Vol. 148, No. 24 — November 19, 2014


SI/2014-96 November 19, 2014


Order Fixing November 1, 2014 as the Day on which the Act Comes into Force

P.C. 2014-1154 October 30, 2014

His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, pursuant to section 24 of the Safer Witnesses Act, chapter 29 of the Statutes of Canada, 2013, fixes November 1, 2014 as the day on which that Act comes into force, other than section 23, which came into force on assent.


(This note is not part of the Order.)


This Order fixes November 1, 2014, as the date of the coming into force of the Safer Witnesses Act, An Act to amend the Witness Protection Program Act and to make a consequential amendment to another Act (the Act), other than section 23 of the Act, which came into force on assent. This Order is made pursuant to section 24 of the Act.


The objective of this Order is to bring into force the Act, in its entirety, on November 1, 2014. The Act introduces legislative changes to the Witness Protection Program Act (WPPA), primarily to enhance the federal Witness Protection Program to make it more effective and secure, improve its interaction with provincial, territorial, and municipal witness protection programs and better protect those who provide protection.


The Act received Royal Assent on June 26, 2013. The federal Program has been in operation for several years and has served the criminal justice system well. However, areas for improvement were identified through several reviews, including

The Act addresses many of these gaps and responds to many of the recommendations outlined by the reviews noted above. Legislative changes include


Among other provisions, the designated program framework will require provincial, territorial and municipal witness protection programs to request that their programs be designated. This request must be submitted to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (Public Safety Canada), who may recommend to the Governor in Council to add the program to a schedule of provincial designated programs in the Act. Once designated, programs may request the assistance of the RCMP in acquiring secure federal documents required for identity changes for their witnesses. Prohibitions of disclosure of information will also apply to these programs.

There are no financial implications associated with this Order.


In 2008 and 2009, Public Safety Canada and the RCMP jointly conducted consultations with approximately 100 federal, provincial and territorial representatives in the areas of justice, public and community safety, prosecutions, provincial and local police, and federal departments responsible for federal documents required for secure identity changes, as well as RCMP witness protection handlers and coordinators. The purpose of the consultations was to learn more about how witness protection is conducted in the different jurisdictions, participants’ concerns about the federal Program, and to seek participants’ perspective on the Standing Committee’s recommendations.

Since then, Public Safety Canada and the RCMP have briefed and consulted with stakeholders about the legislative amendments outlined in the Act through various fora and channels, including

Federal stakeholders are supportive of these amendments. The five provinces where witness protection programs currently exist (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec) were consulted about the designation framework. The process to become designated was simplified to address concerns expressed by Ontario and Quebec.

Departmental contact

For more information, please contact

Mr. Trevor Bhupsingh
Director General
Law Enforcement and Border Strategies Directorate
Public Safety Canada
Telephone: 613-991-4281