Vol. 148, No. 13 — June 18, 2014
SOR/2014-138 May 29, 2014
Regulations Amending the Contraventions Regulations
P.C. 2014-624 May 29, 2014
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), makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Contraventions Regulations.
REGULATIONS AMENDING THE CONTRAVENTIONS REGULATIONS
1. The Contraventions Regulations (see footnote 1) are amended by adding after schedule III.0I the Schedule III.02 set out in the schedule to these Regulations.
COMING INTO FORCE
2. These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.
(Sections 1 to 3)
NATIONAL BATTLEFIELDS AT QUEBEC ACT
NATIONAL BATTLEFIELDS PARK BY-LAW
Provision of National Battlefields Park By-law
|1.||3(1)(a)||(a) Displacing any property of the Commission in the Park||100|
|(b) Defacing any property of the Commission in the Park||200|
|(c) Soiling any property of the Commission in the Park||200|
|(d) Polluting any property of the Commission in the Park||200|
|(e) Damaging any property of the Commission in the Park other than by displacing, defacing, soiling or polluting it||200|
|2.||3(1)(b)||(a) Polluting water in the Park||200|
|(b) Throwing any object into any water in the Park||100|
|(c) Depositing any object into water in the Park||100|
|(d) Bathing in any water in the Park||200|
|(e) Permitting any animal brought into the Park to be in any water in the Park||200|
|3.||4(1)(a)||Riding a bicycle in the Park other than in and area designated for that purpose||100|
|4.||4(1)(b)||(a) Riding on a skateboard in the Park other than in an area designated for that purpose||100|
|(b) Riding on roller skates in the Park other than in an area designated for that purpose||100|
|(c) Riding on in-line skates in the Park other than in an area designated for that purpose||100|
|(d) Riding on roller skis in the Park other than in an area designated for that purpose||100|
|(e) Riding on a device similar to a skateboard, roller skates, in-line skates or roller skis in the Park other than in an area designated for that purpose||100|
|5.||4(1)(c)||Engaging in any organized sport or game other than in an area designated for that purpose||100|
|6.||6(1)||Bringing an animal into the Park that is not restrained by a leash that is not more than 3 m in length or that is not confined in a box, cage or vehicle||75|
|7.||6(2)||(a) Failing to collect the excrement of an animal brought into the Park||75|
|(b) Failing to deposit in a waste receptacle the excrement of an animal brought into the Park||75|
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)
The National Battlefields Park By-Law (the By-Law) regulates public behaviour within the Battlefields Park located in Québec City. This Park is a historic park that groups together — among others — the Plains of Abraham and the Des Braves Park.
Up to now, the By-Law contained offences which could only be prosecuted by mean of summary convictions process, as set out in part XXVII of the Criminal Code. Such route is time consuming and costly; it imposed additional burdens on the criminal justice system, such as having offenders appear before the court even in cases which are not contested. Furthermore, the legal consequences of a conviction under the Criminal Code (judicial record and imprisonment) are onerous on offenders and not proportionate to the seriousness of the violation. Consequently, to date, Park enforcement officers have dealt with offenders by issuing verbal notices with limited success.
In recent years, the National Battlefields Commission (the Commission) has received a number of verbal and written complaints regarding park users who do not respect the By-Law (e.g. owners who do not keep their dogs on leashes or who do not pick up after their dogs). These complaints highlight the Commission’s inefficiency to enforce offences, an issue which has been raised several times at the Commission’s board meetings.
The contraventions regime presents a more reasonable approach to enforce these minor offences as an offender can choose to plead guilty and pay a fine without having to appear in court. Making use of this regime for this type of violation will save valuable time for the courts and for the enforcement agency, which can be dedicated to the prosecution of other more serious offences.
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 an offender.
Made pursuant to section 8 of the Act, the Contraventions Regulations identify which federal offences are designated as contraventions, establish a short-form description for each offence designated as contravention and set an applicable fine for each contravention.
The amendments to the Contraventions Regulations allow offences contained in the National Battlefields Park By-Law to be enforced through the ticketing scheme instead of the summary conviction process. This will ensure that offences found in the National Battlefields Park By-Law are efficiently enforced.
The National Battlefields Park By-Law contains offences, such as prohibiting damage to park property, the presence of dogs without leashes and the practice of organized sports other than on designated field. For a full list, see sections 3 to 6 of the By-Law.
The amendments to the Contraventions Regulations
- ensure that offences to the National Battlefields Park By-Law are efficiently enforced and that park enforcement officers have the most effective tool when charging minor offences related to activities taking place in the park;
- enable the Commission’s capacity to better fulfill its objectives of preserving the site;
- help maintain the site’s historic integrity and beauty; and
- ensure the safe use of the sites so that the public fully benefits and enjoys its well-preserved assets.
The amendments to the Contraventions Regulations do not create new offences nor do they impose new restrictions or burdens on individuals or businesses. They add new short-form descriptions, with accompanying fines, to designate — as contraventions — offences contained in the National Battlefields Park By-Law.
The designation as contraventions of offences already contained in the National Battlefields Park By-Law allow the Commission to issue fines of varying degrees in relation to the nature of the offence. The applicable fines, which range from $75 to $200, are in line with a fine structure of offences in the national parks of Canada, on national historic sites of Canada, on the property of Canada’s National Capital Commission and in the city of Québec’s municipal parks.
The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply to this proposal, as these Regulations are not regulating business.
Small business lens
The small business lens does not apply to this proposal, as these Regulations are not regulating business.
Invitations to comment on the proposed amendments were published by the National Battlefields Commission on April 17, 2013, in Le Soleil, a major French newspaper and in the Chronicle Telegraph, a major English newspaper in the city of Québec. Public response confirmed that there is strong support for the proposed contraventions. The greatest concerns with the proposal were in regard to potential fines associated with engaging in organized sports or games in the park. To address these concerns, the Commission will establish clear criteria and guidelines to define what is considered an organized sport or game (as opposed to an informal or pick-up game).
Given the results of the public consultation and that the proposed amendments to the Contraventions Regulations do not create new offences, this proposal was not prepublished.
These amendments are required to ensure that offences found in the National Battlefields Park By-Law are efficiently enforced. A fine structure for offences will improve the Commission’s capacity to enforce the By-Law. Canadians will benefit from environmental, social and cultural benefits resulting of a better enforcement of the Regulations, as the Commission will be better able to fulfill its objectives of preserving the site, maintaining its historic integrity, ensuring its safe use and taking care of the site so that the public fully benefits and enjoys these well-preserved assets.
Also, the addition of these offences to the Contraventions Regulations will allow an offender prosecuted by means of a ticket to choose to plead guilty and pay the fine without having to appear in court. Thus, valuable time for the courts and for the enforcement agencies can be dedicated to the prosecution of more serious offences.
These amendments impose no new costs on Canadians since they are already subject to the By-Law. Potential savings for the Government of Canada may also result as less money will be spent on restoring the site following damage to the property caused by offences to the By-Law. The Commission spent $55,000 in 2012 to restore property following damage committed by offenders to park property such as benches, picnic tables, waste bins, and lampposts. The contraventions are not expected to completely eliminate vandalism on park property, but it is expected that the costs of repairs will decrease by at least 2%.
These amendments do not increase the operating cost of enforcement authorities employed by the Commission, since they are already engaged in enforcement activities.
Implementation, enforcement and service standards
The amendments to the Contraventions Regulations provide a more efficient and reasonable approach to enforcing minor offences. More importantly, enforcement officers will have access to an enforcement tool that is appropriate to the seriousness of the violation.
Implementation of the Contraventions Act
Innovations, Analysis and Integration Directorate
Department of Justice Canada
284 Wellington Street, Room 6303