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3rd Session, 40th Legislature

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Bill 10

THE FIRES PREVENTION AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE AMENDMENT ACT


  Bilingual version (PDF) 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. F80 amended

1           The Fires Prevention and Emergency Response Act is amended by this Act.

2(1)        Subsection 1(1) is amended in the definition "designate" by adding ", designated inspector" after "assistant fire commissioner".

2(2)        Subsection 1(1) is further amended by adding the following definitions:

"court" means the Court of Queen's Bench. (« tribunal »)

"designated inspector" means a person appointed or designated as a designated inspector under subsection 3(2). (« inspecteur désigné »)

3           Section 3 is renumbered as subsection 3(1) and the following is added as subsection 3(2):

Appointment of designated inspectors

3(2)        The fire commissioner may appoint or designate one or more employees or classes of employees of the office of the fire commissioner as designated inspectors for the purpose of this Act.

4           Subsection 12(2) is amended

(a) by striking out "and" at the end of clause (c) and adding the following after clause (c):

(c.1) state that if the person fails to comply with the order within the specified time, the person may be required to pay an administrative penalty; and

(b) in clause (d), by striking out "does not" and substituting "fails to".

5           Subsection 14(1) is amended

(a) in clause (c), by striking out "did not" and substituting "failed to"; and

(b) in subclause (d)(ii), by striking out "has not complied" and substituting "failed to comply".

6           The centred heading before section 15 is amended by striking out "or Appeal".

7           The following is added after section 15:

Administrative Penalties

Administrative penalty

15.1(1)     The fire commissioner may issue a notice in writing requiring a person to pay an administrative penalty in the amount determined in accordance with the regulations if

(a) the fire commissioner is of the opinion that the person failed to comply with an order made under section 12 within the time specified in the order;

(b) the order stated that an administrative penalty may be imposed if the person failed to comply with the order; and

(c) the fire commissioner is of the opinion that requiring the person to pay an administrative penalty is in the public interest.

Amount of penalty

15.1(2)     An administrative penalty may not exceed the amount determined in accordance with the regulations.

When penalty may be imposed

15.1(3)     A notice of administrative penalty may be issued

(a) in the case of an order that becomes final under subsection 15(3), only after the order becomes final; or

(b) in the case of an order that is subject to appeal under section 16, only after

(i)  the period for appealing the order expires, or

(ii) if an appeal is filed, a final determination of the appeal is made.

Notice

15.1(4)     A notice of administrative penalty must set out

(a) the name of the person required to pay the penalty;

(b) a description of the order that the person failed to comply with;

(c) the amount of the penalty, determined in accordance with the regulations;

(d) when and how the penalty must be paid; and

(e) a description of the person's right to appeal the penalty to the court under section 16.

Serving the notice

15.1(5)     A notice of administrative penalty must be served on the person required to pay the penalty.

Payment

15.2(1)     Subject to an appeal under section 16, a person required to pay an administrative penalty must pay the amount of the penalty within 30 days after the notice is served.

Disposition of penalty amounts

15.2(2)     Amounts received or collected by the fire commissioner in respect of administrative penalties are to be transferred to the Consolidated Fund as directed by the Minister of Finance.

Debt due to government

15.2(3)     The amount of the penalty is a debt due to the government if it is not paid

(a) within 30 days after notice of the penalty is served; or

(b) if the penalty is appealed, within 30 days after the appeal is decided.

Certificate registered in court

15.2(4)     The fire commissioner may certify a debt referred to in subsection (3), or any part of such a debt that has not been paid. The certificate may be registered in court and may be enforced as if it were a judgment of the court.

No offence to be charged if penalty is paid

15.2(5)     A person who pays an administrative penalty under this section for failing to comply with an order may not be charged with an offence respecting that failure, unless the failure continues after the penalty is paid.

8           Section 16 is replaced with the following:

Appeals

Appeal to court

16(1)       A person aggrieved by any of the following decisions of the fire commissioner may appeal the decision by filing a notice of appeal with the court and serving a copy of the appeal on the fire commissioner:

(a) a decision to issue an order under section 12;

(b) a decision under subsection 15(4);

(c) a decision to issue a notice requiring the person to pay an administrative penalty under subsection 15.1(1).

Grounds for appeal

16(2)       An appeal may be made to the court on the following grounds:

(a) in the case of a decision under section 12 or subsection 15(4) (orders), that the order

(i) is improper, impracticable or unreasonable, or

(ii) is inconsistent with the applicable requirements of the Manitoba Fire Code;

(b) in the case of a decision to issue a notice under subsection 15.1(1) (administrative penalty), that

(i) the amount of the penalty was not determined in accordance with the regulations, or

(ii) the penalty is not justified in the public interest.

Time to appeal

16(3)       A notice of appeal must be filed within 14 days after the date the person is served with the notice of the decision that is being appealed.

Fire commissioner is a party

16(4)       The fire commissioner is a party to an appeal and is entitled to be heard, by counsel or otherwise, on the appeal.

Stay pending appeal

16(5)       Except in regard to an order made under clause 12(1)(b), an appeal to the court operates as a stay of the order or notice until the appeal is decided.

Decision of court

16(6)       On hearing the appeal, the court may,

(a) in respect of an order, confirm the order, quash it or vary it in any manner that it considers appropriate;

(b) in respect of a notice of administrative penalty,

(i) confirm or revoke the administrative penalty, or

(ii) vary the amount of the penalty if the court considers that the amount was not determined in accordance with the regulations; and

(c) make any order as to costs that it considers appropriate.

9(1)        Clause 44(1)(e) is replaced with the following:

(e) refuses or neglects to obey or carry out a direction of the fire commissioner issued or given under the authority of this Act;

(e.1) fails to comply with an order of

(i) the fire commissioner or a designate issued or given under the authority of this Act, or

(ii) the court made under subsection 16(6); or

9(2)        Subsection 44(3) is amended by striking out "clause (1)(e)" and substituting "clause (1)(e), (e.1)".

10          Section 45 is amended

(a) in clause (1)(a), by striking out "$1,000." and substituting "$125,000";

(b) in clause (1)(b), by striking out "$10,000." and substituting "$250,000";

(c) in clause (2)(a), by striking out "$5,000." and substituting "$250,000"; and

(d) in clause (2)(b), by striking out "$25,000." and substituting "$500,000".

11          Subsection 46(1) is amended by adding the following after clause (e):

(e.1) for the purpose of sections 15.1 and 15.2, respecting administrative penalties, including regulations

(i) prescribing the form and content of the notice of administrative penalty and the notice of appeal,

(ii) respecting the determination of amounts of administrative penalties, which may vary according to the nature or frequency of the contravention and, in the case of a person, whether the person in non-compliance is an individual or a corporation, and

(iii) respecting any other matter necessary for administering the system of administrative penalties provided for under this Act;

Consequential amendment, C.C.S.M. c. L20

12          Section 1 of The Labour Administration Act is amended in clause (f) of the definition "inspector" by adding ", designated inspector" after "assistant fire commissioner".

Coming into force

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

Explanatory Note

This Bill amends The Fires Prevention and Emergency Response Act to allow an administrative penalty to be imposed for failing to comply with an order made under the Act. A person may appeal an administrative penalty to the court.

The maximum fines for offences under the Act are increased.

A consequential amendment is made to The Labour Administration Act.