Seafood Industry Improvement Fund Act
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick, enacts as follows:
1 The following definitions apply in this Act.
“check-off scheme” means the process set out in this Act and the regulations to determine the amount of a contribution and the time and manner in which it is made. (système de retenues)
“contribution” means an amount of money determined in accordance with the regulations to be given to the Minister by a participant. (contribution)
“Department” means the Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries. (ministère)
“Fund” means the Seafood Industry Improvement Fund established under this Act. (Fonds)
“Industry” means economic or commercial activity related to seafood. (industrie)
“landed”, in relation to seafood, means brought to a beach, jetty or wharf for the first point of sale. (débarqué)
“licence holder” means a person issued a licence under federal or provincial law to operate in the Industry. (titulaire de permis)
“Minister” means the Minister of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries and includes any other person the Minister designates to act on the Minister’s behalf. (ministre)
“participant” means a person or class of persons prescribed by regulation that makes a contribution to the Minister as required by this Act and the regulations. (participant)
“seafood” means plants and animals that have water as their natural habitat at all stages of development and includes fish as defined in the Seafood Processing Act. (produit de la mer)
“sector” means an economic or commercial activity related to a species, class of species or grade of species prescribed by regulation and landed in the Province. (secteur)
Purpose of the Act
2 The purpose of this Act is to improve the development and promotion of various sectors of the seafood industry.
Establishment and administration of the Fund
3( 1) There is established a fund called the Seafood Industry Improvement Fund.
3( 2) The Minister of Finance shall be the custodian of the Fund and the Fund shall be held in trust by the Minister of Finance.
3( 3) For a sector set out in the regulations, a participant shall make a contribution to the Minister in an amount prescribed by regulation.
3( 4) A contribution is made to the Minister at the time and in the manner fixed by regulation.
3( 5) The Minister shall deposit all contributions made under subsection (3) into the Fund.
3( 6) The Fund shall be held for the purposes of this Act in a separate account in the Consolidated Fund.
3( 7) All interest arising from the Fund shall be paid into and form part of the Fund.
3( 8) All contributions deposited into the Fund for the purposes of section 4 shall be a charge on and payable out of the Fund.
3( 9) The payments out of the Fund shall not exceed an amount that represents the contributions made to the Fund and accumulated interest.
3( 10) All amounts remaining in the Fund at the end of the fiscal year are carried forward to the next fiscal year.
Use of assets of the Fund
4 The Minister may use the assets of the Fund to
(a) fund projects of common interest for the promotion of the Industry or the sector in respect of which contributions were made under subsection 3(3),
(b) pay administration costs of the Fund, including costs related to inspections, collection of contributions or related information, and costs of court proceedings,
(c) reimburse, in accordance with the regulations, any portion of a contribution to a participant when the Minister has determined there has been an over-contribution, or
(d) issue reimbursements, in whole or in part, to participants in proportion to their respective contributions and on the terms and conditions the Minister considers advisable if the Minister dissolves the Fund or suspends activity related to a sector, as the case may be.
Payments from the Fund
5 For a purpose set out in section 4, the Minister may make payments from the Fund, subject to any restrictions or conditions imposed by regulation.
Request for reimbursement
6 A participant may apply for the reimbursement referred to in paragraph 4(c) by ordinary mail or electronic transmission on a form provided by the Minister within three months after the contribution was made.
Certification of payments
7( 1) The Minister shall certify the payments made under section 5 to the Minister of Finance.
7( 2) When the Minister certifies the payments made, the Minister of Finance may rely on the amounts so certified.
8 The Fund may be audited by the Auditor General at any time on his or her initiative or at the request of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.
9( 1) To substantiate the total amount of contribution the participant shall make under a check-off scheme, a participant shall maintain records and documents that, in the opinion of the Minister, are necessary for the proper recording of the information prescribed by regulation.
9( 2) To meet a participant’s obligation under subsection (1), a participant shall collect the required information from a licence holder and the licence holder shall provide the information to the participant.
9( 3) A participant shall provide the information required by the Minister on a form provided by the Minister within the time and in the manner fixed by regulation.
9( 4) A participant shall retain the records and documents for a minimum period of seven years after the date of the transaction to which the records or documents relate.
9( 5) If a participant fails to maintain accurate records and documents or to provide the required information under this Act and the regulations related to purchases of a particular seafood for a fiscal year, the Minister may require the participant to make a contribution based on the amount that, in the opinion of the Minister, may reasonably be attributed to the participant, having regard to the quantity or weight, as the case may be, of purchases of the seafood in question in the preceding fiscal year.
9( 6) The onus of proving that the contribution owed is a different amount than that attributed under subsection (5) shall be on the participant.
10( 1) The Minister may make an order
(a) exempting a participant or class of participants from the requirement to make contributions in whole or in part,
(b) exempting a class or grade of seafood within a sector from a check-off scheme,
(c) varying the frequency of contributions for a participant or class of participants, or
(d) varying the time and manner in which information is to be provided by a participant or class of participants under subsection 9(3).
10( 2) A Ministerial order may be limited as to time or place.
10( 3) The Minister may amend or revoke an order in writing or make a further order in relation to the same subject matter.
10( 4) An order shall be published by the Minister
(a) in one regular issue of The Royal Gazette, and
(b) on the Department’s website.
10( 5) The Minister may publish an order at least once in each of two consecutive weeks in a newspaper or newspapers having general circulation in areas in which, in the Minister’s opinion, the notice is likely to come to the attention of participants.
10( 6) After publication of an order and if it is necessary in the opinion of the Minister, the Minister may send a copy by mail to interested participants.
10( 7) An order is effective on publication and for a period of up to five years after the date on which the order is first published, unless the order is revoked.
10( 8) The Regulations Act does not apply to an order made under this section.
11( 1) The Minister may designate persons as inspectors for the purposes of this Act.
11( 2) The Minister shall issue to an inspector a certificate of appointment bearing the Minister’s signature or a facsimile of it.
11( 3) An inspector who exercises powers under this Act or the regulations shall produce his or her certificate of appointment on request.
12( 1) At any reasonable time, an inspector may enter and inspect premises at which a participant operates for the purpose of ensuring compliance with this Act and the regulations.
12( 2) An inspector may apply to a judge for an entry warrant under the Entry Warrants Act before or after attempting to effect entry under subsection (1).
12( 3) For the purposes of an inspection under subsection (1), an inspector shall not enter a private dwelling unless the inspector
(a) is entering with the consent of a person who appears to be an adult and an occupant of the dwelling, or
(b) has obtained an entry warrant under the Entry Warrants Act.
12( 4) During an inspection, an inspector may do any of the following:
(a) require to be produced for inspection, or for the purpose of making copies or taking extracts, any record or document; and
(b) make those examinations and inquiries of any person that the inspector considers necessary to ensure compliance with this Act and the regulations.
12( 5) Immediately on demand by an inspector, a person shall produce a record or document required by the inspector under subsection (4).
12( 6) Every person shall give an inspector all reasonable assistance to enable the inspector to carry out an inspection under this section, including providing the inspector with the information that the inspector reasonably requires.
Records or documents
13( 1) An inspector may remove any records or documents produced as a result of a request under subsection 12(5) or discovered during the inspection for the purpose of making copies or taking extracts.
13( 2) An inspector removing a record or document from premises under subsection (1) shall provide a receipt for it to the person in charge of the premises and shall promptly return the record or document to the premises after making the copies or taking the extracts.
13( 3) Copies of or extracts from records or documents removed from premises under subsection (1) and certified by the person making the copies or taking the extracts as being true copies of or extracts from the originals are admissible in evidence to the same extent as, and have the same evidentiary value as, the originals.
Seizure of documents
14( 1) An inspector may seize any record or document that he or she believes on reasonable grounds may afford evidence of the commission of an offence under this Act or the regulations
(a) during an inspection under section 12,
(b) during a search authorized under the Provincial Offences Procedure Act, or
(c) in any other circumstance, in accordance with the Provincial Offences Procedure Act.
14( 2) If records or documents are seized under subsection (1), the inspector may direct that they be detained in the place where they were found or be removed to another place designated by the inspector.
14( 3) Subject to subsection (4), all records or documents seized under subsection (1) may be detained for a period not exceeding six months after the day of seizure unless, during that period, prosecution for an offence under this Act or the regulations has been commenced, in which case the records or documents or other information may be further detained until the proceedings, including the appeal proceedings, are finally concluded.
14( 4) If no proceedings are taken after a seizure under this section or if they are taken and the person charged is acquitted of the charge made against that person, the inspector or other person having custody of the records or documents seized shall return them to the person from whom the inspector seized them.
Obstruction of inspector
15 No person shall obstruct or interfere with an inspector who is carrying out or attempting to carry out an inspection under this Act.
16( 1) If, after an inspection has been conducted, the Minister determines that a participant has not made the total amount of the contribution, the Minister may, in writing, require the participant to remit the amount owing.
16( 2) A participant who is subject to a decision under subsection (1) may appeal the decision of the Minister to a judge of The Court of Queen’s Bench of New Brunswick.
16( 3) On an appeal under subsection (2) in which a participant claims that the total contribution was made, the onus of proving that claim is on the participant.
Offences and penalties
17( 1) A person who fails to remit an amount owing under this Act commits an offence punishable under Part 2 of the Provincial Offences Procedure Act as a category C offence.
17( 2) A person who knowingly makes a statement, either orally or in writing, or submits a record or document under this Act that is incomplete commits an offence punishable under Part 2 of the Provincial Offences Procedure Act as a category F offence.
17( 3) A person who knowingly makes a statement, either orally or in writing, or submits a record or document under this Act that contains false or misleading information commits an offence punishable under Part 2 of the Provincial Offences Procedure Act as a category F offence.
17( 4) A person who knowingly fails to maintain any record or document or fails to provide any related information, record or document as required by this Act or the regulations commits an offence punishable under Part 2 of the Provincial Offences Procedure Act as a category F offence.
17( 5) A person who violates or fails to comply with section 15 commits an offence punishable under Part 2 of the Provincial Offences Procedure Act as a category E offence.
17( 6) A person who violates or fails to comply with a provision of the regulations commits an offence punishable under Part 2 of the Provincial Offences Procedure Act as a category B offence.
17( 7) Despite subsection (6), a person who violates or fails to comply with a provision of the regulations in respect of which a category has been prescribed under paragraph 24(n) commits an offence of the category prescribed by regulation.
18 If an offence under this Act or the regulations continues for more than one day,
(a) the minimum fine that may be imposed is the minimum fine set by the Provincial Offences Procedure Act multiplied by the number of days during which the offence continues, and
(b) the maximum fine that may be imposed is the maximum fine set by the Provincial Offences Procedure Act multiplied by the number of days during which the offence continues.
Debt due to the Province
19( 1) An amount owing to the Minister under this Act or the regulations constitutes a debt due to the Province.
19( 2) The Minister may issue a certificate stating the amount of the debt due and the name of the debtor.
19( 3) A certificate issued under subsection (2) may be filed in The Court of Queen’s Bench of New Brunswick and entered and recorded in the Court and when entered and recorded may be enforced as a judgment obtained in the Court by the Crown in right of the Province against the person named in the certificate for a debt of the amount specified in the certificate.
19( 4) All reasonable costs and charges resulting from the filing, entering and recording of a certificate under subsection (3) may be recovered as if the amount had been included in the certificate.
20 The Minister may charge interest on an amount owing to the Minister under this Act or the regulations at a rate prescribed by regulation or at a rate calculated in the manner prescribed by regulation.
21( 1) The Minister is responsible for the administration of this Act and may designate one or more persons to act on the Minister’s behalf.
21( 2) Despite subsection (1), the Minister shall not delegate the power to make an order under section 10.
22( 1) The Minister may enter into agreements with any organization, agency, person or Minister of the Crown or with the government of a province or territory of Canada or the Government of Canada if the Minister considers the agreements necessary or expedient for the administration of this Act.
22( 2) Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), the Minister may
(a) enter into agreements with one or more provincial or territorial governments, the Government of Canada or their agencies for the joint establishment and operation of programs for the promotion of the Industry or a sector, and may confirm, ratify, alter and amend any agreements, and
(b) establish intergovernmental or other committees as the Minister considers necessary for the performance of an agreement referred to in paragraph (a).
Confidentiality of information
23( 1) A record or document made or given by a person on request of an inspector in the course of an inspection is confidential and for the information and use of the Minister only and may not be inspected by any other person without the written authorization of the Minister.
23( 2) The Minister may access any database or information system of the Department that, in the opinion of the Minister, is necessary in order to exercise or perform his or her powers or duties under this Act and the regulations.
23( 3) If this section is inconsistent with or in conflict with a provision of the Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, this section prevails.
24 The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) prescribing a person or class of persons for the purposes of the definition “participant” in section 1;
(b) prescribing a species, grade of species or class of species for the purposes of the definition “sector” in section 1;
(c) governing the establishment of a check-off scheme referred to in subsection 3(3), including prescribing the amount of a check-off, requiring a participant to retain a check-off, and prescribing the circumstances when a check-off is not required to be retained;
(d) fixing the time and manner of making contributions for the purposes of subsection 3(4);
(e) governing the manner, time and frequency of determining and making a contribution for one or more check-off schemes, including determining different contributions based on
( i) the licence holder or class of licence holder,
( ii) the sector,
( iii) the boundary of any geographic area in the Province, or
( iv) the class or grade of seafood;
(f) exempting any person or class of persons from the application of this Act or the regulations, or any provision of them;
(g) setting out the terms and conditions attached to an exemption referred to in paragraph (f);
(h) governing reimbursement under paragraph 4(c);
(i) imposing conditions and restrictions on payments made by the Minister from the Fund for the purposes of section 5;
(j) prescribing information for the purposes of subsection 9(1);
(k) prescribing information that a participant shall collect from licence holders for the purposes of subsection 9(2);
(l) fixing the time and manner in which information shall be provided to the Minister for the purposes of subsection 9(3);
(m) for the purposes of section 20, prescribing an interest rate or the manner in which an interest rate may be calculated;
(n) prescribing, in respect of offences under the regulations, categories of offences for the purposes of Part 2 of the Provincial Offences Procedure Act;
(o) defining any word or expression used but not defined in this Act, for the purposes of this Act, the regulations or both;
(p) respecting any other matter or thing necessary or advisable to carry out the intent of this Act.
25 This Act or any provision of it comes into force on a day or days to be fixed by proclamation.