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S.M. 2022, c. 44
Bill 43, 4th Session, 42nd Legislature
The Disclosure to Protect Against Intimate Partner Violence Act
This note was written as a reader's aid to the Bill and is not part of the law.
This Bill establishes The Disclosure to Protect Against Intimate Partner Violence Act.
Under the Act, a person who believes that they might be at risk of violence from a current or former intimate partner may apply to receive information about the risk that partner poses to the person or the person's child.
If the director or the police reasonably believe that a person could benefit from an application being made about an intimate partner, they may provide the person with information about the application process.
Applications are jointly assessed by the director and the police and conducted in accordance with the regulations, based on information in their possession or collected from other sources.
Anyone who receives information as the result of an application is required to keep the information confidential unless another law permits its disclosure.
A person involved in the process is given the opportunity to engage in risk assessment and safety planning and referred to appropriate supports and services.
(Assented to November 3, 2022)
HIS MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:
1(1) The following definitions apply in this Act.
"applicant" means a person who applies for disclosure information under section 3. (Version anglaise seulement)
"department" means the department of government over which the minister presides. (« ministère »)
"director" means the person designated as the director under subsection 10(1). (« directeur »)
"disclosure information" means information, prescribed by regulation, relating to the risk of intimate partner violence a person faces. (« renseignements concernant le risque de violence »)
"information" includes personal information as defined in The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and personal health information as defined in The Personal Health Information Act. (« renseignements »)
"intimate partner" means a person who
(a) has or had a spousal, conjugal, intimate or dating relationship with a person; or
(b) is the other parent of a person's child. (« partenaire intime »)
"intimate partner violence" means any conduct, whether or not the conduct constitutes a criminal offence, by a person toward an intimate partner or the child of an intimate partner that is violent or threatening or that constitutes a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour or that causes the intimate partner to fear for their own safety or for that of another person and includes
(a) physical abuse, including forced confinement but excluding the use of reasonable force to protect themselves or another person;
(b) sexual abuse;
(c) threats to kill or cause bodily harm to any person;
(d) harassment, including stalking;
(e) the failure to provide the necessaries of life;
(f) psychological abuse;
(g) financial abuse;
(h) threats to kill or harm an animal or damage property; and
(i) the killing or harming of an animal or the damaging of property. (« violence de la part d'un partenaire intime »)
"minister" means the minister appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council to administer this Act. (« ministre »)
"police service" means
(a) a police service established or continued under The Police Services Act; or
(b) the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. (« service de police »)
Reference to "Act" includes regulations
1(2) The term "this Act" includes regulations made under this Act.
2 The purpose of this Act is
(a) to give a person a process to make enquiries about an intimate partner's history, when the person is concerned that the partner may pose a risk to the safety of the person or the person's child; and
(b) to assist the person with assessing that risk and planning for their safety and to provide them with relevant supports.
APPLYING FOR DISCLOSURE INFORMATION
3(1) A person who believes that they may be at risk of intimate partner violence may, in accordance with the regulations, apply to the director to receive disclosure information.
Application on behalf of other person
3(2) The following persons may, in accordance with the regulations, apply to the director to receive disclosure information on behalf of another person if they believe the person may be at risk of intimate partner violence:
(a) a committee appointed for the person under The Mental Health Act or a substitute decision maker appointed for the person under The Vulnerable Persons Living with a Mental Disability Act, if making the application relates to the powers and duties of the committee or substitute decision maker;
(b) an attorney acting under a power of attorney granted by the person, if making the application relates to the powers and duties conferred by the power of attorney;
(c) the parent or guardian of a child where, in the opinion of the director, making the application would not be an unreasonable invasion of the child's privacy;
(d) a person prescribed in the regulations.
4 If the director or a police service reasonably believes that a person could benefit from an application being made under section 3 concerning an intimate partner, they may advise the person, or a person authorized to make an application under subsection 3(2) on that person's behalf, of the identity of the intimate partner and provide them with information about the application process under this Act.
DESIGNATION OF POLICE SERVICE
5 On receipt of an application, the director must, in accordance with the regulations, designate a police service to be involved in the assessment and disclosure processes under sections 6 and 7 and provide the police service with a copy of the application.
6(1) After receiving an application, the director and the police service must, in accordance with the requirements set out in the regulations, assess whether the person is at risk of intimate partner violence.
Consideration of relevant information
6(2) In conducting the assessment under subsection (1), the director and the police service must consider information provided by the applicant as well as any other information the director and the police service consider necessary to properly conduct the assessment.
7(1) After conducting the assessment, the director and the police service may provide disclosure information to the applicant in accordance with the regulations.
Further disclosure with agreement
7(2) In addition, if the applicant agrees, the director or the police service may provide the disclosure information or part of the disclosure information
(a) to one or more persons providing support to the applicant, at the time the applicant receives the disclosure information; or
(b) to the person on whose behalf the applicant applied under subsection 3(2).
Confirming confidentiality obligations
7(3) Before providing disclosure information, the director or the police service must be satisfied that a recipient of the information understands and agrees to comply with the confidentiality obligations under this Act.
RISK ASSESSMENT, SAFETY PLANNING
8 As appropriate throughout the course of the application, assessment and disclosure process, the director must make reasonable efforts to
(a) conduct a risk assessment and create a safety plan with the applicant and their chosen support persons; and
(b) provide the applicant with information about resources available to a person at risk of intimate partner violence and refer the applicant to appropriate supports and services.
Obligations regarding disclosed information
9(1) A person who receives disclosure information under section 7
(a) must comply with the terms and conditions prescribed by regulation for safeguarding the information; and
(b) must not disclose the information to any other person unless
(i) the person to whom the disclosure information relates has provided consent to the further disclosure, or
(ii) the disclosure is required or authorized under this Act, or by another law.
Sharing information between persons
9(2) An applicant and persons who receive disclosure information under subsection 7(2) may share disclosure information with each other.
10(1) The minister must designate an employee of the department as the director for the purpose of this Act.
10(2) The director may, in writing, authorize an employee of the government to carry out any of the director's duties or exercise any of the director's powers under this Act.
10(3) The director may approve forms for applications under this Act and may require them to be used.
Collection, use and disclosure of information
11(1) The director and a police service may collect, use and disclose information for the purposes of this Act.
11(2) A public body as defined in The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, a trustee as defined in The Personal Health Information Act or any other recipient of a request for information from the director or a police service under this Act is authorized to disclose information to the director or the police service for the purposes of this Act.
Requirements when collecting, using and disclosing information
11(3) The director and a police service must ensure that any collection, use or disclosure of information under this Act
(a) is necessary to accomplish the purpose of this Act; and
(b) is limited to the minimum amount of information necessary to accomplish that purpose.
Duty to ensure accuracy of information
11(4) The director and a police service must, in accordance with the regulations, take reasonable steps to ensure that disclosure information is accurate and not misleading.
Agreement with other jurisdiction
12(1) The minister may enter into an agreement with the Government of Canada or the government of any province or territory in relation to the sharing of information for the purposes of this Act or legislation that has similar purposes in the other jurisdiction.
Sharing in accordance with agreement
12(2) If the minister has entered into an agreement under subsection (1), the director or a police service may, for purposes consistent with the purposes of this Act, collect, use or disclose information in accordance with the agreement.
13 A person must not disclose any disclosure information that comes to their knowledge under this Act unless the person is authorized under this Act or otherwise authorized by law to do so.
Other disclosures permitted by law
14 Nothing in this Act prevents a police service from disclosing information that the police service is otherwise permitted by law to disclose.
No limit on powers of Ombudsman or Adjudicator
15 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.
16 No action or proceeding may be brought against the minister, the director or an employee of the government, or a police service or a member, employee or agent of a police service, for anything done or not done, in good faith, in the exercise or intended exercise of a power or duty under this Act.
17 The minister, the director, an employee of the government or a police service or a member, employee or agent of a police service must not be compelled to
(a) give evidence in a civil action or proceeding concerning any information that comes into their knowledge in carrying out responsibilities or exercising powers under this Act; or
(b) produce any file, paper, information, report, correspondence or other document relating to the administration of this Act.
18 The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) prescribing information as disclosure information;
(b) respecting applications made under section 3;
(c) prescribing persons who may make an application on behalf of another person for the purpose of clause 3(2)(d);
(d) respecting the designation of a police service under section 5;
(e) respecting the assessment of whether a person is at risk of intimate partner violence;
(f) respecting the provision of disclosure information under section 7;
(g) respecting the use or disclosure of disclosure information by a person to whom a disclosure has been made under section 7;
(h) respecting steps to be taken to ensure the accuracy of disclosure information;
(i) respecting the authorized disclosure of disclosure information that has come to the knowledge of a person under this Act;
(j) prescribing circumstances where this Act or a provision of this Act does not apply;
(k) defining any word or phrase used but not defined in this Act;
(l) respecting any matter the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to carry out the purposes of this Act.
C.C.S.M. REFERENCE AND
COMING INTO FORCE
19 This Act may be referred to as chapter D78 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.
20 This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation.