Important Note: This general information is provided for your assistance only. For specific information refer to the Provincial Offences Act or obtain legal advice.
In January 2001, the Province of Ontario, as part of its strategy to realign provincial and municipal roles in the delivery of public services, transferred the responsibility for the administration and prosecution of provincial offences to the 13 municipalities. The Regional Municipality of Niagara ("Niagara Region"), acting as agent on behalf of the 12 local area municipalities, administers the Provincial Offences Court.
Niagara Region's staff are responsible for setting trials, prosecuting certain provincial offences, recording court proceedings, and receiving fine payments resulting from charges laid by the various police forces and enforcement agencies operating within the region. Niagara Region enforces the decisions of the court by pursuing collection of unpaid Provincial Offences fines.
The Provincial Offences is a procedural law for administering and prosecuting provincial offences including those committed under the Highway Traffic Act, the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act, the Trespass to Property Act, the Liquor Licence Act, and other provincial legislation, municipal by-laws and minor federal offences. The POA governs all aspects of the legal prosecution process, from serving an offence notice to an accused person to conducting trials including sentencing and appeals.