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Saturday, July 26, 2014
Saskatchewan Justice

The Summary Offences Procedure Act, 1990, deals with the procedures for charging individuals with provincial offences and offences against municipal bylaws, including bylaws of the Wascana Centre Authority, the Meewasin Valley Authority, the Wakamow Valley Authority, the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan. The Act also prescribes the court's powers and duties respecting provincial offences, which generally follow the summary conviction provisions of the Criminal Code, and the enforcement of fines resulting from convictions.

The most common offences relate to driving. However, many Saskatchewan statutes have summary offence provisions (e.g., statutes dealing with the sale and use of alcohol, fishing and hunting, the use of provincial parks' facilities, and environmental safety).

Proceedings under the Act may begin by issuing the alleged offender a summary offence ticket - either a summons ticket or an offence notice ticket. Instead of the normal court process, a defendant who has been served with a summons or an offence notice, and who wishes to plead guilty, may deliver the summons or offence notice and the amount of the fine specified before the date due to the place specified.

Offences that go to trial are under the jurisdiction of a judge of the Provincial Court or a justice of the peace. Where the penalty on conviction of a summary offence is a fine, the person is given the option of choosing to participate in the Fine Option Program. Under this program, an offender who is convicted and sentenced to a fine may work off any part of the fine.

A person convicted of a driving offence who has defaulted on paying the fine imposed will have his or her driver's licence suspended or cancelled until the fine is paid. The Minister of Justice may file the conviction with the Court of Queen's Bench to make a judgment enforcing the order.

Where the default is against a corporation, the justice may issue a warrant of distress to any sheriff, bailiff or peace officer to seize items belonging to the corporation to satisfy the outstanding fine.

Justices are also permitted to order restitution as a sentence for provincial offences. At the sentencing of an offender, the justice may order the offender to pay, as restitution, all or part of the cost of restoring or replacing property damaged, lost or destroyed as a result of the offence. The restitution order may be ordered in addition to any other penalty imposed on the offender.

Amendments to this Act relating to the enforcement of parking bylaws came into force on January 1, 2006. These amendments:

  • allow a parking summons to be served by mail;
  • provide that a default conviction can occur where a person does not respond in any way to a summons;
  • provide that a lien can be registered against a vehicle owned by a person with an outstanding parking fine; and
  • set out the procedure to be followed before a person can be incarcerated for an outstanding parking fine.


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