section 56.1(3)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section defines the term identity document for the purposes of the Criminal Code, including various types of government-issued cards and certificates.

SECTION WORDING

56.1(3) For the purposes of this section, "identity document" means a Social Insurance Number card, a drivers licence, a health insurance card, a birth certificate, a death certificate, a passport as defined in subsection 57(5), a document that simplifies the process of entry into Canada, a certificate of citizenship, a document indicating immigration status in Canada, a certificate of Indian status or an employee identity card that bears the employees photograph and signature, or any similar document, issued or purported to be issued by a department or agency of the federal government or of a provincial or foreign government.

EXPLANATION

Section 56.1(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada defines the term identity document" for the purposes of criminal offences related to the possession, trafficking, and use of false identity documents. This section lists several types of documents that are considered identity documents, including social insurance number cards, driver's licences, health insurance cards, birth certificates, death certificates, passports, certificates of citizenship, certificates of Indian status, and employee identity cards. The reason for specifying these types of documents is to provide clarity and specificity to the offences related to identity documents. Criminal offences related to identity documents involve the creation or use of false documents or the possession or trafficking of genuine or false documents with the intent to use them fraudulently. By clearly defining what documents are considered identity documents, Section 56.1(3) ensures that these offences can be prosecuted effectively and that individuals who engage in these activities will be held accountable. Furthermore, by including documents that simplify entry into Canada and documents indicating immigration status in Canada, this section reflects the importance of ensuring the integrity and security of Canadian borders. The term similar document" is also included to capture any other types of documents that could be used for fraudulent purposes, which may be issued by government departments or agencies. Overall, Section 56.1(3) plays an important role in preventing and punishing the use of false identity documents and protecting the integrity of government-issued identification documents.

COMMENTARY

Section 56.1(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada pertains to the illegal possession, trafficking, and use of identity documents. The section defines 'identity document' and outlines the various documents that fall under its ambit. The purpose of this section is to prevent the fraudulent use, theft, and trafficking of such identity documents, which can lead to identity theft, fraud, and other criminal acts. The inclusion of identity documents such as Social Insurance Number (SIN) cards, driver's licenses, health insurance cards, and birth certificates in this section is significant because these documents are what most Canadians rely on as primary identification proofs in their daily lives. Such documents are also often demanded by banks, employers, healthcare providers, and government agencies to access services and benefits and to verify identity. The Criminal Code defines 'possession,' 'trafficking,' and 'use' of identity documents to prevent their illegal actions. According to this section, it is illegal to possess, traffic, or use an identity document that belongs to someone else, that one has acquired unlawfully or under false pretenses, or that one knows or believes has been obtained, trafficked, or used illegally. The penalties for such actions include imprisonment and fines as established by the Criminal Code. This section also recognizes that identity documents can be used to enter Canada, establish immigration status, or prove citizenship or Indigenous identity. Therefore, it includes certificates of citizenship, immigration documents, and certificates of Indian status within the ambit of identity documents. The inclusion of these documents reflects the Canadian government's commitment to protecting the rights of immigrants, refugees, First Nations peoples, and other vulnerable groups who may be at risk of having their identity documents stolen or used illegally. Moreover, the language of this section is broad enough to encompass any similar document, issued or thought to be issued, by a department or agency of the federal or provincial government or of a foreign government. The inclusion of this phrase provides further clarity and scope, indicating that the offenses enumerated in this section are not merely limited to the specific identity documents listed but can be extended to any similar ones that may arise in the future. Overall, Section 56.1(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada serves as a crucial tool for Canadian law enforcement agencies, courts, and policymakers to combat identity theft, fraud, and other related crimes. By providing a comprehensive definition of 'identity document,' this section aims to establish clear guidelines for the possession, trafficking, and use of such documents. This helps maintain the integrity of Canada's identification system, protect Canadians' identities, and prevent criminal activities that may rely on identity theft or fraud. Law-abiding citizens and permanent residents in Canada can rest assured that their identities are being protected by such legal provisions.

STRATEGY

Section 56.1(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important piece of legislation that addresses identity theft and identity fraud. It outlines the various types of documents considered to be identity documents and the penalties for using or possessing such documents fraudulently. As such, it is essential for individuals and organizations to understand the strategic considerations when dealing with this section of the Criminal Code. Some strategic considerations when dealing with this section of the Criminal Code include understanding what types of documents are considered identity documents, ensuring that employees are aware of the penalties for fraudulently using or possessing these documents, and implementing measures to prevent identity theft and fraud. One strategy that could be employed is to establish policies and procedures for the proper handling and securing of identity documents. This may include measures such as limiting access to sensitive information, requiring background checks for employees who handle such documents, and implementing secure storage and disposal procedures. Another strategy is to provide training to employees on how to detect and prevent identity theft and fraud. This may involve educating them on the various types of identity documents, common methods used in identity theft and fraud, and best practices for protecting personal information. In addition, organizations may consider implementing technology solutions such as biometric authentication, identity verification tools, and anti-fraud software to detect and prevent fraudulent activities. Lastly, it is important to establish partnerships with law enforcement agencies and other organizations to share information and resources for preventing and combating identity theft and fraud. In conclusion, dealing with Section 56.1(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada requires a strategic approach that involves understanding the types of identity documents considered under this legislation, implementing measures to prevent identity theft and fraud, providing training to employees, leveraging technology solutions, and establishing partnerships with other organizations. By taking these strategic considerations into account, businesses and organizations can better protect themselves and their customers from the risks of identity theft and fraud.

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