Skip to main content
The Advocate for Children and Youth Act

This is an unofficial version.
If you need an official copy, use the bilingual (PDF) version.

S.M. 2017, c. 8

Bill 9, 2 nd Session, 41st Legislature

The Advocate for Children and Youth Act

Explanatory Note

This note is a reader's aid and is not part of the law.

In 2014, the Commission of Inquiry into the death of Phoenix Sinclair recommended that Manitoba enact stand-alone legislation for the Children's Advocate and provide the Advocate with a broader mandate. This Act implements those recommendations.

This Act also changes the name of Children's Advocate to Advocate for Children and Youth.

Expanded Advocacy Mandate

Under previous legislation, the Advocate could provide advocacy services for children receiving services under The Child and Family Services Act or The Adoption Act. This Act expands that mandate to include advocacy services for children receiving or eligible to receive any of the following publicly funded services:

Expanded Advocacy Mandate

Under previous legislation, the Advocate could provide advocacy services for children receiving services under The Child and Family Services Act or The Adoption Act. This Act expands that mandate to include advocacy services for children receiving or eligible to receive any of the following publicly funded services:

  • disability services provided for in the regulations;
  • educational programming for children who need an individual education plan;
  • mental health and addiction services provided by government and health care facilities;
  • victim support services;
  • criminal justice services for youth in custody or under supervision.

In addition, the Advocate may advocate for young adults between 18 and 21 who, as children, received services under The Child and Family Services Act and are now eligible to receive any of the following publicly funded services:

  • services to assist them in their transition to adulthood;
  • disability services provided for in the regulations;
  • educational programming for those who need an individual education plan.

Expanded Mandate to Review and Investigate Deaths and Serious Injuries

Under previous legislation, when a child in the care of child and family services died, the Advocate had to review publicly funded services provided to that child.

To assist in improving the effectiveness and responsiveness of publicly funded services for children, this Act gives the Advocate broad discretion to review and investigate a serious injury or death of a child who was receiving any of the following services at the time of the injury or death, or in the year preceding it:

  • services under The Child and Family Services Act or The Adoption Act;
  • mental health or addiction services provided by government and health care facilities;
  • criminal justice services for youth in custody or under supervision.

The Advocate may also review and investigate a serious injury or death of a young adult who was a former permanent ward receiving transitional child and family services.

Expanded Public Reporting

In addition to the annual report required by previous legislation, the Advocate must publish a service plan that describes the Advocate's goals for the year and includes specific objectives and performance measures.

The Advocate may publish special reports to assist in making services for children and young adults more effective and responsive.

Amendments to Other Acts

Consequential amendments are made to other Acts, including The Child and Family Services Act, The Adoption Act and The Ombudsman Act.

(Assented to June 2, 2017)

WHEREAS the Government of Manitoba recognizes that all children and youth have the right to learn and develop, to be protected from harm, to receive care and assistance, to participate in decisions that affect their lives, and to share in and contribute to family, cultural and social life;

AND WHEREAS children and youth deserve services that are accessible and effective, that value their cultural background and that respect their rights, interests and viewpoints;

AND WHEREAS services for Indigenous children and youth should be provided in a way that respects the values, beliefs, customs and traditional communities of Indigenous peoples and nations and is informed by a commitment to reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples;

AND WHEREAS the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child can offer valuable guidance for the design and delivery of services for children and youth;

AND WHEREAS an independent officer of the Legislative Assembly who advocates for and provides support and advice to children, youth and their families will enhance the quality of the services they receive;

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

PART 1

DEFINITIONS

Definitions

1           The following definitions apply in this Act.

"Advocate" means the Advocate for Children and Youth appointed under section 2. (« protecteur »)

"child" means a person under the age of 18 years and includes a youth. (« enfant »)

"designated service" means any of the following services or programs provided or funded by the government:

(a) services and programs for children and their families provided under The Child and Family Services Act or The Adoption Act;

(b) disability services for children, as described in the regulations;

(c) educational programming for children who have, or are eligible to have, an individual education plan under The Public Schools Act;

(d) mental health services for children provided by or on behalf of a public body or a health care facility;

(e) addiction services for children provided by or on behalf of a public body or a health care facility;

(f) victim support services provided for children or their families by or on behalf of the government;

(g) youth justice services;

(h) the following services for young adults:

(i) services provided under subsection 50(2) of The Child and Family Services Act for former permanent wards to assist them in their transition to independence,

(ii) disability services described in the regulations for young adults with a mental disability (as defined in The Vulnerable Persons Living with a Mental Disability Act) who were receiving any services under The Child and Family Services Act immediately before their 18th birthday,

(iii) educational programming for young adults who were in the care of an agency under The Child and Family Services Act immediately before their 18th birthday and who have, or are eligible to have, an individual education plan under The Public Schools Act;

(i) additional services or programs described in the regulations. (« services désignés »)

"fiscal year" means the period beginning on April 1 of one year and ending on March 31 of the following year. (« exercice »)

"health care facility" has the same meaning as in The Personal Health Information Act, but excludes a medical clinic or laboratory that is privately operated. (« établissement de soins de santé »)

"parent" and "guardian" have the same meaning as in The Child and Family Services Act. (« parent » et « tuteur »)

"person" includes a trustee as defined in The Personal Health Information Act. (« personne »)

"personal health information" has the same meaning as in The Personal Health Information Act. (« renseignements médicaux personnels »)

"personal information" has the same meaning as in The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. (« renseignements personnels »)

"public body" means a public body as defined in The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. (« organisme public »)

"reviewable service" means any of the following designated services:

(a) services and programs for children and their families provided under The Child and Family Services Act or The Adoption Act;

(b) mental health services for children provided by or on behalf of a public body or a health care facility;

(c) addiction services for children provided by or on behalf of a public body or a health care facility;

(d) youth justice services;

(e) services for young adults provided under subsection 50(2) of The Child and Family Services Act to assist former permanent wards in their transition to independence;

(f) additional designated services that are set out in the regulations. (« services sujets à examen »)

"serious injury" means an injury that

(a) is life-threatening;

(b) requires admission to a hospital or other health care facility and is reasonably expected to cause serious or long-term physical or psychological impairment; or

(c) is the result of a sexual assault that causes serious physical harm or is reasonably expected to cause long-term psychological impairment. (« blessure grave »)

"young adult" means a person 18 years of age or older but under 21 years of age. (« jeune adulte »)

"youth" means a child 12 years of age or older. (« jeune »)

"youth justice services" means services under The Correctional Services Act for children in custody or under supervision pursuant to an order under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (Canada). (« services en matière de justice pour adolescents »)

PART 2

OFFICE OF THE ADVOCATE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

APPOINTMENT

Appointment of Advocate for Children and Youth

2(1)        The Lieutenant Governor in Council must, on the recommendation of the Standing Committee of the Assembly on Legislative Affairs, appoint an Advocate for Children and Youth.

Appointment process

2(2)        If at any time the position of Advocate

(a) will become vacant within six months because the term of office is scheduled to expire or the Advocate has resigned; or

(b) has become vacant for any other reason;

the President of the Executive Council must, within one month after that time, convene a meeting of the Standing Committee on Legislative Affairs and the Standing Committee must, within six months after that time, consider candidates for the position and make recommendations to the President of the Executive Council.

Officer of the Assembly

3(1)        The Advocate is an officer of the Assembly.

No other public office

3(2)        The Advocate may not hold any other public office or engage in any partisan political activity.

Term of office

4(1)        The Advocate is to hold office for a term of five years.

Re-appointment

4(2)        The Advocate may be re-appointed for a second term of five years but may not hold office for more than two five-year terms.

Remuneration

5(1)        The Advocate must be paid a salary fixed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council and is entitled to the same privileges of office as a civil servant who is not covered by a collective agreement.

No reduction of salary

5(2)        The Advocate's salary must not be reduced except on a resolution of the Assembly carried by a vote of 2/3 of the members voting in the Assembly.

Expenses

5(3)        The Advocate must be reimbursed for reasonable travelling and out-of-pocket expenses incurred in carrying out his or her responsibilities.

Civil Service Superannuation Act applies

6(1)        The Advocate and all persons employed under the Advocate are employees within the meaning of The Civil Service Superannuation Act.

Civil Service Act does not apply

6(2)        The Advocate is not subject to The Civil Service Act.

Employees are civil servants

6(3)        The Civil Service Act applies to persons employed under the Advocate.

RESIGNATION, REMOVAL OR SUSPENSION

Resignation

7(1)         The Advocate may resign at any time by giving written notice to the Speaker of the Assembly or, if the Speaker is absent or there is no Speaker, to the Clerk of the Assembly.

Removal or suspension

7(2)        The Lieutenant Governor in Council may suspend or remove the Advocate from office on a resolution of the Assembly carried by a vote of 2/3 of the members voting in the Assembly.

Suspension if Assembly not sitting

7(3)        If the Assembly is not sitting, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may suspend the Advocate for cause, if advised to do so in writing by a majority of a committee consisting of the President of the Executive Council and the recognized leaders of the members belonging to the political parties in opposition.

Length of suspension

7(4)        A suspension under subsection (3) ends no later than 30 sitting days of the Assembly after the suspension came into effect.

APPOINTMENT OF DEPUTY ADVOCATE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Appointment of Deputy Advocate

8(1)        On the recommendation of the Advocate, a Deputy Advocate for Children and Youth may be appointed in accordance with The Civil Service Act.

Experience working with Indigenous children, young adults and families

8(2)        Before recommending a person for the position of Deputy Advocate, the Advocate must consider the person's understanding of and experience working with Indigenous children, young adults and their families in Manitoba.

ACTING ADVOCATE

Acting Advocate

9(1)        The Lieutenant Governor in Council may appoint an acting Advocate if the office of Advocate is vacant or if the Advocate is suspended or is absent for an extended period because of illness or another reason.

Responsibilities of acting Advocate

9(2)        An acting Advocate must carry out the responsibilities and may exercise the powers of the Advocate.

Term of acting Advocate

9(3)        An acting Advocate holds office until a new Advocate is appointed, or until the Advocate returns to office after a suspension or extended absence.

OATH OF OFFICE

Oath of office of Advocate

10(1)       Before beginning to carry out responsibilities or exercise powers under this Act, the Advocate must take an oath before the Speaker or the Clerk of the Assembly to faithfully and impartially carry out the responsibilities of office and not to disclose any information received under this Act except as provided in this Act.

Oath of staff

10(2)       Every person employed under or acting as a delegate of the Advocate must, before beginning to carry out his or her responsibilities, take an oath before the Advocate not to disclose any information received under this Act except as provided in this Act.

PART 3

GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES AND POWERS

RESPONSIBILITIES AND POWERS

Responsibilities

11(1)       The Advocate has the following responsibilities:

(a) to support, assist, inform and advise children, young adults and their families respecting designated services, including

(i) by providing information and advice to children, young adults and their families about how to effectively access designated services and how to become effective self-advocates with respect to those services,

(ii) by representing the rights, interests and viewpoints of children and young adults receiving or eligible to receive designated services, including by advocating on their behalf, and

(iii) by supporting, promoting in communities and commenting publicly on advocacy services for children, young adults and their families with respect to designated services;

(b) to conduct research on the provision of a designated service for the purpose of making recommendations to improve the effectiveness and responsiveness of that service;

(c) to review, investigate and report on the serious injuries and deaths of children and young adults as set out in Part 4;

(d) to monitor the implementation of recommendations included in reports made under section 27 (investigation) or special reports made under section 31;

(e) to carry out other responsibilities as set out in this Act.

Priority for children and young adults without others to assist them

11(2)       In carrying out responsibilities respecting advocacy under this Act, the Advocate may give priority to children and young adults who do not have others who can assist them to advocate for their rights, interests and viewpoints.

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

12          The Advocate may take steps to raise awareness and understanding of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Advice to ministers

13          The Advocate may advise a minister responsible for the provision of a designated service about any matter relating to that service that the Advocate considers appropriate.

Power to delegate

14(1)       The Advocate may, in writing, delegate to a person any responsibility or power of the Advocate under this Act, except the power to make a report or to further delegate a responsibility or power.

Advocate may still exercise power

14(2)       The Advocate may continue to carry out a responsibility or exercise a power that he or she has delegated.

Delegation in case of conflict

14(3)       Despite subsections (1) and (2), if the Advocate is in a conflict of interest concerning a matter, he or she may delegate in writing to any person any responsibility or power respecting the matter, including the power to make a report.

Access to places re designated services

15          When, for the purpose of carrying out responsibilities under this Act, the Advocate requests access to a place where children or young adults receive a designated service, the owner or person in charge of the place must provide access at a time when it is reasonable and safe to do so.

No power to act as legal counsel

16          The Advocate may not act as legal counsel.

RIGHT TO INFORMATION

Right to information

17(1)       The Advocate may require a public body or other person to provide any information in its custody or under its control — including personal information and personal health information — necessary to enable the Advocate to carry out responsibilities or exercise powers under this Act.

Duty to provide information and assistance

17(2)       Despite any other enactment, the public body or other person must provide the Advocate with the information and assistance that the Advocate requires.

Privileged information excluded

17(3)       Despite subsection (1), the Advocate may not require information that is subject to a legal privilege, including solicitor-client privilege, the privilege respecting Cabinet confidences and the privilege in section 9 of The Manitoba Evidence Act (hospital, standards and critical incident review committees).

Information for research purposes

17(4)       When conducting research under clause 11(1)(b), the Advocate must not require personal information or personal health information if other information will serve the purpose of the research.

Providing research information

17(5)       Information required for research under clause 11(1)(b) is to be provided at the times and in the manner agreed on by the Advocate and the public body or other person.

CONFIDENTIALITY AND PRIVACY

Confidentiality of information

18(1)       The Advocate, and anyone employed under or acting as a delegate of the Advocate, must

(a) maintain confidentiality about all matters that come to their knowledge in the course of their work under this Act; and

(b) not disclose information to any person except as required to carry out responsibilities and exercise powers under this Act.

No disclosure re adoption records

18(2)       The Advocate, and anyone employed under or acting as a delegate of the Advocate, must not disclose personal information, personal health information or potentially identifying information relating to the granting of an order of adoption under The Adoption Act.

Limits on disclosure re identity of informant

18(3)       The Advocate, and anyone employed under or acting as a delegate of the Advocate, must not disclose the identity of a person who has made a report under section 18 of The Child and Family Services Act unless

(a) the disclosure is required in a proceeding of a judicial nature in accordance with section 35; or

(b) the person who made the report consents to the disclosure.

Disclosure to another advocate or representative

18(4)       Subject to subsections (2) and (3), the Advocate may disclose information relating to a child or young adult to an advocate or representative for children and youth in another province or territory where reasonably required by that advocate or representative to carry out responsibilities with respect to the child or young adult.

Limits on disclosure of personal information

19(1)       The Advocate, and anyone employed under or acting as a delegate of the Advocate, must ensure that any disclosure of personal information, personal health information or potentially identifying information

(a) is necessary to accomplish the purpose for which the disclosure is made; and

(b) is limited to the minimum amount of information necessary to accomplish that purpose.

Disclosure limits apply to reviews, investigations and reports

19(2)       For certainty, subsection (1) applies during any review or investigation conducted under this Act and in relation to the making of any report under this Act.

PART 4

REVIEWS AND INVESTIGATIONS OF SERIOUS INJURIES AND DEATHS

REVIEWS OF SERIOUS INJURIES AND DEATHS

Jurisdiction to review — serious injury to child

20(1)       The Advocate may review a serious injury to a child who was receiving, or whose family was receiving, a reviewable service at the time of the injury or in the year before the injury.

Jurisdiction to review — serious injury to young adult

20(2)       The Advocate may review a serious injury to a young adult who was receiving services under subsection 50(2) of The Child and Family Services Act (support beyond termination of guardianship) at the time of the injury or in the year before the injury.

Jurisdiction to review — death of child or young adult

20(3)       After receiving notice of the death of a child or young adult from the chief medical examiner under The Fatality Inquiries Act, the Advocate may review

(a) a child's death, if the child or his or her family was receiving a reviewable service at the time of the death or in the year before the death; and

(b) a young adult's death, if the young adult was receiving services under subsection 50(2) of The Child and Family Services Act at the time of the death or in the year before the death.

Purpose of review

20(4)       A review under this section may be conducted for the following purposes:

(a) to determine whether to investigate the serious injury or death under section 23;

(b) to identify and analyse recurring circumstances or trends

(i) to improve the effectiveness and responsiveness of reviewable services, or

(ii) to inform improvements to public policies relating to designated services.

Duty to report serious injury to child

21(1)       After a government department or regional health authority responsible for the provision of a reviewable service becomes aware of a serious injury to a child for which a review may be conducted under subsection 20(1), it must provide information about the injury to the Advocate.

Duty to report serious injury to young adult

21(2)       After the government department responsible for the provision of services under The Child and Family Services Act becomes aware of a serious injury to a young adult for which a review may be conducted under subsection 20(2), it must provide information about the injury to the Advocate.

Information provided at intervals

21(3)       For the purpose of this section, a government department or regional health authority may compile information relating to one or more serious injuries and provide it to the Advocate at intervals agreed on by the Advocate and the department or health authority.

Assessment before review

21(4)       The Advocate must assess each report of a serious injury or death that he or she receives to determine if there is jurisdiction to review the injury or death under section 20 and whether a review is warranted.

Disclosure of results of the review

22          If, after completing a review under section 20, the Advocate decides not to investigate under section 23, the Advocate may disclose the results of the review to

(a) the government department or regional health authority responsible for the provision of the reviewable service that is the subject of the review;

(b) the public body or other person who provided the reviewable service; and

(c) any other person or entity that the Advocate considers appropriate to notify in the circumstances.

INVESTIGATIONS OF SERIOUS INJURIES AND DEATHS

Investigations of serious injuries and deaths

23(1)       The Advocate may investigate a serious injury or death of a child or young adult if, after completing a review under section 20, the Advocate determines that

(a) a reviewable service, or related policies or practices, might have contributed to the serious injury or death; and

(b) the serious injury or death,

(i) in the case of a child, was or may have been due to one or more of the circumstances set out in section 17 of The Child and Family Services Act (child in need of protection),

(ii) occurred in unusual or suspicious circumstances, or

(iii) was, or may have been, self-inflicted or inflicted by another person.

Persons notified of an investigation

23(2)       On deciding to investigate a serious injury or death under this Part, the Advocate must notify

(a) the minister responsible for the provision of a reviewable service that is a subject of the investigation;

(b) the public body or other person that provided a reviewable service that is a subject of the investigation;

(c) if the reviewable service was provided by a child and family services agency, its mandating authority under The Child and Family Services Act;

(d) if the reviewable service was funded by a regional health authority, that authority; and

(e) any other person or entity that the Advocate considers appropriate to notify in the circumstances.

Limits on jurisdiction to investigate

24          Despite section 23, this Act does not authorize the Advocate to investigate a serious injury or death of a child or young adult

(a) until the completion of any criminal investigation and criminal court proceedings respecting the serious injury or death, unless the Attorney General or delegate gives the Advocate written permission to proceed with an investigation;

(b) if an investigation into the death is conducted under The Fatality Inquiries Act, until the earliest of the following events:

(i) the investigation is completed and the chief medical examiner has, under section 19 of that Act, determined whether an inquest should be held,

(ii) the chief medical examiner gives the Advocate written permission to proceed with an investigation,

(iii) one year after the death;

(c) if, at the time of the serious injury or death, written procedures for investigating serious injuries or deaths are in place under another enactment, and an investigation is conducted, until the earliest of the following events:

(i) the investigation is completed,

(ii) the investigating body gives the Advocate written permission to proceed with an investigation,

(iii) one year after the serious injury or death.

INVESTIGATIVE POWERS

Right to enter and inspect

25          For the purpose of an investigation under this Part, the Advocate may at any reasonable time enter and inspect any place where a reviewable service being investigated is or was provided.

Power to compel persons to answer questions and order disclosure

26(1)       For the purpose of an investigation under this Part and subject to subsection 17(3) (privileged information), the Advocate may make one or both of the following orders:

(a) an order requiring a person to attend, personally or by electronic means, before the Advocate to answer questions on oath or affirmation, or in any other manner;

(b) an order requiring a public body or other person to produce for the Advocate a record or other thing in the person's custody or under his or her control.

Order to comply

26(2)       The Advocate may apply to the Court of Queen's Bench for an order directing a public body or person to comply with an order made under subsection (1).

REPORT AFTER INVESTIGATION

Report after investigation

27(1)       After investigating a serious injury or death of a child or young adult under this Part, the Advocate must make a report on that injury or death.

Contents of report

27(2)       A report must contain the reasons the Advocate had for undertaking the investigation and his or her findings and may

(a) contain recommendations for

(i) the public body or other person that provided a reviewable service that is a subject of the investigation, or

(ii) any other public body or person that the Advocate considers appropriate; and

(b) address any other matters that the Advocate considers relevant.

No finding of legal responsibility

27(3)       The findings of the Advocate must not contain any finding of legal responsibility.

Persons given report

27(4)       A copy of the report must be given to

(a) the minister responsible for the provision of a reviewable service that is a subject of the investigation;

(b) any public body or other person that is a subject of recommendations in the report;

(c) if the report makes recommendations for a child and family services agency, its mandating authority under The Child and Family Services Act;

(d) if the report makes recommendations for a public body or other person funded by a regional health authority, that authority; and

(e) the chief medical examiner if the report concerns the death of a child or young adult.

Summary for child or young adult

27(5)       If the Advocate considers it appropriate to do so, the Advocate may provide a summary of the report to the child or young adult who is the subject of the report and to the child's parent or guardian.

REFERRAL BY ASSEMBLY OR LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR IN COUNCIL FOR INVESTIGATION

Referral by committee of Assembly or LG in C

28(1)       A standing committee of the Assembly or the Lieutenant Governor in Council may refer a serious injury or death of a child or young adult to the Advocate for investigation and report under this Part.

Report on a referral

28(2)       After receiving a referral, the Advocate must investigate the serious injury or death so far as it is within the Advocate's jurisdiction under this Part, and make a report to the standing committee or the Lieutenant Governor in Council as the Advocate considers appropriate.

PART 5

SERVICE PLAN, ANNUAL REPORT AND SPECIAL REPORTS

SERVICE PLAN

Service plan

29(1)       For the fiscal year beginning after the coming into force of this Act and for each fiscal year afterwards, the Advocate must prepare a service plan that describes the goals of the Advocate for the year and sets out specific objectives and performance measures.

Plan submitted to Speaker

29(2)       The Advocate must submit the service plan to the Speaker of the Assembly by November 30 of the year before the fiscal year to which the service plan relates.

Tabling plan in Assembly

29(3)       The Speaker must table a copy of the service plan in the Assembly on any of the first 15 days on which the Assembly is sitting after the Speaker receives it.

ANNUAL REPORT

Annual report to Assembly

30(1)       For each fiscal year, the Advocate must prepare and submit to the Speaker of the Assembly an annual report on the carrying out of responsibilities and the exercise of powers under this Act.

Contents

30(2)       Subject to section 32 (limits on disclosure of personal information), the annual report must include

(a) information on the work of the Advocate during the year;

(b) information on the work of the Advocate during the year with Indigenous children, young adults and their families;

(c) aggregate non-identifying information relating to the reviews and investigations conducted by the Advocate during the year;

(d) a summary of recommendations included in any special report made under section 31 during the year; and

(e) information as to whether the goals and the specific objectives and performance measures of the Advocate set out in the service plan prepared for the year have been met.

Comparison of actual and expected results required

30(3)       In relation to clause (2)(e), the report must compare actual results for the fiscal year with the expected results identified in the service plan for the Advocate for that fiscal year.

Compliance information may be included

30(4)       The annual report may include information as to the level of compliance with previous recommendations the Advocate has made under this Act or a former Act.

Submitting annual report to Speaker

30(5)       The Advocate must submit the annual report to the Speaker of the Assembly by November 30 of each year.

Tabling report in Assembly

30(6)       The Speaker must table a copy of the annual report in the Assembly on any of the first 15 days on which the Assembly is sitting after the Speaker receives it.

Referral to Standing Committee

30(7)       The annual report stands referred to the Standing Committee of the Assembly on Legislative Affairs. The Standing Committee must begin considering it within 60 days after it is tabled in the Assembly.

SPECIAL REPORTS

Special reports

31(1)       In order to improve the effectiveness and responsiveness of designated services, the Advocate may publish special reports.

Contents

31(2)       Subject to section 32 (limits on disclosure of personal information), a special report may

(a) include recommendations for

(i) a minister responsible for the provision of a designated service, and

(ii) any public body or other person providing a designated service that the Advocate considers appropriate;

(b) refer to and comment on any matter the Advocate has reviewed or investigated under Part 4; and

(c) include information the Advocate considers necessary about any matter for which the Advocate has responsibility under this Act.

DISCLOSURE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION IN ANNUAL AND SPECIAL REPORTS

Limits on disclosure of personal information

32(1)       In an annual or special report, the Advocate must not disclose personal information, personal health information or potentially identifying information about an individual unless the Advocate is of the opinion that the public interest in the disclosure clearly outweighs the privacy interests of any individual whose information is disclosed.

No disclosure of an individual's name

32(2)       Despite subsection (1), the Advocate must not disclose the name of a child, a young adult, a child's parent or guardian, or a young adult's parent or former guardian in an annual or special report unless

(a) the Advocate has obtained consent from the individual whose name is to be disclosed or, in the case of a child who is incapable of giving consent, from the child's parent or guardian; or

(b) the name has already lawfully been made public by other means.

PART 6

GENERAL PROVISIONS

COMMUNICATION FROM CHILD OR YOUNG ADULT

Right to communicate with Advocate

33(1)       Every child or young adult who is receiving or is eligible to receive designated services has a right to communicate with the Advocate.

Communication from child

33(2)       If a child in a facility asks to communicate with the Advocate, the person in charge of the facility must forward the request to the Advocate or must assist the child to contact the Advocate directly. The child is entitled to communicate with the Advocate privately and in confidence.

Information given to child

33(3)       The person in charge of a facility must inform each child placed there of the services offered by the Advocate, the right to communicate in private with the Advocate and how to contact the Advocate.

Meaning of "facility"

33(4)       In this section, "facility" means a facility or other place in which a child is placed under an Act of the province or under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (Canada).

PROTECTIONS FOR ADVOCATE

Protection from liability

34          No action or proceeding may be brought against the Advocate, or anyone employed under or acting as a delegate of the Advocate, for anything done, or omitted to be done, in good faith, in the performance or intended performance of a responsibility or the exercise or intended exercise of a power under this Act.

Advocate and staff not compellable

35          The Advocate, and anyone employed under or acting as a delegate of the Advocate, must not be compelled to give evidence in a court or in a proceeding of a judicial nature with respect to anything coming to his or her knowledge in carrying out responsibilities or exercising powers under this Act except

(a) to enforce compliance with this Act; or

(b) in a prosecution for perjury.

PROTECTIONS FOR PERSONS GIVING INFORMATION

Protection from liability

36(1)       No action or proceeding may be brought against a person by reason only of having complied with a request or requirement of the Advocate to provide information, answer questions or produce a record or other thing under this Act.

Communications privileged

36(2)       The following information, records and reports are privileged and not admissible in evidence in an action or proceeding, except to enforce this Act or in a prosecution for perjury:

(a) anything said, any information given and any record produced during a review or investigation by the Advocate under this Act;

(b) any report made after an investigation under section 27.

Defence under other enactments

36(3)       No person is guilty of an offence under another enactment by reason only of having complied with a request or requirement to provide information, answer questions or produce a record or other thing under this Act.

No retaliatory action against persons giving information

36(4)       No person shall take adverse employment action against, or withhold services from, or otherwise discriminate against another person because the other person has complied with a request or requirement of the Advocate to provide information, answer questions or produce a record or other thing under this Act.

OFFENCE AND PENALTY

Offence and penalty

37          Every person who

(a) wilfully obstructs, hinders, or resists the Advocate or any other person carrying out responsibilities or exercising powers under this Act;

(b) refuses or wilfully fails to comply with a lawful requirement of the Advocate or any other person under this Act;

(c) knowingly makes a false statement to or misleads or attempts to mislead the Advocate or any other person carrying out responsibilities or exercising powers under this Act; or

(d) fails to comply with subsection 36(4) (no retaliatory action);

is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of not more than $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, or both.

REGULATIONS

Regulations

38          The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) for the purpose of the definition "designated service", describing additional services or programs as designated services;

(b) for the purpose of the definition "reviewable service", setting out additional designated services that are reviewable services;

(c) describing disability services for the purpose of clause (b) and subclause (h)(ii) of the definition "designated service";

(d) for the purpose of Part 4, respecting the reporting of serious injuries to children and young adults to government departments or regional health authorities, including who must report and the manner and timing of reporting;

(e) defining any word or expression used but not defined in this Act.

RULES OF THE ASSEMBLY

Rules of the Assembly

39(1)       The Assembly may make general rules for the guidance of the Advocate in carrying out responsibilities and exercising powers under this Act.

Procedure of Advocate

39(2)       Subject to this Act and any rules made under subsection (1), the Advocate may determine his or her procedure.

REVIEW OF ACT

Review of Act

40          Within five years after this Act comes into force, a committee of the Assembly must begin a comprehensive review of the operation of this Act and must, within one year after beginning the review, submit a report to the Assembly that includes any amendments to this Act recommended by the committee.

PART 7

TRANSITIONAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, C.C.S.M. REFERENCE AND COMING INTO FORCE

TRANSITIONAL

"Former Act" defined

41(1)       In this section, "former Act" means The Child and Family Services Act as it read immediately before the coming into force of this Act.

Children's advocate continues in office

41(2)       Subject to subsection (3), the children's advocate appointed under the former Act continues in office as the Advocate under this Act as if appointed under this Act, but for a term that expires on the day the appointment under the former Act would expire.

If new appointment after March 1, 2017

41(3)       If a person is appointed as children's advocate under the former Act after March 1, 2017, that advocate continues in office, as if appointed Advocate for Children and Youth under this Act, for a five-year term beginning on the day of the appointment.

Reviews of child deaths

41(4)       Any review of a child's death that was required under the former Act but not completed on the day this Act comes into force is to be dealt with according to the provisions of this Act, and the Advocate has discretion under Part 4 of this Act as to whether to conduct the review or not.

Transitional — Ombudsman's duties

41(5)       The Ombudsman's duty to monitor and report on the implementation of the children's advocate's recommendations under section 16.1 of The Ombudsman Act ceases on the coming into force of this Act.

Transfer of records

41(6)       Any records maintained by the Ombudsman for the last year in which the Ombudsman had a monitoring and reporting duty under section 16.1 of The Ombudsman Act must be transferred to the Advocate.

CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS

The Adoption Act

C.C.S.M. c. A2 amended

42(1)        The Adoption Act is amended by this section.

42(2)       The definition "children's advocate" in subsection 1(1) is repealed.

42(3)       Section 8 is repealed.

42(4)       Clause 104(1)(d) is amended by striking out "the children's advocate" and substituting "the Advocate for Children and Youth".

The Archives and Recordkeeping Act

C.C.S.M. c. A132 amended

43          Section 11 of The Archives and Recordkeeping Act is amended by striking out "the Children's Advocate" and substituting "the Advocate for Children and Youth".

The Child and Family Services Act

C.C.S.M. c. C80 amended

44(1)       The Child and Family Services Act is amended by this section.

44(2)       Subsection 1(1) is amended

(a) by repealing the definition "children's advocate"; and

(b) by adding the following definition:

"Advocate" means the Advocate appointed under The Advocate for Children and Youth Act; (« protecteur »)

44(3)       Subsection 2(1) is amended in the part before clause (a) by striking out "the children's advocate,".

44(4)       Part I.1 (Children's Advocate) is repealed.

44(5)       Clause 52(d) is amended by striking out "the children's advocate" and substituting "the Advocate".

44(6)       Clauses 76(3)(d.1) and (d.2) are replaced with the following:

(d.1) to the Advocate; or

(d.2) where the disclosure is by the Advocate under The Advocate for Children and Youth Act; or

The Fatality Inquiries Act

C.C.S.M. c. F52 amended

45          Section 10 of The Fatality Inquiries Act is replaced with the following:

Death of child or young adult reported to Advocate for Children and Youth

10(1)       Upon learning that a child or a young adult under 21 years of age has died in Manitoba, the chief medical examiner must notify the Advocate for Children and Youth of the death.

Reports to be given to Advocate

10(2)       If the Advocate has jurisdiction to review the death of a child or young adult under Part 4 of The Advocate for Children and Youth Act, the chief medical examiner must provide to the Advocate, upon request,

(a) a copy of the medical examiner's report on the manner and cause of death; and

(b) a copy of the final autopsy report, if one has been ordered by the medical examiner and the Advocate requires it for the review.

The Francophone Community Enhancement and Support Act

C.C.S.M. c. F157 amended

46          Subsection 1(1) of The Francophone Community Enhancement and Support Act is amended in the definition "independent officer" by replacing clause (c) with the following:

(c) the Advocate for Children and Youth; and

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

C.C.S.M. c. F175 amended

47          Subsection 1(1) of The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act is amended in the definition "officer of the Legislative Assembly" by striking out "the Children's Advocate" and substituting "the Advocate for Children and Youth".

The Legislative Assembly Management Commission Act

C.C.S.M. c. L114 amended

48          Clause 6(b) and subsection 9(1) of The Legislative Assembly Management Commission Act are amended by striking out "the Children's Advocate" and substituting "the Advocate for Children and Youth".

The Legislative Library Act

C.C.S.M. c. L120 amended

49          Section 1 of The Legislative Library Act is amended in the definition "officer of the Legislative Assembly" by striking out "the Children's Advocate" and substituting "the Advocate for Children and Youth".

The Mental Health Act

C.C.S.M. c. M110 amended

50          Clause 32(1)(c) of The Mental Health Act is amended by adding "and, if the patient is a child, the Advocate for Children and Youth" after "the Ombudsman".

The Ombudsman Act

C.C.S.M. c. O45 amended

51          Section 16.1 of The Ombudsman Act is repealed.

The Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Act

C.C.S.M. c. P217 amended

52          Section 2 of The Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Act is amended in the definition "office" by replacing clause (c) with the following:

(c) the office of the Advocate for Children and Youth;

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

C.C.S.M. reference

53          This Act may be referred to as chapter A6.7 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.

Coming into force

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