Identity Theft New Criminal Code Offences

Bill S-4: An Act to amend the Criminal Code (identity theft and related misconduct) came into force on October 22, creating a number of new offences in relation to identity theft and impersonation. As ever, the best way to acquaint yourself with the new provisions is by reading the excellent legislative summary provided by the Library of Parliament.

New offences include the following:

  • identity theft (new Code section 402.2(1)) -:- knowingly obtaining or possessing “another person’s identity information in circumstances giving rise to a reasonable inference that the information is intended to be used to commit an indictable offence . . .”
  • identity fraud (revised Code section 403) -:- fraudulently personating another person for various improper purposes.
  • trafficking in identity information (new Code section 402.2(2)) -:- transmitting, making available, distributing, selling or offering for sale “another person’s identity information, or [having] it in their possession for any of those purposes . . .”

The Canadian Bar Association’s submission concerning Bill S-4 [PDF] is available online. Though certain of their recommendations were taken into account, their worry about the law’s catching de minimis use by young people — e.g. using a borrowed or fake ID to get into a bar — was ignored.

[hat tip: E-Tips]


  1. I know that Bill S-4 has received Royal Assent, but I don’t think it comes into force until the date is “fixed by order of the Governor in Council.” Does anyone know if the provisions will be brought into force soon?

  2. Oops. Sloppy work on my part, Linda. I relied on E-Tips information for the fact it had come into force. However, the LEGISinfo page makes it clear that it had only received Royal Assent on October 22 and is, indeed, not yet in force as of today. Apologies.