WHITEHORSE – Justice Minister Marian C. Horne tabled a bill today that would improve government’s ability to fight unlawful activity through civil legislation.
“The civil forfeiture act will improve our ability to remove the incentive for unlawful activity within Yukon by providing government with the authority to seize the instruments and proceeds related to the activity,” Horne said.
The proposed bill will allow a Justice department Crown counsel to ask the civil court for an order to freeze and take possession of property that is determined to be a proceed or instrument of unlawful activity. A criminal charge does not have to be in place.
A proceed is defined as property including cash, real estate or cars acquired as a result of unlawful activity. An instrument is property that is likely to be used to engage in unlawful activity in the future such as a house used in a marijuana grow operation.
“This is another tool to stop unlawful activity from occurring in Yukon,” Horne said. “We are doing what we can to build safer and healthier communities.”
Civil forfeiture legislation is in place in eight Canadian jurisdictions including British Columbia and Ontario.
The Supreme Court of Canada upheld Ontario’s Civil Remedies Act in 2009 after a court challenge.