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Oceans Act (S.C. 1996, c. 31)

Full Document:  

Act current to 2022-06-20 and last amended on 2019-07-30. Previous Versions

PART IIOceans Management Strategy (continued)

Administration and Enforcement (continued)

Compliance Orders

Marginal note:Compliance order

  •  (1) If an enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a person is committing an offence under this Act — or is about to commit an offence under this Act — the enforcement officer may issue a compliance order directing any person described in subsection (3) to take, at their own expense, any of the measures referred to in subsection (4) that the enforcement officer believes are reasonable in the circumstances, and consistent with the protection and preservation of the marine environment and with public safety, in order to cease the commission of the offence or to refrain from committing it.

  • Marginal note:Order to ship

    (2) For the purposes of subsection (1), an order is deemed to have been given to the ship and is binding on it, if

    • (a) the order is given to the master or another officer, the authorized representative, the owner or the operator of the ship; or

    • (b) in the case of an order that cannot be given to any person referred to in paragraph (a) despite reasonable efforts having been made to do so, the order is posted on any conspicuous part of the ship.

  • Marginal note:Persons subject to compliance order

    (3) Subsection (1) applies to any person who causes or contributes to, or is likely to cause or contribute to, the offence.

  • Marginal note:Specific measures

    (4) The compliance order may require that the person to whom it is directed take one or more of the following measures:

    • (a) do anything to comply with this Act or the regulations;

    • (b) refrain from doing anything in contravention of this Act or the regulations;

    • (c) cease any activity for a specified period or until the enforcement officer is satisfied that the activity is in compliance with this Act and the regulations;

    • (d) move any conveyance to a location by the route and in the manner that the enforcement officer specifies;

    • (e) unload or reload the contents of any conveyance; and

    • (f) take any other reasonable measure that the enforcement officer considers necessary to facilitate compliance with the order — or to restore the components of the marine environment damaged by the offence or to protect the components of the marine environment that would be put at risk if the offence were committed — including

      • (i) maintaining records on any relevant matter,

      • (ii) reporting periodically to the enforcement officer, and

      • (iii) submitting to the enforcement officer any information, proposal or plan specified by the enforcement officer that sets out any action to be taken by the person with respect to the subject-matter of the order.

  • Marginal note:Contents of compliance order

    (5) Subject to section 39.23, the compliance order shall be made in writing and shall set out

    • (a) the name of the person or persons to whom it is directed;

    • (b) the provisions of this Act or the regulations, or the order made under subsection 35.1(2) or 36(1), that has been or that is about to be contravened;

    • (c) the relevant facts surrounding the offence described in subsection (1);

    • (d) the measures to be taken; and

    • (e) the time or the day when each measure is to begin or the period during which it is to be carried out.

  • Marginal note:Statutory Instruments Act

    (6) A compliance order is not a statutory instrument for the purposes of the Statutory Instruments Act.

Marginal note:Order given orally

  •  (1) In the case of exigent circumstances, a compliance order may be given orally on the condition that it is followed, within seven days after the day on which the oral order was issued, by a written order issued in accordance with section 39.22.

  • Marginal note:Exigent circumstances

    (2) For the purposes of subsection (1), exigent circumstances include circumstances in which the delay necessary to issue a written order that meets the requirements of subsection 39.22(5) would result in danger to human life or the marine environment.

Marginal note:Compliance with compliance order

  •  (1) A person to whom a compliance order is issued shall, immediately on receipt of the order or a copy of it, or on being given an order orally under subsection 39.23(1), comply with the order.

  • Marginal note:No bar to proceedings

    (2) The issuance of, or compliance with, a compliance order is not a bar to any proceedings against the person under this or any other Act in relation to the offence described in subsection 39.22(1).

Marginal note:Intervention by enforcement officer

  •  (1) If a person to whom a compliance order is issued fails to take any measures specified in the order, an enforcement officer may take the measures or cause them to be taken.

  • Marginal note:Access to property

    (2) An enforcement officer or other person authorized by an enforcement officer to take measures under subsection (1) may enter and have access to any place, other than a dwelling-place, and may do any reasonable thing that may be necessary in the circumstances.

  • Marginal note:Personal liability

    (3) A person, other than a person described in subsection 39.22(3), who provides assistance or advice to the enforcement officer in taking the measures specified in an order or who takes any measures authorized or required by an enforcement officer under subsection (1) is not personally liable either civilly or criminally in respect of any act or omission in the course of providing assistance or advice or taking any measures under that subsection unless it is established that the person acted in bad faith.

Marginal note:Recovery of reasonable costs and expenses by Her Majesty

  •  (1) Her Majesty in right of Canada may recover the costs and expenses of, and any costs and expenses incidental to, any measures taken under subsection 39.25(1) from any person referred to in subsection 39.22(3).

  • Marginal note:Costs reasonably incurred

    (2) The costs and expenses may be recovered only to the extent that they can be established to have been reasonably incurred in the circumstances.

  • Marginal note:Liability

    (3) The persons referred to in subsection (1) are jointly and severally, or solidarily, liable for the costs and expenses referred to in that subsection.

  • Marginal note:Procedure

    (4) A claim under this section may be sued for and recovered by Her Majesty in right of Canada with costs in proceedings brought or taken in the name of Her Majesty in right of Canada in any court of competent jurisdiction.

  • Marginal note:Recourse or indemnity

    (5) This section does not limit or restrict any right of recourse or indemnity that a person may have against any other person.

  • Marginal note:Limitation and prescription

    (6) If events giving rise to a claim under this section occur, proceedings in respect of the claim may be commenced not later than five years after the day on which the events occur.

Things Seized, Detained, Abandoned or Forfeited

Marginal note:Custody of things seized

  •  (1) Subject to subsections (2) to (3.1), if an enforcement officer seizes a thing under this Act or under a warrant issued under the Criminal Code,

    • (a) sections 489.1 and 490 of the Criminal Code apply; and

    • (b) the enforcement officer, or any person that the officer may designate, shall retain custody of the thing, subject to any order made under section 490 of the Criminal Code.

  • Marginal note:Forfeiture where ownership not ascertainable

    (2) Where the lawful ownership of or entitlement to the seized thing cannot be ascertained within thirty days after its seizure, the thing or any proceeds of its disposition are forfeited to

    • (a) Her Majesty in right of Canada, if the thing was seized by an enforcement officer employed in the federal public administration; or

    • (b) Her Majesty in right of a province, if the thing was seized by an enforcement officer employed by the government of that province.

  • Marginal note:Perishable things

    (3) Where the seized thing is perishable, the enforcement officer may dispose of it or destroy it, and any proceeds of its disposition must be

    • (a) paid to the lawful owner or person lawfully entitled to possession of the thing, unless proceedings under this Act are commenced within ninety days after its seizure; or

    • (b) retained by the enforcement officer pending the outcome of the proceedings.

  • Marginal note:Release of seized fish

    (3.1) The enforcement officer who seizes any fish as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Fisheries Act may, at the time of the seizure, return to the water any fish that they believe to be alive.

  • Marginal note:Abandonment

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

Marginal note:Disposition by Minister

 Any thing that has been forfeited or abandoned under this Act must be dealt with and disposed of as the Minister may direct.

Marginal note:Liability for costs

 The lawful owner and any person lawfully entitled to possession of any thing seized, detained, abandoned or forfeited under this Act are jointly and severally, or solidarily, liable for all the costs of inspection, seizure, detention, abandonment, forfeiture or disposition incurred by Her Majesty in right of Canada in excess of any proceeds of disposition of the thing that have been forfeited to Her Majesty under this Act.

Offences and Punishment

Marginal note:Offence and punishment — persons

  •  (1) Every individual or corporation that contravenes subsection 39.21(5) or 39.24(1), a regulation made under paragraph 35(3)(c) or (d) or 52.1(a), or an order made under subsection 35.1(2) or 36(1) is guilty of an offence and liable

    • (a) on conviction on indictment,

      • (i) in the case of an individual,

        • (A) for a first offence, to a fine of not less than $15,000 and not more than $1,000,000, and

        • (B) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $30,000 and not more than $2,000,000,

      • (ii) in the case of a corporation, other than a corporation referred to in subparagraph (iii),

        • (A) for a first offence, to a fine of not less than $500,000 and not more than $6,000,000, and

        • (B) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $1,000,000 and not more than $12,000,000, and

      • (iii) in the case of a corporation that the court has determined to be a small revenue corporation,

        • (A) for a first offence, to a fine of not less than $75,000 and not more than $4,000,000, and

        • (B) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $150,000 and not more than $8,000,000; or

    • (b) on summary conviction,

      • (i) in the case of an individual,

        • (A) for a first offence, to a fine of not less than $5,000 and not more than $300,000, and

        • (B) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $10,000 and not more than $600,000,

      • (ii) in the case of a corporation, other than a corporation referred to in subparagraph (iii),

        • (A) for a first offence, to a fine of not less than $100,000 and not more than $4,000,000, and

        • (B) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $200,000 and not more than $8,000,000, and

      • (iii) in the case of a corporation that the court has determined to be a small revenue corporation,

        • (A) for a first offence, to a fine of not less than $25,000 and not more than $2,000,000, and

        • (B) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $50,000 and not more than $4,000,000.

  • Marginal note:Offence and punishment — ship

    (2) Every ship that contravenes subsection 39.21(4) or 39.24(1), a regulation made under paragraph 35(3)(c) or (d) or 52.1(a), an order made under subsection 35.1(2) or 36(1) or a direction made under section 39.2 is guilty of an offence and liable

    • (a) on conviction on indictment,

      • (i) in the case of a ship of 7 500 tonnes deadweight or more,

        • (A) for a first offence, to a fine of not less than $500,000 and not more than $6,000,000, and

        • (B) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $1,000,000 and not more than $12,000,000, and

      • (ii) in the case of a ship of less than 7 500 tonnes deadweight,

        • (A) for a first offence, to a fine of not less than $75,000 and not more than $4,000,000, and

        • (B) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $150,000 and not more than $8,000,000; or

    • (b) on summary conviction,

      • (i) in the case of a ship of 7 500 tonnes deadweight or more,

        • (A) for a first offence, to a fine of not less than $100,000 and not more than $4,000,000, and

        • (B) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $200,000 and not more than $8,000,000, and

      • (ii) in the case of a ship of less than 7 500 tonnes deadweight,

        • (A) for a first offence, to a fine of not less than $25,000 and not more than $2,000,000, and

        • (B) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than $50,000 and not more than $4,000,000.

  • Marginal note:Offence and punishment — persons

    (3) Every individual or corporation that contravenes subsection 39(6) or a regulation made under paragraph 52.1(b) or (c) is guilty of an offence and liable

    • (a) on conviction on indictment,

      • (i) for a first offence, to a fine of not more than $500,000, and

      • (ii) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine of not more than $1,000,000; or

    • (b) on summary conviction,

      • (i) for a first offence, to a fine of not more than $100,000, and

      • (ii) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine of not more than $200,000.

  • Marginal note:Offence and punishment — ship

    (4) Every ship that contravenes any regulation made under paragraph 52.1(b) or (c) is guilty of an offence and liable

    • (a) on conviction on indictment,

      • (i) for a first offence, to a fine of not more than $500,000, and

      • (ii) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine of not more than $1,000,000; or

    • (b) on summary conviction,

      • (i) for a first offence, to a fine of not more than $100,000, and

      • (ii) for a second or subsequent offence, to a fine of not more than $200,000.

  • Marginal note:Small revenue corporation status

    (5) For the purposes of subsection (1), a court may determine a corporation to be a small revenue corporation if the court is satisfied that the corporation’s gross revenues for the year immediately before the day on which the offence is committed — or, if the offence is committed on more than one day, for the year immediately before the first day on which the offence is committed — were not more than $5,000,000.

  • Marginal note:Non-application

    (6) The minimum amounts of fines set out in this section do not apply to any proceeding brought in accordance with subsection 39.93(1) or under the Contraventions Act.

 
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