News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

May 23, 2023

Manitoba Government Introduces Amendments to Provincial Offences Act

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Changes Would Allow First Nations to Enforce Laws, Collect Fines: Goertzen

The Manitoba government is introducing amendments to the Provincial Offences Act that would improve and streamline enforcement of First Nations laws and bylaws, Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced today.

“Our government is pleased to introduce these amendments that would provide a simplified legal framework and would enable First Nations to enforce laws and bylaws on reserve through tickets and fines that can be administered through the provincial court,” said Goertzen. “This change would reduce red tape and make bylaw enforcement on Manitoba First Nations more efficient, less expensive, and less time-consuming.”

Proposed changes would allow First Nations to enforce bylaws and gather fine revenue through a simplified process, which would allow charges to be laid using tickets. The changes would also provide additional enforcement options for First Nations to collect unpaid fines.

“The ticketing regime for First Nation laws and bylaws created by Bill 43 will provide an important tool for protecting the public safety and well-being of the MKO First Nations,” said Grand Chief Garrison Settee, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak. “MKO has been working with the Manitoba government for more than a year to develop these important amendments to the Provincial Offences Act that were proposed by MKO.”

The new processes for bylaw enforcement and fine collection would be available to any First Nation in Manitoba that chooses to opt into the new provisions under the act, the minister said, adding that the amendments would create efficiencies for law enforcement by reducing the burden on the court system.

Community safety officers operating in First Nations communities will be an integral part of the public safety landscape, the minister said, noting that officers will have expanded scope and authority to enforce provincial statutes and bylaws, and to respond to a range of lower-risk incidents that do not require investigative or tactical interventions.

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada has also been made aware of the changes, given its role and responsibility for First Nations’ laws, the minister added.

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