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Enforcement of Public Safety Legislation Consultation

The province is responsible for enforcing legislated safety measures and to ensure the safety of:

  • any licensed gas and electrical work,
  • elevators,
  • natural gas furnaces or boiler and pressure vessels,
  • amusement rides, and
  • buildings or equipment that fall under current public safety legislation.

The province is proposing to strengthen its public safety enforcement measures and is consulting with the public, industry and associations to receive feedback on proposed amendments to its public safety legislation.

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1. Background

The Ministry of Government Relations is responsible for establishing the safety codes and standards and policies in the province’s public safety legislation and associated regulations. Specifically, the ministry is responsible for the following legislation relating to the safe operation of equipment and buildings:

Under these Acts, the Minister and his/her delegated chief officials, including the Chief Building Official, Fire Commissioner and Directors of Licensing (gas and electrical), are responsible for and provided with limited authorities to ensure compliance with the legislation.

The Technical Safety Authority of Saskatchewan (TSASK) was established by legislation in 2010 as a non-profit corporation operating at arms-length from government. TSASK administers Saskatchewan’s safety program for boilers, pressure vessels, elevating devices and amusement rides, and delivers on industry’s need for timely licensing and inspection services in these areas.

Under The Technical Safety Authority of Saskatchewan Act and a safety standards agreement between TSASK and the province, TSASK administers and enforces three safety statutes:

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2. Overview of Amendments

The province is proposing to implement a broader range of consistent, flexible and responsive enforcement measures in its public safety legislation in all seven Acts listed in the previous section. These amendments will provide effective and timely alternatives to pursuing prosecutions or suspending licences by including:

  • the authority to impose administrative penalties; and
  • the right to go to court to obtain compliance orders.

Strengthening public safety enforcement measures is necessary to more effectively deal with chronic offenders who do not respect the legislation—who end up costing the government and TSASK time and money, and ultimately put the people of Saskatchewan at risk.

These amendments will allow a more consistent and effective approach to dealing with non-compliance, regardless of which industry or which government/agency is acting.

Strengthening public safety enforcement measures will have a positive effect on business and industry workers and the public. Less time and resources will be spent on dealing with non-compliance, and businesses who are compliant will no longer be subsidizing unlicensed or unsafe operations.

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3. Proposed Enforcement Measures

1) Administrative Penalties *NEW*

Administrative penalties are becoming a more common enforcement tool for public safety regulations in Saskatchewan and across Canada.  For more information about how they are being used in our province, read this Law Reform Commission of Saskatchewan report.

Administrative penalties can be applied by a chief official without applying to the court, and could include:

  1. a non-monetary order, such as an order requiring action such as additional training or reporting requirements;
  2. a single monetary fine, or an ongoing fine for each day the non-compliance continues; or
  3. a combination of the above.

The person or business to whom the penalty is given will have a chance to make a written or oral representation to the specified chief official after being notified of the administrative penalty.  After 30 days, the penalty would either be applied as per the notice, altered, or revoked, depending on the representation given.  A record of the penalty is then filed with the Court of Queen’s Bench and could be appealed to the court.

Administrative penalties can provide flexible options to deal with non-compliance, giving public safety officials a realistic and timely way to apply a fine (monetary or otherwise), while also allowing the person facing a penalty the opportunity to represent his or her case.  Officials with technical knowledge and familiarity with the offending party and the particular situation can apply a fair and appropriate penalty in a reasonable timeframe.

2)  Penalties for offences

Penalties for offences are the maximum amount that may be applied by the court upon prosecution for contravention of an Act. The fines currently listed in the Acts need to be updated to present-day values.

It is proposed to have maximum penalties of $5,000 for an individual and $25,000 for a corporation in the Gas and Electrical Licensing Acts, $50,000 for an individual and $200,000 for a corporation in The Boiler and Pressure Vessel and Amusement Ride Acts, and $25,000 for an individual and $100,000 for a corporation in the remaining Acts.

3) Compliance Orders

There are two levels of compliance orders: first, ordered by a government chief official; and second, ordered by the court on application by the government.  It is proposed to have both of these powers in all of the public safety Acts, as currently some Acts have only one of these powers or none at all.

An order from a chief official may be enough to encourage compliance, but an order by the court may be taken more seriously, and allow for additional sanctions if not followed, such as an application for civil contempt of the court. 

4) Public Notice of Offences

In The Electrical Licensing Act the Minister may publish a notice of revocation or suspension of a licence in any manner considered necessary to protect the public.  It is proposed to add this measure to all public safety Acts and broaden its applicability to all enforcement tools, as a further deterrent to non-compliance and to protect the public by including the authority to impose administrative penalties; and the right to go to court to obtain compliance orders. 

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4. Submit Your Comments

Comments will be accepted until Friday, June 23, 2017.

Have Your Say
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5. For More Information

For more information about the proposed amendments to public safety enforcement measures, please contact:

Policy and Program Services Branch
Ministry of Government Relations
1540 – 1855 Victoria Avenue
Regina, SK   S4P 3T2

Phone: (306) 798-6092
Fax: (306) 787-5822

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