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Crime Victim Assistance Act

[SBC 2001] CHAPTER 38

Assented to August 27, 2001

Contents
Part 1 — Interpretation and Application of Act
1Definitions and interpretation
2Application of Act
Part 2 — Benefits
3Application for benefits
4Award of benefits
5Criminal law matters respecting the death or injury
6Information and verification
6.1Powers of director
7Interim benefit
8Assignments of amounts owing under judgment or settlement
9Refusal or reduction of benefits
10Payment of benefits to legal representative
11Notice of decision
12Information and reassessment
Part 3 — Reconsideration
13Request for reconsideration
14Conduct of reconsideration
14.1Judicial review
Part 4 — Action for Damages
15Legal action by victim, immediate family member or witness
16Legal action by the director
17Distribution of proceeds from an action
Part 5 — General Provisions
18Director
19Offences
20Other provisions relating to offences
21No garnishment of benefit
22Information-sharing agreements
22.1Powers of director
23Overpayments, repayments and assignments
24Delivery
25Repealed
26Power to make regulations
Part 6 — Transitional and Consequential Provisions
27Interpretation Act
28Transitional
29Transfer of applications filed under the former Act
30Transitional regulations
31–35 Consequential Amendments
36Commencement

Part 1 — Interpretation and Application of Act

Definitions and interpretation

1  (1) In this Act:

"adult" means a person who has reached 19 years of age;

"applicant" means a person who makes an application under section 3 (1);

"benefit" means a benefit in a category set out in section 4;

"director" means the director designated under section 18;

"former Act" means the Criminal Injury Compensation Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 85;

"immediate family member" means a person who, at the time of the prescribed offence or the event that resulted in the death or injury of a victim, was

(a) a spouse, child, sibling, step sibling, half sibling or parent of the victim, and, for this purpose,

(i) "spouse" means a person who

(A) is married to the victim,

(B) is living and cohabiting with the victim in a marriage-like relationship, or

(C) is recognized under subsection (2) as the spouse of the victim,

(ii) "child" includes

(A) a child to whom the victim stands in the place of a parent,

(B) a person recognized under subsection (2) as the child of the victim,

(C) a child of the victim born after the death of the victim, or

(D) an adult to whom the victim stood in the place of a parent when the adult was a child, and

(iii) "parent" includes

(A) a person who stands in the place of a parent to the victim, or

(B) a person who stood in the place of a parent to the victim when the victim was a child, or

(b) if dependent in whole or in part on the victim for financial support, a grandparent or grandchild of the victim;

"injury" means bodily harm, including psychological harm, or pregnancy;

"legal representative" means a person who has the legal authority to act on behalf of a victim, an immediate family member or a witness in relation to a matter that is the subject of an application under section 3 (1) or an award of a benefit under this Act;

"prescribed offence" means an offence under the Criminal Code prescribed for the purposes of section 3 (1) (a) (i);

"psychological harm" means a psychological condition that

(a) interferes with the health or comfort of a person, and

(b) is more than merely transient or trifling in nature;

"public service employee" means an employee as defined in section 1 of the Public Service Act;

"victim" means a person, other than a witness, who is killed or injured as a direct result of

(a) a prescribed offence, or

(b) an event referred to in section 3 (1) (a) (ii);

"witness" means a person who satisfies the requirements of section 3 (1) (c).

(2) The director may recognize a person as the spouse or child of a victim for the purposes of this Act if, at the time of the death or injury of the victim, the person

(a) was qualified as a spouse or child of the victim under an enactment of British Columbia or Canada to apply for maintenance or support from the victim, or

(b) was entitled to maintenance, support or alimony from the victim under an order or agreement enforceable under such an enactment.

Application of Act

2  This Act does not apply with respect to

(a) the death or injury of a victim that is the result of

(i) an offence or event that occurred on or before July 1, 1972, or

(ii) the operation of a motor vehicle, other than an assault using a motor vehicle, or

(b) the death or injury of a person that arises out of, and occurs in the course of, that person's employment, if compensation under the Workers Compensation Act, the Government Employees Compensation Act (Canada) or a similar Act in another jurisdiction is payable with respect to the death or injury.

Part 2 — Benefits

Application for benefits

3  (1) The following persons may apply to the director for a benefit in accordance with the regulations:

(a) a person who is injured as a direct result of

(i) a prescribed offence committed in British Columbia, or

(ii) an event in British Columbia in which the person was

(A) lawfully arresting or attempting to arrest a person, or assisting or attempting to assist a peace officer to arrest a person, in respect of a criminal offence, or

(B) lawfully preventing or attempting to prevent an offence, or a suspected offence, under the Criminal Code or assisting or attempting to assist a peace officer to do so;

(b) an immediate family member who

(i) experiences economic loss or psychological harm as a result of the death or injury of a victim, or

(ii) is a minor child of a deceased victim;

(c) a person who, although not necessarily related to a victim, has a strong emotional attachment to the victim, and who

(i) witnesses in close proximity

(A) a prescribed offence that causes a life threatening injury to, or the death of, the victim, or

(B) the immediate aftermath of a prescribed offence that causes the death of the victim,

in circumstances that are sufficient to alarm, shock and frighten a reasonable person with that emotional attachment to the victim, and

(ii) suffers psychological harm that

(A) is diagnosed by a registered psychologist, a medical practitioner or a nurse practitioner as a recognized psychological or psychiatric condition, and

(B) in the opinion of the person who makes the diagnosis, is a result of the circumstances in subparagraph (i);

(d) on behalf of a person referred to in paragraphs (a) to (c),

(i) a legal representative, or

(ii) if the person does not have a legal representative and is physically or mentally incapable of making the application, an immediate family member.

(2) An application under subsection (1) must be made within one year from the date of the prescribed offence or the event to which it relates.

(3) If the victim, immediate family member or witness is a person who has not reached 19 years of age, the time limit under subsection (2) is extended until the date that is one year after the date the person reaches 19 years of age.

(4) Subsection (2) does not apply to a victim if the application relates to a prescribed offence and that offence

(a) is based on sexual misconduct that occurred while the victim was under 19 years of age, or

(b) is or includes a sexual assault.

(5) The director may extend the time limit for making an application if satisfied that the application could not reasonably have been made within the period specified under subsection (2) or (3).

(6) In the case of an applicant who makes one or more applications that relate to 2 or more prescribed offences, the director may treat 2 or more prescribed offences as one prescribed offence if the offences are, in the opinion of the director, related, connected or of a similar nature and involve the same persons.

Award of benefits

4  (1) Subject to the regulations, if an application for a benefit is made under section 3 (1) by or on behalf of a victim whose need for the benefit arose as a result of the prescribed offence or the event that resulted in the victim's injury, the director may award a benefit to that victim, in the circumstances and subject to the conditions and limitations that the director considers appropriate, in any of the following categories:

(a) medical or dental services or expenses;

(b) prescription drug expenses;

(c) disability aids;

(d) counselling services or expenses;

(e) vocational services or expenses;

(f) protective measures, services or expenses;

(g) repair or replacement of damaged or destroyed personal property;

(h) home modification, maintenance or moving expenses;

(i) vehicle modification or acquisition;

(j) homemaker, childcare or personal care services or expenses;

(k) maintenance for a child born as a result of the prescribed offence;

(l) income support;

(m) lost earning capacity;

(n) transportation and related expenses;

(o) a prescribed category.

(2) Subject to the regulations, if an application for a benefit is made under section 3 (1) by or on behalf of an immediate family member whose need for the benefit arose as a result of the death or injury of the victim, the director may award a benefit to that immediate family member, in the circumstances and subject to the conditions and limitations that the director considers appropriate, in any of the following categories:

(a) counselling services or expenses;

(b) prescription drug expenses;

(c) vocational services or expenses;

(d) funeral expenses;

(e) income support;

(f) transportation and related expenses;

(g) loss of parental guidance for a minor child;

(h) earnings loss due to bereavement leave;

(i) a prescribed category.

(3) Subject to the regulations, if an application for a benefit is made under section 3 (1) by or on behalf of a witness, the director may award a benefit to the witness, in the circumstances and subject to the conditions and limitations that the director considers appropriate, in any of the following categories:

(a) counselling services or expenses;

(b) prescription drug expenses;

(c) transportation and related expenses;

(d) a prescribed category.

(4) The director may reimburse a victim, an immediate family member or a witness for expenses that, before the director's decision is made in respect of an application, were reasonably and necessarily incurred to obtain an item or service that the victim, immediate family member or witness is awarded as a benefit under subsection (1), (2) or (3).

(5) If a benefit referred to in subsection (1) (k) is awarded to a victim, the director may provide that benefit to the legal guardian of the child on the death of the victim and on the request of that legal guardian.

(6) If the director provides a benefit to a guardian under subsection (5), that guardian is deemed to have the rights and responsibilities under this Act of a victim who made an application under section 3 (1) for a benefit referred to in subsection (1) (k).

(7) The director may provide a benefit

(a) as a lump sum payment,

(b) as periodic payments,

(c) by commuting all or part of a lump sum payment into periodic payments,

(d) by commuting all or part of periodic payments to one or more lump sum payments,

(e) as a product or as a service, or

(f) by a combination of methods described in paragraphs (a) to (e).

(8) The director may postpone a decision with respect to an application under section 3 (1)

(a) until an applicant or a person for whom an application has been made under section 3 (1) has applied for compensation, an amount or a service from a source other than under this Act, for which the victim, immediate family member or witness is or may be eligible as a result of the death or injury of the victim, or

(b) until the rights of the victim, immediate family member or witness in relation to an application referred to in paragraph (a) are determined and no appeal or further appeal is available from that determination.

Criminal law matters respecting the death or injury

5  (1) A benefit may be awarded whether or not any person is prosecuted for an offence in relation to the victim's death or injury.

(2) For the purposes of this Act, a person is deemed to have intended an act or omission that causes a death or injury whether or not the person is legally capable of forming intent.

(3) The director may postpone a decision with respect to an application under section 3 (1) until a prosecution or intended prosecution of an accused in relation to the death or injury of the victim is determined and no appeal or further appeal is available.

(4) For the purposes of this Act, proof that a person has been convicted, discharged under section 730 of the Criminal Code or found to be not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder for an offence in relation to the victim's death or injury, and that no appeal or further appeal of that verdict is available, is conclusive evidence that the offence was committed.

Information and verification

6  (1) For the purposes of determining whether a victim, an immediate family member or a witness is eligible for a benefit and, if so, its form, amount or duration, the director may do one or more of the following:

(a) require the applicant to provide the director with the information, documents, statements, reports, books, papers or other evidence the director considers necessary;

(b) require the applicant to disclose to the director any amounts that the victim, immediate family member or witness has received, may be eligible to receive or would have been eligible to receive from a source other than under this Act;

(c) require the victim, immediate family member or witness to undergo an examination or assessment by a medical practitioner, a health professional or another expert specified by the director;

(d) require a medical practitioner, a health professional, an expert or another person to provide a report or information, if authorized by or on behalf of the individual to whom the report or information relates;

(e) seek verification of information provided by the applicant and require the applicant to provide the information or consent necessary for that verification;

(f) require a police force referred to in section 1.1 of the Police Act to provide copies of, or access to, a police incident report or a report to Crown counsel related to the prescribed offence or the event that caused the death or injury of the victim.

(2) A medical practitioner, a health professional, an expert or another person must provide the report required by the director in the form and within the time specified by the director.

(3) The director may accept and consider any evidence provided or obtained under subsection (1) or other evidence that the director considers may be of assistance, whether or not it would be admissible as evidence in a court of law.

(4) If an applicant fails to comply with a requirement under subsection (1) (a), (b) or (e), or if a victim, an immediate family member or a witness fails to comply with a requirement under subsection (1) (c), the director may declare that the victim, immediate family member or witness by or for whom the application under section 3 (1) was made is ineligible for any benefit until the requirement is satisfied.

Powers of director

6.1  (1) For the purposes of making a decision under this Act, the director, by summons, may require a person

(a) to attend at a place and time mentioned in the summons, which time must be a reasonable time from the date of the summons,

(b) to provide the director with all documents, statements, reports, books, papers or other evidence in the person's possession, custody or power in any way relating to the application, or

(c) to comply with both paragraphs (a) and (b).

(2) A person named in and served with a summons referred to in subsection (1)

(a) must comply with the summons, and

(b) if the summons requires the person to attend under subsection (1) (a), must attend before the director and answer on oath, unless the director orders otherwise, all questions relating to the subject matter of the application.

(3) When the director exercises a power under subsection (1), a person who fails or refuses to comply with subsection (2) is liable, on application to the Supreme Court, to be committed for contempt as if in breach of an order or a judgment of the Supreme Court.

Interim benefit

7  (1) Despite section 4 (1), (2) or (3), but subject to the regulations, the director may provide a benefit or a part of a benefit on an interim basis in the circumstances and subject to the conditions and limitations that the director considers appropriate if satisfied that

(a) the applicant is making reasonable efforts to ensure that anything required by the director under section 6 (1) is provided,

(b) the victim, immediate family member or witness is likely to be awarded the benefit, and

(c) the victim, immediate family member or witness will suffer hardship if there is a delay in providing all or part of the benefit.

(2) [Repealed 2002-52-6.]

(3) A request for a reconsideration under section 13 (1) may not be made with respect to a decision under subsection (1).

Assignments of amounts owing under judgment or settlement

8  (1) In this section, "judgment" or "settlement" means

(a) a judgment in or a settlement of a legal action taken by a victim, an immediate family member, a witness or a legal representative against a person for damages arising out of the prescribed offence or event that resulted in the death or injury of the victim, or

(b) an amount ordered under section 738 of the Criminal Code to be paid to the victim as restitution with respect to the injury to the victim or damage to the victim's personal property as a result of the prescribed offence or event that resulted in the victim's injury.

(2) Before or after providing a benefit, the director may require that the victim, immediate family member, witness or legal representative assign to the director in a manner satisfactory to the director all or part of any right of the victim, immediate family member or witness

(a) to receive payment of an amount owing under a judgment or settlement, or

(b) to enforce a judgment or settlement

whether the judgment is given or filed, or the settlement agreed to, before or after the making of the assignment.

(3) The amount that may be recovered under an assignment referred to in subsection (2)

(a) with respect to a judgment that identifies the amount of damages or restitution in different categories, is the cost or value of benefits provided that have the same or similar purposes as the categories of damages or restitution identified, or

(b) with respect to a settlement or judgment that provides a global assessment of damages, is the cost or value of the benefits provided.

Refusal or reduction of benefits

9  (1) The director must not award a benefit

(a) to a victim or an immediate family member if the victim is a party to the prescribed offence, or

(b) to an immediate family member or a witness if the immediate family member or witness is a party to the prescribed offence.

(2) Subject to the regulations, the director may refuse to provide or may reduce the amount of, limit, suspend or terminate a benefit

(a) if an applicant or a person for whom an application is made refuses or fails to apply for compensation or for an amount or a service from a source other than under this Act for which the victim, immediate family member or witness is or may be eligible or would have been eligible as a result of the death or injury of a victim,

(b) if, in the opinion of the director, the conduct of the victim, immediate family member or witness directly or indirectly contributed to the victim's death or injury, or

(c) if, in the opinion of the director, the recipient of the benefit engages in conduct or an activity that

(i) is detrimental to the recipient's health or safety,

(ii) undermines the purpose of the benefit, or

(iii) is contrary to a condition imposed on the receipt of the benefit.

(3) Subject to the regulations, the director may refuse to provide or may reduce the amount of, limit, suspend or terminate a benefit awarded to

(a) the victim if the victim did not make a report to the appropriate law enforcement authority respecting the prescribed offence or the event that resulted in the injury, or

(b) the victim, an immediate family member or a witness if

(i) that victim,

(ii) that immediate family member, or

(iii) that witness

has not cooperated with law enforcement authorities in the investigation, apprehension or prosecution of a person whose act or omission resulted in the victim's death or injury.

(4) In determining the benefit to be awarded to a victim, an immediate family member or a witness, the director must deduct

(a) an amount received under a judgment or settlement defined in section 8 (1),

(b) a payment received from a restitution or compensation order related to the prescribed offence or to the event that resulted in the victim's death or injury, and

(c) compensation or an amount or a service that the victim, immediate family member or witness has received, or is or may be eligible or would have been eligible to receive, from a source other than under this Act for the same or a similar purpose for which the benefit is to be provided.

(5) If a recipient of a benefit has received or is or may be eligible or would have been eligible to receive compensation or an amount or a service from a source other than under this Act for the same or a similar purpose for which the benefit was provided,

(a) the recipient must, on the request of the director, repay all or a portion of the value of the benefit, up to the amount received from the other source or for which the recipient was eligible or would have been eligible to receive from the other source, or

(b) the director may deduct from any future benefit to be provided to the recipient the amount received from the other source or for which the recipient was eligible or would have been eligible to receive from the other source up to the amount of the benefit provided.

Payment of benefits to legal representative

10  (1) If the director awards a benefit to an adult for whom a legal representative made an application, any benefit provided as a payment must be paid in trust for the adult to that legal representative.

(2) If the director has concerns at any time about the ability of a person to manage a benefit provided as a payment, the director may pay the amount of the benefit to the Public Guardian and Trustee in trust for the victim, immediate family member or witness to or for whom the benefit was awarded.

Notice of decision

11  (1) The director must deliver to the applicant written notice of

(a) any decision for which a request for a reconsideration may be made under section 13 (1),

(b) the reasons for that decision, and

(c) the applicant's right under section 13 (1) to request that the director reconsider the decision.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply with respect to a decision under section 7 about whether to provide a benefit on an interim basis.

Information and reassessment

12  (1) A person receiving a benefit or the applicant for that person must, in writing, notify the director as soon as practicable, if the person's circumstances have changed in a manner that affects or may affect the person's eligibility for the benefit.

(2) An applicant, or a person for whom an application has been made under section 3 (1), may at any time

(a) provide the director with new information that may affect the eligibility for a benefit, and

(b) after providing the new information under paragraph (a), request a reassessment of the eligibility for the benefit of the person by or for whom the application was made.

(3) On the director's own initiative or on receipt of information, the director may reassess a person's eligibility for a benefit.

(4) Subject to the regulations, the director may do any of the following on the basis of the reassessment:

(a) provide, refuse to provide, suspend or terminate the provision of a benefit;

(b) limit, increase or decrease a benefit;

(c) alter the amount, duration, nature, content or form of the benefit;

(d) impose or modify conditions for receipt of the benefit or any other benefit being provided.

(5) The director must notify an applicant, or a person for whom an application has been made under section 3 (1), in writing of the result of the reassessment.

Part 3 — Reconsideration

Request for reconsideration

13  (1) A victim, an immediate family member, a witness or a person referred to in section 3 (1) (d) may request the director to reconsider any of the following decisions:

(a) refusing to

(i) allow the exemption described in section 3 (4) from the time for application under section 3 (2), or

(ii) extend the time for application under section 3 (5);

(b) refusing to award, provide, limit, suspend or terminate a benefit;

(c) setting or altering the amount, duration, nature, content or form of a benefit awarded;

(d) a decision made under section 9;

(e) refusing to conduct a reassessment under section 12;

(e.1) varying or rescinding a decision of the director under section 12 (4);

(f) determining the amount a person is liable to repay under section 23 (1).

(2) A request under subsection (1) must

(a) be in writing,

(b) be delivered to the director within 60 days from the date that notice of the decision was delivered under section 11, and

(c) identify

(i) the decision to be reconsidered, and

(ii) the error the person who makes the request believes was made in coming to the decision.

(3) The director may extend the time limit for making the request if satisfied on application that a request for a reconsideration could not reasonably have been delivered within the period specified in subsection (2) (b).

(4) If a person does not request a reconsideration within the time limit provided in subsection (2) (b) or, if an extension has been granted under subsection (3), within the time limit under that subsection,

(a) the applicant is deemed to have accepted the decision, and

(b) subject to section 12, the decision is final and conclusive and is not open to review in a court or to appeal to any body.

Conduct of reconsideration

14  (1) On receiving a request for reconsideration in accordance with section 13, the director must do one of the following:

(a) if the director did not make the decision that is to be reconsidered, reconsider the decision;

(b) delegate the reconsideration to one or more persons who did not participate in the decision to be reconsidered.

(2) A person reconsidering a decision must consider only the material that was considered in making that decision and that person may

(a) confirm the decision,

(b) vary or rescind the decision, effective from the date of the decision, or

(c) dismiss the request if he or she considers it to be frivolous or vexatious.

(3) The director must deliver to the person who requested the reconsideration written notice of

(a) the decision made in response to the request, and

(b) the reasons for that decision.

(4) [Repealed 2002-52-11.]

Judicial review

14.1  (1) Subject to section 12, a decision under section 14 (2) and a decision that is not permitted to be reconsidered under section 13 (1) are final and conclusive and are not open

(a) to review in a court, except on a question of law or excess of jurisdiction, or

(b) to appeal to any body.

(2) An application for judicial review on a question of law or excess of jurisdiction must be brought not later than 60 days after the decision is made that is the subject of the application.

Part 4 — Action for Damages

Legal action by victim, immediate family member or witness

15  (1) If, after the date an application is made under section 3 (1) and before an action has been commenced under section 16 (1), a victim, an immediate family member, a witness or a legal representative commences an action against any person arising out of the prescribed offence or the event that resulted in the death or injury of the victim, a copy of the notice of civil claim must be delivered to the director within 10 days after the date that pleading was served on the defendant in the action.

(2) Subject to section 16 (3), the amount that the victim, immediate family member or witness may claim as damages in an action referred to in subsection (1) of this section is not reduced by the cost or value of a benefit provided or that may be provided under this Act.

(3) A settlement or release in respect of an action referred to in subsection (1) of this section that is made or given after the date a benefit is provided to or for the victim, immediate family member or witness in respect of whom the action was commenced does not bar the right of the director under section 16 (1) unless the director concurred in the settlement or release.

Legal action by the director

16  (1) The director may bring an action against any person arising out of the prescribed offence or the event that resulted in the death or injury of the victim in the name of the Director of Crime Victim Assistance if a benefit has been provided to or for the victim, immediate family member or witness, and

(a) no action referred to in section 15 (1) has been commenced by that victim, immediate family member or witness, or

(b) an action referred to in section 15 (1) has been commenced by the victim, immediate family member or witness and, without the concurrence of the director, a settlement was agreed to or a release was given in respect of the action after the date a benefit was provided under this Act.

(2) If the director commences an action under subsection (1), the director may claim and is deemed to be an assignee of, and is subrogated to, the rights of the victim, immediate family member or witness to damages in the action equal to the cost or value of the benefits provided, or that will be provided, under an award in the same or a similar category of benefits as the damages that may be claimed in the action.

(3) If the director commences an action under subsection (1), the amount that a victim, immediate family member or witness may claim in an action referred to in section 15 (1) that is commenced after the date that the director's action is commenced is reduced by the amount claimed by the director under subsection (2).

(4) If the director commences an action under subsection (1), the director must deliver to the victim, immediate family member, witness or legal representative a copy of the notice of civil claim within 10 days after it is served on the defendant in the action, and the victim, immediate family member, witness or legal representative must cooperate with the director as required in prosecuting the action.

(5) If a person fails to cooperate with the director as required under subsection (4), the director may suspend or rescind the decision with respect to the award, or reduce the award, to the victim, immediate family member or witness.

(6) If the director commences an action under this section, the court may award costs to the government.

Distribution of proceeds from an action

17  If the director brings an action referred to in section 16 (1), the amount recovered in the action from the defendant must be applied

(a) first, to pay the costs of bringing the action, including the costs of execution,

(b) second, to repayment of the amount claimed under section 16 (2), and

(c) third, to the victim, immediate family member or witness.

Part 5 — General Provisions

Director

18  (1) The minister may designate a public service employee as Director of Crime Victim Assistance.

(2) Subject to section 14 (1) (b), the director may delegate, with or without conditions, to any person, agency or body any power, duty or function of the director under this Act.

Offences

19  (1) A person must not make a false or misleading statement or provide false or misleading information in respect of an application or requirement to provide information under this Act.

(2) A person commits an offence who contravenes

(a) subsection (1),

(b) section 6 (2), or

(c) section 12 (1).

(3) A person does not commit an offence under subsection (2) (a) if, at the time the statement was made or the information was provided, the person did not know, and with the exercise of reasonable diligence could not have known, that the statement or information was false or misleading.

(4) If a person is convicted of an offence under this section, in addition to a penalty that may be imposed under the Offence Act, the court may order the person to pay the government all or part of the cost of any benefit, including an interim benefit under section 7, the director provided to the person,

(a) in the case of an offence under subsection (2) (a), in response to the application or the information, and

(b) in the case of an offence under subsection (2) (b), from the date the person was required to report the change in circumstances.

Other provisions relating to offences

20  (1) Section 5 of the Offence Act does not apply in respect of this Act or the regulations.

(2) The time limit for laying an information respecting an offence under this Act is 2 years after the facts on which the information is based first come to the knowledge of the director.

(3) A certificate purporting to have been issued by the director certifying the day on which he or she became aware of the facts on which an information is based is admissible without proof of the signature or official character of the person appearing to have signed the document, and is proof of the certified facts unless there is evidence to the contrary.

No garnishment of benefit

21  (1) A benefit paid or payable under this Act is not subject to garnishment, attachment, seizure or another legal process except as authorized under the Family Maintenance Enforcement Act.

(2) A benefit paid or payable under this Act is not assignable except for the purpose of paying child or spousal maintenance or support.

Information-sharing agreements

22  (1) In this section, "information-sharing agreement" means an agreement or arrangement to exchange, by electronic data transmission, electronic data matching or any other means, personal information about a victim, immediate family member or witness.

(2) With the prior approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, the minister may enter into an information-sharing agreement with

(a) the government of Canada or an agency of that government,

(b) the government of a province or other jurisdiction in Canada or an agency of such a government,

(c) a government outside Canada or an agency of a government outside Canada, or

(d) a public body as defined in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

(3) An information-sharing agreement under subsection (2) may only be entered into for a prescribed purpose.

(4) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations for the purposes of this section, including regulations

(a) and (b) [Repealed 2002-52-15.]

(c) prescribing purposes for the purpose of subsection (3), and

(d) prescribing terms or conditions that must be included in an information-sharing agreement under subsection (2).

Powers of director

22.1  The director may

(a) enter into agreements, assignments or arrangements for the purposes of this Act,

(b) establish forms for use under this Act, and

(c) subject to the regulations, establish a tariff of fees payable for information, assessments, examinations, documents and reports required under this Act.

Overpayments, repayments and assignments

23  (1) If under section 9, 12 or 14 a person is determined to have been entitled to benefits, the cost or value of which is less than the cost or value of benefits provided to the person, that person is liable to repay to the government the cost or value of the benefits to which the person was not entitled, as determined by the director.

(1.1) Subsection (1) does not apply with respect to section 9, if the recipient of the benefits or the applicant for that person has requested a reassessment under section 12 or a reconsideration under section 13.

(2) Subject to the regulations, the director may enter into an agreement, or may accept any right assigned, for the repayment of benefits.

(3) An amount that a person is liable to repay under subsection (1) or under an agreement entered into under subsection (2) is a debt due to the government and may

(a) be recovered by it in a court of competent jurisdiction, or

(b) be deducted by it from any subsequent payment of a benefit.

Delivery

24  Anything that is delivered by mail under this Act is deemed to have been delivered on the 14th day after the date it is mailed.

Repealed

25  [Repealed 2002-52-18.]

Power to make regulations

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

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations as follows:

(a) prescribing offences under the Criminal Code for the purposes of section 3 (1) (a) (i);

(b) prescribing additional categories of benefits;

(c) prescribing health professionals or categories of health professionals and establishing different categories for different purposes;

(d) respecting the eligibility of a victim, an immediate family member or a witness for a benefit category or an item of benefit and the manner in which applications are to be made;

(e) respecting the amount, duration, frequency, nature, form, quality and type of a benefit or an item of benefit within each category of benefit;

(f) respecting the conditions and limitations on receipt of a benefit or an item of benefit and the consequences for a person not complying with them;

(g) respecting the alteration, increase, decrease, limiting, suspension and termination of benefits;

(h) respecting the establishment of different benefit categories or items of benefit, or benefits in different forms or amounts, among or within categories of victims, immediate family members, witnesses or applicants;

(i) respecting different eligibility requirements for different categories of victims, immediate family members, witnesses or applicants;

(j) respecting the means by which and the persons to whom benefits are to be provided;

(k) respecting the notification required and the circumstances under which notice is to be given to the director of a change in circumstances of a recipient of a benefit;

(l) respecting any particular circumstances that require the director to refuse, alter, increase, decrease, limit, suspend or terminate a benefit;

(m) respecting the reassessment and reconsideration of benefits and the manner of requesting or conducting a reassessment under section 12 or a reconsideration under section 14;

(n) respecting any power, duty or function of the director under this Act;

(o) defining any word or expression used but not defined in this Act.

(3) Regulations under subsections (1) and (2) may

(a) establish different eligibility requirements, different benefits or categories of benefits, different terms and conditions for receipt of benefits between the persons who applied under the former Act and applicants under this Act,

(b) prohibit applicants under this Act from receiving categories or items of benefit under this Act if they have received or are receiving categories or items of benefit under the former Act that are specified by the regulations, and

(c) adjust, limit, increase, decrease or alter the amount, duration or frequency of compensation awarded under the former Act, or terminate compensation.

(4) In making regulations under this section, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may do one or more of the following:

(a) delegate to the director any or all matters referred to in subsections (2) and (3), including a power to exercise control over any or those matters referred to in those subsections;

(b) confer a discretion on the director, another person or a class of persons;

(c) authorize the director, in circumstances that the director considers are exceptional, to vary a benefit or requirement set out in the regulations on the conditions set out in the regulations.

Part 6 — Transitional and Consequential Provisions

Interpretation Act

27  Subject to sections 28 and 29 and any regulation made under section 26 (3) or 30 of this Act, sections 35 and 36 (1) of the Interpretation Act apply to all matters affected by the repeal of the former Act and its replacement by this Act.

Transitional

28  (1) In this section and section 29:

"appeal committee" means an appeal committee appointed under section 22 (2) of the former Act;

"appeal division" means the appeal division referred to in the former Act;

"board" means board as defined in the former Act;

"final determination" means a decision of the board that an applicant's eligibility for compensation under the former Act has been determined under section 2 of that Act, whether all, part or none of the compensation awarded has been provided, and whether or not the compensation awarded continues to be provided;

"former application" means an application for compensation received by the board under the former Act before the date section 31 of this Act comes into force.

(2) If, on the date section 20 (6) of the former Act is repealed, the board under section 20 (6)

(a) has received a request to reopen, rehear or redetermine a matter, or

(b) is reopening, rehearing or redetermining a matter,

the board may continue to act under that section with respect to those matters.

(3) If, on the date section 22 (2) of the former Act is repealed, the appeal committee has made a decision to conduct a review under section 22 (2), the appeal committee may continue to act under that section with respect to that review.

(4) If, on the date section 22 (3) of the former Act is repealed,

(a) the appeal committee has received a request under section 22 (3) of the former Act, or

(b) a person is entitled to make a request under section 22 (3) of the former Act and subsequently the appeal committee receives the request within the period specified by section 22 (4) of the former Act,

the appeal committee may continue to act under section 22 of the former Act with respect to that request.

(5) If, on the date section 22 (5) of the former Act is repealed, the appeal division has received a request for a review under section 22 (5) of the former Act, the appeal division may continue to act under that section with respect to that request.

(6) If, on the date section 23 (3) of the former Act is repealed, the appeal division has received a direction from the chief appeal commissioner under section 23 (3) of the former Act, the appeal division may continue to act under that section with respect to the matter that was the subject of the direction.

(7) If the chief appeal commissioner makes a direction referred to in section 23 (3) (d) of the former Act, the direction has no effect unless the applicant to whom the direction applies has complied with the direction before the date section 23 (3) is repealed.

(8) The former Act continues to apply for the purposes of subsections (2) to (6).

Transfer of applications filed under the former Act

29  (1) The board must, as soon as practicable after this Act comes into force, make a final determination with respect to each former application.

(2) Subject to subsection (3) and the regulations under section 30, the former Act ceases to apply to a former application on the earlier of

(a) the date the board makes a final determination with respect to that application, and

(b) the repeal of the former Act.

(3) If a final decision is made under section 20 (6), 22 (2), (3) or (5) or 23 (3) of the former Act relating to a former application for which a final determination has been made by the board, the former Act ceases to apply to that application on the date the final decision is made.

(4) Subject to the regulations under sections 26 (3) and 30, on the date the former Act ceases to apply to a former application, subsections (5) to (9) of this section apply to that application.

(5) A former application is deemed to be an application under this Act, and the former application and compensation awarded under the former Act may be dealt with under this Act.

(6) Any compensation awarded under the former Act is deemed to be a benefit awarded under this Act.

(7) The person who made a former application is deemed to be an applicant under this Act.

(8) If an applicant under the former Act or the person for whom a former application was made has been determined to be a victim or an immediate family member under the former Act, this Act applies as if the applicant or the person were a victim or an immediate family member under this Act.

(9) The director and any person, body or agency to whom the director has delegated his or her powers under this Act may perform all the powers and duties of the director under this Act with respect to a former application or compensation awarded under the former Act and, for purposes of sections 12 to 14, a decision under the former Act is deemed to be a decision under this Act.

Transitional regulations

30  Without limiting section 26 (1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting any matters that, in the opinion of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, are insufficiently provided for, or not provided for, in sections 27 to 29 and that are necessary for the orderly transition from the application of the former Act to its replacement by this Act.

Consequential Amendments

[Note: See Table of Legislative Changes for the status of these provisions.]

Section(s) Affected Act
31–32   Criminal Injury Compensation Act
33   Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
34   Victims of Crime Act
35   Workers Compensation Act

Commencement

36  This Act comes into force by regulation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.