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Safer Witnesses Act (S.C. 2013, c. 29)

Assented to 2013-06-26

 Section 13 of the Act is replaced by the following:

Marginal note:Informer privilege

12.1 Informer privilege at common law prevails over any authority to disclose information provided under this Act.

Marginal note:Claim — new identity

13. A person shall not be liable or otherwise punished for making a claim that the new identity of a protected person, whose identity has been changed as a consequence of the protection provided under the Program or under a designated program, is and has been the protected person’s only identity.

Marginal note:Claim — providing protection

13.1 A person who provides protection or directly or indirectly assists in providing protection under the Program or under a designated program shall not be liable or otherwise punished for making a claim that they do not

  • (a) provide or assist in providing protection; or

  • (b) know a protected person or know that a person is a protected person.

 The heading before section 14 of the English version of the Act is replaced by the following:

AGREEMENTS AND ARRANGEMENTS

 The Act is amended by adding the following after section 14:

Marginal note:Agreement or arrangement — Commissioner
  • 14.1 (1) The Commissioner may enter into an agreement or arrangement with a federal department, agency or service regarding disclosures — that are described in paragraph 11(1)(a) and that relate to a current or former protectee — to each other or to another federal department, agency or service or any provincial department, agency or service.

  • Marginal note:Agreement or arrangement — provincial official

    (2) A provincial official may enter into an agreement or arrangement with a provincial department, agency or service of the same province as that official regarding disclosures — that are described in paragraph 11(1)(a) and that relate to a current or former designated program protectee — to each other or to another department, agency or service of the same province or any federal department, agency or service.

  • Marginal note:Factors to be considered

    (3) The Commissioner or a provincial official shall consider the factors set out in paragraphs 12(a) to (e) in determining whether to enter into an agreement or arrangement and in establishing its terms.

  • Marginal note:Mandatory terms

    (4) An agreement or arrangement shall include the following terms:

    • (a) a party is not permitted to make a disclosure unless it is for a purpose that is essential for the administration of justice or public safety and that is specified in the agreement or arrangement; and

    • (b) the parties shall take whatever steps are necessary, including any steps specified in the agreement or arrangement, to protect information that is disclosed from being disclosed beyond what is strictly necessary in the circumstances.

  • Marginal note:Multiple departments, agencies or services

    (5) More than one department, agency or service may be party to a single agreement or arrangement.

Marginal note:2000, c. 24, s. 75(E)

 Section 15 of the Act is replaced by the following:

Marginal note:Delegation — Commissioner
  • 15. (1) The Commissioner may delegate to any member of the Force any of his or her powers, duties and functions under this Act, except the power to delegate under this section and the power to

    • (a) determine whether to disclose information under any of paragraphs 11.2(2)(b) to (d) and subsection 11.2(4);

    • (b) enter into an agreement or arrangement under subsection 14.1(1);

    • (c) designate an Assistant Commissioner to be responsible for the Program; and

    • (d) determine whether to admit a witness to the Program, to change the identity of a protectee and to terminate the protection provided to a protectee.

  • Marginal note:Assistant Commissioner

    (2) The Commissioner may designate an Assistant Commissioner to be responsible for the Program and, despite paragraph (1)(d), may delegate the powers set out in that paragraph to that Assistant Commissioner.

Marginal note:Delegation — provincial official

15.1 A provincial official may delegate to any official of the same province or municipality any of his or her powers, duties and functions under this Act, except the power to

  • (a) determine whether to disclose information under paragraphs 11.3(2)(b) and (c) and subsection 11.3(3); and

  • (b) enter into an agreement or arrangement under subsection 14.1(2).

 Section 17 of the Act is replaced by the following:

Marginal note:Policy directions

17. The Commissioner shall give effect to any directions that the Minister may make concerning matters of general policy that are related to the administration of the Program and to the coordination of activities under this Act respecting a designated program.

 Section 18 of the Act is replaced by the following:

Marginal note:Cooperation

18. Subject to the confidentiality requirements imposed by any other Act of Parliament, federal departments, agencies and services shall, to the extent possible, cooperate with the Commissioner and persons acting on his or her behalf in the administration of the Program and of activities under this Act respecting a designated program.

Marginal note:Terminology

 The French version of the Act is amended by replacing “programme” with “Programme” in the following provisions:

  • (a) section 1;

  • (b) section 4;

  • (c) section 7;

  • (d) subparagraph 8(b)(iv);

  • (e) paragraph 9(1)(a);

  • (f) section 14;

  • (g) subsection 16(1); and

  • (h) paragraph 20(a).

 The Act is amended by adding, after section 23, the schedule set out in the schedule to this Act.

R.S., c. A-1CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENT TO THE ACCESS TO INFORMATION ACT

 Schedule II to the Access to Information Act is amended by adding, in alphabet-ical order, a reference to

  • Witness Protection Program Act

    Loi sur le Programme de protection des témoins

and a corresponding reference to “section 11”.

COORDINATING AMENDMENT

Marginal note:Bill C-42

 If Bill C-42, introduced in the 1st session of the 41st Parliament and entitled the Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act, receives royal assent, then, on the first day on which both section 35 of that Act and section 12 of this Act are in force, paragraphs 45.4(1)(b) and (c) of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act are replaced by the following:

COMING INTO FORCE

Marginal note:Order in council

 The provisions of this Act, other than section 23, come into force on a day or days to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council.

 
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