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Ministère de la Sécurité publique

Police Act

Introduction

One objective of this Act, which incorporates most of the existing provisions of the former Police Act and the former Act respecting police organization, is to establish the École nationale de police du Québec replacing the Institut de police du Québec. The mission of the school is to provide basic training and skill in police patrolling, police investigation and police management. The Act creates a training and research commission whose main purpose will be to advise the governing board of the school on all matters connected with police training and to keep the governing board abreast of developments in research in that field. Moreover, the Act incorporates the provisions of the Police Act concerning Aboriginal police forces and establishes the community focus of policing. Municipalities will be required to make bylaws concerning disciplinary measures applicable to the members of their police force and to write an annual activity report.

Consult the Police Act

Modifications in 2013

The Act to amend the Police Act as concerns independent investigations, adopted on May 9, 2013, makes the conduct of an independent investigation mandatory in every case where a person, other than an on-duty police officer, dies, is seriously injured or is injured by a firearm used by a police officer during a police intervention or while the person is in police custody.

The Act establishes an investigation bureau, known as the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes, whose mission is to conduct independent investigations and any investigation entrusted to it by the Minister of Public Security on any other occurrence involving a peace officer or on criminal offence allegations made against a peace officer.

The Bureau is a police force for the purposes of the pursuit of its mission. It is composed of a director, an assistant director and investigators appointed by the Government. The bill sets out rules applicable to the appointment and selection of the members of the Bureau as well as the minimum requirements they must meet to be appointed and exercise their functions.

The director of a police force that provides level 4 services or services of a higher level must make available to the Bureau the specialized teams and police officers requested by the director of the Bureau. To that end, the director of a police force and any other member or employee of the police force is required to cooperate with the Bureau.

The Act also provides that once an investigation is completed, the investigation record must be sent to the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions and, if the investigation was conducted following a death, to the coroner.

Lastly, the Act amends the Act respecting the determination of the causes and circumstances of death so that, in the cases and on the conditions determined by government regulation, financial assistance may be granted by the Chief Coroner to the family members of a person who died during an occurrence that led to an independent investigation, in order to cover the legal assistance and representation expenses they incur for the purposes of a coroner’s inquest.

Modifications in 2012

This Act amends various provisions concerning the organization of police services. The maximum population a police force offering level 2 police services may serve is increased from 199,999 to 249,999. A municipality that wishes to replace the police force serving its territory must hold a public consultation on the subject. In addition, a municipality that is served by the Sûreté du Québec continues to be served by the Sûreté du Québec even though its population reaches 50,000 inhabitants or more, unless it is authorized by the Minister of Public Security to be served by a municipal police force. Municipalities are authorized to enter into agreements with each other, or with the Minister of Public Security for the Sûreté du Québec, concerning the provision of police dispatching services or the sharing of certain activities relating to the support services or emergency measures determined by the Minister. Lastly, consequential amendments and transitional provisions are introduced.

Modifications in 2009

The Act to amend the police Act as regards cross-border policing was assented to 4 December 2009. This Act amends the Police Act to allow police officers to be granted cross-border powers, and to determine which police ethics system is to apply to officers with such powers.

To that end, it establishes a process by which an authorizing official designated by the Minister of Public Security may authorize a police officer of another province or a territory of Canada to perform police duties in Québec. The authorizing official sets the duration of the authorization and specifies the duties the police officer is authorized to perform as well as the area in which and the conditions subject to which he or she is to perform them. The authorization may be terminated at any time by the authorizing official.

Under the Act, a police officer from another jurisdiction, while performing duties in Québec within the limits set out in his or her written authorization, has all the powers and protections enjoyed by Québec police officers.

As regards police ethics, the Act stipulates that a person may lodge a complaint with Québec’s Police Ethics Commissioner about the conduct in Québec of a police officer from another jurisdiction, but that the Commissioner may impose no penalty under the Police Act on such an officer. The Act sets out how the Commissioner is to deal with such complaints and what information the Commissioner must send to the authority that would normally deal with the complaint in the police officer’s home province or territory.

In addition, the Act provides that a Québec police officer may be authorized by the competent authority of another province or a territory of Canada to perform police duties in that province or territory, and that the Police Act continues to apply to such a police officer in the performance of duties in that province or territory. If a complaint is lodged against a Québec police officer in that province or territory, it may be referred to Québec’s Police Ethics Commissioner, who will deal with it as if the police officer’s conduct that is the subject of the complaint had occurred in Québec.

Lastly, the Act contains provisions on reciprocal indemnification, by the authorities responsible for the police forces concerned, for costs arising from the exercise of cross-border policing powers.

Modifications in 2008

This Act enables municipalities to conclude agreements among themselves, with the approval of the Minister of Public Security, on the provision of detention or transportation services for accused persons and on the joint use of equipment, premises or space by their respective police forces. It also stipulates that the municipalities may conclude such agreements with the Minister, to be applicable to the Sûreté du Québec.

The Act authorizes the Minister to determine the manner in which a municipality that is part of a metropolitan community or a metropolitan census area will be served by a municipal police force if the municipality fails to do so. It also provides that municipalities must update their police service organization plan whenever necessary or at the Minister’s request. In addition, it completes the list of provisions that must be included in the agreement under which the Sûreté du Québec provides its services to a municipality.

The Act stipulates that the function of police officer is incompatible with the exercise of an activity related to the administration of justice but is no longer incompatible with the exercise of an activity requiring that a restaurant sales or service permit be issued by the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux.

The Act also makes wildlife protection officers and any person having authority over them subject to the rules of ethics governing police officers. It removes the obligation for a police officer to report the conduct of another police officer that may constitute a breach of discipline. In addition, the Act states that a police officer interviewed as a witness in connection with a complaint against another officer may, if that first police officer wishes, be assisted by an advocate.

The Act stipulates that any allegation against a police officer concerning a criminal offence must first be submitted to the director of police and the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions, who will determine whether the allegation is frivolous or unfounded. If the allegation is founded, the director of police must inform the Minister immediately.

Lastly, the Act confirms the creation of the Québec Police Services Council, made up, among others, of municipal representatives. The Council’s mission is to give its opinion to the Minister on any matter relating to police services provided in Québec.

The Act ensures the establishment and maintenance of a regional police force to serve the Cree communities. It also allows the government to conclude an agreement with several indigenous communities for the establishment of common police services to serve all communities.

The regulation Police services that municipal police forces and the Sûreté du Québec must provide according to their level of jurisdiction is into force since July 24, 2008. The regulation gives the list of activities offered by police bodies according to their level of service and replaces Appendice G of the Police Act.

Modifications in 2001

The Police Act was amended on June 21, 2001 primarily to determine levels of police services based on the number of inhabitants in to be served by the police force and to define the backup and complementary role of the Sûreté du Québec as well as its mission throughout Québec. The amending legislation is entitled the Act Concerning the Organization of Police Services. The amendments that it brings to the Police Act, except in certain cases, provide that every municipality within a metropolitan community or census metropolitan area is to be served by a municipal police force, and that every other municipality having a population of 50,000 inhabitants or more is required to establish its own police force. However, a municipality having fewer than 50,000 inhabitants that is currently being served by a municipal police force may continue to be served by that police force to the extent that, before June 1, 2002, the police force had the capability of providing the required level of services.

Police Act regulations

Administrative regulations