Vol. 152, No. 1 — January 10, 2018
SOR/2017-284 December 19, 2017
P.C. 2017-1681 December 15, 2017
Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Justice, pursuant to subsection 65.1(1) (see footnote a) of the Contraventions Act (see footnote b), makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Application of Provincial Laws Regulations (Miscellaneous Program).
Regulations Amending the Application of Provincial Laws Regulations (Miscellaneous Program)
1 The portion of subsection 1(1) of Part VI of the schedule to the Application of Provincial Laws Regulations (see footnote 1) before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:
1 (1) Subject to subsection (2), the following enactments apply in respect of contraventions alleged to have been committed, on or after January 1, 2018, in Newfoundland and Labrador or within the territorial jurisdiction of the courts of Newfoundland and Labrador:
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.)
This amendment to Part VI of the Schedule to the Application of Provincial Laws Regulations is required in order to allow for the proper administration and enforcement of the Contraventions Act in accordance with the existing ticketing schemes of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The starting date of the application of Newfoundland and Labrador laws is changed to January 1, 2018, to reflect the intended operational start date as established in the associated administrative agreement between the governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador.
In October 1992, Parliament passed the Contraventions Act to establish an alternative to the summary conviction procedure set out in Part XXVII of the Criminal Code for prosecuting certain federal offences. The Contraventions Act was amended in 1996 to provide the Governor in Council the authority to make regulations to allow federal contraventions to be prosecuted in accordance with the existing ticketing scheme of each province and territory, thus making use of the procedures of each of these systems.
The Application of Provincial Laws Regulations adopted on August 1, 1996, identify, in their schedule, the laws of each province that apply and incorporate those laws by reference. The Application of Provincial Laws Regulations provide for some equivalency of terminology between the terms used in the Contraventions Act and the terms used in provincial statutes and exclude, in each of these provincial legislations, any provision that comes in conflict with the principles set out in the Contraventions Act. For example, any provision in provincial legislation that stipulates that an offender prosecuted by means of a ticket could also be imposed a jail term as a penalty is excluded. Under section 42 of the Contraventions Act, an offender who is found guilty of a contravention can only be sentenced to a fine. The incorporation by reference of provincial laws by way of regulations accommodates practical requirements of flexibility and effectiveness and ensures useful bridging between the federal and provincial legislation.
The Contraventions Act was also amended in 1996 to provide the Minister of Justice with the authority to enter into an agreement with the government of a province or territory respecting the administration and enforcement of the Act, covering in particular the prosecution process, the enforcement of fines, as well as the sharing of fines and fees imposed as a result of the Act and shared as compensation to the jurisdiction.
In practical terms, federal enforcement officers can start using a provincial ticketing scheme when both the following legal requirements are met: the incorporation by reference of the provincial legislation has been completed in accordance with the Application of Provincial Laws Regulations; and an agreement has been signed with the provincial government in conformity with the Contraventions Act. In the absence of either one of these two conditions, federal offences designated as contraventions continue to be enforced using warnings or prosecuted under the Criminal Code summary conviction process.
Part VI of the Schedule to the Regulations has provided for the application of the laws of Newfoundland and Labrador to apply to federal contraventions since 1997. Although the incorporation by reference of provincial laws was performed, the regime was not implemented because the second condition (signing of the agreement) was not met.
Following discussions between the governments of Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada, Part VI was further amended on June 20, 2017 (SOR/2017-136), to reflect the current state of the applicable provincial law and to move forward with the creation of a complete legal framework for the administration and enforcement of federal contraventions in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Under these amendments, the amended provisions were to apply to offences committed on or after March 31, 2017, a date that reflected an earlier anticipated start date for the operational arrangements between the province and the Government of Canada. However, the amendments were not actually made until June 20, 2017, and the associated administrative agreement between the two governments was only signed in August 2017, at which time the parties agreed to an operational start date of January 1, 2018.
The amendment ensures that the start date for the provisions rendering applicable the various provincial enactments in Newfoundland and Labrador reflects the actual operational start date established in the associated administrative agreement between the province and the Government of Canada (January 1, 2018), and clarifies that the provisions are not intended to apply retroactively to offences committed before that date.
The amendment to subsection 1(1) of Part VI of the Schedule to the Application of Provincial Laws Regulations replaces the start date of March 31, 2017, with that of January 1, 2018.
The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply to this initiative because there is no change in administrative costs to business.
Small business lens
The small business lens does not apply because this initiative has no cost implications for small business.
On August 31, 2017, counsel for the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations wrote to the Department of Justice concerning the issue of the March 31, 2017, start date, noting the fact that this date precedes the actual coming into force of the regulatory amendments on June 20, 2017, and raising the issue of whether retroactive application was intended for offences committed prior to coming into force. The current amendment addresses this issue, and clarifies that the provisions are only to apply to offences committed on or after the operational start date of January 1, 2018, as established in the agreement between the two governments. Given that the amendment is technical in nature, no further consultations were held.
The amendment ensures that the date on which various enactments apply in respect of contraventions alleged to have been committed reflects the date on which the regime under the Contraventions Act becomes fully operational in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, that being January 1, 2018.
Implementation, enforcement and service standards
These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.
Acting Senior Counsel
Implementation of the Contraventions Regime
Department of Justice
284 Wellington Street