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Backgrounder: Office of the Attorney General

The Office of the Attorney General is committed to upholding the laws of the Province. It works
to ensure a fair and unbiased justice system and offers programs to assist Islanders when it is
necessary for them to access the justice system. The department also provides services in such
areas as business registration and protection, investor and consumer protection, youth and adult
justice and community-based programming and intervention, legal aid, victim services and
family law services.

Program Highlights 2004-2005
The Youth Criminal Justice Act, April 1, 2003, has shifted demand for custody to community-
based services. Youth Justice Teams were created this year to support the supervision of
community-based sentences and to invest in early intervention, rehabilitation, reintegration,
family strengthening and crime prevention, These teams administer the Act and work with
partners in prevention, early intervention, outreach and community development.

The National Sex Offender Registry, launched in December 2004, is an investigative tool to aid
police in locating known sex offenders living near the location of a sex crime.

Islanders now have access to an online service to protect them when purchasing previously
owned items such as cars, boats or recreational vehicles. Lien Check provides quick and easy
access to the Personal Property Registry System using the serial number of the item.

Effective September 29, 2004, all Provincial Correctional Centres are tobacco free. This ban
lifted the final exemption under the Smoke Free Places Act, fulfilling government's commitment
to smoke free public places and workplaces.

Prince Edward Island regulations are now available on the web at www.gov.pe.ca. The page
includes the consolidations of approximately 350 regulations and can be viewed in its entirety by
anyone who accesses the Government of PEI Web site.

Budget 2005 Highlights

Investments

New investments include $122,400 to support the RCMP in operating the Prince Edward Island
Sex Offender Registration Centre.

Cost savings
Total savings of $538,600 will be realized in fiscal year 2005-2006.

The Georgetown Youth Centre will close in April 2005 and the PEI Youth Centre in Summerside will be designated as both an open and closed custody facility. This will realize savings of $437,800 in 2005-2006. Further to the implementation of the Youth Criminal Justice Act in 2003, the demand for youth custody in PEI, declined by 80 per cent. Much of this extraordinary drop can be attributed to community-based early intervention programs which keep young people out of the formal justice system.

The budget of the Human Rights Commission will be reduced by $75,000. Over the past number of years the Human Rights Commission has been working through a large caseload, and most of this work is now complete.

The Orderly Payment of Debts Program, which is mandated under Section 10 of the federal Bankruptcy and Solvency Act, will be phased out in 2005-2006. This program costs taxpayers approximately $60,000. Other private debt counselling programs have commenced operations in the province recently and they will fill the void for many of the clients who might otherwise use the OPD program.

The licensing fees for real estate agents and salespersons will increase, for the first time since 1995, by an amount of $100 for a two-year license. Insurance companies, adjusters and salespersons will pay $50 to $300 more for their operating license. In addition, fees for services provided by the Office of the Public Trustee and fees to incorporate a co-operative will increase. In total, these changes will generate an additional $140,000 in revenue.

For information contact:
Jennifer MacLeod
Office of the Attorney General
902 368 5829
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