O. Reg. 475/21 was filed on June 16, 2021 to permit provincial offences officers to serve Part III summonses on individuals within the province by registered mail, courier, or email. It also permits service on a recipient’s licensed lawyer or paralegal (if any), with advance consent.
Section 39 of the POA provides that these methods of service will also be available to any person serving a witness summons.
This change will permit new efficiencies going forward and will help minimize health risks associated with in-person contact during the pandemic. The regulation can be viewed online.
Proclamation of POA Clerk Amendments
Bill 177, the Stronger, Fairer Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2017, and Bill 229, Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures), 2020, introduced amendments to the POA aimed at modernizing and streamlining POA court processes.
Effective November 1, 2021, the following amendments will come into force:
• Clerks of the court will grant, but not deny, an extension of time to pay a fine. If the clerk is not satisfied that the application should be granted, the clerk must forward the application to a justice of the peace to make the determination whether to grant or deny the request for an extension.
• Clerks of the court will review the POA ticket and, if the ticket is not defective as determined by regulation, enter a conviction and impose a set fine where a defendant has failed to respond to the ticket and is deemed not to dispute. The Attorney General has made a regulation prescribing the characteristics that make a certificate of offence defective. The regulation can be viewed online.
(More details about these amendments are described in the appendix).
Updated POA Forms
The COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, 2020, also amended the POA to further enable the enhanced use of remote appearances in POA proceedings.
Effective November 1, 2021, updated POA forms, including Offence Notices, Certificates of Offence, Part I Summons, Notice of Trial and Early Resolution Meeting Notices, will come into effect to reflect the availability of remote appearance methods for POA proceedings. In addition, Offence Notices will also advise the defendant that a clerk may enter a conviction against them, and that the defendant may apply to a justice for a review of their conviction.
Updated POA forms are posted on the Ontario Court Forms website.
POA Court Recovery
The Recovery Division and Court Services Division, acting on behalf of the Ministry of the Attorney General, continue to work closely with the Ontario Court of Justice (OCJ) on advancing virtual court appearances and the eventual resumption of in-person proceedings, when appropriate. The ministry continues to meet regularly with the OCJ, providing updates and guidance on POA recovery.
The collaborative partnership between justice partners and the ministry has been, and will continue to be, a fundamental principle of our success as we work together to build the most modern, efficient, and effective justice system attainable.
If you have any questions, or if you would like more information on these initiatives, please contact Ms. Wendy Chen, Manager of my ministry’s POA Unit, by telephone at (437) 244-8733 or by email at JUS.G.MAG.POASupport@ontario.ca.