Law:Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act

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R.s.c., 1985, c. E-3

An Act to provide for the establishment of electoral boundaries commissions to report on the readjustment of the representation of the provinces in the House of Commons and to provide for the readjustment of such representation in accordance therewith


Contents

Short Title

Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act.

R.S., c. E-2, s. 1.


Interpretation

Definitions

2. (1) In this Act,

“Chief Electoral Officer”

« directeur général des élections »

“Chief Electoral Officer” means the Chief Electoral Officer under the Canada Elections Act or the Assistant Chief Electoral Officer appointed under that Act;

“Chief Statistician”

« statisticien en chef »

“Chief Statistician” means the Chief Statistician of Canada appointed under the Statistics Act;

“commission”

« commission »

“commission”, with respect to any decennial census, means the electoral boundaries commission for that census established for a province pursuant to section 3;

“Minister”

« ministre »

“Minister” means such member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada as is designated by the Governor in Council as the Minister for the purposes of this Act;

“report”

« rapport »

“report” means the report prepared by a commission under section 20;

“Speaker”

Version anglaise seulement“Speaker” means the Speaker of the House of Commons.

Reference to a province or provinces

(2) In this Act, a reference to a province or to provinces does not include the Yukon Territory, the Northwest Territories or Nunavut.

R.S., 1985, c. E-3, s. 2; R.S., 1985, c. 6 (2nd Supp.), s. 1; 1993, c. 28, s. 78; 1998, c. 15, s. 25.


Electoral Boundaries Commissions

Commissions to be established

3. (1) For each decennial census, the Governor in Council shall, within sixty days after the receipt by the Minister of a return certified by the Chief Statistician under section 13, establish by proclamation, published in the Canada Gazette, an electoral boundaries commission for each province.

Duties of the commissions

(2) The ten commissions established pursuant to subsection (1) shall consider and report on the readjustment of the representation of the provinces in the House of Commons required to be made on the completion of each decennial census.

R.S., 1985, c. E-3, s. 3; 2001, c. 21, s. 27.

Constitution of commission

4. Each commission for a province shall consist of three members, namely, a chairman and two other members appointed as provided in sections 5 and 6.

R.S., c. E-2, s. 5; 1978-79, c. 13, s. 19.

Appointment of chairperson

5. (1) The chairperson of the commission for a province shall be appointed by the chief justice of that province from among the judges of the court over which the chief justice presides or, after consultation with the chief justice of any other branch or division of that court or any other superior court in that province, from among the judges of that branch, division or superior court.

Idem

(2) In the event that no judge referred to in subsection (1) is able or free to act as chairman or where, for any other reason, no appointment is made under subsection (1) within the time provided therefor by this Act, the Chief Justice of Canada or, in the event of the absence or incapacity of the Chief Justice of Canada, the senior puisne judge of the Supreme Court of Canada shall make the appointment from among such persons resident in that province as he deems suitable.

References

(3) A reference in subsection (1) to the chief justice of a province includes a reference to the acting chief justice of the province or any person performing for the time being the duties of the chief justice of the province.

(4) and (5) (Repealed, 1998, c. 15, s. 25)

R.S., 1985, c. E-3, s. 5; 1993, c. 28, s. 78; 1998, c. 15, s. 25.

Appointment of other members

6. (1) The other two members of the commission for a province shall be appointed by the Speaker from among such persons resident in that province as the Speaker deems suitable.

Reference to Speaker

(2) A reference in subsection (1) to the Speaker of the House of Commons includes a reference to any person performing for the time being the duties of the Speaker.

R.S., c. E-2, s. 6; 1974-75-76, c. 28, s. 6; 1978-79, c. 13, s. 20.

Notice of appointment to be given

7. On the making of any appointment under sections 5 and 6, the person making the appointment shall forthwith notify the Minister of the appointment.

R.S., c. E-2, s. 6; 1974-75-76, c. 28, s. 6; 1978-79, c. 13, s. 26.

Proclamation to name members

8. The proclamation establishing a commission shall name each of the members appointed to it.

R.S., c. E-2, s. 7.

Deputy chairman

9. (1) A commission may appoint one of its members as deputy chairman, who shall, in the event of the absence or incapacity of the chairman or if the office of chairman is vacant, act as chairman.

Quorum and deciding vote

(2) At all meetings of a commission, two members of the commission constitute a quorum and, where at any meeting of a commission there is an equality of votes, the chairman or person acting as chairman has a deciding vote.

Vacancy in membership

(3) A vacancy in the membership of a commission or in the office of chairman does not impair the right of the remaining members to act, but where any such vacancy occurs it shall be filled within thirty days by appointment in the manner provided in sections 5 and 6, and the person making the appointment shall thereupon give notice of the appointment to the Minister who shall forthwith cause the appointment to be published in the Canada Gazette.

R.S., c. E-2, s. 7; 1978-79, c. 13, s. 21.

Eligibility of members

10. No person is eligible to be a member of a commission while that person is a member of the Senate or House of Commons or is a member of a legislative assembly or legislative council of a province.

R.S., c. E-2, s. 8.

Remuneration

11. (1) Each of the members of a commission, other than a person in receipt of salary under the Judges Act, is entitled to be paid such daily allowance as may be fixed by the Governor in Council.

Expenses

(2) Each of the members of a commission is entitled to be paid reasonable travel and living expenses incurred by the member while absent from his ordinary place of residence in the course of his duties as a member of the commission.

R.S., c. E-2, s. 9; 1978-79, c. 13, s. 22.

Not agent of Her Majesty

12. A commission is not an agent of Her Majesty and the members of a commission as such are not part of the federal public administration.

R.S., 1985, c. E-3, s. 12; 2003, c. 22, s. 224(E).

Previous Version

Commencement And Preparation Of Report

Return of Chief Statistician

13. (1) As soon as possible after the completion of any decennial census, the Chief Statistician shall prepare and send to the Minister and to the Chief Electoral Officer a return certified by the Chief Statistician showing the population of Canada and of each of the provinces and the population of Canada by electoral districts and by enumeration areas as ascertained by that census.

Copy of return sent to Chairman and maps prepared

(2) The Chief Electoral Officer shall

(a) forthwith after the establishment, pursuant to section 3, of the commissions for the decennial census referred to in subsection (1), send a copy of the return referred to in that subsection to the chairman of each of the commissions; and

(b) prepare maps showing the distribution of population in each province and thereupon supply such maps to the appropriate electoral boundaries commission.

Duty to assist

(3) The Chief Statistician and the Director General of the Surveys and Mapping Branch of the Department of Natural Resources shall make available their services and the facilities of their respective offices, and render all such other assistance to the Chief Electoral Officer as may be necessary in order to enable the Chief Electoral Officer to discharge his duties under paragraph (2)(b).

R.S., 1985, c. E-3, s. 13; 1994, c. 41, s. 38.

Calculation of members

14. (1) On receipt by the Chief Electoral Officer from the Chief Statistician of the return referred to in section 13, the Chief Electoral Officer shall calculate the number of members of the House of Commons to be assigned to each of the provinces, subject and according to the provisions of section 51 of the Constitution Act, 1867 and the rules provided therein, and on the completion of that calculation shall cause a statement to be published in the Canada Gazette setting out the results thereof.

Preparation of report

(2) After publication of the statement referred to in subsection (1), each commission for a province shall, in accordance with the calculation of the Chief Electoral Officer under subsection (1), prepare, with all reasonable dispatch, a report setting out its recommendations and the reasons therefor concerning the division of that province into electoral districts, the description of the boundaries of each district and the representation and name to be given thereto.

R.S., c. E-2, s. 12; 1970-71-72, c. 15, s. 39; 1978-79, c. 13, s. 26.

Rules

15. (1) In preparing its report, each commission for a province shall, subject to subsection (2), be governed by the following rules:

(a) the division of the province into electoral districts and the description of the boundaries thereof shall proceed on the basis that the population of each electoral district in the province as a result thereof shall, as close as reasonably possible, correspond to the electoral quota for the province, that is to say, the quotient obtained by dividing the population of the province as ascertained by the census by the number of members of the House of Commons to be assigned to the province as calculated by the Chief Electoral Officer under subsection 14(1); and

(b) the commission shall consider the following in determining reasonable electoral district boundaries:

(i) the community of interest or community of identity in or the historical pattern of an electoral district in the province, and

(ii) a manageable geographic size for districts in sparsely populated, rural or northern regions of the province.

Departure from rules

(2) The commission may depart from the application of the rule set out in paragraph (1)(a) in any case where the commission considers it necessary or desirable to depart therefrom

(a) in order to respect the community of interest or community of identity in or the historical pattern of an electoral district in the province, or

(b) in order to maintain a manageable geographic size for districts in sparsely populated, rural or northern regions of the province,

but, in departing from the application of the rule set out in paragraph (1)(a), the commission shall make every effort to ensure that, except in circumstances viewed by the commission as being extraordinary, the population of each electoral district in the province remains within twenty-five per cent more or twenty-five per cent less of the electoral quota for the province.

(3)�(Repealed, 1998, c. 15, s. 25)

R.S., 1985, c. E-3, s. 15; R.S., 1985, c. 6 (2nd Supp.), s. 2, c. 1 (4th Supp.), s. 45(F); 1993, c. 28, s. 78; 1998, c. 15, s. 25.

Powers of commission

16. (1) In the performance of its duties under this Act, a commission has all of the powers of a person appointed as a commissioner under Part I of the Inquiries Act.

Staff

(2) A commission may employ such technical advisers and other staff, including a person to provide administrative and secretarial services to the commission, as it deems necessary and, subject to the approval of the Treasury Board, may fix the salaries and expenses of such persons and prescribe the conditions of their employment.

R.S., 1985, c. E-3, s. 16; R.S., 1985, c. 1 (4th Supp.), s. 22.

Duty to assist

17. The Chief Statistician and the Director General of the Surveys and Mapping Branch of the Department of Natural Resources shall make available their services and the facilities of their respective offices, and render all such other assistance to a commission as may be necessary, in order to enable the commission to discharge its duties under this Act.

R.S., 1985, c. E-3, s. 17; 1994, c. 41, s. 38.

Rules of procedure

18. A commission may make rules for regulating its proceedings and for the conduct of its business, and may provide therein for the conduct of any inquiry or hearing by one or more of its members.

R.S., c. E-2, s. 16.

Sittings of commission; hearing of representations

19. (1) A commission may, in the performance of its duties under this Act, sit at such times and places in the province for which it is established as it deems necessary, except that before completing its report it shall hold at least one sitting in that province for the hearing of representations by interested persons.

Idem

(1.1) For greater certainty, any member of Parliament may make representations at any sittings held by a commission for the hearing of representations from interested persons.

Notice to be given by public advertisement

(2) Notice of the time and place fixed by the commission for any sittings to be held by it for the hearing of representations from interested persons shall be given by advertisement published in the Canada Gazette and in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the province at least sixty days before the commencement of the sittings.

Advertisement to include certain information

(3) There shall be included in the advertisement referred to in subsection (2) a map or drawing prepared by the commission showing the proposed division of the province into electoral districts and indicating the population and name proposed to be given to each district and

(a) in the case of the advertisement published in the Canada Gazette, a schedule shall be included setting out a description of the proposed boundaries of each electoral district in the province, indicating the population and name proposed to be given to each such district; and

(b) in the case of the advertisement published in the newspaper, a notice shall be included indicating that a copy of the schedule referred to in paragraph (a) may be obtained, free of charge, on request by any person, from the commission at the address set out in the advertisement or from the Chief Electoral Officer at the address set out in the advertisement.

Form and content of map or drawing

(4) Any map or drawing included in an advertisement pursuant to subsection (3) shall be in such form and contain such detail as, in the opinion of the commission, will be reasonably sufficient for the purpose for which the sittings referred to in the advertisement are to be held.

Notice of representation to be given before sittings

(5) No representation shall be heard by a commission at any sittings held by it for the hearing of representations from interested persons unless notice in writing is given to the secretary of the commission within fifty-three days after the date of the publication of the last advertisement under subsection (2), stating the name and address of the person by whom the representation is sought to be made and indicating concisely the nature of the representation and of the interest of the person.

R.S., 1985, c. E-3, s. 19; R.S., 1985, c. 6 (2nd Supp.), s. 3, c. 1 (4th Supp.), s. 45(F).


Completion Of Report

Time within which report to be completed

20. (1) Each commission shall, not later than one year after the receipt by the chairman from the Chief Electoral Officer of the copy of the return referred to in section 13, complete a report for presentation to the House of Commons setting out the considerations and proposals of the commission concerning the division of the province into electoral districts, the descriptions and boundaries of the districts and the population and name to be given to each district and, on the completion of the report, shall cause two certified copies thereof to be transmitted to the Chief Electoral Officer.

Extension of time

(2) The Chief Electoral Officer may, on request by a commission, extend the time for the completion of its report for a further period or periods not exceeding six months in the aggregate.

R.S., 1985, c. E-3, s. 20; R.S., 1985, c. 6 (2nd Supp.), s. 4.

Report to be referred to committee

21. (1) On receiving the certified copies referred to in section 20 of the report of any commission, the Chief Electoral Officer shall transmit one of the copies thereof to the Speaker who shall, subject to subsection (2), cause the copy to be laid before the House of Commons and referred to such committee of the House of Commons as it may establish for the purposes of dealing with electoral matters forthwith on receipt of the copy by the Speaker if Parliament is then sitting or, if Parliament is not then sitting, on any of the first five days next thereafter that Parliament is sitting.

Where report received during interval between sessions

(2) Where the copy referred to in subsection (1) of the report of any commission for a province is received by the Speaker during an interval between two sessions of Parliament, the Speaker shall forthwith cause the copy to be published in the Canada Gazette and a copy of that Canada Gazette to be sent by mail to each of the members of the House of Commons representing electoral districts in that province.

R.S., 1985, c. E-3, s. 21; R.S., 1985, c. 6 (2nd Supp.), s. 5.

Procedure where objection filed with Standing Committee

22. (1) If, within a period of thirty days from the day the copy of the report of any commission for a province is referred to the committee pursuant to subsection 21(1) or published pursuant to subsection 21(2), an objection in writing is filed with the clerk of the committee specifying the provisions of the report objected to and the reasons for the objection, the committee shall, within the first thirty days next after the expiration of that period that Parliament is sitting or within such greater period as the House of Commons may allow, take up the motion referred to in subsection (2), consider the matter of the objection and return the report to the Speaker together with a copy of the objection and of the minutes of proceedings of the committee with respect thereto.

Form of objection

(2) An objection in writing under subsection (1) shall be in the form of a motion for consideration by the committee of the matter of the objection and signed by not less than ten members of the House of Commons.

Reference back for reconsideration by commission

(3) The Speaker shall forthwith refer back to the Chief Electoral Officer the report returned to the Speaker under subsection (1) together with a copy of the objection and of the minutes of proceedings and evidence of the committee with respect thereto for reconsideration by the commission having regard to the objection.

R.S., 1985, c. E-3, s. 22; R.S., 1985, c. 6 (2nd Supp.), s. 6, c. 1 (4th Supp.), s. 23.

Reconsideration and disposition of objection by commission concerned

23. (1) Within thirty days after the day the report of any commission is referred back to the Chief Electoral Officer by the Speaker pursuant to section 22, the commission shall consider the matter of the objection and dispose of the objection, and, forthwith on the disposition of the objection, a certified copy of the report of the commission, with or without amendment accordingly as the disposition of the objection requires, shall be returned by the Chief Electoral Officer to the Speaker.

Application of section 21

(2) Section 21 applies, with such modifications as the circumstances require, in respect of any copy of a report returned to the Speaker pursuant to this section.

R.S., c. E-2, s. 21; 1978-79, c. 13, s. 26.


Representation Order

Preparation of draft representation order

24. (1) Where, with respect to each of the reports referred to in section 20,

(a) it is ascertained by the Chief Electoral Officer that no objection has been filed with the clerk of the committee referred to in subsection 21(1) in the manner and within the time prescribed therefor in section 22, or

(b) after the report was referred back to the Chief Electoral Officer by the Speaker, the report, with or without amendment, has been returned by the Chief Electoral Officer to the Speaker pursuant to section 23,

the Chief Electoral Officer shall forthwith prepare and transmit to the Minister a draft order, in this Act referred to as a "representation order", in accordance with this section.

Contents of order

(2) The draft representation order shall

(a) specify the number of members of the House of Commons who shall be elected for each of the provinces as calculated by the Chief Electoral Officer under subsection 14(1); and

(b) divide each of the provinces into electoral districts, describe the boundaries of each such district and specify the population and name to be given thereto, in accordance with the recommendations contained in the reports referred to in subsection (1).

R.S., 1985, c. E-3, s. 24; R.S., 1985, c. 6 (2nd Supp.), s. 7.

Order in force

25. (1) Within five days after the receipt by the Minister of the draft representation order, the Governor in Council shall by proclamation declare the draft representation order to be in force, effective on the first dissolution of Parliament that occurs at least one year after the day on which that proclamation was issued, and on the issue of the proclamation the order has the force of law accordingly.

Returning officers and electoral district associations

(2) For the purpose of authorizing and enabling, whenever required, the appointment of returning officers under section 24 of the Canada Elections Act or the registration of electoral district associations under subsection 403.22(4) of that Act, the representation order is deemed to be effective on the day on which the proclamation was issued.

R.S., 1985, c. E-3, s. 25; 2000, c. 9, s. 559; 2004, c. 1, s. 2.

Previous VersionPublication of order and proclamation

26. The representation order and the proclamation declaring it to be in force shall be published in the Canada Gazette not later than five days after the issue of the proclamation.

R.S., c. E-2, s. 24.

Construction of order

27. (1) The whole of that part of the representation order relating to any province shall be read together and, in so far as possible, be construed as including the whole of the province in one or another of the electoral districts described therein, the description of each electoral district being accordingly construed as intended, unless the contrary intention appears, to include the whole of the contained area, whether particularly mentioned or not, and any area partly surrounded by the areas expressly described that appears to have been intended to be included.

Doubtful cases

(2) In any doubtful case under subsection (1), the Chief Electoral Officer shall finally determine the electoral district, if any, of which any area not expressly referred to in the representation order was intended to form part and shall, within the first fifteen days of the session of Parliament next following any such determination, report the determination, with the reasons therefor, to the Speaker.

References to territorial divisions

(3) Wherever in the representation order any word or expression is used to denote the name of any territorial division, that word or expression shall, unless the context otherwise requires, be construed as indicating the territorial division as it existed or was bounded immediately before the issue of the proclamation declaring the order to be in force.

Incorrect references

(4) Wherever in the representation order any municipality or other place is incorrectly referred to as a city, town or village, but there is within the territorial limits of the electoral district in the description of which the reference occurs, a municipality or other place of the same name that is a city, town or village but is not of the class, namely, city, town or village, specified in the representation order, the reference shall be taken to be to that municipality or other place.

R.S., c. E-2, s. 25; 1978-79, c. 13, s. 26.

Maps to be prepared and printed

28. As soon as possible after the issue of the proclamation declaring the representation order to be in force, the Director General of the Surveys and Mapping Branch of the Department of Natural Resources shall, in accordance with the descriptions and definitions set out in the order, and with the cooperation of the Chief Electoral Officer, prepare and print

(a) individual maps of each electoral district showing the boundaries of each district;

(b) individual maps of each province showing the boundaries of the electoral districts established therein; and

(c) individual maps of all cities and metropolitan municipalities, portions of which are in more than one electoral district.

R.S., 1985, c. E-3, s. 28; 1994, c. 41, s. 38.


General

Provision for expenses

29. (1) All amounts required for the payment of salaries and other expenses under this Act, including expenses of administration, shall be taxed by the Chief Electoral Officer and paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund under the authority of this section.

Casual or temporary employees

(2) Such additional officers, clerks and employees as the Chief Electoral Officer considers necessary for the purpose of enabling him to exercise the powers and perform the duties of the Chief Electoral Officer under this Act may be employed, in the manner authorized by the Public Service Employment Act, on a casual or temporary basis.

R.S., c. E-2, s. 28; 1978-79, c. 13, s. 25.

Territorial electoral districts

30. In each of the Yukon Territory, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, there shall be one electoral district respectively named and described as follows, each of which shall return one member:

Yukon: consisting of the Yukon Territory as bounded and described in the schedule to the Yukon Act.

Western Arctic: consisting of the Northwest Territories as bounded and described in the definition "Territories" in section 2 of the Northwest Territories Act.

Nunavut: consisting of Nunavut as bounded and described in section 3 of the Nunavut Act.

R.S., 1985, c. E-3, s. 30; 1993, c. 28, s. 78; 1998, c. 15, s. 25.


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