Street Tickets 101 - What is a Provincial Offense?

Sometimes it is hard to understand the rules and procedures that go along with street tickets. In this post we will talk about the basics. What is a Provincial Offence and how is it different than a Criminal Offence?

In Canada the Federal Government controls the Criminal Law but the Provinces have control over other things like hospitals, roads and driving licenses. That’s why it’s called your Ontario Driver’s License, or your Ontario Health Card and not your Canadian Health Card. The Provinces are allowed to make regulations about the areas that they control. These regulations are called Provincial, because they are made and enforced by the Province, not the federal government.

Provincial offences are generally considered less serious than criminal offences. Assault is a common example of a criminal offence. Speeding is a common example of a Provincial offence.  Even though Provincial offences are usually considered less serious, the  penalty for some provincial offences can be just as high or even higher than some criminal offences.

The Ontario Safe Streets Act is a set of Provincial laws. This act makes it illegal to “Solicit in an aggressive manner” or to “Solicit on a roadway”. Student Advocates from Fair Change Community Services can help you for free if you have been charged with any offense found in the Ontario Safe Streets Act.