Legal Word of the Day: “Provincial Offences Act”

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Provincial Offences Act — Provincial legislation that affects almost all Ontarians’ lives. It sets out the procedure followed to prosecute provincial offences, at the Ontario Court of Justice.

    The Ontario Court of Justice hears virtually all provincial offence matters as well as offences against municipal bylaws. Examples include:
    • Highway Traffic Act charges such as speeding or traffic violations;
    • Municipal by-law charges related to parking, excessive noise, animal control, or garbage disposal; and
    • Charges laid under provincial legislation, such as the Environmental Protection Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Dog Owners’ Liability Act or the Trespass to Property Act.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding, municipalities administer the courts where most provincial offence cases are tried, and prosecute many of these cases on behalf of the Ministry of the Attorney General.

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