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Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. E-3)

Act current to 2022-11-28 and last amended on 2019-01-19. Previous Versions

Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act

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

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

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

  • R.S., c. E-2, s. 1

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

  •  (1) In this Act,

    Chief Electoral Officer

    Chief Electoral Officer means the Chief Electoral Officer under the Canada Elections Act; (directeur général des élections)

    Chief Statistician

    Chief Statistician means the Chief Statistician of Canada appointed under the Statistics Act; (statisticien en chef)

    commission

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

    Minister

    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; (ministre)

    report

    report means the report prepared by a commission under section 20; (rapport)

    Speaker

    Speaker means the Speaker of the House of Commons. (Version anglaise seulement)

  • Marginal note:Reference to a province or provinces

    (2) In this Act, a reference to a province or to provinces does not include Yukon, 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
  • 2015, c. 3, s. 78(E)
  • 2018, c. 31, s. 392

Electoral Boundaries Commissions

Marginal note:Commissions to be established

  •  (1) For each decennial census, the Governor in Council shall establish by proclamation, published in the Canada Gazette, an electoral boundaries commission for each province before the earlier of

    • (a) the expiry of a period of 60 days after the day on which the Minister receives a return certified by the Chief Statistician under subsection 13(1), and

    • (b) the expiry of a period of six months after the first day of the month that is fixed by the Governor in Council under subsection 19(1) of the Statistics Act as the month in which the census is to be taken.

  • Marginal note: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
  • 2011, c. 26, s. 3

Marginal note:Constitution of commission

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

  • R.S., 1985, c. E-3, s. 4
  • 2015, c. 3, s. 80(E)

Marginal note:Appointment of chairperson

  •  (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.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (2) In the event that no judge referred to in subsection (1) is able or free to act as chairperson 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.

  • Marginal note: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
  • 2015, c. 3, s. 80(E)

Marginal note:Appointment of other members

  •  (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.

  • Marginal note: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

Marginal note:Notice of appointment to be given

 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

Marginal note:Proclamation to name members

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

  • R.S., c. E-2, s. 7

Marginal note:Deputy chairperson

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

  • Marginal note: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 chairperson or person acting as chairperson has a deciding vote.

  • Marginal note:Vacancy in membership

    (3) A vacancy in the membership of a commission or in the office of chairperson 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., 1985, c. E-3, s. 9
  • 2015, c. 3, s. 80(E)

Marginal note:Eligibility of members

 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

Marginal note:Remuneration

  •  (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.

  • Marginal note: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

Marginal note:Not agent of Her Majesty

 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)

Commencement and Preparation of Report

Marginal note:Population estimates

 The Chief Statistician shall prepare the estimates of the population of Canada and of each province required by subsection 51(1.1) of the Constitution Act, 1867 and send them, without delay, to the Minister and to the Chief Electoral Officer along with the estimates of the population of each province that were prepared for the purpose of the readjustment following the completion of the preceding decennial census.

  • 2011, c. 26, s. 4

Marginal note:Return of Chief Statistician

  •  (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 dissemination areas as ascertained by that census.

  • Marginal note:Copy of return sent to Chairperson 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 chairperson 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.

  • Marginal note:Duty to assist

    (3) The Chief Statistician and the Department of Natural Resources shall make available their services and facilities, and render all other assistance that may be necessary, to the Chief Electoral Officer in order to enable the Chief Electoral Officer to discharge his or her duties under paragraph (2)(b).

  • R.S., 1985, c. E-3, s. 13
  • 1994, c. 41, s. 38
  • 2011, c. 26, s. 5
  • 2015, c. 3, ss. 79, 80(E)

Marginal note:Calculation of members

  •  (1) On receipt of the estimates referred to in section 12.1, the Chief Electoral Officer shall calculate the number of members of the House of Commons to be assigned to each province, subject and according to the provisions of section 51 of the Constitution Act, 1867 and the rules in that section, and on the completion of that calculation shall cause a statement to be published in the Canada Gazette setting out the results.

  • Marginal note: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., 1985, c. E-3, s. 14
  • 2011, c. 26, s. 6

Marginal note:Rules

  •  (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.

  • Marginal note: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

Marginal note:Powers of commission

  •  (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.

  • Marginal note: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

Marginal note:Duty to assist

 The Chief Statistician and the Department of Natural Resources shall make available their services and facilities, and render all other assistance that may be necessary, to a commission 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
  • 2011, c. 26, s. 7

Marginal note:Rules of procedure

 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
 
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