The Provincial Offences Act (POA) is a procedural statute that prescribed the manner in which offences, including those created under municipal by-laws, are to be administered and prosecuted. In essence, all POA contraventions are dealt with through the issuance of a ticket. The POA prescribes the manner of serving notice of an offence to a defendant, payment periods, method of conducting the trials, sentencing and appeals. The ministry of the Attorney General is responsible for the administration of this legislation.
AMENDED BILL 108
The Legislative Assembly enacted Bill 108, the Streamlining of Administration of Provincial Offences Act, 1997. The Bill amends the Provincial Offences Act to allow the Attorney General to enter into agreements with municipalities permitting them to undertake court administration and support functions. It also provides for the transfer of most prosecutions responsibilities to the local municipality. This Bill was part of the Provincial government overall review dealing with the re-alignment of public service delivery.
GUIDE FOR DEFENDANTS
Traffic & Other
The following list of acts are non-criminal charges, primarily laid by the police and other provincial offence officers.
The non-criminal acts include those committed by the following:
- HIGHWAY TRAFFIC ACT: includes offences such as speeding, careless driving, or not wearing your seat belt.
- COMPULSORY AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE ACT: includes offences such as failing to surrender your insurance card, or possessing a fake or invalid insurance card.
- LIQUOR LICENCE ACT: includes offences such as being intoxicated in a public place or selling alcohol to a minor.
- TRESPASS TO PROPERTY ACT: includes offences such as entering premises when entry is prohibited or failing to leave premises after being directed to do so.
- TOWN BYLAWS (COCHRANE, KAPUSKASING, HEARST): includes bylaws such as the traffic and parking, noise, taxi, animal care and more.
Most provincial offence charges result in out-of-court fine payments. Citizens issued with provincial offence tickets are responsible for carefully reading the back of the ticket for a complete list of their options.
NOTICE & TICKET ISSUERS
A provincial offence notice or ticket can be issued by the following government or non-government entities:
- Bylaw Enforcement
- Parking Enforcement
- Fire Services
- Ontario Provincial Police
- Ministry of Transportation
- Ministry of Environment
- Ministry of Labour
- Ministry of Natural Resources
- Ministry of Health & Long Term Care
- Workplace Safety & Insurance Board
171 Fourth Avenue
Cochrane, ON P0L 1C0
Telephone: (705) 272-2538
Fax: (705) 272-3593
ELLERY, ELLERY & PRABUCKI
135 Algonquin Boulevard East
Timmins, ON P4N 1A6
Telephone: (705) 360-5879
Fax: (705) 264-3297
NOTICE OF PROVINCIAL OFFENCES ACTS
The Provincial Offences Act (POA) has part I and part III notices. They are described as follows:
- PART I NOTICE: is a ticket that is issued to an individual.
- PART III NOTICE: is a summons (including a first appearance court date).
The Town of Cochrane has its own administration and prosecution office and courtrooms to deal with charges laid under the Provincial Offences Act (POA).
Payments & Legal
To pay a certificate of offence, it is important to carefully read the instructions on the back of the document to find what are the possibilities for payment and legal proceedings. Three options may be chosen from, as they are described below.
OPTION 1 | GUILTY PLEA WITH PAYMENT
To plead guilty and pay a certificate of offence, please follow the instructions on the back of the ticket. Please note that penalties are charged in case of late payment. The unpaid fines will be sooner or later forwarded to a collection agency and may result in a suspension of your driver’s license. Please note that a motion may be presented for an extension of time to the pay fine. A offences extension form must be filled out.
MAIL YOUR PAYMENT
Send your cheque or money order to the following address.
PROVINCIAL OFFENCES OFFICE
1 – 171 Fourth Avenue
Cochrane, ON P0L 1C0
Phone: (705) 272-2538
SECURE ONLINE PAYMENT
Save time and pay online. Visit payfines.ca to make a payment online with a credit card (MasterCard or Visa). You must have your certificate of offence and your driver’s license number on hand. Administration fees apply when using this method of payment.
PAY IN PERSON
Visit us at Town Hall and make a payment in person. Accepted payment methods are as follows:
- Money order
- Credit card
- Debit card
PAY BY PHONE
Simply dial (705) 272-2538 during the following business hours and make a payment using your Visa or MasterCard.
|Weekdays||8:30am – 12:00pm
1:00pm – 4:30pm
OPTION 2 | PLEAD GUILTY WITH AN EXPLANATION
You may choose to plead guilty to the certificate of offence, but with an explanation. You will then have to show up before a Justice of the Peace. The Justice of the Peace is at the office on Monday mornings only (with the exception of statutory holidays).
To confirm date and time, please call (705) 272-2538. You and your agent must attend in person at the Provincial Offences Court Office either in:
- COURT OFFICE – COCHRANE: 149 Fourth Avenue | Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 8:30am to 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 4:30pm.
- CENTRE LOUISBOURG – HEARST: 141 Gaspesie Road | 2nd Friday of each month (with the exception of statutory holidays) from 9:00am to 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 3:00 pm
- CIVIC CENTRE – KAPUSKASING: 88 Riverside Drive | 4th Friday of each month (with the exception of statutory holidays) from 9:00pm to 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 3:00pm.
Upon arrival, you must register your name with our counter staff, who will advise you of the next steps. Please check the back of your ticket or call the Provincial Offences Court Office to confirm times available for this option.
Please note that according to the explanation, the Justice of the Peace may:
- Reduce the amount of the fine.
- Grant an extension of time to pay a fine.
The Justice of the Peace may not:
- Reduce the accusation.
- Remove or reduce applicable demerit points.
OPTION 3 | PLEA NOT GUILTY
If you choose this option and want to enter a plea of not guilty, you must complete option 3 at the back of the blue copy of your offence notice or you can complete a Notice of Intention to Appear. The selected document can be filed at the provincial offence administration office or by mail at the address indicated on the ticket.
If you receive a summons you must attend court on the date recorded. It is your responsibility to attend court on your assigned date. If you are not present for your court date a trial date will be set for you or a warrant may be issued for your arrest. You will not receive notification if a trial date has been set. You are responsible for checking with the Courts if you miss your summons date.
When you appear on the date of your summons you will have to plead guilty or not guilty to the offence and choose one of the following options:
- Adjourn to obtain an agent or Council.
- Adjourn to obtain disclosure.
- Adjourn to speak with a Prosecutor about a resolution.
Appearing in court for a summons could result in conviction and possible suspension of your license. To make the necessary arrangements, please call (705) 272-2538.