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Revised Statutes of Newfoundland 1990
AN ACT RESPECTING THE PROVISION OF FUNERAL SERVICES
1. This Act may be cited as the Embalmers and Funeral Directors Act.
1975 No39 s1Back to Top
2. In this Act
(a) "board" means the board referred to in subsection 3(1);
(b) "chairperson" means the chairperson of the board and includes the vice-chairperson as the context requires;
(c) "embalmer" means a person who engages in the practice of embalming whether as a self-employed person or as an employee;
(d) "embalming" means the preservation of a dead human body, entire or in part, by the use of chemical substances, fluids or gases ordinarily used, prepared or intended for those purposes, either by outward application of those chemical substances, fluids or gases on the body, or by the introduction of them into the body by vascular or hypodermic injection or by direct application into the organs or cavities;
(e) "funeral director" means a person who operates for himself or herself, or under his or her own or another name for another person, an establishment for the purpose of furnishing to the public funeral supplies and services;
(f) "licence" means a licence issued under this Act and includes a permit issued under section 18;
(g) "member" means a member of the board;
(h) "minister" means the Minister of Health; and
(i) "registrar" means the registrar of the board.
1975 No39 s2Back to Top
Embalmers and funeral directors board
3. (1) The Embalmers and Funeral Directors Board consisting of 7 persons appointed by the minister, which persons shall be
(a) 2 embalmers;
(b) 2 funeral directors; and
(c) 3 others, neither of whom shall be a funeral director or embalmer and not more than 1 of whom shall be an official of the Department of Health,
is continued as a corporation.
(2) The persons appointed under paragraphs (1)(a) and (b) shall during their period of membership with the board be the holders of valid licences issued to embalmers and funeral directors under this Act.
(3) A member shall be appointed for a period not exceeding 3 years, subject to good behaviour and conduct, and is eligible for reappointment, but no member may serve for a continuous period exceeding 9 years.
(4) Where a member resigns or ceases to become a member for some reason, the minister shall appoint another person to fill the vacancy created, but that person shall serve only for the remainder of the term of the member replaced.
1975 No39 s3Back to Top
Appointments of officers
4. The board shall, within 1 month after the members are appointed under subsection 3(1), or a later date where permitted by the minister, hold a general meeting and
(a) elect from its members
(i) a chairperson who shall preside over meetings of the board,
(ii) a vice-chairperson who shall in the absence of the chairperson carry out the functions and duties of the chairperson,
(iii) a registrar, and
(iv) a deputy registrar who shall during the absence of the registrar carry out the functions and duties of the registrar; and
(b) fix the financial year of the board.
1975 No39 s4Back to Top
5. (1) The board shall hold an annual general meeting once in each year at a time and place that it may determine or that may be set out in the regulations, and may hold other general meetings during each year upon the request of the chairperson, the registrar, or any 3 members.
(2) At each annual general meeting the board shall, in addition to dealing with the business required by this Act or the regulations to be dealt with at that meeting, elect from its members the officers referred to in section 4.
(3) Three members of the board, 1 of whom must be a person appointed under paragraph 3(1)(c), constitute a quorum for a meeting of the board.
(4) At a meeting of the board each member has 1 vote, and in the case of a tie, the chairperson has a deciding vote.
1975 No39 s5Back to Top
Duties of registrar
6. The registrar shall
(a) keep a register in which he or she shall maintain a list of the names and addresses of all persons to whom licences and permits have been issued under this Act;
(b) before February 16 in each year, publish the list referred to in paragraph (a) in the Gazette showing the names and addresses of persons whose names appear on the register on January 15 in that year;
(c) have responsibility for controlling all matters relating to the finances of the board including receipt of all money paid to the board, or a member on behalf of the board, and for making disbursements on behalf of the board; and
(d) file with the minister, within 3 months after the end of the board's financial year, an audited statement showing all money collected and disbursements made during the preceding financial year.
1975 No39 s6Back to Top
7. The board may appoint from among its members those committees that it considers necessary and may delegate to those committees the powers and duties of the board prescribed in the regulations.
1975 No39 s7Back to Top
Proof of documents
8. A licence, permit or other document purporting to bear the seal of the board shall be accepted in a court as evidence of the matters stated on the licence, permit or document without further proof.
1975 No39 s8Back to Top
9. All fees paid under this Act shall be paid to the registrar and shall be used for the purpose of carrying out this Act and the regulations.
1975 No39 s9Back to Top
10. (1) The board may appoint representatives whom it considers advisable to inspect the premises of an embalmer or a funeral director.
(2) For the purpose of this section, representatives of the board may include the board or member of the board.
(3) The representatives of the board may enter, without notice, the premises of an embalmer or a funeral director at all reasonable times to make all necessary inspections.
(4) The representatives of the board shall have access to all records, documents and other necessary information required to carry out the inspection under subsection (3).
(5) An embalmer or funeral director whose premises are the subject of an inspection under this section shall cooperate with the representatives of the board and supply all requested information required in connection with the inspection.
(6) The representatives shall report to the board the results of their inspection together with their recommendations for the remedying of an unethical, insanitary, illegal or improper conduct, condition, practice or procedure that is found.
(7) After considering the recommendations of the representatives, the board may make a written demand on the embalmer or funeral director concerned to adopt and carry out the recommendations, subject to those terms and conditions which the board may impose.
(8) Failure on the part of an embalmer or funeral director to comply promptly and completely with a written demand of the board constitutes misconduct on the part of the embalmer or funeral director.
(9) An embalmer or funeral director who is aggrieved by a report, recommendation or demand of the board made under this section may appeal to a judge of the Trial Division, and section 17 applies, with the necessary changes, to that appeal.
1981 c43 s1Back to Top
11. The board may, subject to the approval of the minister, make regulations, not inconsistent with the Department of Health Act,
(a) respecting the holding of meetings including the place, time, notice and order of business to be conducted at those meetings;
(b) prescribing courses of training and educational requirements for the licensing of persons to practise embalming in the province including the establishment of a system of apprenticeship in the practice of embalming;
(c) respecting the granting of licences to embalmers and to funeral directors and renewals of licences;
(d) fixing the fees payable by applicants for licences and renewals issued under this Act;
(e) providing for and holding examinations of persons seeking to be licensed as embalmers and prescribing the content and nature of those examinations and the fees payable by candidates for those examinations;
(f) providing for the suspension or revocation of licences for the non-payment of licence fees or other causes prescribed in the regulations and for the regranting of those suspended or revoked licences;
(g) limiting the granting of licences to residents of the province;
(h) respecting the maintenance of the register referred to in paragraph 6(a), including the form and contents of the register;
(i) prescribing the procedure of the board, or a committee of the board which may be constituted for the purpose, upon the hearing of a complaint that a person holding a licence is guilty of incompetence or misconduct;
(j) defining what constitutes incompetence and misconduct of embalmers and funeral directors, or either, with power to make different definitions for each category of licence holder;
(k) prescribing the terms and conditions of permits issued under section 18;
(l) respecting the conditions of employment and remuneration of staff and prescribing the duties of that staff;
(m) fixing the duties of the members and the remuneration to be paid to those members;
(n) prescribing the duties and powers of committees appointed under section 7;
(o) prescribing minimum standards for the premises, accommodation and equipment of funeral directors and providing for the inspection and approval of those premises, accommodation or equipment;
(p) governing the methods, equipment and materials that may be used to embalm dead human bodies; and
(q) generally, to give effect to the purpose of this Act.
1975 c39 s10; 1977 c71 s1Back to Top
12. (1) Unless there are no applicants for examination as embalmers, the board shall hold at least 1 examination in each year for the purpose of examining applicants for licences to practise embalming and the examination shall be held in a place designated by the board.
(2) The board shall publish the time and place of each examination held under subsection (1) in a daily newspaper having a general circulation throughout the province at least once each month for the 2 consecutive months immediately preceding the date of the examination.
1975 No39 s11Back to Top
Limitations in practice
13. (1) No person shall practise as an embalmer in the province unless that person holds a licence to practise embalming.
(2) No person shall practise as a funeral director in the province unless that person holds a licence to practise as a funeral director.
(3) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person practising embalming who is
(a) an articled student working under the direct supervision of an embalmer who is licensed under this Act; and
(b) a student of medicine or a person employed in a recognized school of medicine or a hospital where the embalming is carried out in the course of the training of the student or the duties of the person employed.
(4) A person who contravenes this section is guilty of an offence and every day that an offence is committed under this section constitutes a separate offence.
(5) In a prosecution under this section, the failure of a person accused to produce a valid licence constitutes proof that that person does not possess a valid licence.
1975 No39 s12Back to Top
Conditions of licence
14. (1) A person who is 19 years of age or older, and has complied with the requirements of this Act and the regulations for the grant of a licence to practise as a funeral director, may apply to the board for and has the right to obtain from the board a licence to practise as a funeral director in the province if the application is accompanied by the licence fee prescribed for funeral directors by the regulations.
(2) A person who is 19 years of age or older, and has complied with the requirements of this Act and the regulations for the grant of a licence to practise as an embalmer, may apply to the board for and has the right to obtain from the board a licence to practise as an embalmer in the province if the application is accompanied by the licence fee prescribed for embalmers by the regulations.
1986 c15 s1Back to Top
Appeal to judge of Trial Division
15. (1) A person aggrieved by a refusal of the board to issue a licence to practise as an embalmer or funeral director may, within 30 days after receipt of notice of that refusal, appeal against the refusal to a judge of the Trial Division by filing in the office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court a notice of appeal, and by serving a copy of the notice on the chairperson.
(2) Notwithstanding a rule or practice to the contrary, the notice of appeal shall
(a) set out in detail the allegations of the appellant and the grounds upon which the refusal is appealed against; and
(b) be signed by the appellant or his or her solicitor.
(3) The appellant shall, within 14 days after service of the notice of appeal under this section, apply to the judge for a day for the hearing of the appeal and shall not less than 14 days before the hearing serve upon the board a written notice of the day of the hearing.
(4) The registrar shall produce to the judge hearing the appeal all papers and documents in the possession of the board affecting the subject matter of the appeal.
(5) The judge shall hear the appeal and the evidence adduced by the appellant and the board, and shall decide the matter of the appeal by
(a) upholding or overturning the refusal to issue the licence; or
(b) making a decision or order which the judge considers to be proper in the interest of justice and equity, with power to make an order as to costs for or against the appellant or the board and to fix the amount of the costs.
(6) An appeal may be taken from an order or decision of the judge to the Court of Appeal upon a point of law raised at the hearing of the appeal, and the rules governing appeals to that court from an order or decision of a judge of the Trial Division shall apply to appeals under this subsection.
1975 No39 s14; 1986 c42 Sch BBack to Top
16. (1) Where the board is of the opinion or has reason to believe that a person holding a licence or permit under this Act has committed misconduct or may, by the continuation in practice as an embalmer or a funeral director, constitute a danger to the public or a person, or be contrary to the public interest, the board may, after full inquiry at which the licensee or permit holder shall have the right to be heard and represented by a lawyer or other person of his or her choice
(a) revoke the licence or permit;
(b) suspend the licence or permit for the period that the board may prescribe;
(c) impose upon the embalmer or funeral director a monetary penalty not to exceed the sum fixed by the regulations; or
(d) impose conditions or limitations on the embalmer or funeral director in carrying out embalming or the functions of a funeral director.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), the board and each member of the board are vested with all the powers that are or may be conferred on a commissioner under the Public Inquiries Act.
1975 No39 s15Back to Top
17. (1) An embalmer or funeral director aggrieved by a decision of the board under section 16 may appeal to a judge of the Trial Division within 30 days after the decision of the board by filing in the office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court a notice of appeal and serving a copy of the notice on the board.
(2) The provisions of subsections 15(2) to (6) apply, with the necessary changes, to appeals under this section, but the reference in subsection 15(5) to the upholding or revoking of the refusal to register shall be a reference to upholding or revoking of a decision of the board made under section 16.
1975 No39 s16; 1986 c42 Sch BBack to Top
18. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, for the purpose of serving the public in sparsely settled areas of the province where the services of a licensed funeral director are not available, the board may, subject to the regulations, issue permits to perform the services of a funeral director to persons who are not licensed as funeral directors under this Act but who, in the opinion of the board, hold qualifications similar to those required by this Act and regulations for the licensing of persons as funeral directors.
(2) Permits issued by the board under subsection (1) are subject to the terms, conditions and limitations that may be prescribed by the regulations.
1975 No39 s17Back to Top
Employer of non-licensed holder
19. A person who
(a) employs a person to control and operate an establishment for the purpose of furnishing to the public funeral supplies and services where the person employed is not the holder of a licence or permit to act as a funeral director; or
(b) employs a person to engage in the practice of embalming where the person employed is not licensed as an embalmer
is guilty of an offence under this Act.
1975 No39 s18Back to Top
20. A funeral director or embalmer who knowingly disregards the terms of a consent made or given under Part II of the Human Tissue Act is guilty of an offence under this Act.
1975 No39 s19Back to Top
Licence to be displayed
21. (1) A licence holder or permit holder under this Act who fails to keep the licence or permit displayed in a prominent position at all times where business is carried on or affected by the licence holder or permit holder is guilty of an offence.
(2) A person who is not entitled to practise as a funeral director or embalmer shall not hold out to the public by advertisement, sign or otherwise that he or she has that right.
1975 No39 s20Back to Top
22. A person who commits an offence under this Act or violates a provision of this Act is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $500 or to a term of imprisonment for a period not exceeding 1 month, or to both a fine and imprisonment.
1975 No39 s21
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