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Third Session, Thirty-Seventh Legislature

This version is based on the printed bill that was distributed in the Legislature after First Reading.
It is not the official version.   If accuracy is critical, you can obtain a copy of the printed bill from Statutory Publications.

Bill 32

THE FATALITY INQUIRIES AMENDMENT ACT


Explanatory Note

(Assented to                                         )

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

C.C.S.M. c. F52 amended

1           The Fatality Inquiries Act is amended by this Act.

2(1)        Section 1 is amended by renumbering it as subsection 1(1) and by adding the following definition in alphabetical order:

"Chief Judge" means the Chief Judge of the Provincial Court of Manitoba; (« juge en chef »)

2(2)        The following is added after subsection 1(1):

Interpretation

1(2)        In this Act, an inquest is completed when all evidence and submissions have been received by the presiding provincial judge.

3           Subsection 2(1) is replaced with the following:

Appointment of chief medical examiner

2(1)        The Lieutenant Governor in Council shall appoint a pathologist as the chief medical examiner for the province.

Appointment of medical examiners

2(1.1)      The minister, on the recommendation of the chief medical examiner, may appoint persons who are duly qualified medical practitioners as medical examiners.

4           Subsection 10(1) is replaced with the following:

CME assessment of agency

10(1)       If the chief medical examiner receives an inquiry report about a deceased child who, at the time of death or within the one year period before the death,

(a) was in the care of an agency as defined in The Child and Family Services Act; or

(b) had a parent or guardian who was in receipt of services from an agency under The Child and Family Services Act;

the chief medical examiner shall assess the quality or standard of care and service provided by the agency by

(c) examining the records of the agency respecting the child and the parent or guardian; and

(d) reviewing the actions taken by the agency in relation to the child and the parent or guardian.

5(1)        Subsection 12(4) is amended by striking out "30 days of completion of the autopsy" and substituting "60 days after the autopsy is commenced".

5(2)        The following is added after subsection 12(4):

Extension by chief medical examiner

12(4.1)     The chief medical examiner may extend the period within which an autopsy report must be submitted by a further 30 days.

6           The following is added after section 33:

Completion of inquest report

33.1(1)     Subject to subsections (2) to (7), the presiding provincial judge shall complete the inquest report no later than six months after completing an inquest.

Request for extension

33.1(2)     If the presiding provincial judge is unable to complete the inquest report within six months, he or she shall request an extension from the Chief Judge.

Timing of request

33.1(3)     A request for an extension shall be made no later than six months after the completion of an inquest.

Extension from Chief Judge

33.1(4)     Within one month after receiving a request for an extension, the Chief Judge may

(a) extend the time to complete an inquest report by

(i) subject to subclause (ii), no more than three months, or

(ii) a period longer than three months if the Chief Judge determines that an inquest involves highly complex matters and that additional time is required to complete the inquest report; and

(b) if necessary, relieve the presiding provincial judge of his or her other duties or reduce those duties until the inquest report is completed.

Notice of extension

33.1(5)     If an extension is granted by the Chief Judge, the presiding provincial judge shall arrange for written notice of the extension

(a) to be sent to all persons with standing at the inquest; and

(b) to be placed on the inquest file.

Failure to complete report

33.1(6)     If an extension has been granted and the presiding provincial judge fails to complete an inquest report within that time, the Chief Judge shall refer the failure to the judicial inquiry board to be dealt with in accordance with Part IV of The Provincial Court Act, unless the Chief Judge determines that the presiding provincial judge was unable to complete the report due to extraordinary circumstances.

Additional extension

33.1(7)     If the Chief Judge determines that the presiding provincial judge was unable to complete the inquest report due to extraordinary circumstances, the Chief Judge may grant an additional extension and notice of the extension shall be provided in accordance with subsection (5).

Inquest report when Chief Judge presiding

33.2        If the Chief Judge presides at an inquest and requires an extension to complete the inquest report, he or she shall make a request to the Chief Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench, who shall exercise the powers and duties of the Chief Judge under subsection 33.1.

7           Subsection 37(3) is amended in the part after clause (b) by striking out "$1,000." and substituting "$5,000.".

Consequential amendment, C.C.S.M. c. C275

8           Subsection 11.2(2) of The Provincial Court Act is amended by adding the following after clause (e):

(e.1) the number of inquests conducted under The Fatality Inquiries Act;

(e.2) with respect to each inquest report under The Fatality Inquiries Act completed that year, the length of time from the completion of the inquest until the report was completed;

Definition: "former Act"

9(1)        In this section, "former Act" means The Fatality Inquiries Act as it read immediately before the coming into force of this Act.

Application: subsection 10(1)

9(2)        With respect to the death of a child that occurred before this Act comes into force, the chief medical examiner is not under a duty to conduct an assessment that was required under subsection 10(1) of the former Act unless an assessment would still be required had subsection 10(1) of The Fatality Inquiries Act, as enacted by section 4 of this Act, been in force at the time of the death.

Transitional: sections 33.1 and 33.2

10          Sections 33.1 and 33.2 of The Fatality Inquiries Act, as enacted by section 6 of this Act, do not apply to an inquest that is completed before this Act comes into force.

Coming into force

11           This Act comes into force on the day it receives royal assent.

Explanatory Note

This Bill amends The Fatality Inquiries Act to require the presiding judge to complete an inquest report within six months after the inquest ends. If the judge needs more time to complete the report, a request for an extension must be made to the Chief Judge of the Provincial Court. Notice of the extension will be provided to interested parties.

The Bill also

  • clearly defines when an autopsy report must be submitted to the Chief Medical Examiner;
  • changes the circumstances in which the Chief Medical Examiner must review services provided by a Child and Family Services agency;
  • increases the maximum penalty for breaching the Act;
  • makes an amendment to The Provincial Court Act to require information about inquests to be included in the annual report of the court.