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Species at Risk Act (S.C. 2002, c. 29)

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Act current to 2022-11-16 and last amended on 2022-02-03. Previous Versions

Enforcement Measures (continued)

Inspections

Marginal note:Inspections

  •  (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

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

    • (b) inspect the thing and take samples free of charge;

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

    • (d) 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.

  • Marginal note: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.

  • Marginal note: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.

  • Marginal note: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

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

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

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

  • Marginal note: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

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

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

    • (c) 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

    • (d) subject to subsection (6), all reasonable attempts were made to notify the owner, operator or person in charge of the place.

  • Marginal note: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.

  • Marginal note: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.

  • Marginal note:Operation of computer system and copying equipment

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

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

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

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

    • (d) use or cause to be used any copying equipment at the place to make copies of the record.

  • Marginal note: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

Marginal note:Custody of things seized

  •  (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,

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

    • (b) 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.

  • Marginal note: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.

  • Marginal note: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.

  • Marginal note: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.

  • Marginal note:Abandonment

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

Marginal note:Disposition by competent minister

 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.

Marginal note:Liability for costs

 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

Marginal note:Right of passage

 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.

Marginal note:Assistance

 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

  • (a) give the enforcement officer all reasonable assistance to enable the enforcement officer to carry out duties and functions under this Act; and

  • (b) 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.

Marginal note:Obstruction

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

  • (a) knowingly make any false or misleading statement, either orally or in writing, to the enforcement officer; or

  • (b) otherwise obstruct or hinder the enforcement officer.

Investigations

Marginal note:Application for investigation

  •  (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.

  • Marginal note: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

    • (a) the name and address of the applicant;

    • (b) a statement that the applicant is at least 18 years old and a resident of Canada;

    • (c) a statement of the nature of the alleged offence and the name of each person alleged to be involved;

    • (d) a summary of the evidence supporting the allegations;

    • (e) 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;

    • (f) 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

    • (g) details of any previous contact between the applicant and the competent minister about the alleged offence.

Marginal note:Investigation

  •  (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.

  • Marginal note:Frivolous or vexatious applications

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

  • Marginal note: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.

  • Marginal note: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.

Marginal note:Competent minister may send evidence to Attorney General

 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.

Marginal note:Suspension or conclusion of investigation

  •  (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.

  • Marginal note: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.

  • Marginal note: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.

  • Marginal note: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.

  • Marginal note: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.

Offences and Punishment

Marginal note:Offences

  •  (1) Every person commits an offence who

    • (a) contravenes subsection 32(1) or (2), section 33, subsection 36(1), 58(1), 60(1) or 61(1) or section 91 or 92;

    • (b) contravenes a prescribed provision of a regulation or an emergency order;

    • (c) fails to comply with a term or condition of a permit issued under subsection 73(1); or

    • (d) fails to comply with an alternative measures agreement that the person has entered into under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Penalty

    (1.1) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is liable

    • (a) on conviction on indictment,

      • (i) in the case of a corporation, other than a non-profit corporation, to a fine of not more than $1,000,000,

      • (ii) in the case of a non-profit corporation, to a fine of not more than $250,000, and

      • (iii) in the case of any other person, to a fine of not more than $250,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years, or to both; or

    • (b) on summary conviction,

      • (i) in the case of a corporation, other than a non-profit corporation, to a fine of not more than $300,000,

      • (ii) in the case of a non-profit corporation, to a fine of not more than $50,000, and

      • (iii) in the case of any other person, to a fine of not more than $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or to both.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (1.2) Paragraph (1)(c) does not apply in respect of the failure to comply with any term or condition of any agreement, permit, licence, order or other similar document referred to in section 74 or subsection 78(1).

  • Marginal note:Prescription of provisions

    (2) A regulation or emergency order may prescribe which of its provisions may give rise to an offence.

  • Marginal note:Subsequent offence

    (3) For a second or subsequent conviction, the amount of the fine may, despite subsection (1.1), be double the amount set out in that subsection.

  • Marginal note:Continuing offence

    (4) A person who commits or continues an offence on more than one day is liable to be convicted for a separate offence for each day on which the offence is committed or continued.

  • Marginal note:Fines cumulative

    (5) A fine imposed for an offence involving more than one animal, plant or other organism may be calculated in respect of each one as though it had been the subject of a separate information and the fine then imposed is the total of that calculation.

  • Marginal note:Additional fine

    (6) If a person is convicted of an offence and the court is satisfied that monetary benefits accrued to the person as a result of the commission of the offence, the court may order the person to pay an additional fine in an amount equal to the court’s estimation of the amount of the monetary benefits, which additional fine may exceed the maximum amount of any fine that may otherwise be imposed under this Act.

  • Definition of non-profit corporation

    (7) For the purposes of subsection (1.1), non-profit corporation means a corporation, no part of the income of which is payable to, or is otherwise available for, the personal benefit of any proprietor, member or shareholder of the corporation.

  • 2002, c. 29, s. 97
  • 2012, c. 19, s. 168
 
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