Department of Justice

SCAN Frequently Asked Questions


How does the process work?

SCAN is a complaint driven process.

If you notice illegal or suspicious activity in your neighbourhood you can contact the SCAN unit to make a complaint. The SCAN investigators may contact you to get more information, but your identity will always remain confidential.

The activities have to be happening on a regular basis and have a negative impact on the community for SCAN to investigate.

If there is enough evidence to support the complaint, SCAN will start an investigation into the property and the activities that are being carried out there.

SCAN investigators may attempt to resolve the problem by dealing with the tenants property owner informally.  A warning letter may be sent and/or the landlord may sign a five day  eviction notice to the tenant if the activities are habitual and negatively affecting the neighborhood.

The Director of Public Safety and Investigations can also apply to the territorial court for a Community Safety Order (CSO).  If a CSO is granted, the resident will be required to vacate the premises and the property may be closed for up to 90 days.

Are complaints confidential?

Yes, all complaints are confidential. 

You will have to provide your name when submitting a complaint and SCAN may follow up with you to get more information, but your identity will always be kept confidential.

You are not required to be involved in any investigative or court proceedings that may result from the complaint.


What are common signs of illegal activities?

Common signs of illegal activities taking place at a property include:

  • Frequent visitors of short duration at all times of the day and night
  • Visiting vehicles may have multiple occupants yet only one person goes into residence
  • Blackened windows or  curtains always drawn
  • Strange odours coming from the residence, garage or other buildings
  • Extensive investment in home security


What happens to the occupants living in the property that is closed?

The SCAN unit will work with government and non-government service providers to deal with the occupants following eviction or closure of the property.  This could include the protection of children, provision of alternative housing options, or linking people with available drug and alcohol treatment services.. 


What happens to tenants who were not involved in the “activities”?

Tenants who were not involved in the illegal activities will, in most circumstances be allowed to remain on the property.


How does this legislation differ from criminal legislation?

Criminal legislation requires the Crown to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that an accused person committed a specific crime at a specific time and place.  That person may face criminal charges and conviction for that offence.

SCAN is civil legislation that focuses on how the activity is negatively affecting the surrounding neighbourhood. SCAN investigators must show that the illegal activity is taking place regularly and that it is negatively affecting the community.  The evidence must show that this activity is occurring on a “balance of probabilities”.

With criminal legislation, the police can arrest a specific individual, but the illegal activities taking place at the property may continue.  With SCAN legislation, the property used for the activity is shut down.


How will this legislation apply to First Nations’ lands?

SCAN applies on First Nations settlement land, with the exception of those First Nations who have enacted equivalent legislation.  The SCAN unit works with First Nations to develop protocols as to how this Act is implemented on First Nation lands.