations (see footnote 1) is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order:

“provincial enforcement service” has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act. (autorité provinciale)

2. Sections 4 and 4.1 of the Regulations are replaced by the following:

4. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), service of documents on Her Majesty in connection with garnishment proceedings permitted by Division I of Part Ⅰ of the Act must be effected at the following places:

  • (a) if the garnishee summons is issued in Newfoundland and Labrador,
    • Department of Justice
    • 284 Wellington Street
    • Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H8
    • Attention: Garnishment Registry;
  • (b) if the garnishee summons is issued in Prince Edward Island,
    • Department of Justice
    • Legal Services Unit
    • 161 Grafton Street
    • Internal Box 014
    • Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island C1A 8M9
    • Attention: Garnishment Registry;
  • (c) if the garnishee summons is issued in Nova Scotia,
    • Department of Justice
    • Atlantic Regional Office
    • Suite 1400, Duke Tower
    • 5251 Duke Street
    • Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 1P3
    • Attention: Garnishment Registry;
  • (d) if the garnishee summons is issued in New Brunswick,
    • Department of Justice
    • 284 Wellington Street
    • Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H8
    • Attention: Garnishment Registry;
  • (e) subject to paragraph (f), if the garnishee summons is issued in Quebec,
    • Department of Justice
    • Quebec Regional Office — Montréal
    • East Tower, 9th Floor
    • 200 René-Lévesque Boulevard West
    • Montréal, Quebec H2Z 1X4
    • Attention: Garnishment Registry;
  • (f) if the garnishee summons is issued in Quebec, either in the National Capital Region described in the schedule to the National Capital Act or by the provincial enforcement service in relation to an order or judgment made in the National Capital Region or outside Quebec for the payment of maintenance, alimony or support,
    • Department of Justice
    • 284 Wellington Street
    • Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H8
    • Attention: Garnishment Registry;
  • (g) subject to paragraph (h), if the garnishee summons is issued in Ontario,
    • Department of Justice
    • Ontario Regional Office
    • 2 First Canadian Place
    • P.O. Box 36
    • Toronto, Ontario M5X 1K6
    • Attention: Garnishment Registry;
  • (h) if the garnishee summons is issued in Ontario, either in the Northwest Region, Northeast Region, East Region or Central East Region prescribed under the Courts of Justice Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.43, or by the provincial enforcement service in relation to an order or judgment made in one of those regions or outside Ontario for the payment of maintenance, alimony or support,
    • Department of Justice
    • 284 Wellington Street
    • Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H8
    • Attention: Garnishment Registry;
  • (i) if the garnishee summons is issued in Manitoba,
    • Department of Justice
    • Prairie Region — Winnipeg Office
    • Suite 301, Centennial House
    • 310 Broadway Avenue
    • Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 0S6
    • Attention: Garnishment Registry;
  • (j) if the garnishee summons is issued in Saskatchewan,
    • Department of Justice
    • Prairie Region — Saskatoon Office
    • Scotia Centre, 10th Floor
    • 123 2nd Avenue South
    • Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 7E6
    • Attention: Garnishment Registry;
  • (k) if the garnishee summons is issued in Alberta,
    • Department of Justice
    • Prairie Region — Edmonton Office
    • Suite 300, EPCOR Tower
    • 10423-101 Street
    • Edmonton, Alberta T5H 0E7
    • Attention: Garnishment Registry;
  • (l) if the garnishee summons is issued in British Columbia,
    • Department of Justice
    • British Columbia Regional Office
    • Suite 900
    • 840 Howe Street
    • Vancouver, British Columbia V6Z 2S9
    • Attention: Garnishment Registry;
  • (m) if the garnishee summons is issued in the Northwest Territories,
    • Department of Justice
    • Northern Region — Northwest Territories Office
    • Nova Plaza, 2nd Floor
    • 5019 52nd Street
    • P.O. Box 2052
    • Yellowknife, Northwest Territories X1A 2P5
    • Attention: Garnishment Registry;
  • (n) if the garnishee summons is issued in Yukon,
    • Department of Justice
    • Northern Region — Yukon Office
    • Suite 310, Elijah Smith Building
    • 300 Main Street
    • Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2B5
    • Attention: Garnishment Registry; and
  • (o) if the garnishee summons is issued in Nunavut,
    • Department of Justice
    • Northern Region — Nunavut Office
    • P.O. Box 1030
    • Iqaluit, Nunavut X0A 0H0
    • Attention: Garnishment Registry.

(2) If the garnishment proceedings are in respect of a debtor who receives salary or remuneration from the Department of Justice, the Public Prosecution Service of Canada or a court, is a judge to whom the Judges Act applies or is a person appointed by a Minister under section 128 of the Public Service Employment Act, service of documents must be effected at the following place:

  • Department of Justice
  • 284 Wellington Street
  • Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H8
  • Attention: Garnishment Registry.

(3) If the garnishment proceedings are in respect of a debtor who receives salary or remuneration from a Crown corporation listed in section 6, service of documents must be effected at the head office of the corporation.

4.1 Service of documents on the Senate, House of Commons, Library of Parliament, office of the Senate Ethics Officer or office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner in connection with garnishment proceedings permitted by Division IV of Part Ⅰ of the Act must be effected at the following places:

  • (a) in the case of the Senate,
    • Senate
    • Office of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel
    • Parliament Buildings
    • Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A4
    • Attention: Garnishment Registry;
  • (b) in the case of the House of Commons,
    • House of Commons
    • Office of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel
    • Room 7-02
    • 131 Queen Street
    • Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
    • Attention: Garnishment Registry;
  • (c) in the case of the Library of Parliament, the address set out in paragraph (a) or (b);
  • (d) in the case of the office of the Senate Ethics Officer;
    • Office of the Senate Ethics Officer
    • Room 526
    • 90 Sparks Street
    • Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5B4
    • Attention: Garnishment Registry; and
  • (e) in the case of the office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner,
    • Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner
    • Parliament of Canada
    • Centre Block
    • P.O. Box 16
    • Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
    • Attention: Garnishment Registry.

4.2 Service in accordance with sections 4 and 4.1 by a provincial enforcement service may be effected by any electronic means by which the recipient is capable of receiving the documents in a usable format.

METHOD OF RESPONSE

4.3 Her Majesty, the Senate, the House of Commons, the Library of Parliament, the office of the Senate Ethics Officer and the office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner may respond to a garnishee summons by notice indicating

  • (a) the debtor’s name;
  • (b) the file reference number assigned by the issuer of the garnishee summons;
  • (c) the amount being garnished, if any; and
  • (d) if applicable, the date on which garnishment was or will be interrupted or terminated and the reason for the interruption or termination.

4.4 The garnishee summons may be responded to by any electronic means by which its issuer is capable of receiving the response in a usable format.

3. (1) Subparagraph 5(a)(iii) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  • (iii) employment insurance contributions,

(2) Paragraph 5(f) of the Regulations is amended by striking out “and” at the end of subparagraph (ix), by adding “and’’ at the end of subparagraph (x) and by adding the following after subparagraph (x):

  • (xi) a reimbursement for the cost of court clothing that the person is required to wear to carry out their duties.

4. Paragraph 6(c) of the Regulations is repealed.

5. (1) Paragraph 7(a) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  • (a) the corporations listed in Schedule I to the Public Service Superannuation Act;

(2) Paragraphs 7(d) and (e) of the Regulations are repealed.

(3) Paragraph 7(i) of the Regulations is repealed.

6. Item 10 of the schedule to the Regulations is amended by adding

  • (a) “or the Public Prosecution Service of Canada” after “Department of Justice”; and
  • (b) “ou du Service des poursuites pénales du Canada” after “ministère de la Justice”.

7. Item 11 of the schedule to the Regulations is amended by replacing

  • (a) “pursuant to section 39” with “under section 128”; and
  • (b) “conformément à l’article 39” with “en vertu de l’article 128”.

8. Paragraph 16(a) of the schedule to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

  • (a) Name of contracting entity (department/Crown corporation/ Senate/House of Commons/Library of Parliament/office of the Senate Ethics Officer/office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner)
  • Nom de l’entité qui détient le contrat (ministère, société d’État, Sénat, Chambre des communes, Bibliothèque du Parlement, Bureau du conseiller sénatorial en éthique, Bureau du commissaire aux conflits d’intérêts et à l’éthique)

9. Item 18 of the schedule to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

18. Name of issuer of garnishee summons

 Nom de l’entité qui a délivré le bref de saisie-arrêt

10. Item 19 of the schedule to the Regulations is amended by replacing

  • (a) “court” with “issuer”; and
  • (b) “du tribunal” with “de l’entité”.

11. Item 20 of the schedule to the Regulations is amended by replacing

Check box Bi-weekly

Aux quinze jours

with the following:

Check box Every two weeks

Aux deux semaines

Check box Semi-monthly

Bimensuel

12. The French version of the Regulations is amended by replacing “de la Couronne” with “d’État” in the following provisions:

  • (a) subparagraph 5(f)(viii);
  • (b) the heading before section 6;
  • (c) the portion of section 6 before paragraph (a);
  • (d) the heading before section 7;
  • (e) the portion of section 7 before paragraph (a); and
  • (f) paragraph 7(k).

COMING INTO FORCE

13. These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.

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