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Revised Statutes of Newfoundland 1990
AN ACT RESPECTING THE LICENSING AND INSPECTION OF WELFARE INSTITUTIONS
1978 c22 s1
1. This Act may be cited as the Welfare Institutions Act.
1978 c22 s2Back to Top
2. In this Act
(a) "authority" means the Welfare Institutions Licensing and Inspection Authority;
(b) "inspector" means an inspector appointed for the purposes of this Act;
(c) "licence" means a licence under this Act;
(d) "minister" means the Minister of Social Services; and
(e) "welfare institution" means a building, part of a building, group of buildings or other place or accommodation conducted or operated by a person and which is used, in whole or in part, as
(i) a boarding home, orphanage or other institution for children in which care, food, and lodging are provided, with or without charge, for 5 or more children under 16 years of age living apart from their parents or guardians, except
(A) a foster home as defined by the Child Welfare Act,
(B) a receiving home as defined by the Child Welfare Act, and
(C) a home maintained by a person to whom the children living in that home are related by blood or marriage,
(ii) a maternity home or other institution in which food and lodging are provided, with or without charge, for 2 or more women living there apart from their husbands during a portion of the 3 months of their pregnancy immediately before delivery or during a portion of the 3 months immediately after delivery,
(iii) a boarding home or other institution in which food and lodging together with care or attention are provided, with or without charge, for 2 or more persons who, on account of age, infirmity, physical, mental or other disability, require the attention or care, except a home maintained by a person to whom the residents are related by blood or marriage, or
(iv) a hostel, shelter, mission, refuge, or other institution to serve unemployed persons, in which food and lodging are provided, with or without charge, to 2 or more adult persons who are destitute or are in receipt of some form of public or social assistance granted to persons who are destitute.
RSN1970 c397 s2; 1973 No56 s2; 1975 No52 s2; 1978 c22 s3; 1979 c49 Sch CBack to Top
Composition of authority
3. (1) The authority known as the Welfare Institutions Licensing and Inspection Authority is continued.
(2) The authority shall consist of 5 members appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.
(3) The persons appointed under subsection (2) shall serve during pleasure.
(4) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall designate 1 of the members of the authority to be chairperson and another member to be vice-chairperson.
(5) Where a vacancy occurs in the membership of the authority, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall promptly fill that vacancy.
(6) The members of the authority, other than those who are members of the public service, may receive the remuneration for services that the Lieutenant-Governor in Council fixes and all members of the authority are entitled to be paid for travelling and other expenses necessarily incurred in connection with the business of the authority.
1978 c22 s4; 1990 c37 s1Back to Top
Chairperson to be chief executive officer
4. (1) During the incapacity or absence of the chairperson or a vacancy in the office of chairperson, the vice-chairperson has and may exercise the powers of the chairperson and shall discharge his or her duties.
(2) The exercise of the powers of the authority shall not be impaired because of a vacancy in its membership.
(3) All acts done by the authority shall, notwithstanding that it is afterwards discovered that there was some defect in the appointment or qualification of a person purporting to be a member of the authority, be as valid as if the defect had not existed.
RSN1970 c397 s5; 1978 c22 s5; 1990 c37 s2Back to Top
5. A person shall not conduct or operate, or hold himself or herself out as conducting or operating, a welfare institution unless he or she is the holder of an existing licence to conduct and operate the institution issued under this Act.
RSN1970 c397 s6Back to Top
Issuing of licences
6. (1) Subject to the regulations, the authority may issue a licence to a person to conduct and operate a welfare institution where it is satisfied that
(a) the applicant is an appropriate person to operate a welfare institution;
(b) the premises to be used are in a clean and sanitary condition and in good repair and are reasonably secure against the hazard of fire; and
(c) the applicant is likely to conduct and operate a welfare institution in a manner that will not be detrimental to the welfare of the residents or to the general public interest.
(2) A licence issued by the authority shall be in the form that may be prescribed by the regulations and it shall expire on December 31 of the year for which it is issued.
(3) A person holding from the authority a licence to conduct and operate a welfare institution shall keep the licence continuously displayed in a conspicuous place, satisfactory to the authority on the premises in respect of which it is issued.
RSN1970 c397 s7; 1978 c22 s5Back to Top
Revocation of licences
7. The authority may revoke a licence granted to a person to conduct and operate a welfare institution if the licensee or an employee of the licensee violates this Act or the regulations or an order made under the regulations, and may refuse to reissue a licence to that person until it is satisfied that that person and his or her employees are likely to abide by this Act and the regulations and an order made under the regulations.
RSN1970 c397 s8; 1978 c22 s5Back to Top
8. A licensed welfare institution shall be open at all times to visitation and inspection by a member of the authority, an inspector or an authorized representative of the authority who may examine the institution and may call for and examine the records of the institution, financial or otherwise, and may inquire into matters concerning the institution, its employees and residents.
RSN1970 c397 s9; 1978 c22 s5Back to Top
Inspection of suspected welfare institutions
9. (1) Where a member of the authority, an inspector or an authorized representative of the authority believes on reasonable grounds that a welfare institution is being operated without a licence in a building, part of a building, group of buildings or other place or accommodation, that member, inspector or representative may with a warrant issued under subsection (2) enter and inspect that building, part of a building, group of buildings or other place or accommodation and may request from the proprietor of the building, part of a building, group of buildings or other place or accommodation full information regarding the purpose for which it is used.
(2) A Provincial Court judge or justice of the peace who is satisfied by information upon oath or affirmation that there are reasonable grounds for believing that there is on any premises anything that there are reasonable grounds to believe will give evidence with respect to an offence under this Act may issue a warrant authorizing an investigator named in the warrant to enter and search those premises and to make the inquiries and copies of books, documents, correspondence and records that are considered necessary, subject to the conditions that may be specified in the warrant.
(3) The owner or person in charge of the premises referred to in this section and persons found there shall give an investigator reasonable help to enable the investigator to carry out his or her duties and functions under this section and shall provide the information that the investigator may reasonably require.
(4) A proprietor referred to in subsection (1) shall not refuse or fail to give information regarding the purpose for which the building, part of a building, group of buildings or other place or accommodation referred to in subsection (1) is used.
RSN1970 c397 s10; 1978 c22 s5; 1985 c11 s67;
Certain practices not permitted
10. A person who conducts or operates a welfare institution or who is an employee of a welfare institution shall not
(a) try to persuade a woman to enter a welfare institution during her pregnancy by offering to dispose of her child after birth, or by stating that he or she will offer children for adoption, or by holding himself or herself out to dispose of children;
(b) advertise a child for adoption, or dispose of a child other than to transfer the custody of the child to a relative by blood or marriage, without first informing the authority in writing;
(c) bring, advertise for, or encourage the entry into the province of an adult person from another province of Canada or from another country to become a resident of a welfare institution;
(d) bring, advertise for, or encourage the entry into the province of a child from another province of Canada or from another country to become a resident of a welfare institution, without first obtaining, in writing, the approval of the chairperson of the authority with respect to the child; or
(e) solicit funds by a general or public appeal for the support of a welfare institution without first informing the authority in writing.
RSN1970 c397 s11; 1978 c22 s5Back to Top
Duties of inspectors
11. (1) When requested by the authority, an inspector shall investigate and report to the authority upon an application for a licence to conduct and operate a welfare institution assigned to him or her by the authority for investigation and report.
(2) An inspector shall perform the duties, additional to those referred to in subsection (1) and in the regulations, that the authority or the minister may direct.
RSN1970 c397 s13; 1978 c22 s5Back to Top
12. Subject to the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, the authority may make regulations
(a) providing for the issuing, reissuing and refusal to grant or reissue suspension and revocation of licences referred to in section 5;
(b) providing for a person whose licence is refused, suspended, revoked or not reissued, or in respect of whom the refusal, suspension, revocation or non-reissuing is being considered, to show cause why the licence should not be refused, revoked or suspended, or why it should be reissued;
(c) prescribing conditions, additional to those set out in section 6, with which an applicant for a licence to operate a welfare institution must comply to become eligible to obtain a licence;
(d) prescribing fees payable for a licence and for reissuing of a licence;
(e) requiring the bonding of operators of welfare institutions and prescribing the amount and form of the bonds, the types or classes of securities acceptable as collateral security, the period that bonds shall exist, the conditions upon which bonds may be forfeited and respecting all matters subsequent to forfeiture;
(f) providing for the appointment and prescribing the duties and functions of inspectors;
(g) prescribing forms necessary or desirable for use in carrying out or enforcing the regulations;
(h) providing for the making of the orders and the issuing of the directions that are necessary or desirable to enforce the observance and carrying out of this Act or the regulations;
(i) prescribing the conduct, management, appointments, and general standards of operation to be required of licensed welfare institutions;
(j) prescribing the keeping of records in welfare institutions and the submission of reports in respect of the institutions to the authority;
(k) providing for the holding of inquiries into the operation of this Act and into a charge or complaint that an operator of a welfare institution or another person has contravened this Act or the regulations, or has made a false statement in a form, return, report, record, account or statement required to be completed or made under this Act or the regulations, or into another matter arising in the administration of this Act, and providing that the person holding the inquiry shall have any or all of the powers that are or may be conferred upon a commissioner under the Public Inquiries Act, including the power to take evidence under oath or affirmation;
(l) requiring and prescribing returns and statements to be made by persons holding licences and other persons, the information to be given in the returns and statements, and by whom and in what manner and at what time they shall be made;
(m) exempting a person or class of persons or a welfare institution or class of welfare institutions from the application of this Act or the regulations; and
(n) generally, to give effect to the purpose of this Act.
RSN1970 c397 s14; 1978 c22 s5Back to Top
13. A person who fails to comply with or otherwise contravenes this Act or the regulations or an order or direction made or issued under the regulations, or makes a false statement in an application, form, report, return, account, record, statement or other document completed or made under this Act or the regulations is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $300 for a 1st offence and not more than $500 for a subsequent offence.
RSN1970 c397 s15Back to Top
Report by authority
14. The authority shall make a report to the minister annually, on a date to be prescribed by the minister, concerning the work of the authority during the previous year, and the report shall be laid before the Legislature within 15 days after it is submitted to the minister if the Legislature is then sitting, and, if it is not, then within 15 days after the beginning of the next session.
RSN1970 c397 s16; 1978 c22 s5
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