This is an official version.
Copyright © 2000: Queens Printer,
Revised Statutes of Newfoundland 1990
AN ACT RESPECTING THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES
1. This Act may be cited as the Department of Social Services Act.
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2. In this Act
(a) "department" means the Department of Social Services constituted by this Act;
(b) "deputy minister" means the Deputy Minister of Social Services appointed under this Act; and
(c) "minister" means the Minister of Social Services referred to in section 3.
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3. (1) There shall be a department of the government called the Department of Social Services over which the Minister of Social Services appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor by commission under the Great Seal of the province shall preside.
(2) The minister has the management and direction of the department and holds office during pleasure.
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4. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may appoint an officer called the Deputy Minister of Social Services.
(2) The deputy minister shall be the deputy head of the department and shall hold office during pleasure.
(3) Those other officers and employees that are necessary for the proper conduct of the business of the department shall be appointed or employed in the manner authorized by law, but the minister may temporarily employ those technical and other assistants that the minister considers necessary.
(4) Where there is no deputy minister or the deputy minister is absent, and unless otherwise provided by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, an officer named by the minister has the powers and shall perform the duties of the deputy minister.
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5. (1) The department shall have an official seal that shall be officially and judicially noticed.
(2) Where the official seal of the department is used, it shall be authenticated by the signature of the minister or by the signature of the deputy minister, or, where there is no deputy minister or the deputy minister is absent, by the signature of the person who, under subsection 4(4), has the powers of the deputy minister.
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Powers and duties of minister
6. The powers, functions and duties of the minister extend to and include
(a) the supervision, control and direction of all matters relating to social services and social assistance generally which are within the legislative authority of the province, including matters relating to
(i) the welfare of children,
(ii) the adoption of children,
(iii) child day care,
(iv) the administration of all laws relating to the commission by young persons of offences within the jurisdiction of the province,
(v) residential facilities for the care of neglected, dependent, socially deprived, abused and handicapped children and adults,
(vi) the administration of public institutions or parts of public institutions for the care of disabled persons,
(vii) services for the care, support and guidance of physically, emotionally, mentally and socially handicapped and disadvantaged citizens of the province of all ages,
(viii) the identification of cases of economic hardship or deprivation and the prompt alleviation of economic hardship and deprivation by the provision of appropriate, publicly financed, material assistance, including the identification and alleviation with respect to aged and disabled persons,
(ix) the furnishing, in co-operation with other departments of the government of the province, of guidance to all recipients of the assistance referred to in subparagraph (viii) in their quest for opportunities of gainful employment and rehabilitation,
(x) programs for the prevention of abuses concerning matters referred to in subparagraphs (viii) and (ix),
(xi) programs for the prevention of abuse to children and adults, and
(xii) the administration, subject to the Public Service Rearrangements and Transfers of Duties Act, of the Acts set out in the Schedule and of all orders and regulations passed or made under those Acts and of those other Acts, orders and regulations that are designated by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council,
which are not, or in so far as they are not, by law or by order of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, assigned to another minister or department of the government;
(b) liaison and co-operation with
(i) the Government of Canada or a department, agency or body under the jurisdiction of that government,
(ii) the government of a province in Canada or a department, agency or body under the jurisdiction of the government of a province or under the jurisdiction of the government of this province, or
(iii) a corporation or other body or person
that may be necessary or desirable for carrying out the purpose of this Act;
(c) the undertaking, promotion or recommendation of measures for the development, control and direction of matters referred to in paragraph (a);
(d) the collection, compilation, analyzing and recording of statistical and other information relating to matters referred to in paragraph (a);
(e) the preparation and publication of statistics, reports, records, bulletins, pamphlets, circulars and other means of disseminating information in relation to matters referred to in paragraph (a);
(f) the study of, reporting on and advising upon the administration of matters referred to in paragraph (a);
(g) the consideration of and reporting upon a recommendation for a change in the laws of the province relating to matters referred to in paragraph (a) that is presented or made by an organization or person;
(h) the making of inquiries into and reports upon legislation respecting matters referred to in paragraph (a) in force in Canada and throughout the world and, on the basis of those inquiries and reports, making those recommendations that may be advisable with regard to the laws of the province;
(i) the doing of other things or the exercise of other powers that are necessary or desirable for carrying out the purpose of this Act; and
(j) the exercise and discharge of other powers, functions and duties that the Lieutenant-Governor in Council assigns to the minister.
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Consultation and conferences
7. In exercising the minister's powers or carrying out the minister's duties and functions under this Act, the minister may consult with and inaugurate conferences of representatives of those bodies or persons that the minister considers advisable.
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Agreements with governments
8. (1) Subject to the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, the minister may enter into agreements with the Government of Canada or of a province of Canada or an agency of the Government of Canada or of the government of a province providing for
(a) the joint undertaking, by the government of the province or an agency of the government with those governments, or an agency of those governments, of projects relating to an aspect of the powers, functions or duties of the minister; and
(b) the payment by or to the province of contributions in respect of the cost of projects referred to in paragraph (a).
(2) The minister may, for the purpose of this Act, and subject to the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, prepare and undertake, alone or with Canada or with a province of Canada, programs of research and investigation, and may coordinate those programs with other similar programs being undertaken in the province or elsewhere in Canada.
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9. Subject to the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, the minister may enter into an agreement for the purpose of exercising or discharging the minister's powers, functions or duties.
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10. Power to enter into an agreement shall include power to amend that agreement but, where the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council to the original agreement is required, that approval is also required for an amending agreement.
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Prior approval for agreements
11. (1) Notwithstanding that the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council is required for an agreement under section 8, 9 or 13, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may approve terms, conditions and monetary limits subject to which the minister may, without prior approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, enter into agreements under section 8, 9 or 13.
(2) Subject to the terms, conditions and monetary limits approved by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council under subsection (1), the minister may enter into an agreement without approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.
(3) Where the minister enters into an agreement under subsection (2), the minister may enter into an amending agreement, subject to those same terms, conditions and limits.
(4) Notwithstanding subsection (3), where an amendment to an agreement would result in the agreement, as amended, exceeding or violating the terms, conditions and monetary limits, the minister shall not enter into the amending agreement without first obtaining the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.
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Implementation of agreements
12. The minister may implement an agreement made under this Act.
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Canada Assistance Plan Act
13. Without limiting the generality of sections 8 and 9, the minister may, subject to the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, enter into an agreement for the purposes of the Canada Assistance Plan Act (Canada), including the authorization by the minister of a "provincially approved agency" for the purposes of that Act.
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14. In carrying out a project or research program under this Act or under an agreement made under this Act, the minister shall, where possible, make use of the services and facilities of other departments of the government.
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Operation of certain establishments
15. Subject to the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council and to the regulations, the minister may, for and in the name of the Crown, acquire, establish, operate, undertake or manage and control premises or facilities for the care of children apart from their parents, aged, infirm and otherwise disabled persons, neglected and needy persons.
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Assistance to students
16. (1) The minister may administer a plan authorized by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council for financial or other assistance to students engaged in studies or connected with the matters referred to in paragraph 6(a) for their educational purposes generally and, subject to the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, the making of agreements with those students or prospective students.
(2) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may, by order, authorize a plan referred to in subsection (1) and approve the making of agreements referred to in that subsection, and, upon that authorization being made or approval being given, that plan or those agreements shall have effect and shall be capable of implementation.
(3) An agreement, entered into by a student or prospective student, referred to in this section, shall be capable of enforcement, notwithstanding that the student or prospective student may be under the age of majority when he or she enters into the agreement.
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Boards, committees, etc.
17. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may establish boards, committees and councils to assist and advise the minister in carrying out this Act and appoint the members of boards, committees and councils.
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Minister's power over boards
18. The rights, duties, powers, liabilities and functions of the minister extend and apply to those boards and other public bodies, officials, subjects, services and properties of the Crown that the Lieutenant-Governor in Council designates and assigns to the minister and over which the minister is given the control, regulation, management and supervision.
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19. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) necessary or desirable for the carrying out of the minister's powers, functions and duties under this Act;
(b) providing for the management, maintenance, proper use and protection of real or personal property of which the minister has the management and control; and
(c) generally, to give effect to the purpose of this Act.
(2) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may, in regulations made under subsection (1), prescribe penalties for failing to comply with or otherwise contravening those regulations.
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20. (1) An agreement, deed or other writing made or executed under this Act shall not bind the government or the minister or be held to be the act of the government or the minister unless it is signed by the minister or the deputy minister or 1 of the persons designated under subsection 4(4) to exercise the powers and perform the duties of the deputy minister in the circumstances specified.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to transactions in the ordinary routine course of administering the affairs of the department under this Act.
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21. The minister, the deputy minister or an officer named by the minister under subsection 4(4) may require an account furnished by a person, whether in the employ of the department or not, to be attested on oath or affirmation, which oath or affirmation may be administered by the minister, the deputy minister or an officer referred to in subsection 4(4).
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22. The minister, the deputy minister or an officer named by the minister under subsection 4(4) shall have power to require and take security by way of bond or deposit of money for the performance of work in accordance with an agreement entered into with the minister or the department or an employee of the department.
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23. Unless otherwise provided by law, all actions, suits or other proceedings taken by the minister or the department for the enforcement of an agreement or for the recovery of damages in tort or arising out of contract or for the trial of a right in respect of real or other property under the control of the minister shall be instituted in the name of the Attorney General.
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Certified copies of documents
24. A copy of a document in the custody of the department, certified by the deputy minister to be a true copy, is considered to be authentic and is, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, evidence of the same legal effect as the original for the purpose of a proceeding in a court or for another purpose.
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25. (1) The minister, for and in the name of the Crown, may acquire by purchase, lease or otherwise and hold, manage and control real or personal property which the minister considers necessary for the purpose of this Act.
(2) The minister may
(a) sell; or
(b) lease, rent, hire or otherwise dispose of for a period and subject to those terms and conditions that the minister may stipulate,
property of which the minister has the management and control.
(3) All money received by the minister in the exercise of the powers conferred on the minister by subsection (2) shall be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
(4) Where the Crown acquires or disposes of property through the minister, the minister or the deputy minister may execute all deeds and documents on behalf of the Crown with his or her signature and official title and with the seal of the department.
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26. Payments required to be made by or on behalf of the Crown under an agreement entered into under this Act or in carrying out this Act or the regulations shall be paid by the Minister of Finance, on the request of the minister, out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
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27. (1) A person who fails to comply with or otherwise contravenes this Act or the regulations is guilty of an offence and is, where no penalty is specifically provided in this Act or the regulations, liable on summary conviction in the case of a 1st conviction to a fine not exceeding $500 and in the case of a 2nd or subsequent conviction for a similar offence to a fine not exceeding $1,000 and, in either case, in default of payment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months.
(2) For the purpose of subsection (1), a conviction is not considered to be a 2nd or subsequent conviction unless it is in respect of an offence committed within 12 months after a prior offence and all convictions which are not 2nd or subsequent convictions are considered 1st convictions.
(3) Every continuance for a day or part of a day of the failure to comply or other contravention referred to in subsection (1) constitutes a separate offence.
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Consent to prosecution
28. A prosecution under this Act or the regulations shall not be taken except with the written consent of the minister.
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Back to Top
1. Adoption of Children Act
2. Blind Persons Allowances Act
3. Canada-Newfoundland Unemployment Assistance Act
4. Child Welfare Act
5. Day Care and Homemaker Services Act
6. Disabled Persons Act
7. Health and Public Welfare Act (Part XII)
8. Limited Administration of Estates Members of Services Act
9. Poor Debtors Act
10. Rehabilitation Act
11. Social Assistance Act
12. Social Workers Registration Act
13. Young Persons Offences Act (with Justice)
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