The Provincial Offences Act (POA)
The POA is a procedural code that governs the prosecution of regulatory offences created by provincial law and municipal by-laws. The term “offence” is defined as “an offence under an Act of the Legislature or under a regulation or by-law made under the authority of an Act of the Legislature”.
The Act contains three distinct parts that govern the commencement of proceedings. Most often these relate to Highway Traffic Act, Liquor Licence Act, Trespass to Property Act offences or Municipal By-Law offences.
Provincial Offences Act: LEARN MORE
Part I – Proceeding Commenced by Offence Notice
Part I prescribes proceedings commenced by way of a certificate of offence. It is often referred to as a “ticketing” process, and it is used for less serious offences, such as a failure to carry a driver’s licence while driving or the consumption of alcohol in a public place. While we describe Part I offences as “less serious”, a more accurate description is that the provincial offences officer has elected to proceed by way of a less formal ticketing process, rather than compel the person’s attendance in court through the Part III mechanism.
A defendant who receives an offence notice (blue document) may do one of the following:
□ If the defendant does not wish to dispute the charge, pay the set fine including any applicable charge or surcharge fixed by regulation. Payment of the fine constitutes a plea of guilty, a conviction of the defendant and imposition of a fine in the amount of a set fine.
The defendant can complete payment by attending in Owen Sound at 595 9th Avenue East in person, by mail following the directions on the white Payment Notice, or calling (519) 376-3470.
□ If the defendant does not wish to dispute the charge but wants to make “representations” as to penalty, including a reduced fine, or seek an extension of time to pay, the defendant may appear before a justice at a time and date specified which can be obtained by attending in Owen Sound at 595 9th Avenue East in person, or calling (519) 376-3470.
□ If the defendant wishes to enter a plea and have a trial of the matter, the defendant must give notice of intention to appear in court which can be obtained by attending in Owen Sound at 595 9th Avenue East in person, or calling (519) 376-3470.
If the defendant takes none of the above steps within 15 days of service of the offence notice, the defendant will be deemed not to dispute the charge, and if the certificate of offence is complete and regular on its face, the justice will enter a conviction in the defendant’s absence.
Part II – Proceeding Commenced by Parking Infraction Notice
Part II sets out the procedure for commencing a parking infraction proceeding. It is very similar to the Part I process, except that Part II applies exclusively to parking offences which are primarily created by municipal by-laws. An enforcement officer will serve a parking infraction notice either personally or by affixing it to a conspicuous place on the vehicle.
Set fines for the parking infraction will be indicated on the parking infraction notice and the defendant must, within 15 days, choose to pay the fine or request a trial. A defendant who does not pay the set fine or request a trial may be convicted in default, although provision is made to “re-open” a conviction in circumstances where a defendant establishes that he did not receive the parking infraction notice.
Any inquiries concerning an Owen Sound By-Law Notice should be made to:
City of Owen Sound
808 2nd Avenue East, Owen Sound
Refer to the back of the yellow notice for 3 available options for resolution.
Part III – Proceeding Commenced by Part III Summons
The procedure in Part III is for offences that must be brought before a justice for resolution; they cannot be resolved through the payment of a set fine. The decision whether to prosecute under Part I or Part III often rests with the police officer or provincial offences officer. That decision will depend upon the nature of the offence and the public interest that may demand higher penalties.
For example, offences under the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act carry potential fines of $5000 upon a first conviction and can increase upon following convictions.
A defendant issued a Part III Summons will be required to attend court in Owen Sound at 595 9th Avenue East on the date specified on the document.
Frequently Asked Questions
Renew Your Licence
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