An act that will increase the power of police services to look for missing persons is now in effect.
The Missing Persons and Presumption of Death Amendment Act enhances police powers in investigations where there is no reason to suspect a crime has taken place.
Before the amendment act, police could not look to the Criminal Code to access personal information on persons reported missing.
Now, the amendments allow police and law enforcement to obtain search orders where a missing minor or vulnerable person is believed to be in a building, access a broader range of records including GPS, employment and school records, access information about a person who may be in the company of a missing minor or vulnerable person, and make emergency demands for records where certain criteria are met.
The act was introduced in 2009. The province is the first jurisdiction in Canada to make access to information provisions when it comes to missing persons.