Qp Date

Assistance to Shelter Act

[SBC 2009] CHAPTER 32

Assented to November 26, 2009

Contents
1Definitions
2Extreme weather alert by community representative
3Extreme weather alert by minister
4Delegation by minister
5Assessment if person is person at risk
6Request to go to emergency shelter or accommodation
7Transport to emergency shelter
8Regulations
9Commencement

Definitions

1  In this Act:

"BC Housing" means the British Columbia Housing Management Commission as continued under section 10 (1) (b) of the Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing Act;

"community representative" means the person designated in an Extreme Weather Response Plan to issue or cancel extreme weather alerts;

"emergency shelter" means a building or a portion of a building that is used to provide temporary accommodation free of charge to persons to meet the persons' immediate basic needs for shelter;

"extreme weather alert" means an extreme weather alert under section 2 or 3;

"extreme weather conditions" means

(a) in relation to a geographical area to which an Extreme Weather Response Plan applies,

(i)   the weather conditions, but not other factors, set out in the description of extreme weather in the Extreme Weather Response Plan, or

(ii)   any prescribed conditions that are not addressed or identified in the Extreme Weather Response Plan, or

(b) in relation to a geographical area to which no Extreme Weather Response Plan applies, the prescribed conditions;

"Extreme Weather Response Plan" means a current plan, filed with BC Housing, of a person who has entered into an agreement with BC Housing to participate in BC Housing's emergency shelter program, which plan includes, without limitation, the following:

(a) a description of the geographical area to which the plan applies;

(b) a description of weather conditions that are the basis for issuing an extreme weather alert;

(c) a designation of a community representative;

"person at risk" means a person assessed to be a person at risk under section 5;

"police force" means

(a) the provincial police force within the meaning of the Police Act,

(b) a municipal police department within the meaning of the Police Act, and

(c) any prescribed designated policing unit that has been prescribed by the minister responsible for the Police Act as a police force under that Act;

"police officer" means a person who, under the Police Act,

(a) is a provincial constable or municipal constable or has the powers of a provincial constable or municipal constable, or

(b) is a constable other than a constable referred to in paragraph (a) and is within a class of constables prescribed under section 8 (2) (c) of this Act.

Extreme weather alert by community representative

2  (1) In this section, "extreme weather conditions" has the meaning under paragraph (a) (i) of the definition of "extreme weather conditions" in section 1.

(2) A community representative designated for the geographical area to which an Extreme Weather Response Plan applies may do all of the following:

(a) determine when extreme weather conditions exist;

(b) if, in the opinion of the community representative, extreme weather conditions exist, issue an extreme weather alert in the prescribed manner;

(c) immediately after issuing an extreme weather alert, notify, in the prescribed manner, the following that an extreme weather alert has been issued:

(i)   all of the police forces in the geographical area to which the Extreme Weather Response Plan applies;

(ii)   the minister;

(d) determine when extreme weather conditions no longer exist;

(e) if, in the opinion of the community representative, extreme weather conditions no longer exist, cancel the extreme weather alert in the prescribed manner;

(f) immediately after cancelling an extreme weather alert, notify, in the prescribed manner, the following that an extreme weather alert has been cancelled:

(i)   all of the police forces in the geographical area to which the Extreme Weather Response Plan applies;

(ii)   the minister.

(3) The minister may cancel, in the prescribed manner, an extreme weather alert issued under this section if the community representative does not cancel the extreme weather alert under subsection (2) and, in the opinion of the minister, extreme weather conditions no longer exist.

(4) If the minister cancels an extreme weather alert under subsection (3), the minister must immediately notify, in the prescribed manner, all of the police forces in the geographical area to which the Extreme Weather Response Plan applies that the extreme weather alert has been cancelled.

Extreme weather alert by minister

3  (1) The minister may issue an extreme weather alert in the prescribed manner for a geographical area if, in the opinion of the minister,

(a) extreme weather conditions exist in the geographical area and no Extreme Weather Response Plan applies to the geographical area,

(b) extreme weather conditions exist in the geographical area that are not addressed or identified in the Extreme Weather Response Plan that applies to the geographical area, or

(c) extreme weather conditions as described in an Extreme Weather Response Plan exist in the geographical area, but the community representative has not issued an extreme weather alert under section 2.

(2) Immediately after issuing an extreme weather alert under subsection (1), the minister must notify, in the prescribed manner, all of the police forces in the geographical area to which the extreme weather alert applies that the minister has issued an extreme weather alert.

(3) If, in the opinion of the minister, extreme weather conditions no longer exist in a geographical area with respect to which the minister has issued an extreme weather alert under subsection (1), the minister must

(a) cancel, in the prescribed manner, the extreme weather alert for that geographical area, and

(b) immediately after cancelling the extreme weather alert, notify, in the prescribed manner, all of the police forces in the geographical area to which the extreme weather alert applied that the minister has cancelled the extreme weather alert.

Delegation by minister

4  (1) The minister may delegate the minister's powers and duties under sections 2 and 3 to

(a) an assistant deputy minister, or

(b) the chief executive officer of BC Housing.

(2) A delegation of the powers and duties of the minister under subsection (1) must be in writing and may include any limits or conditions the minister considers advisable.

Assessment if person is person at risk

5  (1) If an extreme weather alert has been issued under section 2 or 3 and is in effect, a police officer may assess whether a person is a person at risk.

(2) In an assessment under subsection (1), a police officer must consider whether all of the following apply:

(a) the person is in the geographical area to which the extreme weather alert applies;

(b) the person is, or reasonably appears to be, 19 years of age or older;

(c) the person, in the opinion of the police officer, is suffering physical harm or is at risk of suffering physical harm because of the extreme weather conditions;

(d) any other prescribed considerations.

Request to go to emergency shelter or accommodation

6  (1) If a police officer has made an assessment under section 5 that a person is a person at risk, the police officer may request the person at risk to choose to

(a) accompany the police officer to an emergency shelter, or

(b) go unaccompanied to

(i)   an emergency shelter, or

(ii)   any other accommodation that would protect the person at risk from the extreme weather conditions.

(2) For purposes of subsection (1) (b) (ii), the accommodation must be accommodation

(a) to which the person at risk can secure entry,

(b) in which the person at risk is entitled or permitted to reside,

(c) that is a structure, vehicle or vessel primarily designed to be used as living quarters and provides protection from physical harm or risk of physical harm due to extreme weather conditions, and

(d) that meets any other prescribed conditions.

Transport to emergency shelter

7  If a person at risk refuses to comply with or fails to respond to the police officer's request under section 6, the police officer, using reasonable force if necessary, may transport the person at risk to an emergency shelter.

Regulations

8  (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations referred to in section 41 of the Interpretation Act.

(2) Without limiting this section, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations as follows:

(a) prescribing conditions for the purposes of the definition of "extreme weather conditions";

(b) prescribing designated policing units for the purposes of the definition of "police force";

(c) prescribing one or more classes of constables for the purposes of the definition of "police officer";

(d) respecting the manner of issuing and cancelling extreme weather alerts;

(e) respecting the manner of notifications regarding extreme weather alerts;

(f) prescribing geographical areas respecting the issue and cancellation of extreme weather alerts;

(g) prescribing additional considerations for a police officer when making an assessment under section 5 (2) (d);

(h) prescribing additional conditions under section 6 (2) (d);

(i) defining any expression that is used but not defined in this Act.

(3) A regulation under this Act may do any or all of the following:

(a) delegate a matter to a person;

(b) confer a discretion on a person;

(c) make different regulations in relation to different geographical areas, extreme weather conditions, persons, things or circumstances, or different classes of geographical areas, extreme weather conditions, persons, things or circumstances.

Commencement

9  This Act comes into force on the date of Royal Assent.