First Session, 46th General Assembly
57 Elizabeth II, 2008
AN ACT TO AMEND THE
Received and Read the First Time...................................................................................................
HONOURABLE THOMAS G. RIDEOUT
Government House Leader
Ordered to be printed by the Honourable House of Assembly
This Bill would amend the Child and Youth Advocate Act to enhance the powers of the advocate to conduct an investigation under the Act.
This Bill would also revise the Schedule to the Act relating to the governmental agencies to which the Act applies to bring it up to date.
AN ACT TO AMEND THE CHILD
1. S.2 Amdt.
Ss.15.1 and 15.2 Added
6. S.17 Amdt.
Ss.21.1 to 21.3 Added
9. Sch. R&S
Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor and House of Assembly in Legislative Session convened, as follows:
1. (1) Subparagraph 2(g)(ii) of the Child and Youth Advocate Act is repealed and the following substituted:
(ii) on remand under the Criminal Code or the Youth
Criminal Justice Act (
(2) Subparagraph 2(g)(iv) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
(iv) subject to a disposition under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (
2. Section 3 of the Act is amended by striking out the word "and" at the end of paragraph (c) and by adding immediately after paragraph (c) the following:
(c.1) to review and investigate matters affecting the rights and interests of children and youth; and
3. Section 12 of the Act is amended by renumbering it as subsection 12(1) and adding immediately after subsection (1) the following:
(2) Every person employed under the advocate shall, before he or she begins to perform his or her duties, swear an oath, or affirm, before the advocate that he or she shall not, except as provided by this Act, divulge information received by him or her under this Act.
4. Paragraph 15(1)(a) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
(a) receive, review and investigate a matter relating to a child or youth or a group of them, whether or not a request or complaint is made to the advocate;
5. The Act is amended by adding immediately after section 15 the following:
Restriction on jurisdiction
15.1 Nothing in this Act authorizes the advocate to investigate
(a) a decision, recommendation, act, order or omission of the House of Assembly, the Lieutenant-Governor, a committee of the House of Assembly, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, the Executive Council, or a committee of the Executive Council;
(b) an order, decision or omission of a court, a judge of a court, a master of a court, or a justice of the peace made or given in an action or proceeding in the court, or before the judge, master or justice of the peace; or
(c) a matter in respect of which there is under an Act a right of appeal or objection or a right to apply for a review on the merits of the case to a court or tribunal constituted by or under an Act, until after the right of appeal, objection or application has been exercised or until after the time limit for the exercise of that right has expired.
Minister may restrict investigation
15.2 (1) Where the Minister of Justice certifies in writing to the advocate that the investigation of a matter would be contrary to the public interest under the circumstances, the advocate shall not investigate the matter, or, where the advocate has commenced an investigation of the matter, he or she shall discontinue the investigation.
(2) Where a certificate is given under subsection (1), the advocate shall include that fact and a brief description of the circumstances of the matter in his or her next annual report to the House of Assembly.
6. (1) Subsection 17(1) of the Act is amended by striking out the reference to the "Young Offenders Act" and substituting the reference "Youth Criminal Justice Act".
(2) Subsection 17(3) of the Act is amended by striking out the reference to the "Young Offenders Act" and substituting the reference "Youth Criminal Justice Act".
7. Subsection 21(1) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
21. (1) The advocate may require a person who, in his or her opinion, is able to give information relating to a matter being investigated by him or her
(a) to furnish the information to him or her; and
(b) to produce a document, paper or thing that in his or her opinion relates to the matter being investigated and that may be in the possession or under the control of the person,
whether or not the person is an officer, employee or member of a department or an agency of the government and whether or not the document, paper or thing is in the custody or under the control of the department or agency of the government.
(1.2) The advocate may summon before him or her and examine on oath or affirmation a person who in the opinion of the advocate is able to give information relating to a matter being investigated by him or her.
(1.3) The advocate has the right to information respecting children and youth except
(a) information that could reasonably be expected to reveal the identity of a person who has made a report under section 15 of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act; and
(b) information that is not permitted to be made public by section 26 of the Adoption of Children Act.
8. The Act is amended by adding immediately after section 21 the following:
Restrictions on disclosure
21.1 Where the Minister of Justice certifies that the giving of information or the answering of a question or the production of a document, paper or thing might involve the disclosure of
(a) the deliberations of the Executive Council or a committee of the Executive Council;
(b) proceedings of the Executive Council, or committee of the Executive Council, relating to matters of a secret or confidential nature and would be injurious to the public interest; or
(c) interfere with or impede the investigation or detection of an offence,
the advocate shall not require the information or answer to be given or the document, paper or thing to be produced, but shall report the giving of the certificate to the House of Assembly.
Application of certain rules
21.2 (1) A rule of law that authorizes or requires the withholding of a document, paper or thing, or the refusal to answer a question, on the ground that the disclosure or answering would be injurious to the public interest does not apply in respect of an investigation by the advocate.
(2) A provision of an Act requiring a person to maintain secrecy in relation to, or not to disclose information relating to, a matter shall not apply in respect of an investigation by the advocate, and a person required by the advocate to furnish information or to produce a document, paper or thing or summoned by the advocate to give evidence, shall not refuse to furnish the information, produce the document, paper or thing, or to answer questions on the ground of that provision.
Admissibility of evidence
21.3 Except on the trial of a person for perjury, a statement made or answer or evidence given by that or another person in the course of an investigation by the advocate is not admissible in evidence against the person in a court or at an inquiry or in another proceeding.
9. The Schedule to the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
Criminal Code Mental Disorder Review Board (section 672.38 Criminal Code)
A regional health authority established under the Regional Health Authorities Act
Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (Fatalities Investigations Act)
Mental Health Care and Treatment Review Board
The Newfoundland & Labrador Housing Corporation
A board, commission or other body added to this Schedule by order of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council
ŠEarl G. Tucker, Queen's Printer