- PART I.1
- Evidence-based Diversion Measures
- Declaration of principles
10.1 The following principles apply in this Part:
- (a) problematic substance use should be addressed primarily as a health and social issue;
- (b) interventions should be founded on evidence-based best practices and should aim to protect the health, dignity and human rights of individuals who use drugs and to reduce harm to those individuals, their families and their communities;
- (c) criminal sanctions imposed in respect of the possession of drugs for personal use can increase the stigma associated with drug use and are not consistent with established public health evidence;
- (d) interventions should address the root causes of problematic substance use, including by encouraging measures such as education, treatment, aftercare, rehabilitation and social reintegration; and
- (e) judicial resources are more appropriately used in relation to offences that pose a risk to public safety.
- Warnings and Referrals
- Warnings and referrals
10.2 (1) A peace officer shall, instead of laying an information against an individual alleged to have committed an offence under subsection 4(1), consider whether it would be preferable, having regard to the principles set out in section 10.1, to take no further action, to warn the individual or, with the consent of the individual, to refer the individual to a program or to an agency or other service provider in the community that may assist the individual.
- Subsequent charges not invalidated
(2) The failure of a peace officer to consider the options set out in subsection (1) does not invalidate any subsequent charges laid against the individual for the offence.
- Prosecution — limits
10.3 A prosecution may be commenced or continued against an individual alleged to have committed an offence under subsection 4(1) only if, having regard to the principles set out in section 10.1, the prosecutor is of the opinion that the use of a warning or referral under section 10.2, or of alternative measures as defined in section 716 of the Criminal Code, is not appropriate, and a prosecution is appropriate in the circumstances.
- Record of warning or referral
10.4 (1) The police force to which a peace officer referred to in section 10.2 belongs shall keep a record of any warning given or referral made under subsection 10.2(1), including the identity of the individual warned or referred.
- Access to information
(2) Any information contained in the record kept pursuant to subsection (1) may be made available to:
- (a) any judge or court for any purpose relating to proceedings with respect to the offence to which the record relates;
- (b) any peace officer for any purpose related to the administration of the case to which the record relates; or
- (c) any member of a department or agency of a government in Canada, or any agent of that department or agency, that is
- (i) engaged in the administration of alternative measures, within the meaning of section 716 of the Criminal Code, in respect of that person, or
- (ii) preparing a report for the purpose of informing proceedings with respect to the offence to which the record relates.
- Access to information — alternative measures
(3) Information contained in the record, other than the identity of the person, may be made available to any member of a department or agency of a government in Canada, or any agent of the department or agency, that is engaged in assessing and monitoring the use of alternative measures and assessing their effectiveness, including for research or statistical purposes.
- Evidence of warning or referral not admissible
10.5 Evidence that an individual has received a warning or referral mentioned in subsection 10.2(1), evidence that a peace officer has taken no further action in respect of an offence under subsection 4(1) and evidence of the offence are inadmissible for the purpose of proving prior offending behaviour in any proceedings before a court in respect of the individual.
- Conservation of record — conviction
10.6 (1) Any record of a conviction that occurs before the day on which this section comes into force in respect of an offence under subsection 4(1) must be kept separate and apart from other records of convictions within two years after that day.
- Conservation of record — deeming
(2) A conviction that occurs after this section comes into force in respect of an offence under subsection 4(1) is kept separate and apart from other records of convictions two years after the conviction or two years after the expiry of any sentence imposed for the offence, whichever is later, and the person convicted of the offence is deemed never to have been convicted of that offence.
(3) The Governor in Council may make regulations respecting the use, removal or destruction of records kept separate and apart referred to in subsections (1) and (2).
- Exception for Service Providers
10.7 No social worker, medical professional or other service provider in the community commits an offence under subsection 4(1) if, in the course of their duties, they come into possession of a substance included in Schedule I, II or III and they intend to, within a reasonable period, lawfully dispose of it.
2022, c. 15.