ARCHIVED — Vol. 147, No. 7 — March 27, 2013

Registration

SOR/2013-41 March 8, 2013

CONTRAVENTIONS ACT

Regulations Amending the Application of Provincial Laws Regulations

P.C. 2013-273 March 7, 2013

His 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.

REGULATIONS AMENDING THE APPLICATION OF PROVINCIAL LAWS REGULATIONS

AMENDMENTS

1. Subsection 1(1) of Part II of the schedule to the Application of Provincial Laws Regulations (see footnote 1) 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 April 1, 1997, in Nova Scotia or within the territorial jurisdiction of the courts of Nova Scotia:

  • (a) the Alternative Penalty Act of Nova Scotia, S.N.S. 1989, c. 2, any regulations made under that Act and any Act of that province referred to in that Act or any regulations made under that Act relating to proceedings in respect of offences created by a law of that province;
  • (b) the Summary Proceedings Act of Nova Scotia, R.S.N.S. 1989, c. 450, any regulations made under that Act and any Act of that province referred to in that Act or any regulations made under that Act relating to proceedings in respect of offences created by a law of that province;
  • (c) the Victims’ Rights and Services Act of Nova Scotia, S.N.S. 1989, c. 14, any regulations made under that Act and any Act of that province referred to in that Act or any regulations made under that Act relating to proceedings in respect of offences created by a law of that province; and
  • (d) the Youth Justice Act of Nova Scotia, S.N.S. 2001, c. 38, any regulations made under that Act and any Act of that province referred to in that Act or any regulations made under that Act relating to proceedings in respect of offences created by a law of that province.

2. Section 2 of Part II of the schedule to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

2. (1) Subsections 2B(1A) to (1D) and (1H) to (1K), sections 4, 4B and 4C, subsection 8(7) and sections 11, 12 and 18 of the Summary Proceedings Act of Nova Scotia do not apply in respect of the prosecution of a contravention.

(2) For the purposes of subsection 8(6) of the Summary Proceedings Act of Nova Scotia, the minimum penalty is the fine established by the Governor in Council under paragraph 8(1)(c) of the Contraventions Act.

COMING INTO FORCE

3. 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

Parliament enacted the Contraventions Act in October 1992 to institute an alternative procedure to the summary conviction process under Part XXVII of the Criminal Code for prosecuting certain federal offences. The Act provides that federal offences that are designated by regulations as contraventions may be prosecuted by means of a ticket.

Sections 65.1 to 65.3 of the Act were added when the Act was amended in 1996. They set out the legal and administrative framework that allows for the use of provincial or territorial offence schemes. More specifically, subsection 65.1(1) sets out the authority of the Governor in Council to make regulations making the offence scheme of a province or territory applicable to federal contraventions. This is the provision under which, in 1996, the Governor in Council made the Application of Provincial Laws Regulations (the Regulations), the Schedule to which identifies the enactments for each province and territory that apply, with the necessary adaptations, to offences that the federal government treats as contraventions and that are committed in that province or territory, for example operating a pleasure craft with an insufficient number of life jackets on board, lighting a fire in a prohibited area in a national park or illegal possession of a migratory bird.

The contraventions regime has been in use in Nova Scotia since 1999 following the signature of the Implementation Agreement. The Application of Provincial Laws Regulations were amended in 1997 to add to their Schedule a new part (Part II), which makes the offence scheme set out in the Summary Proceedings Act applicable to the federal contraventions committed in Nova Scotia. In 2005, Part II of the Schedule to the Regulations was amended and a new agreement was signed with the Province in order to take into account the offenders’ language rights following the decision in Commissioner of Official Languages v. Her Majesty the Queen rendered by the Federal Court in 2001.

2. Issue

Two amendments are necessary in Part II of the Schedule to the Regulations in order to avoid potential problems of interpretation and ambiguities resulting from the changes made by Nova Scotia to its legislation, in particular following the 2006, 2007 and 2009 amendments to the Summary Proceedings Act.

The current wording of subsection 1(1) of Part II of the Schedule to the Regulations lacks clarity with regard to the provincial laws that may apply to prosecuting contraventions. The Summary Proceedings Act has been amended many times since 1997. The 2006, 2007 and 2009 amendments affect the prosecution of contraventions, hence the need to update the Schedule to the Regulations in order to reflect these changes.

In addition, some provisions added to the Summary Proceedings Act contradict the principles of the Contraventions Act and must be made inapplicable to the prosecution of contraventions.

3. Objectives

This amendment aims to ensure that all acts constituting Nova Scotia’s offence scheme apply integrally to the prosecution of federal contraventions and to clarify the meaning of the words “minimal penalty” in order to avoid potential conflicts with the Contraventions Act.

4. Description

To ensure that all relevant provincial legislation applicable to the prosecution of federal contraventions is captured by the Schedule to the Regulations, the first amendment specifically lists all of the acts constituting Nova Scotia’s offence scheme:

  • —Alternative Penalty Act, S.N.S. 1989, c. 2, and regulations made under it, as well as any other act of that province mentioned therein concerning the prosecution of offences created by a law of that province;
  • —Summary Proceedings Act, R.S.N.S. 1989, c. 450, and regulations made under it, as well as any other act of that province mentioned therein concerning the prosecution of offences created by a law of that province;
  • —Victims’ Rights and Services Act, S.N.S. 1989, c. 14, and regulations made under it, as well as any other act of that province mentioned therein concerning the prosecution of offences created by a law of that province; and
  • —Youth Justice Act, S.N.S. 2001, c. 38, and regulations made under it, as well as any other act of that province mentioned therein concerning the prosecution of offences created by a law of that province.

The second amendment lists the provisions of the Summary Proceedings Act that cannot be used in the prosecution of these contraventions following the amendments to this Act and clarifies the meaning of the expression “minimum penalty”:

  • —sections 4, 4B, 4C, 11, 12 and 18 and subsections 2B(1A), (1B), (1C), (1D), (1H), (1I), (1J), (1K) and 8(7) of the Summary Proceedings Act;
  • —for the purposes of subsection 8(6) of the Summary Proceedings Act, the words “minimum penalty” mean the fine established by the Governor in Council pursuant to paragraph 8(1)(c) of the Contraventions Act.
5. Consultation

Given that the contravention scheme has been in effect in Nova Scotia since 1999, the amendment to the Application of Provincial Laws Regulations will not affect any stakeholders.

This amendment was developed in collaboration with Nova Scotia’s public servants.

6. Rationale

The Summary Proceedings Act has been amended many times since 1997. The 2006, 2007 and 2009 amendments affect the prosecution of contraventions, hence the need to update the Schedule to the Regulations in order to reflect these changes.These amendments ensure that federal contraventions follow the same legal framework as that which applies to the prosecution of provincial offences, thus maintaining an approach consistent with applicable provincial procedures.

The new subsection 2(1) lists the provisions of the Summary Proceedings Act that do not apply to contraventions prosecuted under Nova Scotia’s offence scheme in order to avoid potential conflicts with the Contraventions Act. Subsection 2(2) clarifies the meaning of the words “minimum penalty” used in the Summary Proceedings Act by stating that it is equivalent to a fine prescribed for a contravention by the Contraventions Act.

7. Implementation, enforcement and service standards

The amendment does not change the enforcement of the Contraventions Act in Nova Scotia. It clarifies the procedures already used in Nova Scotia. The contraventions scheme works well there, making it possible to meet the Act’s objectives. It creates no new obligations.

8. Contact

Louise Bégin
Counsel
Contraventions Act Implementation Management
Department of Justice Canada
275 Sparks Street, Suite 5015
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0H8
Telephone: 819-770-2204