Law:Blue Water Bridge Authority Act

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S.c. 1964-65, c. 6

Assented to 1964-05-21

An Act respecting the International Bridge over the St. Clair River known as the Blue Water Bridge

Preamble

 WHEREAS it is deemed appropriate that an international bridge providing facilities for the carriage of highway traffic between Canada and the United States be operated on a joint international basis by a public authority having equal representation of members appointed from each of the two countries, and having power to levy tolls to meet the costs of operating and maintaining such a bridge;
 AND whereas there is at present no competent authority to levy tolls to defray the costs of operating and maintaining the Canadian portion of the international bridge connecting Canada and the United States across the St. Clair River, commonly known as the Blue Water Bridge, and it is deemed advisable that, pending the establishment of a competent joint international authority to operate the Blue Water Bridge, an authority be established at the earliest possible date to operate and maintain the Canadian portion of the said bridge and to levy tolls to defray the costs thereof;
 NOW, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:


Contents

Short Title

Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Blue Water Bridge Authority Act.


Interpretation

Definitions

2. In this Act,

“Bridge Authority”

« Administration du pont »

(a) "Bridge Authority" means the Blue Water Bridge Authority established by this Act; and

“Blue Water Bridge”

« pont Blue Water »

(b) "Blue Water Bridge" means the international bridge across the St. Clair River from a point at or near the Village of Point Edward in the Province of Ontario to a point at or near the City of Port Huron in the State of Michigan, commonly known as the Blue Water Bridge.


Part I. Joint Operation

Organization

Blue Water Bridge Authority established

3. There is hereby established a corporation to be known as the Blue Water Bridge Authority which, in Canada, shall have such powers as are set out in this Act and which, in the United States, shall have such powers as the appropriate authority in the United States allows and be subject to such limitations as the appropriate authority in the United States imposes.

Composition of Bridge Authority

4. (1) Subject to Part II, the Bridge Authority shall consist of eight members,

(a) four of whom shall be Canadian citizens ordinarily resident in Canada, hereinafter referred to as the "Canadian members", who shall be appointed by the Governor in Council or such other authority in Canada as the Governor in Council may designate; and

(b) four of whom, hereinafter referred to as the "United States members", shall be appointed by such authority, in such manner and upon such terms as the appropriate authority in the United States prescribes.

Quorum

(2) A majority of the members of the Bridge Authority constitutes a quorum for the transaction of its business.

Vacancies

(3) Subject to subsection (2), vacancies occurring in the membership of the Bridge Authority do not impair the powers of the Bridge Authority, and any such vacancy shall be filled by the appropriate appointing authority under subsection (1).

Officers and conduct of business

(4) The members of the Bridge Authority shall appoint a chairman and vice-chairman from among the members thereof and may establish rules and regulations for the conduct of the meetings and the management of the business of the Bridge Authority.

Affirmative vote of United States and Canadian member required

(5) Notwithstanding subsection (2), the affirmative vote of at least one Canadian member and at least one United States member shall be required for any action to be taken by the Bridge Authority.

Term of Canadian members

5. (1) Canadian members of the Bridge Authority hold office during the pleasure of the appointing authority.

Alternate Canadian member

(2) Canadian members may, with the approval of the appointing authority, appoint deputies in writing to attend any meetings of the Bridge Authority and to act and vote in their stead.

No compensation

6. The members of the Bridge Authority shall serve without remuneration but are entitled to be reimbursed out of the revenues of the Authority for travel, living and other necessary expenses incurred by them in the performance of the duties of the Bridge Authority under this Act.


Powers and Duties of Authority

Duties of the Bridge Authority

7. (1) The Bridge Authority may acquire and shall hold so much of the Blue Water Bridge and such approaches, structures, easements, privileges or rights connected thereto or held in connection therewith, as are granted or conveyed to the Bridge Authority by, respectively,

(a) Her Majesty in right of Canada, and

(b) the appropriate authority in the United States;

and shall operate, maintain and repair the Blue Water Bridge and the approaches and structures held in connection therewith.

Powers of Bridge Authority

(2) For the purpose of performing its duties under this Act the Bridge Authority may

(a) acquire, hold and dispose of real property for the purposes of the Bridge Authority;

(b) make traffic surveys and engineering, architectural and other studies;

(c) obtain legal, engineering, architectural, accounting, financial and other services;

(d) in order to maintain adequate facilities for the traffic carried over it, extend, add to, enlarge or otherwise alter the Blue Water Bridge; and

(e) generally, do all things necessary, convenient or proper for the purposes of carrying out the duties of the Bridge Authority or functions incidental thereto.

Section 21 of Interpretation Act

(3) For greater certainty, it is hereby declared that section 21 of the Interpretation Act applies to the Bridge Authority.

Presumption regarding holding of United States portion

(4) In the event that the portion of the Blue Water Bridge situated in the United States and any approaches or structures used in connection therewith and situated in the United States are entrusted to the Bridge Authority, in such manner as is prescribed by the appropriate authority in the United States, to be operated and maintained by the Bridge Authority in accordance with this Act, the said portion, approaches and structures shall be deemed, for the purposes of this Act, to be held by the Bridge Authority notwithstanding the title or interest therein acquired by the Bridge Authority.

2001, c. 3, s. 1.

Bridge Authority may acquire staff

8. (1) The Bridge Authority may employ such officers and employees, and may engage the services of such professional and expert personnel, as it deems necessary for the proper performance of the duties of the Bridge Authority.

Pension and other benefits

(2) The Bridge Authority may provide, or make provision for, pension, welfare, hospital or other benefits for its officers and employees and may contribute toward the costs of any such benefits.


Revenues

Tolls authorized

9. (1) The Bridge Authority may, subject to the Railway Act, fix and charge tolls for the use of so much of the Blue Water Bridge as is held by the Bridge Authority, and may prohibit the use thereof without the payment of the toll.

(2) The tolls to be charged shall be fixed from time to time to provide current revenues in an amount sufficient

(a) to pay the reasonable current costs of the Bridge Authority in carrying out its duties in an economical manner, and to provide and replenish a reserve fund for such purposes and in such amounts as may be estimated by the Bridge Authority to be prudent;

(b) to provide or replenish (whenever bonds of the Bridge Authority are outstanding and unpaid) a sinking fund to pay the principal of any such bonds and the interest thereon at or before maturity, and to provide a reserve therefor in such amount as the Bridge Authority may deem necessary; and

(c) to pay any other expenses that the Bridge Authority may properly incur in the performance of its duties under this Act.

Uniform classification and uniform rates

(3) The Bridge Authority shall establish uniform classifications for all traffic carried over so much of the Blue Water Bridge as is held by it and the toll charges collected by the Bridge Authority pursuant to this section shall be at a uniform rate with respect to the traffic falling within each classification.

Qualification on classifying power

(4) The class of goods or commodities carried in or upon any vehicle shall not be taken into account in establishing uniform classifications under subsection (3) for traffic carried over the Blue Water Bridge.

No tolls chargeable for official passages

10. Notwithstanding section 9, no toll shall be charged by the Bridge Authority for the passage of any person or of any vehicle used by him when the passage is in connection with the discharge of his duties as a member, officer or employee of the Bridge Authority.

Leasing for other uses

11. The Bridge Authority may enter into leases or other contractual agreements permitting the use of the Blue Water Bridge to support power or communication transmission equipment, pipelines, or any other similar facilities so long as the use of the Blue Water Bridge for such facilities is not inconsistent with its use for pedestrian and vehicular traffic; and the consideration to the Bridge Authority under any such lease or agreement need not be directly related to the traffic carried by any such facility.

Application of revenues

12. (1) All revenues of the Bridge Authority shall be applied in conformity with this Act.

Liabilities to charge only revenues

(2) The Bridge Authority may not incur any liability not dischargeable solely from revenues of funds received by the Bridge Authority under this or any other Act of the Parliament of Canada or under any enactment of the appropriate authority in the United States.


Borrowing Powers

Borrowing authorized

13. (1) The Bridge Authority may borrow money, including by means of the issuance, sale and pledge of bonds, debentures, notes or other evidence of indebtedness, so long as the total principal amount of borrowings outstanding at any time does not exceed $125,000,000.

Approval by Ministers

(2) Any borrowing transaction entered into by the Bridge Authority is subject to the approval of the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Transport.

Her Majesty not liable

(3) Her Majesty is not liable for the payment of any amount owing under an obligation incurred or an instrument issued by the Bridge Authority.

Definition of "borrowing"

(4) In this section, “borrowing” includes any transaction that is deemed to be a transaction to borrow money by regulations made under section 127 of the Financial Administration Act.

2001, c. 3, s. 2.

14. to 16. (Repealed, 2001, c. 3, s. 3)

Bridge not subject to charge

17. No charge against any portion of the Blue Water Bridge in Canada or against any underlying land therein may be created or enforced, either by agreement or by judicial process, to secure or enforce the payment of any obligation of the Bridge Authority.

Bond issues to conform with Act

18. The Bridge Authority may not issue bonds or any other securities of any description except in accordance with this Act.


Accounting

Records of Bridge Authority

19. (1) The Bridge Authority shall keep complete and accurate records of the cost to it of performing its functions, and complete and accurate records of all its cash receipts and disbursements, and shall make its records available to such authorities or the representatives thereof as the Governor in Council or any authority designated by the Governor in Council may by regulation prescribe, and to such authorities or the representatives thereof as the appropriate authority in the United States prescribes.

Financial reports and audits

(2) The Bridge Authority shall,

(a) at such periods, not less frequently than annually, file and itemized, detailed and verified report of all receipts and disbursements of the Bridge Authority with such persons, and

(b) permit such auditing of its accounts by such persons,

as the Governor in Council or any authority designated by the Governor in Council may prescribe and as the appropriate authority in the United States prescribes.


Miscellaneous

Resident agent in Ontario

20. Not later than ninety days after the commencement of this Act, and at all times thereafter, the Bridge Authority shall have an agent resident in the Province of Ontario who is authorized to receive service of process in any proceedings against the Bridge Authority in any court of competent jurisdiction in Canada.

Assessment and taxation

21. Nothing in this Act in any way affects any right, privilege, obligation or liability in respect of provincial or municipal assessment or taxation.

Liability

21.1 (1) The members of the Bridge Authority are not personally liable for any injury or loss as a result of an act of terrorism or the fault, neglect, want of skill or wilful and wrongful act of any other person.

1988, c. 59, s. 1.

Relationship of Bridge Authority to Crown

22. The Bridge Authority is not an agent of Her Majesty and no member, officer or employee of the Bridge Authority shall be deemed, as such, to be an officer, agent or employee of Her Majesty.

23. The Bridge Authority shall provide and maintain at its expense such suitable office, warehouse and other accommodation, with adequate light and heat,

(a) as the Governor in Council or any Minister designated by the Governor in Council may from time to time require for Canadian customs and immigration purposes; and

(b) as the appropriate authority in the United States or any authority designated by the appropriate authority in the United States may from time to time require for United States customs and immigration purposes.


Part Ii. Canadian Operation

Reciprocal United States legislation

24. When the Governor in Council is satisfied that the appropriate authority in the United States has indicated its consent to the joint operation of the Blue Water Bridge, by enacting reciprocal legislation authorizing the Bridge Authority to operate and maintain the portion of the Blue Water Bridge situated in the United States, the Governor in Council may by proclamation empower the Bridge Authority to exercise its powers and carry out its functions in the United States in accordance with this Act and the enactment of the appropriate authority in the United States.

Restriction on powers of Bridge Authority

25. (1) Subject to subsection (2), until such time as a proclamation is issued under section 24,

(a) the Bridge Authority may not exercise any of its powers in the United States or in respect of any portion of the Blue Water Bridge situated in the United States; and

(b) the Bridge Authority shall consist of the Canadian members only and all the provisions of this Act relating to the members of the Bridge Authority and to the composition or constitution of that body shall be read and construed as if no provision were made for United States members or United States participation.

Joint or co-operative arrangements

(2) The Bridge Authority may enter into contractual or other arrangements with any authority in the United States responsible for the maintenance or repair of any portion of the Blue Water Bridge situated in the United States

(a) for joint or co-operative maintenance and repair of the Blue Water Bridge;

(b) for widening, extending, adding to or enlarging or otherwise altering the Blue Water Bridge; or

(c) to act as an agent of any such authority in the maintenance or repair of the portion of the Blue Water Bridge situated in the United States.


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