Heller, Rubel defends individuals and corporations charged with offences under regulatory statutes. We also provide opinions and advice as to whether or not current or proposed future business practices are in compliance with a variety of regulatory regimes, including the Health and Safety Act, Environmental Protection Act, Corporations Tax Act and Highway Traffic Act.
Canada is a modern regulatory state. All three levels of government (federal, provincial and municipal) pass regulations governing the manner in which citizens are required to conduct themselves. Regulatory offences cover a vast and diverse area of conduct ranging from the almost trivial (failing to obtain a dog licence) to the extremely serious (prosecutions under the Health and Safety Act where a worker has been killed). Generally speaking, the consequences for violating a federal regulatory statute are more significant than those for violating a provincial or municipal regulatory regime. This is due to the fact that violations of federal regulations are true criminal offences carrying with them the consequences of a criminal record and the availability (although not the likelihood) of a lengthy term of incarceration. Prosecutions for violations of provincial statutes or municipal by-laws, on the other hand, primarily involve monetary penalties, as well as the possibility of losing a licence or permit to conduct a certain activity. For example, your driver`s licence may be suspended for violations of the Highway Traffic Act, or your licence to run a massage parlour might be taken away for violations of municipal by-laws. Violations of regulatory statutes may also attract very negative publicity.