SOCIAL ASSISTANCE
AND
RELATED PROGRAMS

("SARP")

1994

(Archive copy for historical purposes only)

[ Go to the Table of Contents for this report. ]

[ Go to the next section in this report. ]

[ Go to Canadian Social Research Links Home Page ]

ADMINISTRATION
Offenses and Penalties

Newfoundland

Any person who knowingly obtains or receives, or who knowingly aids or abets another person to obtain or receive social assistance for which there is no entitlement is guilty of an offense. Act 22

Where a person refuses or neglects to maintain himself or any person whom he is liable to maintain, and in consequence of his refusal or neglect social assistance under this Act is given to himself or any such person, he is guilty of an offense. Act 19(1)

Every person who is guilty of an offense under the Act or Regulations is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $200 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than three months, or to both such fine and imprisonment. Act 29

A trustee who does not use the social assistance for the benefit of the person(s) in respect of whom it is granted is guilty of an offense and liable to a fine of $200 or imprisonment for up to three months, or both. Act 29

Every prosecution under the Social Assistance Act must commence within three years from the date on which the offense is alleged to have been committed. Act 22.1

Prince Edward Island

Every person who knowingly:
a) makes a false or misleading statement in any application or report under the Welfare Assistance Act or makes any such application or report that by reason of any non-disclosure of facts is false or misleading;
b) provides any person employed in the administration or enforcement of this Act with any statement or information that is false in any material part;
c) cashes any cheque for assistance to which he is not entitled;
d) fails to report that the circumstances which caused him to qualify for assistance have changed;
e) contravenes confidentiality provisions (see section 7.3) by communicating or allowing to be communicated to any person privileged information or by allowing any person to inspect or have access to any statement or other writing containing any such information;
f) persistently refuses or neglects to maintain any other person for whose maintenance he is liable, is guilty of an offense and liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or to both. Act 8,9
No action shall be brought against any person who acts in good faith in the performance or intended performance of his duties under the Act or the regulations.

Nova Scotia - Provincial

Any person who:
i) knowingly obtains or attempts to obtain for himself or any other person any assistance under the Family Benefits Act for which there is no entitlement; or
ii) wilfully makes false statements or provides misleading information for the purpose of qualifying for assistance under the Family Benefits Act, is guilty of an offense and liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $200 and in default of payment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two months. Act 13

Nova Scotia - Municipal

The City of Halifax uses sections of the federal Criminal Code to initiate legal action in cases of fraud (section 338(1)) and forgery (section 324(1)). Policy 1.3.2

New Brunswick

Every person who knowingly obtains or assists a person to obtain assistance to which that person is not entitled under the Act commits an offense which is punishable by means of a fine of up to $7500. No person shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment for this type of offense, which typically might involve the failure of a client to report changes in his/her circumstances affecting entitlement, e.g., departure of a child from the family. Serious offenses involving a malicious intent to defraud the program of significant amounts of money are referred to the criminal justice system for prosecution. The distinction between the two types of infractions described above is based on an assessment of the circumstances of each case and the amounts of money involved. Act 11(1,2); Provincial Contact - effective 11-90

A fine of up to $1000 will be imposed on the following persons:
a) the client who fails to report additional income or resources (exceeding allowable levels) within 15 days of receipt of the income or resources;
b) the client who sells or exchanges a voucher for money or for goods or services other than those specified in that voucher;
c) the person who purchases such a voucher or exchanges it for goods and services other than those specified in the voucher. No period of imprisonment may be imposed with respect to "a", "b", or "c" above. Act 11, 12, 13 - effective 11-90

In addition to the fines which may be imposed with respect to the infractions described in the two preceding paragraphs, the court may order the person to repay any amount received for which there was no entitlement; in default of payment, the person is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months. A prosecution for a violation under the Act shall be commenced within three years from the time of the violation. Act 14.1, 14.2

Quebec

Every person who makes a statement he knows or should have known to be incomplete or to contain false or misleading information or who transmits a document which is incomplete or which contains such information so as to
1. render himself or his family eligible for benefits under a program or maintain such eligibility, or
2. receive, or cause his family to receive, benefits which can no longer be granted or which are greater than the benefits which may be granted is liable to a fine of not less than $250 nor more than $1 500. Act 84

Penal proceedings for an offense included in the previous paragraph shall be prescribed by one year from the date on which the prosecutor became aware of the commission of the offense. However, no proceedings may be instituted where more than five years have elapsed from the commission of the offense. Act 89.1 - eff. 01-93

Every person who signs an agreement with another party to fix, vary or cancel support payments set up against the Minister is liable to a fine of not more than $1000. Act 85

Every person who hinders an examiner (investigator) in the exercise of his functions is liable to a fine of not less than $250 nor more than $1000. Act 86
Every person who, by his act or omission, assists another person in committing an offence under this Act is guilty of the offence as if he had committed it himself if he knew or should have known that his act or omission would likely result in aiding the commission of the offence. Act 87

Every person who, by his encouragement, advice or order, induces another to commit an offence under this Act is guilty of the offence if he knew or should have known that such encouragement, advice or order would likely result in the commission of the offence. Act 88

Ontario - Provincial

No person shall knowingly obtain or receive a benefit that he is not entitled to obtain or receive under the Act and the regulations. No person shall knowingly aid or abet another person to obtain or receive a benefit that such other person is not entitled to obtain or receive under this Act and the regulations. Every person who contravenes these provisions is guilty of an offense and on summary conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $5000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than 6 months, or to both fine and imprisonment. Act 19; Policy 0503-05 (fine increased 03-91)

Ontario - Municipal

No person shall knowingly obtain or receive assistance that he is not entitled to obtain or receive under the General Welfare Assistance Act and the regulations. No person shall knowingly aid or abet another person to obtain or receive assistance that such other person is not entitled to obtain or receive under the Act and regulations. Every person who contravenes the above provisions is guilty of an offence and on summary conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than 3 months, or to both. Act 16

Manitoba

Every person:

a) who makes a false statement in any form, application, record or return prescribed or required by legislation, or
b) who fails to inform the director or the municipal assistance administrator of a material change in circumstances affecting his entitlement to any social allowance, general assistance or municipal assistance, within 30 days of the commencement of the change,

is guilty of an offense and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $500 or to imprisonment not exceeding 3 months or to both such fine and imprisonment. The person so convicted may be required to repay to the Crown or the municipality, as the case may be, any sum obtained as a result of the offense. No information or complaint in respect of an offense shall be laid or made after the expiration of four years from the alleged commission of the offense. Act 22

Saskatchewan

A person who knowingly gives false information, or conceals information, for the purpose of obtaining or causing to be obtained assistance for himself or any other person is guilty of an offense and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $200 and in default of payment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months. Act 27, 28, 29

A person who receives assets while in receipt of assistance and continues to receive assistance when he ought reasonably to know that he is no longer eligible for such assistance, is guilty of an offense and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $200 and in default of payment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months.

A person who fails to comply with or contravenes any of the provisions of the Act or any regulation or order made thereunder is guilty of an offense and liable on summary conviction, if an individual, to a fine not exceeding $100 and in default of payment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months, and, if a corporation, to a fine, or not less than $25 nor more than $500.

Any amount of assistance which was granted and for which there was no entitlement may be recovered from the offender.

Alberta

Every person who is receiving a social allowance is required to notify the department of any changes in circumstances that differ from those previously reported. Recipients who contravene this provision are liable upon summary conviction to a fine of not more than $1,000. Act 13
Where an applicant is suspected of fraud (intentional misrepresentation), the social worker must formally request follow-up by the Fraud Investigation Unit. This unit is responsible for working with the Crown Prosecutor to determine whether prosecution procedures are to be undertaken; if so, charges are laid against the applicant under the Criminal Code of Canada. Policy 03-01-11

British Columbia

Any recipient of income assistance who does not "forthwith give notice" of any change in circumstances (including excessive income or other resources) affecting his or his dependents' eligibility is guilty of an offense and liable to a fine not exceeding $500 or to imprisonment not exceeding 30 days, or to both. Regulation 19

Every person who, by false representation, obtains income assistance or social services to which he is not entitled is guilty of an offense and liable to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or to imprisonment not exceeding 6 months, or to both, and in addition the court may order him to pay to the Minister of Finance a penalty not exceeding double the amount of the money obtained or the cost of the social services received. Act 20

No proceeding shall be initiated with respect to the two above paragraphs more than 18 months after the time when the subject matter of the proceedings arose. Act 20.1

Yukon

Every person who, for the purpose of obtaining assistance under the Social Assistance Act for himself or for any other person, knowingly makes a false or misleading statement commits an offense punishable on summary conviction. Act 15

Northwest Territories

Any person who makes a false or misleading statement for the purpose of obtaining assistance or welfare services for himself or another person, or who knowingly aids or abets another person to obtain assistance or welfare services for which there is no entitlement, is guilty of an offense punishable on summary conviction. Act 15-17


CANADIAN SOCIAL RESEARCH LINKS HOME PAGE
 PAGE D'ACCUEIL - SITES DE RECHERCHE SOCIALE AU CANADA

SEARCH
FREE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER


To search the complete
Canadian Social Research Links website ,
use the text box below:


To search ONLY the page you are now reading,
use Ctrl + F to open a search window.


SUBSCRIBE TO THE
CANADIAN SOCIAL RESEARCH NEWSLETTER

Sign up to receive this free weekly newsletter by e-mail or read it online
(including archives back to January 2005).
Each issue includes all links added to this site during the previous week.
(2800+ subscribers in August 2015)

 

Site created and maintained by:
Gilles Séguin (This link takes you to my personal page)
E-MAIL: gilseg@rogers.com