BILL 6 - An Act to Amend the Police Act

BILL 6

An Act to Amend the Police Act

 

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick, enacts as follows:

1 Section 1 of the Police Act, chapter P-9.2 of the Acts of New Brunswick, 1977, is amended in the definition "board" by striking out "26(3), 26(7), 26(8)," and substituting "25.01(2), 25.02(1), 26(3), 26(7), 26(8), 26(9), 26(10),".

 

2 Subsection 24(1) of the Act is amended by striking out ", on or before the 1st day of May in each year," and substituting "each year".

 

3 Subsection 25.01(2) of the Act is amended by striking out ", joint board or council" and substituting "or a council where a board has not been established,".

4 Subsection 25.02(1) of the Act is amended by striking out "or a joint board".

5 The Act is amended by adding after section 25.02 the following:

25.03(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act or the regulations,

(a) the chief of police may suspend without pay a member of a police force, or

(b) a board, or council where a board has not been established, may suspend without pay a chief of police,

who is convicted of an offence under an Act of the Legislature or an Act of the Parliament of Canada even if the conviction or sentence is under appeal.

 

25.03(2) Where a member of a police force or a chief of police, as the case may be, is acquitted following an appeal, the member of a police force or a chief of police shall receive all of the pay, remuneration, benefits and seniority to which the member of the police force or the chief of police would have been entitled during the period of suspension.

25.04(1) A chief of police shall not during a period of suspension

(a) exercise the powers of a peace officer conferred under subsection 2(2), or

(b) use the equipment or wear or display the uniform or insignia of the police force unless required to do so for a court appearance or by a board or a council where a board has not been established.

 

25.04(2) A member of a police force shall not during a period of suspension

(a) exercise the powers of a peace officer conferred under subsection 2(2), or

(b) use the equipment or wear or display the uniform or insignia of the police force unless required to do so for a court appearance or by the chief of police.

 

25.04(3) A chief of police or a member of a police force, as the case may be, who violates subsection (1) commits an offence punishable under Part II of the Provincial Offences Procedure Act as a category H offence.

 

6 Section 26 of the Act is amended

(a) in the portion preceding paragraph (7)(a) by striking out "or the Minister";

(b) in paragraph (8)(a) of the English version by striking out "or the Minister";

(c) in the portion preceding paragraph (9)(a) by striking out "chief of police" and substituting "chief of police or the board or council where the chief of police is the subject of the complaint";

(d) in the portion preceding paragraph (10)(a) by striking out "chief of police" and substituting "chief of police or the board or council where the chief of police is the subject of the complaint";

(e) in subsection (11) by striking out "chief of police" wherever it appears and substituting "chief of police or the board or council where the chief of police is the subject of the complaint".

7 The Act is amended by adding after section 29.2 the following:

29.21(1) Subject to subsection (2), every complaint shall be filed within one year after the occurrence of the conduct that is the subject of the complaint.

29.21(2) The Commission may, where in the opinion of the Commission circumstances so warrant, extend the time for the filing of the complaint.

8 Subsection 30(12) of the Act is amended by striking out "and the Public Service Labour Relations Act".

9 Subsection 33(1) of the Act is amended by striking out "the Minister,".

10 Section 34 of the Act is amended in the portion preceding paragraph (a) by striking out "the Minister,".

11 This Act or any provision of it comes into force on a day or days to be fixed by proclamation.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES

Section 1

The existing provision is as follows:

"board" means a board of police commissioners as established by subsection 7(1), and when used in section 1.1, subsections 6(1), 13(1), section 22, subsections 25(3), 26(3), 26(7), 26(8), sections 27, 28, 29, subsections 30(5), 33(1) and section 34 includes a joint board, and an interim policing authority where an interim authority is provided and maintained pursuant to paragraph 5.2(2)(b);

 

 

Section 2

The existing provision is as follows:

24(1) The Commission shall, on or before the 1st day of May in each year, file with the Minister an annual report respecting the work of the Commission during the preceding fiscal year and such report shall include all aspects of policing in the Province and an assessment of the adequacy of policing by each police force and by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

 

Section 3

The existing provision is as follows:

25.01(2) Notwithstanding subsection 25(1), a board, joint board or council may suspend with pay a chief of police where the board, joint board or council has reason to believe that the chief of police has committed an offence under an Act of the Legislature or an Act of the Parliament of Canada.

Section 4

The existing provision is as follows:

25.02(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act or the regulations, the Commission on the request of a board or a joint board or a council where a board has not been established or a chief of police or on its own motion may suspend the conduct of an investigation under this Act where the investigation will be or becomes an investigation into an alleged offence under an Act of the Legislature or an Act of the Parliament of Canada until such time as the Commission directs otherwise.

 

Section 5

The new section 25.03 provides for the suspension without pay of a member of a police force or a chief of police who is convicted of an offence under an Act of the Legislature or an Act of the Parliament of Canada even if the conviction or sentence is under appeal.

The new section 25.04 prohibits a member of a police force and a chief of police who has been suspended under the Police Act from exercising the powers of a peace officer conferred under subsection 2(2) of the Act or using the equipment or wearing or displaying the uniform or insignia of the police force unless required to do so under the Act and prescribes a category H offence in relation to the prohibition.

 

Section 6

(a) The existing provision is as follows:

26(7) A chief of police, a board or a council or the Minister, upon a request by the Commission and within twenty days following such request, shall forward to the Commission the full details of any investigation into a complaint under this Act, including

(a) the name of the complainant,

(b) the name of the officer against whom the complaint was made,

(c) the nature of the complaint,

(d) a true copy of the investigation report,

(e) a true copy of all statements taken during the course of the investigation, and

(f) the disposition of the complaint, including any internal disciplinary action taken.

(b) The existing provision is as follows:

26(8) Where

(a) a chief of police, a board or a council or the Minister does not investigate a complaint as to the conduct of a member of a police force referred by the Commission, and the Commission is not satisfied as to the reasons for the failure to investigate, or

(b) the Commission is not satisfied as to the disposition of any complaint under this Act,

 

the Commission may

(c) appoint an investigator to conduct the investigation or to investigate the disposition of the complaint, and

(d) conduct a hearing with respect to any matter that is the subject of an investigation under this subsection.

(c) The existing provision is as follows:

26(9) Where, after an investigation and a hearing, a member of a police force has been found guilty by the Commission of a major violation of the code, the Commission may issue an order directing the chief of police

(a) to issue a written warning to the member,

(b) to suspend the member without pay for a period not exceeding ten days,

(c) to reduce the member in rank, seniority or in pay,

 

(d) to dismiss the member, but if he is entitled, to place him in retirement,

(e) to request the member to resign and if he does not do so within seven days to dismiss the member, or

(f) to impose cumulatively any punishments set out in paragraphs (a) to (c).

(d) The existing provision is as follows:

26(10) Where, after an investigation and a hearing, a member of a police force has been found guilty by the Commission of a minor violation of the code, the Commission may issue an order directing the chief of police

(a) to issue a written warning to the member,

(b) to suspend the member without pay for a period not exceeding three days, or

(c) to impose cumulatively any punishments set out in paragraphs (a) to (b).

Section 7

The new section 29.03 provides that a complaint must be filed within a year of the occurrence of the conduct that is the subject of the complaint subject to the authority of the Commission to extend the time period where circumstances so warrant.

Section 8

The existing provision is as follows:

30(12) Notwithstanding any other Act, including the Industrial Relations Act and the Public Service Labour Relations Act and subject to subsection (13), where a member of a police force is alleged to have breached the code or has been adjudged guilty of a minor or major violation of the code the matter shall be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the regulations.

 

Section 9

The existing provision is as follows:

33(1) The Commission, the Minister, an arbitration board established in accordance with this Act, a board, council, chief of police or police officer authorized by a chief of police to conduct a hearing, when conducting any hearing or appeal, as the case may be, under this Act, is vested with all the powers and privileges of commissioners under the Inquiries Act and regulations thereunder except the power to punish for contempt, and may certify a contempt in accordance with section 34.

 

 

Section 10

The existing provision is as follows:

34 Where so authorized under this Act, the Commission, the Minister, an arbitration board established in accordance with this Act, a board, a council, a chief of police or a police officer authorized by a chief of police to conduct a hearing may, in conducting a hearing, find a person who

 

(a) fails or refuses to attend as required by summons,

 

(b) refuses to be sworn as a witness,

(c) omits or refuses without just cause to answer any relevant question or to produce any book, paper or document in his custody or control, or

(d) disrupts or otherwise obstructs the hearing,

to be in contempt, and may certify the contempt to The Court of Queen’s Bench of New Brunswick or a Judge thereof, whereupon the Court may summon the person found to be in contempt, may inquire into the matter and, after hearing any witnesses who may be produced against or on behalf of the person found in contempt, and after hearing any statement that may be offered in defence, punish or take steps for the punishment of that person as if he had been guilty of contempt of the Court or suspend punishment on condition that the person attends, testifies or produces as required.

Section 11

Commencement provision