ARCHIVED — Vol. 146, No. 21 — October 10, 2012

Registration

SOR/2012-198 September 28, 2012

CONTRAVENTIONS ACT

Regulations Amending the Contraventions Regulations

P.C. 2012-1141 September 27, 2012

His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Justice, pursuant to section 8 (see footnote a) of the Contraventions Act (see footnote b), hereby makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Contraventions Regulations.

REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CONTRAVENTIONS REGULATIONS

AMENDMENT

1. Items 61 and 62 of Part Ⅱ of Schedule II.1 to the Contraventions Regulations (see footnote 1) are replaced by the following:

Item

Column I

Provision of the Ontario Fishery Regulations, 2007

Column II



Short-Form Description

Column III



Fine ($)

61.

35(2)(b)

Sport fishing, other than by angling, for listed species using gear other than specified gear

200

62.

35(2)(c)

  • (a) Sport fishing, other than by angling, for listed species during close time

  • (b) Catching, by means other than angling, and retaining listed species during close time

200



200 plus 50 per fish

62.1

35(2)(d)

  • (a) Sport fishing, other than by angling, for listed species in waters not specified

  • (b) Catching, by means other than angling, and retaining listed species from waters not specified

200



200

62.2

35(2)(e)

  • (a) Sport fishing, other than by angling, for species not listed

  • (b) Catching, by means other than angling, and retaining species not listed

200


200

COMING INTO FORCE

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

REGULATORY IMPACT
ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

1. Background

The Contraventions Act (the Act) was passed in October 1992 to establish a simplified procedure as an alternative to the summary conviction process under the Criminal Code for the prosecution of certain federal offences designated as contraventions by regulations. This simplified procedure makes it possible for an enforcement officer to initiate the prosecution of a contravention by means of a ticket, which can be paid voluntarily or challenged by a defendant.

Without this simplified procedure, enforcement officers would have to prosecute offenders through the criminal process even for minor violations. This route can be quite time consuming and costly to the individual as well as the government. The contravention regime presents a more reasonable approach to enforce these minor offences through the issuance of a ticket for an offender as he or she may choose to plead guilty and pay a fine without having to appear in court. This process has the potential to save valuable court and enforcement agency resources, which can be dedicated to other, more serious offences.

Made pursuant to section 8 of the Act, the Contraventions Regulations identify which federal offences are designated as contraventions, establish a short-form description and set an applicable fine for each contravention.

The Ontario Fishery Regulations, 2007, which already contain federal offences designated as contraventions, were amended in 2011 (SOR/2011-154) to modify a small number of existing provisions. These amendments clarified the language of subsection 35(2) and created new offences to ensure that non-angling fishing methods were restricted to certain fish species, gear types, seasons and waters as outlined in Schedule 6. In doing so, the amended provisions established a clearer control on non-angling methods (i.e. spears, dip nets, baitfish traps, seine nets, or bow and arrow) of sport fishing for fish species which were not previously listed.

2. Issue

Offences contained within the Ontario Fishery Regulations, 2007 are enforced through the ticketing regime under the Contraventions Act. Amendments made to the Ontario Fishery Regulations, 2007, have not yet been reflected in the Contraventions Regulations, which may cause interpretation and enforcement issues. Amendments must therefore occur in Part Ⅱ of Schedule II.1 of the Contraventions Regulations to reflect the new language of existing offences and the designation of these two new offences as contraventions.

Without the amendments, Ontario provincial enforcement officers will have to revert to the criminal process to prosecute violations of the new offences created under subsection 35(2) of the Ontario Fishery Regulations, 2007, which are fairly minor offences. This route can be quite time consuming and costly to prosecute and impose additional burdens on the accused individual.

3. Objectives

The Contraventions Regulations are an essential element for the pursuit of the following three objectives underlying the Act: to decriminalize certain federal offences; to ease the courts’ workload; and to improve the enforcement of federal legislation. These Regulations do not create new offences nor do they impose new restrictions or burdens on individuals or businesses. They are part of a system that ensures that the enforcement of offences designated as contraventions will be less onerous on the offender and more proportionate and appropriate to the seriousness of the violation. While there is no data from which one can draw a comparison, there is consensus among all key players that designating contraventions results in savings to the entire justice system and provides the public with a quick and convenient process for handling designated federal offences.

The amendments to the Contraventions Regulations ensure that the changes made to the Ontario Fishery Regulations, 2007 have corresponding changes made to the Contraventions Regulations. The amendments also ensure that Ontario provincial enforcement officers have the most efficient tool to enforce minor offences related to fisheries in Ontario and eliminate potential ambiguity by ensuring consistency between both regulations.

4. Description

The amendments modify two existing short form descriptions of Part Ⅱ of Schedule II.1 to the Contraventions Regulations (items 61 and 62) and add two new short form descriptions with accompanying fines (items 62.1 and 62.2). The changes made to items 61 and 62 clarify that these contraventions are for “listed species,” and make the language more consistent with the amended paragraphs of the Ontario Fishery Regulations, 2007. These amendments also add items 62.1 and 62.2 to describe two recently introduced offences for (i) sport fishing or catching and retaining by means other than angling listed species in waters not specified; and (ii) sport fishing or catching and retaining by means other than angling species not listed. The penalty for these new offences is the same as existing offences, i.e. $200.

5. Consultation

As these amendments harmonize the provisions between an existing set of regulations and the Contraventions Regulations, no recent consultation with the public has been conducted. In 2011, Fisheries and Oceans Canada clarified subsection 35(2) of the Ontario Fishery Regulations, 2007 by relying on consultations conducted in 2005–2006 indicating general public support for the management intent of non-angling methods in Ontario and managing fisheries in a sustainable manner.

6. Rationale

These amendments are consequential amendments to amendments made to the Ontario Fishery Regulations, 2007.

These amendments impose no new costs on Canadians who are already subject to the Fisheries Act and its regulations, and may be subject to proceedings under the Contraventions Act and its regulations. The fines set for these contraventions are consistent with the fines already listed in section 35(2), and are substantially lower than the fines a court could impose on a defendant who is found guilty under the summary conviction process of the Criminal Code. Introducing the opportunity for an offender to choose to plead guilty and pay a fine without having to appear in court, has the potential to save valuable court and enforcement agency resources which can be dedicated to other more serious offences. These amendments do not increase the operating cost of provincial enforcement agencies already engaged in enforcement activities with respect to the Ontario Fishery Regulations, 2007.

7. Implementation, enforcement and service standards

These amendments add more clarity for both enforcement officers and users on what the provisions and their potential offences should be.

8. Contact

Marie-Claude Gervais
Counsel
Implementation of the Contraventions Act
Innovations, Analysis and Integration Directorate
Policy Sector
Department of Justice Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
Telephone: 613-941-4880
Email: mgervais@justice.gc.ca

Footnote a
S.C. 1996, c. 7, s. 4

Footnote b
S.C. 1992, c. 47

Footnote 1
SOR/96-313