Government of Canada further facilitates enforcement of the Federal Quarantine Act
April 14, 2020 - Ottawa - Department of Justice Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada
Today, in an effort to continue minimizing the impacts of the pandemic on Canadians and stopping the spread of COVID-19, regulatory amendments under the Contraventions Act came into force. These changes provide increased flexibility for law enforcement agencies, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, local and provincial police forces, to issue tickets to individuals who do not comply with orders under the Federal Quarantine Act.
Under this ticketing regime, when a ticket is issued, an individual can pay the ticket voluntarily, avoiding a trial and a criminal record. This will help save valuable court and enforcement agency resources, which is particularly important during this ongoing pandemic.
These amendments do not prevent law enforcement from pursuing a matter through the summary conviction procedure set out in the Criminal Code, should they deem that more serious action is warranted.
These enforcement measures are in addition to provincial and municipal orders that have already been enacted in some jurisdictions, which allow for ticketing. These changes provide law enforcement with an additional tool to enforce public health rules, and help keep all Canadians safe.
“During these exceptional times, the health and safety of Canadians is of the utmost importance. These changes will provide an additional tool for enforcement authorities to protect public health by ensuring compliance with the Federal Quarantine Act. We thank all Canadians for doing their part to fight this pandemic and protect the health of our communities.”
The Honourable David Lametti, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
“These enforcement measures will help protect the health of all Canadians as we continue to work to stop the spread of COVID-19. Now more than ever, it is important that we continue to follow the advice of public health professionals and stay home unless absolutely necessary.”
The Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health
“The health and safety of Canadians remains our top priority. It is essential that people who are required to isolate stay home to help stop the spread of COVID-19, and that those who are required to quarantine do so. We will use all tools at our disposal, including law enforcement checks as required, to ensure that everyone is obeying the law and doing their part.”
The Honourable Bill Blair, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
The Contraventions Act allows the issuance of tickets as an alternative to the summary conviction procedure set out in the Criminal Code.
Offences under the Quarantine Act could result in tickets with fines ranging from $275 to $1000, based on the seriousness of the conduct. They could also result in proceedings under the Criminal Code.
The Quarantine Act is applicable to persons arriving in or departing from Canada. It provides measures for the screening, health assessment and medical examination of travellers to determine whether they have a communicable disease and to prevent the introduction and spread of such disease.
The Contraventions Regime is administered by participating provinces on a cost-recovery basis. There will be no costs for the Department of Justice and revenues generated under this regime will entirely cover provincial costs.
Alberta and Saskatchewan were previously not part of the ticketing regime. Regulations have been made to allow them to use this regime for Quarantine Act offences, if they choose to do so.
For more information, media may contact:
Office of the Minister of Justice
Department of Justice Canada
Office of the Minister of Health
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