Toronto, September 10, 2012 – The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today addressed the Canadian Convenience Stores Association third annual State of the Industry event. Minister Nicholson discussed the details of the Citizen's Arrest and Self-Defence Act which received Royal Assent on June 28th, 2012.
"Certainly in your industry, the issues of shoplifting and theft arise constantly - and sometimes, even violence can occur," said Minister Nicholson. "You want and deserve to be able to defend yourself, your family, your business and your property in emergency situations."
The Citizen's Arrest and Self-Defence Act will expand the circumstances in which a citizen's arrest can be made, and streamline and simplify the self-defence and defence of property provisions in the Criminal Code.
The legislation will authorize an owner, a person in lawful possession of property, or a person authorized by them, to arrest a person within a reasonable amount of time after they find that person committing a criminal offence either on their property (e.g. the offence occurs in their yard) or in relation to their property (e.g. their property is stolen from a public parking lot). Currently, the law permits a person to arrest another only when that person is caught in the act of committing an offence in relation to property.
The citizen's arrest authority will apply only when it is not feasible in the circumstances for a police officer to make the arrest.
The Citizen's Arrest and Self-Defence Act will come into force on a day fixed by order of the Governor in Council.
Julie Di Mambro
Office of the Minister of Justice
Department of Justice