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The Missing Persons Act
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This version is current as of December 12, 2017.
It has been in effect since September 15, 2017.

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C.C.S.M. c. M199

The Missing Persons Act

(Assented to June 14, 2012)

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

Definitions

1           The following definitions apply in this Act.

"commanding officer" means

(a) the chief of a municipal police service;

(b) the commanding officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Manitoba; or

(c) the senior official in an agency or organization that is prescribed as a police service. (« chef »)

"judicial justice of the peace" means a person appointed as a judicial justice of the peace under The Provincial Court Act. (« juge de paix judiciaire »)

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

"missing person" means

(a) a person whose whereabouts are unknown and who has not been in contact with those persons who would likely or normally be in contact with the person; or

(b) a person

(i) whose whereabouts are unknown despite reasonable efforts to locate the person, and

(ii) whose safety and welfare are feared for given the person's age, physical or mental capabilities or the circumstances surrounding the person's absence. (« personne disparue »)

"person", except when used to refer to a missing person, includes a partnership, unincorporated association and public body. (« personne »)

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

"police service" means

(a) a municipal police service;

(b) the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; or

(c) a prescribed agency or organization. (« service de police »)

"prescribed" means prescribed by regulation. (version anglaise seulement)

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

"record access order" means an order made under section 4. (« ordonnance d'accès aux documents »)

"search order" means an order made under section 3. (« ordonnance de recherche »)

"vulnerable person" means a person

(a) who is the subject of a committeeship order under The Mental Health Act; or

(b) who has a substitute decision maker appointed for him or her under The Vulnerable Persons Living With a Mental Disability Act. (« personne vulnérable »)

Meaning of "silver alert"

1.1(1)      In this section, "silver alert" means a broadcast messaging system that disseminates information to the public through the media and other means as soon as practicable after a vulnerable person or another adult with a cognitive impairment goes missing in an effort to safely recover the adult.

Police and broadcasters may collaborate

1.1(2)      For the purpose of collaborating to activate silver alerts, a police service may enter into an arrangement or agreement with one or more broadcasters and any other partners that the police service considers appropriate.

When a silver alert may be activated

1.1(3)      A police service may activate a silver alert when a person is reported missing to the police service if the police service determines that the following requirements are met:

(a) the person is a missing person;

(b) the person is a vulnerable person or another adult with a cognitive impairment;

(c) the person's safety and welfare are feared for given his or her cognitive impairment;

(d) there is information available that, if disseminated to the public, could assist in the person's safe recovery.

Information obtained independently

1.1(4)      Subject to subsection (5), information obtained independently of this Act that could assist in the safe recovery of the missing person may be disseminated through a silver alert, including the following information:

(a) the missing person's name;

(b) a physical description of the missing person;

(c) a photograph of the missing person;

(d) information about any medical conditions of the missing person that pose a serious or immediate threat to his or her health;

(e) pertinent vehicle information;

(f) the location where the missing person was last seen;

(g) the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the missing person.

Personal health information

1.1(5)      Personal health information may be disseminated under subsection (4) only if

(a) a police service reasonably believes that disseminating the information will assist in safely recovering the missing person; and

(b) the information is limited to the minimum amount necessary to accomplish the purpose for which it is disseminated.

Information obtained under the Act

1.1(6)      A police service may also disseminate through a silver alert information released under subsection 8(3).

S.M. 2017, c. 29, s. 2.

When application may be made

2(1)        A member of a police service may apply for a search order or a record access order if the police service is conducting an investigation into a missing person.

Application requirements

2(2)        An application for a search order or a record access order may be made to a judicial justice of the peace, without notice, in the prescribed manner.

Search order

3           A judicial justice of the peace who is satisfied by information on oath that there are reasonable grounds to believe that a missing person who is a minor or a vulnerable person may be in a dwelling or other premises may make an order authorizing members of a police service to enter, by force if necessary, the dwelling or other premises and search for the missing person.

Record access order

4(1)        A member of a police service may apply for an order requiring a person to give members of the police service access to, and if requested, copies of, the records set out in subsection (2) in respect of a missing person that

(a) may assist the police service in locating the missing person; and

(b) are in the possession or under the control of the person.

Records subject to order

4(2)        Access to the following records may be required in an order made under this section:

(a) records containing contact or identification information;

(b) telephone and other electronic communication records, including, without limitation,

(i) records related to signals from a wireless device that may indicate the location of the wireless device,

(ii) cell phone records,

(iii) inbound and outbound text messaging records, and

(iv) Internet browsing history records;

(c) global positioning system tracking records;

(d) video records, including closed circuit television footage;

(e) records containing employment information;

(f) records containing personal health information;

(g) records from a school, university or other educational institution containing attendance information;

(h) records containing travel and accommodation information;

(i) records containing financial information;

(j) any other records specified in the order that the judicial justice of the peace considers appropriate.

When order may be made

4(3)        The judicial justice of the peace may make an order under this section if he or she is satisfied that the order may assist the police service in its attempts to locate the missing person.

Order re missing minor or vulnerable person

4(4)        If the missing person is a minor or a vulnerable person and there are reasonable grounds to believe that the missing person may be in the company of another person, the judicial justice of the peace may order that members of the police service be given access to, and if requested, copies of, the records set out in subsection (2) in respect of the person who may be accompanying the missing person.

Restrictions

4(5)        The judicial justice of the peace may impose any restrictions or limits on the records to be produced in an order under this section that he or she considers appropriate.

Accounting of efforts

4(6)        The judicial justice of the peace may include a provision in an order under this section requiring a person to provide members of the police service with an accounting of the efforts made by the person to locate any records that cannot be found.

Emergency demand for records

5(1)        If a member of a police service has reasonable grounds to believe that

(a) a missing person is at risk of imminent serious bodily harm or death;

(b) immediate access to the records set out in subsection (2) may assist the police service in locating the missing person before he or she suffers any harm; and

(c) it is not practicable to obtain a record access order, given the urgency of the circumstances;

he or she may serve a written demand on a person requiring that person to give members of the police service access to those records that are in the person's possession or under the person's control.

Records subject to demand

5(2)        The following records in respect of a missing person may be specified in a demand under subsection (1):

(a) records containing contact or identification information;

(b) the following telephone and electronic communication records:

(i) records related to signals from a wireless device that may indicate the location of the wireless device,

(ii) cell phone records,

(iii) inbound and outbound text messaging records,

(iv) Internet browsing history records;

(c) global positioning system tracking records;

(d) video records, including closed circuit television footage;

(e) records containing employment information to the extent that the records might indicate when the missing person was last seen or heard from and when, where and how the missing person is paid;

(f) records containing personal health information to the extent that the records might indicate if the missing person has recently been admitted to a hospital and, if the records do so indicate, which hospital and the date and time of, and the reason for, admission;

(g) records from a school, university or other educational institution containing attendance information;

(h) records containing travel and accommodation information;

(i) records containing financial information to the extent that the records might indicate

(i) if one or more of the missing person's credit cards were recently used and, if the records do so indicate, when, from where and for what purpose the credit cards were used, or

(ii) if one or more of the missing person's bank accounts were recently accessed and, if the records do so indicate, when, from where and for what purpose the bank accounts were accessed;

(j) any other prescribed records.

Form of demand

5(3)        A demand for records must be in a prescribed form.

Requirement to give access to records

5(4)        A person who is served with a demand for records must locate all the records specified in the demand that are in his or her possession or under his or her control and give members of the police service access to, and if requested, copies of those records as soon as possible, having regard to the urgent circumstances of the demand.

Report to commanding officer

5(5)        When a member of a police service serves a demand for records on a person, he or she must file a written report with his or her commanding officer that sets out the circumstances in which the demand was made.

Consequence of failing to comply with demand

6(1)        If a person who is served with a demand for records under section 5 does not comply with the demand, a member of the police service may apply to a judicial justice of the peace for an order directing the person to comply with the demand.

Order

6(2)        The judicial justice of the peace may make an order requiring the person to comply with a demand for records if he or she is satisfied that

(a) the records in question are in the possession or under the control of the person; and

(b) the making of the order may assist the police service in locating the missing person.

Terms and conditions

6(3)        An order under this section may be subject to any terms or conditions that the judicial justice of the peace considers appropriate in the circumstances.

Restriction on use

7(1)         Despite section 43 of The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and section 21 of The Personal Health Information Act, a police service may use information and records obtained under this Act only for

(a) the purpose of locating a missing person or a use consistent with that purpose; or

(b) a purpose for which the information may be disclosed under section 8.

No restriction on criminal investigations

7(2)        If the investigation into a missing person becomes a criminal investigation, this section does not prevent information and records obtained by a police service under this Act from being used in the criminal investigation.

Disclosure of information and records limited

8(1)        Any information or records obtained by a police service under this Act are confidential and may not be disclosed except in accordance with this section.

Authorized disclosure

8(2)        Despite section 44 of The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, section 22 of The Personal Health Information Act and section 3 of The Protecting Children (Information Sharing) Act, information or records obtained by a police service under this Act may be disclosed only

(a) for the purpose of locating a missing person or a use consistent with that purpose;

(b) when required by law;

(c) to another law enforcement agency in Canada or a law enforcement agency in another country under an arrangement, written agreement, treaty or legislative authority, but only to the extent necessary to further the investigation into the missing person;

(d) if the person the information or records are about has consented to the disclosure; or

(e) in accordance with subsections (3) to (6).

Authorized release of information re missing person

8(3)        For the purposes of furthering its investigation into a missing person, a police service may release the following information obtained under this Act in respect of the missing person to the public through a media release, by posting the information on a website or in any other manner the police service considers appropriate:

(a) the missing person's name;

(b) a physical description of the missing person;

(c) a photograph of the missing person;

(d) information about any medical conditions of the missing person that pose a serious or immediate threat to his or her health;

(e) pertinent vehicle information;

(f) the location where the missing person was last seen;

(g) the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the missing person.

Announcing missing person located

8(4)        A police service may publicly announce that a missing person has been located.

Disclosure to coordinate investigations

8(5)        A police service may disclose information and records obtained under this Act to other police services, law enforcement agencies and government departments or agencies, to the extent necessary to coordinate investigations and other activities respecting missing persons.

Application to criminal investigation

8(6)        If an investigation into a missing person becomes a criminal investigation, this section does not prevent the disclosure of information and records obtained under this Act for the purposes of the criminal investigation.

S.M. 2016, c. 17, s. 15.

No access to privileged information

9           Nothing in this Act compels the disclosure of any information or records that are subject to any type of legal privilege.

No limit on powers of ombudsman or adjudicator

10          Nothing in this Act is to be construed as limiting the powers and duties of the Ombudsman or the Information and Privacy Adjudicator under The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act or The Personal Health Information Act.

Other rights unaffected

11          This Act does not restrict any authority that a police service would otherwise have to collect any information or records.

Offence

12          A person who wilfully contravenes section 7 or 8 is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $10,000.

Protection from liability

13          No action or proceeding may be brought against a member of a police service or any other person in respect of anything done or omitted to be done in good faith under this Act.

Annual report re emergency demands

14(1)       A police service must prepare an annual report respecting its use of demands for records under section 5.

Contents of report

14(2)       The report must

(a) indicate the number of missing person investigations in which a demand for records under section 5 was made in the year and the total number of persons who were served with a demand in that year; and

(b) contain prescribed information respecting each demand.

Report public

14(3)       The police service must

(a) provide the annual report to a government official designated by the minister; and

(b) make the annual report available to the public in a prescribed manner.

Crown bound

15          This Act binds the Crown.

Regulations

16          The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) respecting applications for search orders and record access orders;

(b) respecting applications for orders under section 6;

(c) respecting the service of orders under this Act and of demands for records under section 5;

(d) respecting reports under subsection 5(5);

(e) respecting the collection, use and retention of information and records obtained under this Act;

(f) respecting the type of records to be kept and maintained under this Act;

(g) defining terms used but not defined in this Act;

(h) prescribing anything referred to in this Act as being prescribed;

(i) respecting any matter that the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to carry out the purposes of this Act.

C.C.S.M. reference

17          This Act may be referred to as chapter M199 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.

Coming into force

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

NOTE:  S.M. 2012, c. 6 came into force by proclamation on May 29, 2013.