Status: Bill 27 passed November 28, 2019
Ministry responsible: Justice and Solicitor General

Overview

Bill 27: the Trespass Statutes (Protecting Law-abiding Property Owners) Act strengthens protections for property owners and ensure trespassers face the proper consequences for their actions. It will:

  • better protect law-abiding property owners from civil liability for injuries to criminal trespassers
  • increase maximum fines to deter trespassing
  • better protect farmers and ranchers from harassment and occupations by protesters, which are actions that risk introducing disease and threaten the welfare of animals

It is important that property owners remember that they can still be held criminally responsible for their actions and should call law enforcement to deal with trespassers.

Key changes

Bill 27 will:

  • amend the Occupiers' Liability Act to better protect law-abiding property owners from civil liability for injuries to trespassers where the owner has reasonable grounds to believe the trespasser is committing, or about to commit, a criminal offence
  • strengthen deterrents to trespassing through amendments to trespass laws
    • increase maximum fines up to:
      • $10,000 for a first offence
      • $25,000 for subsequent offences, as well as possible prison time of up to 6 months
      • $200,000 for corporations that help or direct trespassers
  • increase the maximum amount a court may order for loss or damage to property to $100,000
  • amend the Petty Trespass Act to add explicit references to land used for crops, animal-rearing and bee-keeping

Next steps

  • Bill 27 comes into force upon receiving royal assent
  • amendments to the Occupiers' Liability Act take effect retroactively to January 1, 2018

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