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The Proposed Security For Courts, Electricity-Generating Facilities And Nuclear Facilities Act, 2012

Archived Backgrounder

The Proposed Security For Courts, Electricity-Generating Facilities And Nuclear Facilities Act, 2012

Ministry of the Solicitor General

Court Security

The Police Services Act will be amended to maintain existing security measures at court houses. It will ensure court security guards have the powers to maintain the safety and security of courthouses.

Security staff would have the powers to, where reasonable:

  • Require any person entering a courthouse or who is inside of it to produce identification and provide information for the purposes of assessing the security risk, if any, posed by the person.
  • Search, without a warrant, any person, property or vehicle entering or attempting to enter the premises where court proceedings are conducted or who is on such premises.
  •  Search, without a warrant and using reasonable force if necessary, any person who is in custody where court proceedings are conducted.
  •  Refuse to allow a person to enter or demand that a person leave the premises where court proceedings are conducted, and use reasonable force if necessary to exclude or remove the person, if the person refuses to produce identification, provide information, submit to a search or pose a security risk. Arrest anyone who attempts to enter without producing identification, providing information or submitting to a search where these have been required or after being denied access and to use reasonable force to make an arrest.

It would also establish:

  • Offences for entering or attempting to enter without providing required identification or information or submitting to a required search or after being denied entry, or for failing to leave immediately upon demand.
  •  Penalties for the offences such as fine up to $2,000, or imprisonment up to 60 days.

Electricity-generating and Nuclear facilities

The new legislation would apply to prescribed nuclear and electricity-generating facilities, and would provide for the appointment of security personnel as peace officers. Peace officers may, where reasonable:

  •  Request any person who wishes to enter a facility or is already on the premises to produce identification and provide information for the purposes of assessing the security risk, if any, posed by the person.
  • Request that a person entering a facility or who is already on the premises submit to a search of the person, or the person's property or vehicle, and conduct such search upon consent.
  • Refuse to allow a person to enter or bring property onto the premises or demand that the person immediately leave and use reasonable force when necessary in order to prevent the person's entry or remove the person.
  •  Arrest anyone who enters or attempts to enter, where entry is prohibited or after being denied access and to use reasonable force to make the arrest.

It will also establish:

  • Offences for entering or attempting to enter, where entry is prohibited or after being denied entry, or for failing to leave immediately upon demand.
  •  Penalties for the offences such as fine up to $2,000, or imprisonment up to 60 days.
 

Security issues in the approach, or area just outside a prescribed facility, would be addressed in partnership with local police.


The PWPA

The PWPA was passed in 1939 in the context of World War II amid concerns about protecting.

the Province's critical infrastructure from sabotage. Generally, the PWPA provides a broad definition of "public work" (including railways and other transportation infrastructure, public buildings, electricity generating facilities), and the ability to designate additional works as "public works."

The PWPA provides the legal foundation for enhanced security measures, particularly routine searches, at courthouses. The PWPA is also used by security personnel at nuclear and electricity-generating facilities.

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