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Information on the Missing Persons Act

September 25, 2019

Ontario’s Missing Persons Act is a new law that came into effect on July 1, 2019 that may impact health care professionals, including OTs. This Act expands the tools available to police when attempting to locate missing individuals. A “missing person” is defined as someone whose whereabouts are unknown and, either, the person has not been in contact with people who would likely be in contact with that person or there is a reasonable fear for that person’s safety, and police were not able to find this individual after making reasonable efforts to do so.

If an individual is established to be a “missing person,” this legislation allows police to make an “urgent demand” for records. This can include an “urgent demand” for telecommunication and employment records as well as records of personal health information. As this new power is intended to aid in situations where no criminal activity is suspected (in which case search warrants would be available), cooperation is now mandatory and a person who receives an urgent demand has a “duty to comply.”

For more information, you can review the Missing Persons Act online: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/18m03