Referendum Act (S.C. 1992, c. 30)

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Act current to 2019-06-20 and last amended on 2005-12-31. Previous Versions

Referendum Broadcasts (continued)

Marginal note:Blackout period

  •  (1) No person shall, for the purpose of supporting or opposing a referendum question, advertise on the facilities of any broadcasting undertaking or publish an advertisement in a periodical publication on polling day or the day preceding polling day.

  • Marginal note:Presumption

    (2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a notice of a function, meeting or other event that a registered referendum committee intends to hold or a notice of invitation to meet or hear a representative of a registered referendum committee at a specific place is deemed not to be an advertisement for the purpose of supporting or opposing a referendum question.

Marginal note:Referendum advertisements

 No person shall, for the purpose of supporting or opposing a referendum question, advertise on the facilities of any broadcasting undertaking, publish an advertisement in a periodical publication or display or distribute an advertisement on a handbill, placard or poster, unless the advertisement identifies the sponsor of the advertisement and indicates that the advertisement is authorized by that sponsor.

Recounts

Marginal note:Application by Her Majesty in right of Canada

  •  (1) Her Majesty in right of Canada may, not later than ten days after the validation of results has been completed in an electoral district, apply for a recount of the votes cast in the electoral district on a referendum question to a judge to whom an application for a recount may be made under the Canada Elections Act in respect of the electoral district.

  • Marginal note:Application by Her Majesty in right of a province or an elector

    (2) Her Majesty in right of a province or any elector ordinarily resident in a province may, not later than ten days after the validation of results has been completed in an electoral district in the province, apply for a recount of the votes cast in the electoral district on a referendum question to a judge to whom an application for a recount may be made under the Canada Elections Act in respect of the electoral district.

  • Marginal note:Affidavits

    (3) An application shall be supported by one or more affidavits or statutory declarations of persons having personal knowledge of the matters to which they attest.

  • Marginal note:Service

    (4) A copy of an application by Her Majesty in right of a province or an elector and the affidavit or statutory declaration in support thereof shall be served on the Attorney General of Canada not less than five days before the application is to be heard by a judge.

  • Marginal note:Recount

    (5) The judge to whom an application is made shall order that the recount be carried out and shall appoint a time for commencing the recount, if the judge is satisfied that

    • (a) votes cast in the electoral district on the referendum question may have been wrongly rejected, counted, added or reported; and

    • (b) there is a reasonable possibility that, if the votes are properly rejected, counted, added and reported, the opinion of the majority of the electors in the electoral district who cast ballots on that question will be shown to be opposite to what it was shown to be by the original count.

  • Marginal note:Time

    (6) A recount shall be commenced within four days after it was ordered.

  • Marginal note:Costs

    (7) No costs shall be awarded on an application under this section.

  • 1992, c. 30, s. 29
  • 2000, c. 9, s. 568

Marginal note:Electors entitled to be present

 Where, at a recount under section 29 of the votes cast on a referendum question, the judge is satisfied that either the electors who support the question or those who oppose it are not represented at the recount, any three electors who demand to attend on behalf of the electors who are not so represented are entitled to attend, but, except with the permission of the judge, no persons other than those who are by this section entitled to attend at the recount shall be permitted to attend.

  • 1992, c. 30, s. 30
  • 2000, c. 9, s. 569(F)

Information Programs

Marginal note:Information provided by Chief Electoral Officer

  •  (1) The Chief Electoral Officer shall, as soon as possible after the issue of a proclamation, inform the public, by such means as the Chief Electoral Officer considers appropriate, of the referendum question and the manner in which the referendum will be conducted.

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (2) Nothing in subsection (1) shall be construed as requiring or authorizing the Chief Electoral Officer to inform, or answer inquiries from, the public with respect to any argument in support of or in opposition to any referendum question.

Participation by Public Servants and Referendum Officers

Marginal note:Definitions

  •  (1) In this section,

    public servant

    public servant means a deputy head or an employee as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Public Service Employment Act, but does not include a person on the staff of the Chief Electoral Officer; (fonctionnaire)

    referendum officer

    referendum officer means returning officers, assistant returning officers, additional assistant returning officers, persons authorized by a returning officer to perform duties under this Act, revising agents, deputy returning officers, poll clerks, registration officers, information officers, persons responsible for maintaining order at a central polling place, central poll supervisors, persons appointed to collect ballot boxes, the special voting rules administrator, special ballot officers, liaison officers for correctional institutions and deputy returning officers and poll clerks for correctional institutions. (fonctionnaire référendaire)

  • Marginal note:Participation not precluded

    (2) Part 7 of the Public Service Employment Act is not to be construed or applied so as to restrict the right of a public servant to participate fully in respect of a referendum.

  • Marginal note:Regulations

    (3) Where, in the opinion of the Governor in Council, the participation of public servants or any class of public servants in a referendum would likely impair the ability of the public servants or public servants in that class to discharge the responsibilities of their positions, the Governor in Council may make regulations limiting their participation in the referendum.

  • Marginal note:Referendum officers

    (4) Referendum officers shall, in performing their duties and functions under this Act, act impartially and not in any way show favour to any side in a referendum.

  • 1992, c. 30, s. 32
  • 1996, c. 35, s. 91
  • 2000, c. 9, s. 570
  • 2003, c. 22, s. 244

Chief Electoral Officer’s Costs

Marginal note:Costs payable out of Consolidated Revenue Fund

 All costs incurred by the Chief Electoral Officer in performing the duties and functions imposed by this Act shall be paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Offences

Marginal note:General offence — persons

  •  (1) Every person who contravenes subsection 10(2), 16(4), 18(4), 20(1) or 32(4) is guilty of an offence and is liable

    • (a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or to both; or

    • (b) on indictment, to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or to both.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (2) Every person who does or omits to do anything in respect of a referendum that, if done or omitted to be done in respect of an election, would constitute an offence under the Canada Elections Act is guilty of an offence under this Act and is liable to punishment as described in subsection (1).

  • Marginal note:Failure to assist auditor

    (3) Every agent or officer of a registered referendum committee who

    • (a) refuses to allow the auditor of the committee to have access to any records, documents, books, accounts, bills, vouchers and receipts of the committee to which the auditor is entitled to have access under subsection 20(3),

    • (b) fails to provide the auditor with any information or explanations that the auditor has required and is entitled to require from the agent or officer under that subsection, or

    • (c) provides the auditor with any information or explanation knowing that it is false, misleading or incomplete in a material particular,

    is guilty of an offence and is liable to punishment as described in subsection (1).

  • Marginal note:General offence — referendum committees

    (4) Every referendum committee that contravenes subsection 13(8), 15(4) or (5) or 18(1), (2) or (3) is guilty of an offence and is liable to punishment as described in subsection (1).

  • Marginal note:Filing false application

    (5) Every referendum committee that files an application under section 13 knowing that it is false, misleading or incomplete in a material particular is guilty of an offence and is liable to punishment as described in subsection (1).

 
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