Electricity and Gas Inspection Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. E-4)

Act current to 2014-04-02 and last amended on 2011-11-29. Previous Versions

AMENDMENTS NOT IN FORCE

  • — 2011, c. 3, s. 2

    • 2. The long title of the Electricity and Gas Inspection Act is replaced by the following:

      An Act relating to the inspection of electricity and gas meters and supplies

  • — 2011, c. 3, s. 3

    • 3. The definition “meter” in subsection 2(1) of the Act is replaced by the following:

      “meter”

      « compteur »

      “meter” means an electricity or gas meter and includes any apparatus used for the purpose of making measurements of, or obtaining the basis of a charge for, electricity or gas supplied to a purchaser;

  • — 2011, c. 3, s. 4

    • 4. Subsection 16(1) of the Act is replaced by the following:

      • Owner’s liability
        • 16. (1) The owner of each verified meter that is in use shall keep it in good repair and is responsible for causing it to be dealt with in accordance with the requirements of this Act and the regulations, and, subject to those requirements, the owner is liable to pay any fees chargeable for dealing with the meter in accordance with those requirements.

  • — 2011, c. 3, s. 5

    • R.S., c. 31 (1st Supp.), s. 7
      • 5. (1) Subsection 26(3) of the Act is replaced by the following:

        • Designation to perform inspector’s functions

          (3) Despite anything in this Act, except as provided in subsections (5) and (5.1), any functions that pertain to an inspector’s office may be performed by any person who is designated as an inspector by the Minister for the purpose of the performance of those functions.

      • (2) Section 26 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (5):

        • Other restrictions

          (5.1) A person designated as an inspector under subsection (3) is not authorized to exercise the powers set out in subsection 29.12(1).

  • — 2011, c. 3, s. 6

    • 6. The Act is amended by adding the following after section 29:

      ADMINISTRATIVE MONETARY PENALTIES

      Powers of the Governor in Council

      • Regulations

        29.1 The Governor in Council may make regulations

        • (a) designating any provision of this Act — other than paragraphs 30(b) to (e) and subsection 32(1) — or of the regulations as a provision whose contravention may be proceeded with as a violation in accordance with sections 29.11 to 29.29;

        • (b) establishing a penalty, or a range of penalties, in respect of each violation;

        • (c) establishing criteria to be considered in determining the amount of the penalty if a range of penalties is established;

        • (d) classifying each violation as a minor violation, a serious violation or a very serious violation;

        • (e) respecting the circumstances under which, the criteria by which and the manner in which the amount of a penalty may be increased or reduced in whole or in part; and

        • (f) respecting a lesser amount that may be paid as complete satisfaction of a penalty if it is paid within the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner, including the circumstances in which the lesser amount may be set out in a notice of violation.

      Violations

      • Commission of violation
        • 29.11 (1) Every person who contravenes a provision designated under paragraph 29.1(a) commits a violation and is liable to a penalty established in accordance with the regulations.

        • Purpose of penalty

          (2) The purpose of a penalty is to promote compliance with this Act and not to punish.

        • Maximum penalty

          (3) The maximum penalty for a violation is $2,000.

      Proceedings

      • Notice of violation
        • 29.12 (1) An inspector may issue a notice of violation and cause it to be provided to a person if the inspector has reasonable grounds to believe that the person has committed a violation.

        • Contents of notice

          (2) The notice of violation must

          • (a) name the person believed to have committed the violation;

          • (b) identify the acts or omissions that constitute the alleged violation;

          • (c) set out the penalty for the violation that the person is liable to pay;

          • (d) set out the particulars concerning the time and manner of payment; and

          • (e) subject to the regulations, set out a lesser amount that may be paid as complete satisfaction of the penalty if it is paid within the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner that are set out in the notice.

        • Summary of rights

          (3) A notice of violation must clearly summarize, in plain language, the rights and obligations under this section and sections 29.13 to 29.26 of the person to whom it is provided, including the right to request a review of the acts or omissions that constitute the alleged violation or of the amount of the penalty and the procedure for requesting the review.

        • Short-form descriptions

          (4) The Minister may establish a short-form description of each violation to be used in notices of violation.

      Penalties

      • Effect of payment
        • 29.13 (1) If the person who is named in a notice of violation pays, within the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner that are set out in the notice, the amount of the penalty — or, if applicable, the lesser amount that may be paid as complete satisfaction of the penalty — set out in the notice,

          • (a) they are deemed to have committed the violation to which the amount paid relates;

          • (b) the Minister shall accept the amount as complete satisfaction of the penalty; and

          • (c) the proceedings commenced in respect of the violation under section 29.12 are ended.

        • Alternatives to payment

          (2) Instead of paying the penalty or, if applicable, the lesser amount that may be paid as complete satisfaction of the penalty, the person who is named in the notice may, within the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner that are set out in the notice,

          • (a) request to enter into a compliance agreement with the Minister that ensures the person’s compliance with the provision to which the violation relates, if the penalty is $1,000 or more; or

          • (b) request a review by the Minister of the acts or omissions that constitute the alleged violation or the amount of the penalty.

        • Deeming

          (3) If the person who is named in the notice does not pay the penalty or, if applicable, the lesser amount that may be paid as complete satisfaction of the penalty, within the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner and does not exercise any right referred to in subsection (2) within the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner, the person is deemed to have committed the violation identified in the notice.

      Compliance Agreements

      • Compliance agreements
        • 29.14 (1) After considering a request made under paragraph 29.13(2)(a), the Minister may enter into a compliance agreement, as described in that paragraph, with the person making the request on any conditions that are satisfactory to the Minister, which conditions may

          • (a) include a provision for the giving of reasonable security, in a form and in an amount that are satisfactory to the Minister, as a guarantee that the person will comply with the compliance agreement; and

          • (b) provide for the reduction, in whole or in part, of the amount of the penalty for the violation.

        • Deeming

          (2) A person who enters into a compliance agreement with the Minister is, on doing so, deemed to have committed the violation to which the compliance agreement relates, and the proceedings commenced in respect of the violation under section 29.12 are ended.

        • If compliance agreement complied with

          (3) If the Minister is of the opinion that a person who has entered into a compliance agreement has complied with it, the Minister shall cause the person to be provided with a notice to that effect, at which time any security given by the person under that agreement shall be returned to the person.

        • If compliance agreement not complied with

          (4) If the Minister is of the opinion that a person who has entered into a compliance agreement has not complied with it, the Minister shall cause the person to be provided with a notice of default to the effect that

          • (a) instead of the penalty set out in the compliance agreement, the person is liable to pay, within the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner that are set out in the notice of default, twice the amount of the penalty set out in the notice of violation and, for greater certainty, subsection 29.11(3) does not apply in respect of that amount; or

          • (b) the security, if any, given by the person under the compliance agreement is forfeited to Her Majesty in right of Canada.

        • Effect of notice of default

          (5) Once they have been provided with the notice of default, the person shall pay the amount set out in it or, if the notice provides for the forfeiture of the security given under the compliance agreement, that security is forfeited to Her Majesty in right of Canada.

        • Effect of payment

          (6) If the person pays the amount set out in a notice of default under paragraph (4)(a) within the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner that are set out in the notice,

          • (a) the Minister shall accept the amount as complete satisfaction of the amount owing; and

          • (b) the compliance agreement entered into under subsection (2) terminates.

      • Refusal to enter into compliance agreement
        • 29.15 (1) If the Minister refuses to enter into a compliance agreement after considering a request made under paragraph 29.13(2)(a), the Minister shall cause the person to be provided with a notice to that effect and the person who is named in the notice is liable to pay the amount of the penalty within the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner that are set out in the notice.

        • Effect of payment

          (2) If the person pays the amount within the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner that are set out in the notice

          • (a) they are deemed to have committed the violation to which the amount paid relates;

          • (b) the Minister shall accept the amount as complete satisfaction of the penalty; and

          • (c) the proceedings commenced in respect of the violation under section 29.12 are ended.

        • Deeming

          (3) If the person does not pay the amount within the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner that are set out in the notice, they are deemed to have committed the violation.

      Review by the Minister

      • Review — violation
        • 29.16 (1) After completing a review requested under paragraph 29.13(2)(b) with respect to the acts or omissions that constitute the alleged violation identified in the notice of violation, the Minister shall determine whether the person who is named in the notice committed the violation and, if the Minister determines that the person did so but considers that the amount of the penalty for the violation was not established in accordance with the regulations, the Minister shall correct that amount and cause the person to be provided with a notice of the Minister’s decision.

        • Review — penalty

          (2) After completing a review requested under paragraph 29.13(2)(b) with respect to the amount of the penalty set out in the notice of violation, the Minister shall determine whether the amount of the penalty was established in accordance with the regulations and, if the Minister determines that it was not, the Minister shall correct that amount and cause the person to be provided with a notice of the Minister’s decision.

        • Payment

          (3) The person who is provided with a notice of the Minister’s decision is liable to pay the amount of the penalty that is set out in it within the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner that are set out in the notice.

        • Effect of payment

          (4) If the person pays the amount of the penalty that is set out in the notice of the Minister’s decision within the prescribed time and in the prescribed manner that are set out in the notice,

          • (a) the Minister shall accept the amount as complete satisfaction of the penalty; and

          • (b) the proceedings commenced in respect of the violation under section 29.12 are ended.

        • Submissions in writing

          (5) The Minister is to consider only written evidence and written submissions in determining whether a person committed a violation or whether the amount of a penalty was established in accordance with the regulations.

      Recovery of Debts

      • Debts to Her Majesty
        • 29.17 (1) The following amounts are debts due to Her Majesty in right of Canada that may be recovered in the Federal Court:

          • (a) the amount of a penalty set out in a notice of violation, beginning on the day on which it is required to be paid in accordance with the notice, unless a request is made to enter into a compliance agreement with the Minister or to have the Minister review the acts or omissions that constitute the violation or the amount of the penalty;

          • (b) every amount set out in a compliance agreement entered into with the Minister under subsection 29.14(1), beginning on the day specified in that agreement or, if no day is specified, beginning on the day on which the agreement is entered into;

          • (c) the amount set out in a notice of default referred to in subsection 29.14(4), beginning on the day specified in the notice;

          • (d) the amount of a penalty set out in the Minister’s notice under subsection 29.15(1) or in the notice of the Minister’s decision made under subsection 29.16(1) or (2), beginning on the day specified in the notice; and

          • (e) the amount of any reasonable expenses incurred in attempting to recover an amount referred to in any of paragraphs (a) to (d).

        • Limitation period or prescription

          (2) No proceedings to recover such a debt may be commenced later than five years after the debt becomes payable.

        • Debt final

          (3) The debt is final and may not be reviewed, restrained, prohibited, removed, set aside or otherwise dealt with except to the extent and in the manner provided by sections 29.13 to 29.16.

      • Certificate of default
        • 29.18 (1) The Minister may issue a certificate certifying the unpaid amount of any debt referred to in subsection 29.17(1).

        • Effect of registration

          (2) Registration in the Federal Court of the certificate has the same effect as a judgment of that court for a debt of the amount specified in the certificate and all related registration costs.

      Rules of Law About Violations

      • Violations not offences

        29.19 For greater certainty, a violation is not an offence and, accordingly, section 126 of the Criminal Code does not apply.

      • Due diligence defence
        • 29.2 (1) A person may not be found to be liable for a violation if they establish that they exercised due diligence to prevent the commission of the violation.

        • Common law principles

          (2) Every rule and principle of the common law that renders any circumstance a justification or an excuse in relation to a charge for an offence under this Act applies in respect of a violation to the extent that it is not inconsistent with this Act.

      • Burden of proof

        29.21 In every case where the Minister is to determine whether a person who is named in a notice of violation committed any violation identified in it, the Minister shall do so on a balance of probabilities.

      • Offences by corporate officers, etc.

        29.22 If a person other than an individual commits a violation under this Act, any of the person’s officers, directors, agents or mandataries who directs, authorizes, assents to or acquiesces or participates in the commission of the violation is a party to and liable for the violation, whether or not the person who actually committed it is proceeded against in accordance with this Act.

      • Vicarious liability — acts of employees, agents and mandataries

        29.23 A person is liable for a violation that is committed by their employee, agent or mandatary who is acting in the course of the employee’s employment or within the scope of the agent’s or mandatary’s authority, whether or not the employee, agent or mandatary who actually committed the violation is identified or proceeded against in accordance with this Act.

      • Continuing violation

        29.24 A violation that is continued on more than one day constitutes a separate violation in respect of each day during which it is continued.

      Other Provisions

      • Evidence

        29.25 In any proceeding for a violation, a notice of violation purporting to be issued under this Act is admissible in evidence without proof of the signature or official character of the person appearing to have signed it.

      • Limitation period or prescription

        29.26 No proceedings in respect of a violation may be commenced later than six months after the day on which an inspector becomes aware of the acts or omissions that constitute the alleged violation.

      • Certification by Minister

        29.27 A document appearing to have been issued by the Minister and certifying the day on which the acts or omissions that constitute the alleged violation became known to an inspector is admissible in evidence without proof of the signature or official character of the person appearing to have signed it and, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, is proof that the inspector became aware of the acts or omissions on that day.

      • Information may be made public

        29.28 The Minister may make public

        • (a) the name and business address of a person who enters into a compliance agreement, the nature of the compliance agreement — including the acts or omissions and provisions at issue, the conditions included in the compliance agreement and the amount payable under it, if any; or

        • (b) the name and business address of a person who is deemed to have committed a violation or who the Minister determined committed a violation, the acts or omissions and provisions at issue, and the amount payable as a result, if any.

      • How act or omission may be proceeded with

        29.29 If an act or omission may be proceeded with either as a violation or as an offence, proceeding in one manner precludes proceeding in the other.

  • — 2011, c. 3, s. 7

    • 7. Section 32 of the Act is replaced by the following:

      • Stealing stamp or seal
        • 32. (1) Every person who steals any stamp, seal, label, tag or marker issued for the stamping, sealing, labelling, tagging or marking of a meter under this Act is guilty of an offence.

        • Punishment — first offence

          (2) Every person who is guilty of an offence under subsection (1) is liable, for a first offence,

          • (a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both; or

          • (b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

        • Punishment — subsequent offences

          (3) Every person who is guilty of an offence under subsection (1) is liable, for a second or subsequent offence,

          • (a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding $20,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both; or

          • (b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

  • — 2011, c. 3, s. 8

      • 8. (1) The portion of section 33 of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

        • Other offences

          33. Every person is guilty of an offence who

      • (2) The portion of section 33 of the Act after paragraph (k) is repealed.

      • (3) Section 33 of the Act is renumbered as subsection 33(1) and is amended by adding the following:

        • Punishment — first offence

          (2) Every person who is guilty of an offence under subsection (1) is liable, for a first offence,

          • (a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding $10,000; or

          • (b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding $25,000.

        • Punishment — subsequent offences

          (3) Every person who is guilty of an offence under subsection (1) is liable, for a second or subsequent offence,

          • (a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding $20,000; or

          • (b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding $50,000.

  • — 2011, c. 3, s. 9

    • 9. Section 34 of the Act is replaced by the following:

      • Punishment — general offence

        34. Every person who contravenes any provision of this Act or the regulations for the contravention of which no liability for a punishment is otherwise provided by this Act is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction for a first offence under that provision to a fine not exceeding $10,000, and for a second or subsequent offence under that provision to a fine not exceeding $20,000.

  • — 2011, c. 3, s. 10

    • 10. The Act is amended by adding the following after section 35:

      • Due diligence defence

        35.1 A person may not be convicted of an offence under this Act — other than for a contravention of any of paragraphs 30(b) to (e) or subsection 32(1) — if they establish that they exercised due diligence to prevent the commission of the offence.

  • — 2011, c. 3, s. 29.1

    • Review
      • 29.1 (1) The Minister of Industry must complete a review of the provisions and the operation of this Act within five years after it receives royal assent.

      • Report

        (2) The Minister must cause a report of the results of the review to be laid before each House of Parliament on any of the first 15 days on which that House is sitting after the report has been completed.