Emergencies Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 22 (4th Supp.))

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Act current to 2019-02-28 and last amended on 2003-07-02. Previous Versions

Emergencies Act

R.S.C., 1985, c. 22 (4th Supp.)

An Act to authorize the taking of special temporary measures to ensure safety and security during national emergencies and to amend other Acts in consequence thereof

[1988, c. 29, assented to 21st July, 1988]
Preamble

WHEREAS the safety and security of the individual, the protection of the values of the body politic and the preservation of the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of the state are fundamental obligations of government;

AND WHEREAS the fulfilment of those obligations in Canada may be seriously threatened by a national emergency and, in order to ensure safety and security during such an emergency, the Governor in Council should be authorized, subject to the supervision of Parliament, to take special temporary measures that may not be appropriate in normal times;

AND WHEREAS the Governor in Council, in taking such special temporary measures, would be subject to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Bill of Rights and must have regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, particularly with respect to those fundamental rights that are not to be limited or abridged even in a national emergency;

NOW THEREFORE, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Emergencies Act.

Application and Construction

Marginal note:Binding on Her Majesty

  •  (1) This Act is binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province.

  • Marginal note:Federal jurisdiction

    (2) For greater certainty, nothing in this Act derogates from the authority of the Government of Canada to deal with emergencies on any property, territory or area in respect of which the Parliament of Canada has jurisdiction.

Marginal note:National emergency

 For the purposes of this Act, a national emergency is an urgent and critical situation of a temporary nature that

  • (a) seriously endangers the lives, health or safety of Canadians and is of such proportions or nature as to exceed the capacity or authority of a province to deal with it, or

  • (b) seriously threatens the ability of the Government of Canada to preserve the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Canada

and that cannot be effectively dealt with under any other law of Canada.

Marginal note:Construction

 Nothing in this Act shall be construed or applied so as to confer on the Governor in Council the power to make orders or regulations

  • (a) altering the provisions of this Act; or

  • (b) providing for the detention, imprisonment or internment of Canadian citizens or permanent residents within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 22 (4th Supp.), s. 4;
  • 2001, c. 27, s. 248.

PART IPublic Welfare Emergency

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

 In this Part,

declaration of a public welfare emergency

déclaration de sinistre

declaration of a public welfare emergency means a proclamation issued pursuant to subsection 6(1); (déclaration de sinistre)

public welfare emergency

sinistre

public welfare emergency means an emergency that is caused by a real or imminent

  • (a) fire, flood, drought, storm, earthquake or other natural phenomenon,

  • (b) disease in human beings, animals or plants, or

  • (c) accident or pollution

and that results or may result in a danger to life or property, social disruption or a breakdown in the flow of essential goods, services or resources, so serious as to be a national emergency. (sinistre)

Declaration of a Public Welfare Emergency

Marginal note:Declaration of a public welfare emergency

  •  (1) When the Governor in Council believes, on reasonable grounds, that a public welfare emergency exists and necessitates the taking of special temporary measures for dealing with the emergency, the Governor in Council, after such consultation as is required by section 14, may, by proclamation, so declare.

  • Marginal note:Contents

    (2) A declaration of a public welfare emergency shall specify

    • (a) concisely the state of affairs constituting the emergency;

    • (b) the special temporary measures that the Governor in Council anticipates may be necessary for dealing with the emergency; and

    • (c) if the direct effects of the emergency do not extend to the whole of Canada, the area of Canada to which the direct effects of the emergency extend.

Marginal note:Effective date

  •  (1) A declaration of a public welfare emergency is effective on the day on which it is issued, but a motion for confirmation of the declaration shall be laid before each House of Parliament and be considered in accordance with section 58.

  • Marginal note:Expiration of declaration

    (2) A declaration of a public welfare emergency expires at the end of ninety days unless the declaration is previously revoked or continued in accordance with this Act.

Orders and Regulations

Marginal note:Orders and regulations

  •  (1) While a declaration of a public welfare emergency is in effect, the Governor in Council may make such orders or regulations with respect to the following matters as the Governor in Council believes, on reasonable grounds, are necessary for dealing with the emergency:

    • (a) the regulation or prohibition of travel to, from or within any specified area, where necessary for the protection of the health or safety of individuals;

    • (b) the evacuation of persons and the removal of personal property from any specified area and the making of arrangements for the adequate care and protection of the persons and property;

    • (c) the requisition, use or disposition of property;

    • (d) the authorization of or direction to any person, or any person of a class of persons, to render essential services of a type that that person, or a person of that class, is competent to provide and the provision of reasonable compensation in respect of services so rendered;

    • (e) the regulation of the distribution and availability of essential goods, services and resources;

    • (f) the authorization and making of emergency payments;

    • (g) the establishment of emergency shelters and hospitals;

    • (h) the assessment of damage to any works or undertakings and the repair, replacement or restoration thereof;

    • (i) the assessment of damage to the environment and the elimination or alleviation of the damage; and

    • (j) the imposition

      • (i) on summary conviction, of a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars or imprisonment not exceeding six months or both that fine and imprisonment, or

      • (ii) on indictment, of a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars or imprisonment not exceeding five years or both that fine and imprisonment,

      for contravention of any order or regulation made under this section.

  • Marginal note:Restriction

    (2) Where a declaration of a public welfare emergency specifies that the direct effects of the emergency extend only to a specified area of Canada, the power under subsection (1) to make orders and regulations, and any powers, duties or functions conferred or imposed by or pursuant to any such order or regulation, may be exercised or performed only with respect to that area.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (3) The power under subsection (1) to make orders and regulations, and any powers, duties or functions conferred or imposed by or pursuant to any such order or regulation,

    • (a) shall be exercised or performed

      • (i) in a manner that will not unduly impair the ability of any province to take measures, under an Act of the legislature of the province, for dealing with an emergency in the province, and

      • (ii) with the view of achieving, to the extent possible, concerted action with each province with respect to which the power, duty or function is exercised or performed; and

    • (b) shall not be exercised or performed for the purpose of terminating a strike or lock-out or imposing a settlement in a labour dispute.

Marginal note:Control or direction of police force

  •  (1) Nothing in a declaration of a public welfare emergency or in any order or regulation made pursuant thereto shall be construed or applied so as to derogate from, or to authorize the derogation from, the control or direction of the government of a province or a municipality over any police force over which it normally has control or direction.

  • Marginal note:R.C.M.P.

    (2) Where the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is used or employed in a province or municipality pursuant to an arrangement under section 20 of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act, subsection (1) applies in respect of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, subject to the terms and conditions of the arrangement.

Revocation, Continuation and Amendment of Declaration

Marginal note:Revocation by Parliament

 Parliament may revoke a declaration of a public welfare emergency in accordance with section 58 or 59.

 
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