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The New Brunswick legislature in Fredericton. Image: Brad Perry

New Legislation To Help Police In Missing Persons Cases

By Brad Perry Oct 26, 2022 | 2:00 PM

New Brunswick introduced new legislation on Wednesday aimed at helping police locate missing people in certain instances.

The proposed law would allow officers to request information contained in a person’s records through the courts.

That includes “records related to signals from a wireless device that may indicate the location of the device.”

Other information that could be requested includes cell phone records, all forms of instant messaging, and GPS tracking records.

“This legislation will help ensure that investigations involving missing persons will not be stalled or halted,” Public Safety Minister Kris Austin said in a news release.

If passed, the legislation would apply to instances where a person is missing and there is no reason to suspect a crime has been committed.

In these situations, according to the province, law enforcement agencies cannot compel individuals or organizations to hand over personal information about the missing person.

The province also noted that enacting missing persons legislation was a recommendation of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Arlene Dunn said Indigenous women and girls in Canada are disproportionately affected by all forms of violence.

“Governments have a responsibility to do everything in their power to prevent this violence and to improve the safety of Indigenous women and girls. The proposed legislation is the right step forward in our commitment to doing that,” Dunn said in the release.

By requiring courts to grant access to the information, the province said it will ensure the proper balance between enabling law enforcement agencies to investigate and protecting fundamental privacy rights.


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