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Fourth Session, Thirty-Ninth 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 or view the online bilingual version (PDF).

Bill 221

THE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DEATH REVIEW COMMITTEE ACT


Table of Contents Explanatory Note

(Assented to                                         )

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

DEFINITIONS AND PURPOSE

Definitions

1           The following definitions apply in this Act.

"domestic violence" means domestic violence within the meaning of subsection 2(1.1) of The Domestic Violence and Stalking Act that is caused by an act or omission of a person described in subsection 2(1) of that Act. (« violence familiale »)

"domestic violence death" means a death resulting from domestic violence. (« décès lié à la violence familiale »)

"minister" means the minister appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council to administer this Act. (« ministre »)

"personal health information" means personal health information as defined in The Personal Health Information Act. (« renseignements médicaux personnels »)

"personal information" means personal information as defined in The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. (« renseignements personnels »)

"public body" means a public body within the meaning of The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. (« organisme public »)

"review committee" means the Domestic Violence Death Review Committee established in section 3. (« comité d'examen »)

Purpose of this Act

2           The purpose of this Act is to establish a multidisciplinary committee to review the circumstances surrounding deaths that occur as a result of domestic violence, and to make recommendations to help prevent domestic violence deaths.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DEATH REVIEW COMMITTEE

Domestic Violence Death Review Committee established

3           The Domestic Violence Death Review Committee is hereby established.

Role of the committee

4           The responsibilities of the review committee include

(a) conducting a confidential review of each domestic violence death referred to it by the minister;

(b) making recommendations to the minister, after each review, to help prevent future deaths in similar circumstances;

(c) creating and maintaining a comprehensive database about the victims and perpetrators of domestic violence deaths and the circumstances leading to those deaths;

(d) helping identify the presence or absence of systemic problems or risk factors that may have contributed to the deaths reviewed; and

(e) helping identify trends and patterns from the deaths reviewed to make recommendations for effective prevention and intervention strategies.

Members appointed by the minister

5(1)        The minister is to appoint between six and nine persons to the review committee, with at least one member of the committee representing each of the following:

(a) the office of the chief medical examiner;

(b) organizations or groups advocating for the prevention of domestic violence;

(c) victim services;

(d) police services;

(e) an organization or sector specified by the regulations.

Criteria for appointment

5(2)        In appointing or reappointing members to the review committee, the minister must endeavour to include persons who have recognized knowledge or experience relating to the problem of domestic violence.

Term of office

5(3)        A member is to be appointed for a term not exceeding three years.

Appointment continues

5(4)        A member whose term expires continues to hold office until he or she is reappointed, the appointment is revoked or a successor is appointed.

Chair and vice-chair

5(5)        The minister must designate one member of the review committee as chair and another as vice-chair, to act if the chair is absent or unable to act.

REFERRAL TO THE REVIEW COMMITTEE

Referral of a matter to the review committee

6(1)        The minister must refer each domestic violence death to the review committee for its review and recommendations, but only after any inquiry, investigation or inquest under The Fatality Inquiries Act, and any criminal proceedings, have concluded.

Multiple deaths in one report

6(2)        Where two or more domestic violence deaths are closely related in time or place, the minister may direct the review committee to review and provide recommendations on the deaths together.

REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Review committee to conduct review and provide recommendations

7(1)        The review committee must, within the time specified by the minister, review the circumstances surrounding each domestic violence death referred to it, and provide recommendations to the minister about how to prevent future deaths in similar circumstances.

Review to be conducted in private

7(2)        The review committee must conduct every review in private.

Procedural rules

8           The review committee may, subject to the regulations, establish its own rules of practice and procedure.

Review committee may require information

9(1)        The review committee must endeavour to inform itself fully of the facts of each domestic violence death under review.  For this purpose, the review committee

(a) may require the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents; and

(b) has the powers and protections of a commissioner under Part V of The Manitoba Evidence Act.

Records of public bodies

9(2)        Without limiting subsection (1), the review committee may

(a) require to be produced to it any record that is in the custody or under the control of a public body and that the review committee considers relevant to a review; and

(b) examine any information in a record, including personal information and personal health information.

Limit re personal information and personal health information

9(3)        The review committee must limit personal health information and personal information to be produced under subsection (1) or (2) to the minimum amount necessary to properly carry out its duties under this Act.

Statements not admissible in evidence

10          A statement made or answer given by a person during a review is inadmissible in evidence in a court or in any other proceeding, except in a prosecution for perjury in respect of sworn testimony.

REPORTS

Review committee to report to minister

11          Upon completion of a review, the review committee must submit a written report to the minister containing

(a) a description of the circumstances surrounding the domestic violence death; and

(b) recommendations to help prevent future deaths in similar circumstances.

Special reports unrelated to a specific death

12          At any time, on its own initiative, the review committee may provide a report to the minister about any of the matters described in clauses 4(c) to (e).

Tabling report in Assembly

13          The minister must table a copy of a report received under section 11 or 12 in the Assembly within 15 days after receiving it if the Assembly is sitting or, if it is not, within 15 days after the next sitting begins.

Reports to be made public

14(1)       Each report under section 11 or 12 must be made public by posting it on the Internet website of the department for which the minister is responsible.  The posting must remain accessible for a minimum of three years from the date of posting.

Information to be in non-identifying form

14(2)       Subject to the regulations, a report posted on the Internet under subsection (1) must not contain any information that could identify an individual other than the victim or the perpetrator, and must be in accordance with any requirements as to form that may be specified by regulation.

REGULATIONS

Regulations

15          The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) respecting practices and procedures for the domestic violence death review committee;

(b) specifying an organization or sector for the purpose of clause 5(1)(e);

(c) respecting the publication of identifying and non-identifying information, for the purpose of subsection 14(2);

(d) respecting the form of a report to be posted on the Internet;

(e) defining any word or phrase used but not defined in this Act;

(f) generally for carrying out the purposes and provisions of this Act.

C.C.S.M. REFERENCE AND COMING INTO FORCE

C.C.S.M. reference

16          This Act may be referred to as chapter D94 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.

Coming into force

17          This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation.

Explanatory Note

This Bill establishes the Domestic Violence Death Review Committee.  This multidisciplinary committee will review the circumstances surrounding deaths that occur as a result of domestic violence, and make recommendations to help prevent future deaths in similar circumstances.

All reports made by the Review Committee are to be provided to the designated minister, tabled in the Legislature and made public by posting on the government's website.