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Inventory of Reforms

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Modernization of the Provincial Offences Act

Year:
2011

Description:
In December 2007, Kennth Jull, a legal practitioner with expertise in regulatory law, submitted a proposal to the LCO for a review of the POA with the objective of reforming certain aspects of the statute. With other projects already approved for study, the LCO was not able to consider undertaking the project until April 2009 when it was approved by the Board of Governors. The Board of Governors approved the Final Report in August 2011. The POA project has been headed by Mark Schofield, Ministry of the Attorney General LCO Counsel in Residence, 2009-2010, and Mohan Sharma, MAG LCO Counsel in Residence 2010-2011.

Status:
Completed

Jurisdiction:
Ontario

Body Responsible:
Law Commission of Ontario

Publications:
Modernizing the Provincial Offences Act: A New Framework and Other Reforms – Law Reform Commission of Ontario

Purpose:
The POA project took as its starting point a refashioning of the statute to reflect the developments that have occurred since it was enacted 30 years ago, including the impact of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, changes to the Criminal Code, the considerable increase in fines for certain offences, the importance of new technologies and the official recognition of paralegals, among them. Yet the reason for the POA has not changed: to recognize the difference between regulatory and criminal offences. Similarly, the need for a relatively simple or accessible statute addressing procedure with regard to offences that affect many ordinary Ontarians remains a priority.

Results:
“The recommendations fall into one of three categories: (a) structural reforms to the Provincial Offences Act system, including the transition to administrative monetary penalties for certain offences; (b) procedural reforms to be considered within any newly structured Provincial Offences Act or new POA rules or regulation, to be developed by the Ministry of the Attorney General or body responsible for the newly updated POA procedural code; and (c) future law reform initiatives given the limited scope of this project.”

Revision History:
This summary was last reviewed in Aug 13, 2012