Is There Hope for the RCMP?
Well, it looks like another 20 years of the RCMP in B.C. (although there are…
It depends on the context of the situation.
The following is an oversimplification but gives the principles…
Are you, at the time police ask for ID, a regulated person, in a regulated activity? (therefore you are not at common law, you are subject to an Act that you filled out an application for). Then, yes you are, at that moment (not always), a regulated person in a regulated activity ie. a Driver, operating a motor vehicle.
At common law one is not a regulated person, nor in a regulated activity. ie. a private person in private activity
If you are, at the time, not a regulated person, not in a regulated activity, you are at common law and then no, you do not have to provide ID…and police cannot even ASK you for identification. At common law, the only time you can be even be asked and need to provide ID is when you have harmed or threatened of harm to person or property, with a officer or witness having seen you commit a crime.
Unless the officer actually observed the accused committing an offence known to law, there was no right to ask the person to identify…
Source: The Police Manual of Arrest, Seizure and Interrogation
The contextual questions one needs to pursue are:
There is a very specific situation where police cannot even ASK you for identification as stated in Canadian The Police Manual of Arrest, Seizure and Interrogation handbook for police, at common law.
The recent 11th edition (and proceeding 8th) have the same statement and case law references:
The common law does not require a citizen to identify oneself or carry identification of any sort. therefore while it may be the mark of a good citizen to identify oneself when asked to do so, a police officer must not use force to compel someone to identify oneself if he or she refuses, otherwise, the officer will be guilty of criminal assault and liable to civil damages Koechlin v Waugh-refuse ID-1957canlii359 PDF
However, the common law has never considered it an offence of obstruction for a person to refuse to identify oneself and thus prevent a police officer from carrying out his or her general duties to investigate crimes.
Rice v Connolly  “there is no legal duty to that effect [assist police], and indeed the whole basis of the common law is the right of the individual to refuse to answer questions put to him by persons in authority, and to refuse to accompany those in authority to any particular place; short, of course, of arrest.
…a willful obstruction required that it not only be intentional but be done without lawful excuse. Unless the officer actually observed the accused committing an offence know to law, there was no right to ask the person to identify herself or a reciprocal duty on the part of the citizen to do so.
Source: The Police Manual of Arrest, Seizure and Interrogation 11th Ed. pg. 126-129
Case law referenced: