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Species at Risk Act

Enforcement Measures

Enforcement Officers

Enforcement officers
85. (1) A competent minister may designate any person or person of a class of persons to act as enforcement officers for the purposes of this Act.

Designation of provincial or territorial government employees
(2) The competent minister may not designate any person or person of a class of persons employed by the government of a province or a territory unless that government agrees.

Certificate of designation
(3) An enforcement officer must be provided with a certificate of designation as an enforcement officer in a form approved by the competent minister and, on entering any place under this Act, the officer must, if so requested, show the certificate to the occupant or person in charge of the place.

Powers
(4) For the purposes of this Act, enforcement officers have all the powers of a peace officer, but the competent minister may specify limits on those powers when designating any person or person of a class of persons to act as enforcement officers.

Exemptions for law enforcement activities
(5) For the purpose of investigations and other law enforcement activities under this Act, a competent minister may, on any terms and conditions that he or she considers necessary, exempt from the application of any provision of this Act, the regulations or an emergency order enforcement officers whom the competent minister has designated and who are carrying out duties or functions under this Act and persons acting under the direction and control of such enforcement officers.



Inspections

Inspections

86. (1) For the purpose of ensuring compliance with any provision of this Act, the regulations or an emergency order, an enforcement officer may, subject to subsection (3), at any reasonable time enter and inspect any place in which the enforcement officer believes, on reasonable grounds, there is any thing to which the provision applies or any document relating to its administration, and the enforcement officer may

  • open or cause to be opened any container that the enforcement officer believes, on reasonable grounds, contains that thing or document;

  • inspect the thing and take samples free of charge;

  • require any person to produce the document for inspection or copying, in whole or in part; and

  • seize any thing by means of or in relation to which the enforcement officer believes, on reasonable grounds, the provision has been contravened or that the enforcement officer believes, on reasonable grounds, will provide evidence of a contravention.
Conveyance
(2) For the purposes of carrying out the inspection, the enforcement officer may stop a conveyance or direct that it be moved to a place where the inspection can be carried out.

Dwelling-place
(3) The enforcement officer may not enter a dwelling-place except with the consent of the occupant or person in charge of the dwelling-place or under the authority of a warrant.

Authority to issue
warrant for inspection
of dwelling-place

(4) On an ex parte application, a justice, as defined in section 2 of the Criminal Code, may issue a warrant, subject to any conditions specified in it, authorizing an enforcement officer to enter a dwelling-place, if the justice is satisfied by information on oath that

  • the conditions for entry described in subsection (1) exist in relation to the dwelling-place;

  • entry to the dwelling-place is necessary for the purposes of the administration of this Act, the regulations or an emergency order; and

  • entry to the dwelling-place has been refused or there are reasonable grounds for believing that entry will be refused.

Authority to issue
warrant for inspection
of non-dwellings

(5) On an ex parte application, a justice, as defined in section 2 of the Criminal Code, may issue a warrant, subject to any conditions specified in it, authorizing an enforcement officer to enter a place other than a dwelling-place, if the justice is satisfied by information on oath that

  • the conditions for entry described in subsection (1) exist in relation to that place;

  • entry to that place is necessary for the purposes of the administration of this Act, the regulations or an emergency order;

  • entry to that place has been refused, the enforcement officer is not able to enter without the use of force or the place was abandoned; and

  • subject to subsection (6), all reasonable attempts were made to notify the owner, operator or person in charge of the place.
Waiving notice
(6) The justice may waive the requirement to give notice referred to in subsection (5) if the justice is satisfied that attempts to give the notice would be unsuccessful because the owner, operator or person in charge is absent from the jurisdiction of the justice or that it is not in the public interest to give the notice.

Use of force
(7) In executing a warrant issued under subsection (4) or (5), an enforcement officer may not use force unless the use of force has been specifically authorized in the warrant.

Operation of computer system and copying equipment

(8) In carrying out an inspection of a place under this section, an enforcement officer may

  • use or cause to be used any computer system at the place to examine any data contained in or available to the computer system;

  • reproduce any record or cause it to be reproduced from the data in the form of a printout or other intelligible output;

  • take a printout or other output for examination or copying; and

  • use or cause to be used any copying equipment at the place to make copies of the record.
Duty of person in possession or control
(9) Every person who is in possession or control of a place being inspected under this section must permit the enforcement officer to do anything referred to in subsection (8).



Disposition of Things Seized

Custody of things
seized

87. (1) Subject to subsections (2) to (4), if an enforcement officer seizes a thing under this Act or under a warrant issued under the Criminal Code,

  • sections 489.1 and 490 of the Criminal Code apply; and

  • the enforcement officer, or any person that the officer may designate, must retain custody of the thing subject to any order made under section 490 of the Criminal Code.
Forfeiture if ownership
not ascertainable
(2) If the lawful ownership of or entitlement to the seized thing cannot be ascertained within 30 days after its seizure, the thing or any proceeds of its disposition are forfeited to Her Majesty in right of Canada, if the thing was seized by an enforcement officer employed in the public service of Canada or by the government of a territory, or to Her Majesty in right of a province, if the thing was seized by an enforcement officer employed by the government of that province.

Perishable things
(3) If the seized thing is perishable, the enforcement officer may dispose of it or destroy it, and any proceeds of its disposition must be paid to the lawful owner or person lawfully entitled to possession of the thing, unless proceedings under this Act are commenced within 90 days after its seizure, in which case the proceeds must be retained by the enforcement officer pending the outcome of the proceedings.

Release of individual
(4) An enforcement officer who seizes an individual of a species at risk may, at the time of the seizure, return the individual to the wild if the enforcement officer believes the individual to be alive.

Abandonment
(5) The owner of the seized thing may abandon it to Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province.

Disposition by
competent minister
88. Any thing that has been forfeited or abandoned under this Act is to be dealt with and disposed of as the competent minister may direct.

Liability for costs
89. The lawful owner and any person lawfully entitled to possession of any thing seized, forfeited or abandoned under this Act and who has been convicted of an offence under this Act in relation to that thing, are jointly and severally, or solidarily, liable for all the costs of inspection, seizure, abandonment, forfeiture or disposition incurred by Her Majesty in excess of any proceeds of disposition of the thing that have been forfeited to Her Majesty under this Act.



Assistance to Enforcement Officers

Right of passage
90. An enforcement officer may, while carrying out powers, duties or functions under this Act, enter on and pass through or over private property without being liable for trespass or without the owner of the property having the right to object to that use of the property.

Assistance

91. The owner or the person in charge of a place entered by an enforcement officer under section 86, and every person found in the place, must

  • give the enforcement officer all reasonable assistance to enable the enforcement officer to carry out duties and functions under this Act; and
  • provide the enforcement officer with any information in relation to the administration of this Act, the regulations or an emergency order that the enforcement officer may reasonably require.

Obstruction

92. While an enforcement officer is exercising powers or carrying out duties or functions under this Act, no person shall

  • knowingly make any false or misleading statement, either orally or in writing, to the enforcement officer; or
  • otherwise obstruct or hinder the enforcement officer.



Investigations

Application for investigation
93. (1) A person who is a resident of Canada and at least 18 years of age may apply to the competent minister for an investigation of whether an alleged offence has been committed or whether anything directed towards its commission has been done.

Statement to
accompany
application

(2) The application must be in a form approved by the competent minister and must include a solemn affirmation or declaration containing

  • the name and address of the applicant;
  • a statement that the applicant is at least 18 years old and a resident of Canada;
  • a statement of the nature of the alleged offence and the name of each person alleged to be involved;
  • a summary of the evidence supporting the allegations;
  • the name and address of each person who might be able to give evidence about the alleged offence, together with a summary of the evidence that the person might give, to the extent that information is available to the applicant;
  • a description of any document or other material that the applicant believes should be considered in the investigation and, if possible, a copy of the document; and
  • details of any previous contact between the applicant and the competent minister about the alleged offence.
Investigation
94. (1) The competent minister must acknowledge receipt of the application within 20 days after receiving it and, subject to subsections (2) and (3), investigate all matters that he or she considers necessary to determine the facts relating to the alleged offence.

Frivolous or vexatious applications
(2) No investigation is required if the competent minister decides that the application is frivolous or vexatious.

Notice of decision
(3) If the competent minister decides not to conduct an investigation, he or she must, within 60 days after the application for investigation is received, give notice of the decision, with reasons, to the applicant.

When notice need not
be given
(4) The competent minister need not give the notice if an investigation in relation to the alleged offence is ongoing apart from the application.

Competent minister
may send evidence to Attorney General
95. At any stage of the investigation, the competent minister may send any documents or other evidence to the Attorney General for a consideration of whether an offence has been or is about to be committed, and for any action that the Attorney General may wish to take.

Suspension or
conclusion of
investigation
96. (1) The competent minister may suspend or conclude the investigation if he or she is of the opinion that the alleged offence does not require further investigation or the investigation does not substantiate the alleged offence or any other offence.

Report if investigation suspended
(2) If the investigation is suspended, the competent minister must prepare a written report describing the information obtained during the investigation and stating the reasons for its suspension and the action, if any, that the competent minister has taken or proposes to take and send a copy of the report to the applicant. The competent minister must notify the applicant if the investigation is subsequently resumed.

Report when
investigation concluded
(3) When the investigation is concluded, the competent minister must prepare a written report describing the information obtained during the investigation and stating the reasons for its conclusion and the action, if any, that the competent minister has taken or proposes to take and send a copy of the report to the applicant and to each person whose conduct was investigated.

Personal information
not to be disclosed
(4) A copy of the report sent to a person whose conduct was investigated must not disclose the name or address of the applicant or any other personal information about him or her.

When report need not
be sent
(5) If another investigation in relation to the alleged offence is ongoing apart from the application, the competent minister need not send copies of a report described in subsection (2) or (3) until the other investigation is suspended or concluded.