First Session, 47th General Assembly
61 Elizabeth II, 2012
AN ACT TO AMEND THE FATALITIES INVESTIGATIONS ACT
Received and Read the First Time...................................................................................................
HONOURABLE FELIX COLLINS
Minister of Justice and Attorney General
Ordered to be printed by the Honourable House of Assembly
This Bill would amend the Fatalities Investigations Act to
· establish a Child Death Review Committee to review the facts and circumstances of all deaths within its mandate, and to report its findings to the minister;
· require the minister to provide a copy of the report of the committee to the Child and Youth Advocate; and
· empower the committee to recommend to the minister that a public inquiry be held where necessary for the protection of the public interest or in the interest of public safety.
AN ACT TO AMEND THE FATALITIES INVESTIGATIONS ACT
2. S.7 Amdt.
Ss.13.1 and 13.6 Added
6. S.29.1 Added
Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor and House of Assembly in Legislative Session convened, as follows:
1. (1) Section 2 of the Fatalities Investigations Act is amended by adding immediately after paragraph (c) the following:
(c.1) "child" means a person under the age of majority;
(c.2) "committee" means the Child Death Review Committee appointed under section 13.1;
(2) Section 2 of the Act is amended by adding immediately after paragraph (l) the following:
(l.1) "review" means a review by the committee under section 13.2; and
2. Paragraph 7(c) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
(c) while in the custody of a manager under the Children and Youth Care and Protection Act; or
3. The Act is amended by adding immediately after section 13 the following:
Child Death Review Committee
13.1 (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall establish a Child Death Review Committee to review the facts and circumstances of deaths referred to in subsection 13.2(1) for the purpose of
(a) discovering and monitoring trends in those deaths; and
(b) determining whether further evaluation of those deaths is necessary or desirable in the public interest.
(2) The membership of the committee shall be determined by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.
(3) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall appoint one member as chairperson and one member as vice-chairperson who shall act as chairperson where the chairperson is absent or unable to act.
(4) The chief medical examiner shall, by virtue of his or her office, be a member of the committee.
(5) A committee member shall be appointed for the term prescribed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, and notwithstanding the expiration of a committee member's term, that person shall continue to serve on the committee until reappointed or replaced.
(6) In the discretion of the chairperson of the committee, some or all of the members of the committee may perform a review.
(7) Notwithstanding subsection (6), where a committee member wishes to participate in a review he or she shall not be prohibited from doing so except where, in the opinion of the chairperson, that committee member is in a position of conflict or potential conflict with respect to the review.
(8) Notwithstanding subsection (6), all of the members of the committee shall meet at least annually.
(9) The committee may, with the prior approval of the minister, obtain assistance or retain expert services in the course of a review, and a person providing that assistance or whose services are retained shall be considered to be a member of the committee for the purpose of that review.
Review by committee
13.2 (1) The committee shall review the facts and circumstances of
(a) child deaths; and
(b) deaths referred to in paragraphs 6(1)(d) and (e)
where those deaths are required to be investigated by the medical examiner under subsection 10(1).
(2) The committee may review one or more deaths during a review.
(3) A review shall only begin after a medical examiner has completed his or her duties under section 10.
(4) For the purpose of conducting a review, the committee may use any information acquired by a medical examiner or investigator in the course of an investigation under this Act.
Report of committee
13.3 (1) After each review, the committee shall report to the minister
(a) its findings with respect to the facts and circumstances surrounding deaths that were the subject of the review; and
(b) the recommendations it may have respecting the prevention of similar deaths.
(2) The committee may base its report on an aggregate and multidisciplinary analysis of the deaths reviewed.
(3) In its report, the committee may
(a) identify systemic problems;
(b) promote prevention of deaths reviewed by it through education, protocol development and dissemination of information; and
(c) make recommendations to the minister respecting the protection of the health, safety and well-being of children and pregnant women generally.
(4) The committee shall not, in its report, make a finding of legal responsibility or express a conclusion of law.
(5) After a report has been submitted to the minister under this section, the committee shall submit all records relevant to the review to the Chief Medical Examiner.
Minister to provide copy
13.4 The minister shall as soon as practicable provide a copy of the report of the committee to the Child and Youth Advocate.
Recommendations to be made public
13.5 Within 60 days after the minister has received a report under section 13.3, the minister shall make public those recommendations of the report relating to
(a) relevant protocols, policies and procedures;
(b) standards and legislation;
(c) linkages and coordination of services; and
(d) improvements to services affecting children and pregnant women.
13.6 An action or other proceeding does not lie against the committee or a member of it for anything done or omitted to be done in good faith in the course of completing a review or carrying out a duty under this Act.
4. Section 25 of the Act is amended by adding immediately after subsection (1) the following:
(1.1) The committee may, either in the course of a review under this Act or on completion of a review, where the committee is of the view that it is necessary for the protection of the public interest or in the interest of public safety, recommend to the minister that a public inquiry be held.
5. Section 26 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:
Powers and duties of minister
26. Where the minister receives
(a) a recommendation by the Chief Medical Examiner under subsection 25(1); or
(b) a recommendation by the committee under subsection 25(1.1)
and the minister is satisfied that an inquiry is necessary for the protection of the public interest or in the interest of public safety, the minister may order that a judge conduct an inquiry and the inquiry shall be conducted within the parameters set out in Part IV of the Provincial Offences Act.
6. The Act is amended by adding immediately after section 29 the following:
29.1 The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations respecting the policies and procedures of the Child Death Review Committee.
SNL2001 cC-12.01 Amdt.
7. Section 15.1 of the Child and Youth Advocate Act is amended by deleting the word "or" at the end of paragraph (b), by deleting the period at the end of paragraph (c) and substituting a semi-colon, and by adding immediately after paragraph (c) the following:
(d) a matter which is the subject of a review by the Child Death Review Committee under the authority of section 13.2 of the Fatalities Investigations Act; or
(e) a matter which is the subject of a public inquiry under the authority of section 26 of the Fatalities Investigations Act until that public inquiry has been completed.
RSNL1990 cE-16 Amdt.
8. Subsection 8.1(2) of the Evidence Act is amended by adding immediately after paragraph (a) the following:
(a.1) the Child Death Review Committee under the Fatalities Investigations Act;
9. This Act comes into force on a day to be proclaimed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.
©William E. Parsons, Queen's Printer