Reply To: Ticketing – Laying of Charges in relation to Structure Fires

Latest News

Call for nominations for 2023 Annual Awards

OMFPOA Executive are requesting annual nominations for the following awards, please nominate deserving individuals: Jim Copeland Award Dave Sylvester Student Bursary Al Suleman Award (Fire Prevention Employee of the Year) Fire Chief of the Year Award The deadline for submissions is 26 April 2023.

Read More »

2023 Symposium Hotel Bookings

  Delta Hotels London Armouries has created a website to enable Symposium attendees to register at the discounted rate. Follow the instructions below to book . Further information on the Symposium and registration forms can be found here. Book your group rate for OMFPOA 2023 Symposium Thank you for considering to stay at the Delta

Read More »

HOME Forums Forums Fire Code & Enforcement Ticketing – Laying of Charges in relation to Structure Fires Reply To: Ticketing – Laying of Charges in relation to Structure Fires

#12735
Michael BurnsMichael Burns
Participant

Not sure if this has been resolved, but thought I would chime in.

This topic was covered in the fire investigation program offered at Laurentian University, (the program was cancelled this past year).
I would review this with the OFMEM and your legal counsel, as there may be differing opinions. Specifically, I would ask about “predominant purpose” and regulatory inspections. Why did you originally enter the structure? If the initial entry into the structure was for an investigation. Then under the FPPA, Section 14(2) allows the investigator to take photographs for the purposes of cause. This means you cannot take photographs of code deficiencies, or no-working smoke alarms, unless these pertain specifically to the cause of the fire. (Note that I haven’t reviewed if there have been any revisions to the FPPA since I took the course last year. So my reference may be off and the section may have been revised, but I doubt it. The instructor was Chris Williams formerly with OFMEM.) The way we discussed it was that, in the ideal world, the investigator conducts an investigation into the origin, cause and circumstances of the fire. A second, and separate inspector can enter, under whatever authority they may need to, ie. entry warrant, consent, whatever. If you, as the investigator notice a violation and subsequently charge the offender, the evidence may be thrown out as you didn’t have legal authority to enter the premises for inspection: you entered to investigate the cause of the fire. In addition, you may be violating their charter rights.

If it was me, I would approach OFMEM and legal counsel to obtain their opinions on the current state of affairs.

If you decide to research predominant purpose, add in regulatory inspections as well. This should bring up relevant topics and issues as predominant purpose also other legal meaning.

Let me know if you need anything and I can try dig up any other information I may have. But your legal counsel and OFMEM would be better. As an FYI. I’m in Saskatchewan. Not to muddy the waters, but I asked our legal counsel and they said, no. Predominant purpose does not apply. But it’s a different province.

Jim