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This Act is current to November 11, 2020
See the Tables of Legislative Changes for this Act’s legislative history, including any changes not in force.

Witness Security Act

[SBC 2019] CHAPTER 21

Assented to May 16, 2019

Contents
Part 1 — Definitions
1Definitions
Part 2 — Establishment and Administration of Witness Security Program
Division 1 — Establishment of Witness Security Program
2Witness security program established
Division 2 — Director of Witness Security Program
3Designation of director
4General responsibilities of director
5Director to report to minister
6Director's delegation powers
7Director's examination and inquiry powers
8Application of Administrative Tribunals Act to director
Division 3 — Witness Security Committee and Witness Security Panels
9Establishment of witness security committee
10Establishment of witness security panels
11Composition of panels
12Members' examination and inquiry powers
13Application of Administrative Tribunals Act to committee and panels
Part 3 — Admission into and Participation in Witness Security Program
Division 1 — Application for Admission into Witness Security Program
14Law enforcement agency may make application
15Eligibility threshold
16Application requirements
17Prohibition against providing false information in application
18Review by director
19Assessment by panel
20Notice of conditional approval of application
21Conditions for obtaining final approval of application
22Reconsideration of rejected application
23New application not precluded by rejection
24Amendment of statement of obligations or service plan
Division 2 — Urgent Cases
25Urgent admission into witness security program
26Urgent authorization of additional services
27Payment arrangements in urgent cases
28Director may terminate participant's urgent participation in witness security program
29Notification requirements in urgent cases
Division 3 — Termination of Participation in Witness Security Program
30How participation in witness security program is terminated
31Director may recommend termination
32Termination by panel
33Voluntary withdrawal by participant
Part 4 — Collection and Disclosure of Information
34General power of director to collect information
35Protected individual must disclose information
36Disclosure if witness not a protected individual
37Police forces, public bodies and other entities must disclose information
38Prohibition against disclosing sensitive information
39Disclosure among specified persons permitted
40Disclosure by director permitted
41Information-sharing agreements
Part 5 — General
Division 1 — Miscellaneous
42Director's powers if witness or associated person does not have capacity
43Duty to cooperate in provision of services
44Prohibition against disclosing false information to director
45Non-compellability in proceedings
46Personal liability protection
47Designation of designated agency
48Decisions final and binding
49Judicial review
50Application of motor vehicle and insurance legislation
51Application of Name Act
52Form and manner requirements
Division 2 — Offences
53Offences
54Penalties for offences
55Offence by officer or director of corporation
56Time limit for prosecuting offence
57Section 5 of Offence Act does not apply
Division 3 — Regulations
58Power to make regulations
59Commencement

Part 1 — Definitions

Definitions

1   In this Act:

"applicant" means a witness or associated person for whom either of the following is being made:

(a) an application;

(b) a request under section 22 (1) [reconsideration of rejected application];

"application" means an application under section 14 [law enforcement agency may make application];

"associated person" means an individual who

(a) has a relationship with a witness, or

(b) is associated with a witness;

"committee" means the witness security committee established under section 9 [establishment of witness security committee];

"designated agency" means the police force designated under section 47 [designation of designated agency] as the designated agency;

"director" means the person designated under section 3 [designation of director] as the director of the witness security program;

"eligibility threshold" means the eligibility threshold under section 15 [eligibility threshold];

"law enforcement agency" means an agency in or outside Canada that carries out any of the following:

(a) policing, including criminal intelligence operations;

(b) investigations that lead or could lead to a penalty or sanction being imposed;

(c) proceedings that lead or could lead to a penalty or sanction being imposed;

(d) prescribed activities;

"panel" means a witness security panel established under section 10 [establishment of witness security panels];

"participant" means a witness or associated person who is in the witness security program;

"protected individual" means the following:

(a) a witness or associated person in respect of whom an application has been made but has not been determined or has been rejected;

(b) a witness or associated person in respect of whom a request under section 25 [urgent admission into witness security program] has been made but has not been determined or has been rejected;

(c) a participant or former participant;

"public body" has the same meaning as in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act;

"sensitive information" means information or records that, if disclosed, could reasonably be expected to compromise the security of a protected individual;

"service" includes a service that provides for a participant's relocation, change of identity, accommodation, transportation, employment, education, job training or health care;

"service plan" means

(a) a plan prepared by a panel under section 19 (1) (c) (i) [assessment by panel], or

(b) an updated plan prepared by the director under section 24 (4) (e) [amendment of statement of obligations or service plan];

"service provider" means a person or entity who

(a) will be providing, is providing or has provided a service to an individual who is a participant or former participant, and

(b) knows that the individual is a participant or former participant,

but does not include the designated agency if that designated agency is the Royal Canadian Mounted Police;

"sponsor" means the law enforcement agency that, on behalf of a witness or associated person,

(a) has made an application that has not been determined or has been rejected,

(b) has made a request under section 25 [urgent admission into witness security program] that has not been determined or has been rejected, or

(c) in the case of a witness or associated person who is a participant or former participant, made the application, or the request under section 25, by which the witness or associated person became a participant;

"statement of obligations" means

(a) a statement prepared by the director under section 21 (1) (b) [conditions for obtaining final approval of application], or

(b) an updated statement prepared by the director under section 24 (2) or (5) [amendment of statement of obligations or service plan];

"witness" means an individual who agrees to give, is giving or has given evidence in the prosecution of any of the following offences:

(a) an offence under the Criminal Code or any other enactment of Canada with respect to which the Attorney General of British Columbia may initiate and conduct a prosecution;

(b) an offence under an enactment of British Columbia;

(c) a prescribed offence under a federal enactment;

"witness security program" means the witness security program established under section 2.

Part 2 — Establishment and Administration of Witness Security Program

Division 1 — Establishment of Witness Security Program

Witness security program established

2   The witness security program is established.

Division 2 — Director of Witness Security Program

Designation of director

3   (1) The minister must designate a person appointed under the Public Service Act as the director of the witness security program.

(2) The minister may not designate as the director a person who is a member of a police force referred to in section 1.1 [police forces in British Columbia] of the Police Act.

General responsibilities of director

4   (1) Without limiting other powers or duties of the director and subject to general policy direction given by the minister, the director is responsible for the general administration and enforcement of this Act and the regulations.

(2) In addition to duties set out in this Act or the regulations, the director must perform duties that the minister may specify in relation to this Act and the regulations.

Director to report to minister

5   The director must provide information and reports to the minister, as required by the minister, in relation to

(a) the administration and enforcement of this Act and the regulations, and

(b) other matters the minister considers necessary in relation to this Act and the regulations.

Director's delegation powers

6   (1) The director may delegate to a person appointed under the Public Service Act any power or duty of the director under this Act, except the power to delegate under this section.

(2) A delegation under subsection (1)

(a) must be in writing,

(b) may be to a named person or class of persons, and

(c) may contain any conditions or restrictions the director considers appropriate.

(3) If the director has delegated a power or duty under subsection (1), a reference to the director in relation to that power or duty includes the delegate.

(4) This section does not restrict or limit the authority in section 23 [powers to act for ministers, deputy ministers and public officers] of the Interpretation Act.

Director's examination and inquiry powers

7   The director may examine records and make inquiries the director considers necessary for the purposes of

(a) exercising a power or performing a duty of the director under this Act, or

(b) assisting the committee or a panel in exercising a power or performing a duty of the committee or panel under this Act.

Application of Administrative Tribunals Act to director

8   The following provisions of the Administrative Tribunals Act apply to the director as if the director were a tribunal:

(a) section 1 [definitions];

(b) section 44 [tribunal without jurisdiction over constitutional questions];

(c) section 45 [tribunal without jurisdiction over Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms issues];

(d) section 46.3 [tribunal without jurisdiction to apply the Human Rights Code];

(e) section 58 [standard of review with privative clause].

Division 3 — Witness Security Committee and Witness Security Panels

Establishment of witness security committee

9   (1) The minister must, by order, establish a witness security committee consisting of the following persons:

(a) a member designated as the chair;

(b) one or more members designated as vice chair;

(c) at least 4 other members.

(2) A person appointed to the committee under subsection (1)

(a) holds office for the term specified in the minister's order, and

(b) may be reappointed.

(3) The committee may

(a) advise the minister on matters relating to this Act and the regulations, and

(b) perform other duties that the minister may specify.

Establishment of witness security panels

10   (1) The chair of the committee must establish a witness security panel if the director

(a) refers an application to the committee under section 18 (1) (b) [review by director], or

(b) makes a recommendation to the committee under

(i) section 24 (4) (a) [amendment of statement of obligations or service plan], or

(ii) section 31 (1) [director may recommend termination].

(2) The chair of the committee may establish a panel for other purposes that the minister, director or committee may require in relation to this Act or the regulations.

Composition of panels

11   (1) A panel must consist of 3 or 5 members of the committee.

(2) Subject to subsection (1), the chair of the committee may

(a) remove a member from a panel, or

(b) fill a vacancy on a panel.

Members' examination and inquiry powers

12   For the purposes of exercising a power or performing a duty of the committee or a panel, a member of the committee or panel may examine records and make, or request the director to make, inquiries the member considers necessary.

Application of Administrative Tribunals Act to committee and panels

13   The following provisions of the Administrative Tribunals Act apply to the committee and to a panel:

(a) the sections listed in section 8 of this Act [application of Administrative Tribunals Act to director];

(b) section 7.1 [validity of tribunal acts];

(c) section 8 [termination for cause];

(d) section 10 [remuneration and benefits for members];

(e) section 11 [general power to make rules respecting practice and procedure];

(f) section 31 (1) and (2) [summary dismissal];

(g) section 39 [adjournments];

(h) section 50 (1), (2) and (3) [decisions].

Part 3 — Admission into and Participation in Witness Security Program

Division 1 — Application for Admission into Witness Security Program

Law enforcement agency may make application

14   A law enforcement agency that believes that a witness or associated person meets the eligibility threshold may apply to the director for the witness or associated person to be admitted into the witness security program.

Eligibility threshold

15   The eligibility threshold for an individual who wishes to participate in the witness security program is as follows:

(a) the Criminal Justice Branch of the Ministry of Attorney General has confirmed both of the following:

(i) the individual is a witness or associated person;

(ii) the evidence respecting the offence to which the individual's participation would relate is significant;

(b) in the case of an individual who is a witness, one or both of the following apply:

(i) there is a risk to the witness's security;

(ii) there is a risk, because of the witness's health, to the witness's ability to attend and give information and evidence respecting the offence to which the witness's participation would relate;

(c) in the case of an individual who is an associated person, there is a risk to the associated person's security;

(d) the applicable risk referred to in paragraph (b) or (c) cannot be adequately addressed other than by participation in the witness security program;

(e) the individual's participation in the witness security program appears necessary given

(i) the nature of the applicable risk referred to in paragraph (b) or (c),

(ii) the seriousness of the offence to which the individual's participation would relate, and

(iii) the significance of the evidence referred to in paragraph (a) (ii);

(f) the individual meets prescribed criteria, if any.

Application requirements

16   An application must include all of the following:

(a) the applicant's written consent to the application;

(b) the applicant's written consent to disclosure by third parties of information and records that the director is entitled to collect under this Act;

(c) the sponsor's written assessment respecting the applicable risk referred to in section 15 (b) or (c);

(d) information as to whether the applicant has any previous convictions or outstanding charges for criminal offences and, if so, information or records disclosing the nature of those convictions or charges;

(e) information as to whether the applicant has any outstanding legal obligations under court orders or separation agreements or is involved in any civil proceedings and, if so, information or records disclosing the nature of those legal obligations or civil proceedings;

(f) information about the applicant's family circumstances;

(g) information about any relevant religious or cultural practices observed by the applicant;

(h) information about the applicant's assets, debts, liabilities and financial obligations;

(i) information about the applicant's physical and mental health, including any information about substance use;

(j) information about the sponsor's willingness and ability to pay for services that may be required if the applicant is admitted into the witness security program;

(k) any other information, records, assessments and consents that the director or a panel may require for the purposes of exercising a power or performing a duty under this Division.

Prohibition against providing false information in application

17   A sponsor or applicant must not, with intent to mislead, knowingly provide in an application, or knowingly allow to be provided in an application, information or records that

(a) contain false or misleading information, or

(b) fail to disclose a material fact.

Review by director

18   (1) After receiving an application, the director must promptly do one of the following:

(a) if not satisfied that an applicant meets the eligibility threshold, reject the application;

(b) if satisfied that the applicant meets the eligibility threshold, refer the application to the committee.

(2) In referring an application to the committee, the director may include any recommendations the director considers appropriate.

(3) The director must give to the sponsor written notice of the director's decision under subsection (1) and of any recommendations made under subsection (2).

(4) On receipt of the notice under subsection (3), the sponsor must promptly inform the applicant of the director's decision and recommendations, if any.

Assessment by panel

19   (1) As soon as practicable after the director refers an application to the committee, a panel established by the chair of the committee must do one of the following:

(a) if not satisfied that the applicant meets the eligibility threshold, reject the application;

(b) if not satisfied, after considering the matters set out in subsection (2), that it would be reasonable and appropriate to admit the applicant into the witness security program, reject the application;

(c) if satisfied, after considering the matters set out in subsection (2), that it would be reasonable and appropriate to admit the applicant into the witness security program,

(i) prepare a service plan for the designated agency,

(ii) estimate the costs of providing the services identified in the service plan, and

(iii) specify the period within which the conditions set out in section 21 (1) [conditions for obtaining final approval of application] must be met.

(2) Before deciding whether it would be reasonable and appropriate to admit an applicant into the witness security program, a panel must consider the following:

(a) the types of services the applicant would require if admitted into the witness security program;

(b) the financial and logistical requirements that would be associated with providing the services referred to in paragraph (a);

(c) the sponsor's willingness and ability to pay for the services referred to in paragraph (a);

(d) the applicant's expected ability to adjust to life within the witness security program;

(e) whether the applicable risk referred to in section 15 (b) or (c) can be addressed other than by participating in the witness security program;

(f) other matters the panel considers relevant.

(3) If a panel rejects an application under subsection (1) (a) or (b),

(a) the director must give to the sponsor written notice of the rejection, and

(b) on receiving the notice, the sponsor must promptly inform the applicant of the rejection.

Notice of conditional approval of application

20   After a panel has prepared a service plan, the director must do all of the following:

(a) give to the sponsor written notice of the general nature of the services identified in the service plan;

(b) give to the designated agency a copy of the service plan;

(c) give to both the sponsor and the designated agency written notice of the estimated service costs, as determined under section 19 (1) (c) (ii).

Conditions for obtaining final approval of application

21   (1) The panel that prepared the service plan that has been given to the designated agency in respect of an applicant must approve the application if satisfied that the following conditions have been met within the period specified under section 19 (1) (c) (iii) [assessment by panel] or within a longer period that the director may specify:

(a) the sponsor and the designated agency, after receiving notice under section 20, have entered into an arrangement under which the sponsor will pay for the services to be provided if the applicant is admitted into the witness security program;

(b) the director has prepared and given to the designated agency a statement that sets out

(i) the obligations that will apply to the applicant if the applicant is admitted into the witness security program,

(ii) the general nature of the services to be provided to the applicant, and

(iii) the period of time for which the applicant is expected to participate in the witness security program;

(c) the applicant has acknowledged, in writing, that

(i) the designated agency has explained to the applicant

(A) the nature of the obligations set out in the applicant's statement of obligations, and

(B) the general nature of the services to be provided to the applicant, and

(ii) the applicant understands the nature of those obligations and the general nature of those services;

(d) the applicant has signed the statement of obligations;

(e) a copy of the signed statement of obligations has been given to the director.

(2) If a panel referred to in subsection (1) is not satisfied that the conditions referred to in that subsection have been met within the applicable specified period, the panel must reject the application.

(3) On approval of an application under this section, the applicant becomes a participant in the witness security program.

(4) If a panel approves or rejects an application under this section, the director must promptly give to both the sponsor and the designated agency written notice of the approval or rejection.

(5) On receiving notice under subsection (4), the sponsor must promptly inform the applicant of the approval or rejection.

Reconsideration of rejected application

22   (1) If a panel rejects an application under section 19 (1) (a) or (b) [assessment by panel] or 21 (2), the applicant's sponsor may request that the panel reconsider the decision.

(2) If a sponsor wishes to make a request under this section, the sponsor must give the request to the director, in writing, within 30 days after receiving notice under section 19 (3) or 21 (4), as applicable.

(3) Within 15 days after the director receives a request made under this section, the panel that rejected the application must do one of the following:

(a) confirm the rejection;

(b) reverse the rejection and specify the provisions in section 19 or 21 under which the application may proceed.

(4) The director must give to the sponsor written notice of the panel's decision under subsection (3).

(5) On receiving the notice under subsection (4), the sponsor must promptly inform the applicant of the panel's decision.

New application not precluded by rejection

23   The rejection of an application under any of the following does not preclude the sponsor from making a new application on behalf of the witness or associated person to whom the rejection relates, provided that the new application includes relevant information not included in the rejected application:

(a) section 18 (1) (a) [review by director];

(b) section 19 (1) (a) or (b) [assessment by panel];

(c) section 21 (1) [conditions for obtaining final approval of application].

Amendment of statement of obligations or service plan

24   (1) The director may,

(a) subject to subsections (2) and (5), amend a participant's statement of obligations, or

(b) subject to subsections (3) and (5), amend a service plan that has been given to the designated agency in respect of a participant.

(2) If the director amends a participant's statement of obligations, the director must prepare and give to the designated agency an updated statement of obligations that incorporates the amendment, together with a request that

(a) the participant acknowledge, in writing, that the designated agency has explained, and the participant understands, the nature of the amendment,

(b) the participant sign the updated statement of obligations, and

(c) a copy of the signed updated statement of obligations be given to the director within the period specified by the director.

(3) Unless all of the requirements set out in subsection (4) are met, the director may not amend a service plan if, as a result of the amendment, the total cost of providing services identified in the service plan would, when considered in combination with previous amendments, increase by more than the prescribed amount.

(4) The requirements for the purposes of subsection (3) are as follows:

(a) the director has recommended to the committee that a panel approve the proposed amendment to the service plan;

(b) a panel established by the chair of the committee has approved the proposed amendment to the service plan;

(c) the director has notified the sponsor, in writing, of

(i) the general nature of the proposed amendment to the service plan, and

(ii) the estimated increased service costs associated with that amendment;

(d) the sponsor has entered into arrangements with the designated agency under which the sponsor will pay for the increased service costs;

(e) the director has prepared and given to the designated agency an updated service plan that incorporates the amendment.

(5) If the director considers that an amendment to a service plan changes the general nature of services identified in a participant's statement of obligations, the director must prepare and give to the designated agency an updated statement of obligations that reflects the changes to the general nature of those services, together with a request that

(a) the participant acknowledge and sign the updated statement of obligations in accordance with subsection (2) (a) and (b), and

(b) a copy of the signed updated statement of obligations be given to the director within the period specified by the director.

Division 2 — Urgent Cases

Urgent admission into witness security program

25   (1) A law enforcement agency may request that the director admit a witness into the witness security program on an urgent basis if the law enforcement agency believes that one or both of the following apply:

(a) there is an imminent and significant risk to the witness's security;

(b) there is an imminent and significant risk, because of the witness's health, to the witness's ability to attend and give information and evidence respecting the offence to which the request relates.

(2) A law enforcement agency may request that the director admit an associated person into the witness security program on an urgent basis if the law enforcement agency believes that there is an imminent and significant risk to the associated person's security.

(3) Despite Division 1 [Application for Admission into Witness Security Program] of this Part and subject to section 27 [payment arrangements in urgent cases], the director may, if satisfied that a risk referred to in subsection (1) exists in respect of a witness, or the risk referred to in subsection (2) exists in respect of an associated person,

(a) admit the witness or associated person into the witness security program, and

(b) authorize the provision of services to the witness or associated person for a specified period of not more than 45 days.

(4) The director may extend by not more than 90 days the period specified under subsection (3) (b) if

(a) the sponsor has made an application for the witness or associated person,

(b) the application referred to in paragraph (a) has not yet been determined, and

(c) the director is satisfied that the applicable risk referred to in subsection (1) or (2) continues to exist.

Urgent authorization of additional services

26   (1) Subject to section 27, the director may, for a specified period of not more than 45 days, authorize the provision of additional services to a participant if the director is satisfied that the services identified in the service plan given to the designated agency in respect of the participant do not address,

(a) in the case of a participant who is a witness, an imminent and significant risk referred to in section 25 (1), or

(b) in the case of a participant who is an associated person, the imminent and significant risk referred to in section 25 (2).

(2) The director may extend by not more than 90 days the period specified under subsection (1) if

(a) the service plan is in the process of being amended under section 24 [amendment of statement of obligations or service plan], and

(b) the director is satisfied that the applicable risk referred to in section 25 (1) or (2) continues to exist.

Payment arrangements in urgent cases

27   (1) The director may not authorize the provision of services under section 25 or 26 unless the director has received notice from the designated agency that the sponsor and the designated agency have entered into arrangements under which the sponsor will pay for the services authorized under that section.

(2) Despite subsection (1), if the government decides to pay for services under this section, the director may authorize the provision of services to the witness or associated person for an initial specified period of not more than 10 days.

Director may terminate participant's urgent participation in witness security program

28   (1) If a witness or associated person has been admitted into the witness security program under this Division, the director may, subject to subsection (3), terminate the witness's or associated person's participation in the witness security program.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the director may terminate a witness's or associated person's participation in the witness security program if the sponsor does not make an application within the time period specified under, as applicable,

(a) section 25 (3) (b) [period of not more than 45 days], or

(b) section 27 (2) [initial period of not more than 10 days funded by government].

(3) A witness's or associated person's participation in the witness security program may not be terminated under this section if, after being admitted into the witness security program under this Division, the witness or associated person proceeds to be admitted into the witness security program under Division 1 [Application for Admission into Witness Security Program] of this Part.

Notification requirements in urgent cases

29   (1) The director must give to the sponsor written notice of a decision made under any of the following:

(a) section 25 (3) or (4) [urgent admission into witness security program];

(b) section 26 (1) or (2) [urgent authorization of additional services];

(c) section 27 (2) [payment arrangements in urgent cases];

(d) section 28 (1) [director may terminate participant's urgent participation in witness security program].

(2) On receipt of a notice under subsection (1), the sponsor must promptly inform the witness or associated person of the director's decision.

Division 3 — Termination of Participation in Witness Security Program

How participation in witness security program is terminated

30   A participant's participation in the witness security program is terminated, and all services being provided to the participant must cease, if any of the following occurs:

(a) the director terminates the participant's participation under section 28 (1) [director may terminate participant's urgent participation in witness security program];

(b) a panel terminates the participant's participation under section 32 [termination by panel];

(c) the period of the participant's participation in the witness security program, as identified in the participant's statement of obligations, ends;

(d) the participant voluntarily withdraws from the witness security program under section 33 [voluntary withdrawal by participant].

Director may recommend termination

31   (1) The director may recommend to the committee that a panel terminate a participant's participation in the witness security program.

(2) If the director makes a recommendation under subsection (1), the director must give to the sponsor

(a) written notice of the recommendation and the reasons for that recommendation, and

(b) an opportunity to make written submissions to the panel on behalf of the participant.

(3) On receipt of a notice under subsection (2), the sponsor must

(a) promptly inform the participant of the director's recommendation and reasons, and

(b) if the sponsor wishes to make written submissions, give the submissions to the director within 30 days after receiving the notice.

Termination by panel

32   (1) As soon as practicable after the expiry of the 30-day period referred to in section 31 (3) (b), a panel established by the chair of the committee must decide whether to terminate the participant's participation under subsection (2) or (3) of this section.

(2) A panel must terminate a participant's participation in the witness security program if satisfied that any of the following applies:

(a) the participant no longer meets the eligibility threshold;

(b) the participant or the sponsor has contravened section 17 (a) or (b) [prohibition against providing false information in application];

(c) the participant has contravened section 35 (2) [protected individual must disclose information];

(d) the participant has contravened section 43 (2) [duty to cooperate in provision of services];

(e) the participant or the sponsor has contravened section 44 (a) or (b) [prohibition against disclosing false information to director].

(3) A panel may terminate a participant's participation in the witness security program if satisfied that any of the following applies:

(a) the participant has not complied with an obligation identified in the participant's statement of obligations;

(b) the sponsor has not complied with a payment arrangement referred to in

(i) section 21 (1) (a) [conditions for obtaining final approval of application],

(ii) section 24 (4) (d) [amendment of statement of obligations or service plan or], or

(iii) section 27 (1) [payment arrangements in urgent cases];

(c) the sponsor has failed to enter into payment arrangements referred to in section 24 (4) (d);

(d) the director has not received a signed updated statement of obligations within the period specified under section 24 (2) (c) or (5) (b);

(e) the applicable risk referred to in section 15 (b) or (c) [eligibility threshold] is being adequately addressed by other means;

(f) the panel otherwise considers it appropriate to terminate the participant's participation.

(4) The director must give to the sponsor written notice of a decision made by the panel under this section.

(5) On receipt of the notice under subsection (4), the sponsor must promptly inform the participant of the panel's decision.

Voluntary withdrawal by participant

33   (1) A participant who wishes to withdraw from the witness security program must give to the designated agency and the sponsor written notice of the withdrawal.

(2) On receiving a written notice under subsection (1), the sponsor must promptly give to the director a copy of the notice.

Part 4 — Collection and Disclosure of Information

General power of director to collect information

34   (1) The director may collect from a person any information or records that the director, the committee or a panel considers necessary for the purposes of exercising a power or performing a duty of the director, committee or panel under this Act.

(2) Subsection (1) applies despite

(a) any other enactment, other than section 51 [health care evidence] of the Evidence Act, or

(b) any claim of confidentiality or privilege, other than a claim based on solicitor-client privilege or informer privilege.

Protected individual must disclose information

35   (1) The director may require the designated agency or a protected individual's sponsor to request information or records from the protected individual.

(2) A protected individual who has custody or control of information or records that the director is entitled to collect under this Act must, despite any other enactment, disclose the information or records to the designated agency or sponsor on request under subsection (1).

(3) On receipt of information or records under subsection (2), the designated agency or sponsor must promptly give the information or records to the director.

Disclosure if witness not a protected individual

36   (1) The director may require the designated agency or a protected individual's sponsor to request information or records from a witness if

(a) the protected individual is or has been

(i) in a relationship with the witness, or

(ii) associated with the witness, and

(b) the director does not have the power to require that the records or information be requested under section 35 (1) because the witness is not a protected individual.

(2) A witness referred to in subsection (1) who has custody or control of information or records that the director is entitled to collect under this Act must, despite any other enactment, disclose the information or records to the designated agency or sponsor on request under subsection (1).

(3) On receipt of information or records under subsection (2), the designated agency or sponsor must promptly give the information or records to the director.

Police forces, public bodies and other entities must disclose information

37   If any of the following persons or entities has custody or control of information or records that the director is entitled to collect under this Act, the person or entity must, despite any other enactment, disclose the information or records to the director on request:

(a) a municipal police department within the meaning of the Police Act;

(b) a designated policing unit within the meaning of the Police Act;

(c) a designated law enforcement unit within the meaning of the Police Act;

(d) a public body;

(e) a service provider;

(f) a prescribed person or entity.

Prohibition against disclosing sensitive information

38   (1) A person who

(a) knows that an individual is a protected individual, and

(b) has access to or custody or control of sensitive information about the protected individual

must not disclose the sensitive information to any other person, except as required or permitted under this Part.

(2) Subsection (1) applies despite

(a) the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and

(b) the prescribed enactments.

Disclosure among specified persons permitted

39   (1) A person referred to in subsection (2) may disclose sensitive information to another person referred to in subsection (2) if the disclosure is necessary for the purposes of

(a) administering or enforcing this Act or the regulations, or

(b) providing or arranging a service for the protected individual to whom the sensitive information relates.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), sensitive information may be disclosed among any the following:

(a) a protected individual;

(b) the director;

(c) the registrar general under the Name Act;

(d) an employee of the government who is engaged in a matter described in subsection (1) (a) or (b);

(e) a member of the committee who is authorized by the committee to disclose or receive sensitive information for the purposes referred to in subsection (1);

(f) an individual who

(i) is a member or employee of a law enforcement agency that is a sponsor, and

(ii) is authorized by the law enforcement agency to disclose or receive sensitive information for the purposes referred to in subsection (1);

(g) a member or employee of the designated agency who is authorized by the designated agency to disclose or receive sensitive information for the purposes referred to in subsection (1);

(h) an employee of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia who is authorized by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia to disclose or receive sensitive information for the purposes referred to in subsection (1);

(i) an individual who

(i) is a service provider, or

(ii) is an employee of a service provider and is authorized by the service provider to disclose or receive sensitive information for the purposes referred to in subsection (1);

(j) a prescribed individual.

Disclosure by director permitted

40   The director may disclose sensitive information about a protected individual if any of the following applies:

(a) the protected individual consents to the disclosure;

(b) the protected individual has caused the sensitive information to be made publicly available;

(c) the disclosure is made under an information-sharing agreement referred to in section 41;

(d) the disclosure is made under a subpoena, warrant or order issued or made in Canada by a court, person or body with jurisdiction to compel the production of information;

(e) the director considers that there is a compelling public interest for the disclosure.

Information-sharing agreements

41   (1) In this section, "personal information" has the same meaning as in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

(2) With the prior approval of the minister, the director may enter into an agreement to share information, including personal information, with any of the following:

(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 that government;

(c) a public body;

(d) a service provider within Canada;

(e) a law enforcement agency within Canada;

(f) a prescribed person or entity.

(3) With the prior approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, the director may enter into an agreement to share information, including personal information, with any of the following:

(a) the government of a jurisdiction outside Canada or an agency of that government;

(b) a service provider outside Canada;

(c) a law enforcement agency of a jurisdiction outside Canada;

(d) a prescribed person or entity.

(4) An agreement referred to in subsection (2) or (3) may be entered into for any of the following purposes:

(a) the administration or enforcement of this Act or the regulations;

(b) a prescribed purpose.

Part 5 — General

Division 1 — Miscellaneous

Director's powers if witness or associated person does not have capacity

42   If the director considers that an individual who is a witness or associated person does not have capacity, the director may do any of the following:

(a) in the case of a consent or notice required or permitted under this Act to be given to or by the individual, require or permit the consent or notice to be given to or by the individual's parent or guardian;

(b) in the case of a requirement to inform the individual of a decision or recommendation made under this Act, require or permit the individual's parent or guardian to be informed of the decision or recommendation;

(c) in the case of a service plan, statement of obligations or other record required or permitted under this Act to be acknowledged or signed by the individual, require or permit the individual's parent or guardian to acknowledge or sign the service plan, statement of obligations or record;

(d) in the case of information or records required or permitted under this Act to be requested from or disclosed by the individual, require or permit the information or records to be requested from or disclosed by the individual's parent or guardian.

Duty to cooperate in provision of services

43   (1) On request of the director, a person or entity referred to in section 37 [police forces, public bodies and other entities must disclose information] must cooperate with the director, to the extent possible, in providing or arranging a service for a witness or associated person who is or may become a participant.

(2) A witness or associated person who is or may become a participant must cooperate with the director and with a person or entity referred to in section 37 in providing or arranging a service for the witness or associated person.

Prohibition against disclosing false information to director

44   In disclosing information or records to the director under this Act, a person must not, with intent to mislead, knowingly disclose, or knowingly allow to be disclosed, information or records that

(a) contain false or misleading information, or

(b) fail to disclose a material fact.

Non-compellability in proceedings

45   (1) Subject to subsection (2), a person who is any of the following must not, in a proceeding, disclose or be compelled to disclose sensitive information about a protected individual:

(a) the protected individual;

(b) the director;

(c) the registrar general under the Name Act;

(d) an employee of the government;

(e) a member of the committee;

(f) a member or employee of the law enforcement agency that is the protected individual's sponsor;

(g) a member or employee of the designated agency;

(h) an employee of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia;

(i) an individual who is a service provider or an employee of a service provider;

(j) a prescribed individual.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply if the disclosure

(a) is in a criminal proceeding and is required under a subpoena, warrant or order issued or made by a court in Canada with jurisdiction to compel that disclosure,

(b) is in a prosecution for an offence under this Act,

(c) is in a judicial review of a decision made under this Act, or

(d) is permitted under the regulations.

(3) A court or person presiding over a proceeding referred to in subsection (2) (a) or (b) may take any measures the court or person considers necessary to ensure that sensitive information disclosed in the proceeding remains confidential.

Personal liability protection

46   (1) In this section, "authorized person" means any of the following:

(a) the director;

(b) a minister, employee or agent of the government;

(c) a member of the committee;

(d) an employee of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia;

(e) an employee or member of a law enforcement agency that is a sponsor for a protected individual;

(f) an employee or member of the designated agency;

(g) a prescribed individual.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), no legal proceeding for damages lies or may be commenced or maintained against an authorized person because of anything done or omitted

(a) in the exercise or intended exercise of any power under this Act, or

(b) in the performance or intended performance of any duty under this Act.

(3) Subsection (2) does not apply to an authorized person in relation to anything done or omitted in bad faith.

(4) Subject to subsection (5), no legal proceeding for damages lies or may be commenced or maintained against the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, an employee of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia or the registrar general under the Name Act because of anything the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, the employee or the registrar general, in providing for a participant's change of identity, does or omits to do

(a) in the exercise or intended exercise of any power under an enactment, or

(b) in the performance or intended performance of any duty under an enactment.

(5) Subsection (4) does not apply to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, an employee of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia or the registrar general under the Name Act in relation to anything done or omitted in bad faith.

(6) Subsections (2) and (4) do not absolve the government from vicarious liability arising out of anything done or omitted by an authorized person or the registrar general under the Name Act for which the government would be vicariously liable if this section were not in force.

Designation of designated agency

47   (1) The minister may designate one of the following as the designated agency:

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

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

(c) a designated policing unit that has been prescribed as a police force under the Police Act.

(2) The designated agency is responsible for providing or arranging services for participants under this Act.

Decisions final and binding

48   A decision made by the director or a panel under Part 3 [Admission into and Participation in Witness Security Program] is final and binding and not open for review in any court.

Judicial review

49   (1) The time limit for commencing an application for judicial review of a decision under this Act in relation to a witness or associated person is 30 days after the date on which written notice of the decision is given to the witness's or associated person's sponsor.

(2) A court or person presiding over a judicial review referred to in subsection (1) may take any measures the court considers necessary to ensure that sensitive information, if any, disclosed in the proceeding remains confidential.

Application of motor vehicle and insurance legislation

50   (1) Despite section 14 (1) and (2) [change of address or name] of the Motor Vehicle Act, the owner of a vehicle is not required to notify the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia within the 10-day period referred to in that section if the owner's address or name is changed as a result of the owner's participation in the witness security program.

(2) Despite section 25 [application for licence] of the Motor Vehicle Act, if the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia knows that the identity of an applicant referred to in that section is being changed as a result of the applicant's participation in the witness security program, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia

(a) may exempt the applicant from a prescribed requirement set out in that section, and

(b) is not required to perform a duty of the corporation under a prescribed provision of that section.

(3) Despite section 26.1 [cancellation of driver's licence] of the Motor Vehicle Act, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia must not exercise a right referred to in section 26.1 (1) in respect of paragraph (b) (ii) of that subsection if

(a) the person who failed to disclose the information is a participant or former participant,

(b) the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia knows that the person is a participant or former participant, and

(c) the person is prohibited under section 38 [prohibition against disclosing sensitive information] of this Act from disclosing the information.

(4) Despite section 31 (1) and (2) [change of address or name] of the Motor Vehicle Act, a person who holds a driver's licence is not required to notify the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia within the 10-day period referred to in that section if the person's address or name is changed as a result of the person's participation in the witness security program.

(5) Despite section 7 (1) and (2) [change of address or name] of the Off-Road Vehicle Act, the owner of an off-road vehicle is not required to notify the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia within the 10-day period referred to in that section if the owner's address or name is changed as a result of the owner's participation in the witness security program.

(6) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may by regulation do any of the following:

(a) prescribe provisions of any of the following that do not apply in relation to a person whose identity is being or has been changed as a result of the person's participation in the witness security program:

(i) the Commercial Transport Act;

(ii) the Insurance Corporation Act;

(iii) the Insurance (Vehicle) Act;

(iv) the Motor Vehicle Act;

(v) the Off-Road Vehicle Act;

(vi) the regulations made under any of the Acts referred to in this paragraph;

(b) substitute other requirements in respect of the Acts and regulations referred to in paragraph (a) that the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers advisable.

Application of Name Act

51   (1) Section 6.1 (1) [criminal record check] of the Name Act does not apply to a person whose name is changed as a result of the person's participation in the witness security program.

(2) Despite section 12 (1) [publication of change of name] of the Name Act, the registrar general must not, under that section, publish information about a person if the registrar general knows that the person's name has been changed as a result of the person's participation in the witness security program.

(3) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may by regulation do any of the following:

(a) prescribe provisions of the Name Act, and the regulations made under that Act, that do not apply in relation to a person whose identity is being or has been changed as a result of the person's participation in the witness security program;

(b) substitute other requirements in respect of the Name Act and the regulations made under that Act that the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers advisable.

Form and manner requirements

52   An application, request, submission, notice or any other information or record required or permitted to be given to the director under this Act must be given in the form and manner required by the director.

Division 2 — Offences

Offences

53   A person who contravenes any of the following commits an offence:

(a) section 17 (a) or (b) [prohibition against providing false information in application];

(b) section 38 [prohibition against disclosing sensitive information];

(c) section 44 (a) or (b) [prohibition against disclosing false information to director].

Penalties for offences

54   (1) An individual who commits an offence under this Act is liable to a fine of not more than $50 000 or to imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or to both.

(2) A corporation that commits an offence under this Act is liable to a fine of not more than $100 000.

Offence by officer or director of corporation

55   If a corporation commits an offence under this Act, an officer, director, manager or agent of the corporation who authorizes, permits or participates in the commission of the offence also commits an offence, whether or not the corporation is prosecuted or convicted.

Time limit for prosecuting offence

56   The time limit for laying an information for an offence under this Act is 2 years after the date on which the act or omission that is alleged to constitute the offence occurred.

Section 5 of Offence Act does not apply

57   Section 5 of the Offence Act does not apply to this Act or the regulations.

Division 3 — Regulations

Power to make regulations

58   (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

(a) respecting any matter for which regulations are contemplated by this Act, or

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

(3) The authority to make regulations under another provision of this Act does not limit subsections (1) and (2).

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

(a) delegate a matter to a person;

(b) confer a discretion on a person;

(c) establish or define classes of persons, entities, services, things or circumstances;

(d) make different regulations in relation to different classes of persons, entities, services, things or circumstances.

(5) For the purposes of section 45 (2) (d) [non-compellability in proceedings], the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) prescribing proceedings or circumstances in which a person referred to in section 45 (1) may disclose or be compelled to disclose sensitive information about a protected individual, and

(b) authorizing a court or person presiding over a proceeding prescribed under paragraph (a) of this subsection to take any measures the court or person considers necessary to ensure that sensitive information disclosed in the proceeding remains confidential.

Commencement

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