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Referendum Act (S.C. 1992, c. 30)

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Act current to 2019-08-28 and last amended on 2005-12-31. Previous Versions

Writs of Referendum

Marginal note:Issue of writs of referendum

  •  (1) On the issue of a proclamation, the Chief Electoral Officer shall, in accordance with the proclamation, issue writs of referendum in the form set out in Schedule I for all electoral districts in Canada or in the province or provinces specified in the proclamation.

  • Marginal note:Date of writs

    (2) Writs of referendum shall be dated on such day as the Governor in Council may determine.

  • Marginal note:Polling day

    (3) Polling day at a referendum shall be determined by the Governor in Council and be specified in the writs of referendum.

  • Marginal note:Forwarding to returning officers

    (4) Writs of referendum shall be directed to the persons appointed pursuant to the Canada Elections Act as returning officers for the various electoral districts and shall be forwarded to them by the Chief Electoral Officer forthwith after their issue.

  • Marginal note:Restrictions

    (5) Writs of referendum may not be issued during a general election nor may they be dated on a day later than the thirty-sixth day before polling day at the referendum.

  • Marginal note:Deemed withdrawal of writs of referendum

    (6) Where writs of election at a general election are issued during the period beginning on the day on which writs of referendum are issued and ending on polling day at the referendum, the writs of referendum shall be deemed to be withdrawn on the day on which the writs of election are issued.

  • Marginal note:Notice of withdrawal of writs to be published

    (7) Where writs of referendum are deemed by subsection (6) to be withdrawn, a notice of the withdrawal of the writs shall be published in the Canada Gazette by the Chief Electoral Officer.

Conduct of Referendum

Marginal note:Application of Canada Elections Act to referendum

  •  (1) Subject to this Act, the Canada Elections Act, as adapted pursuant to subsection (3), applies in respect of a referendum, and, for the purposes of that application, the issue of writs of referendum shall be deemed to be the issue of writs for a general election.

  • Marginal note:Provisions not applicable

    (2) The provisions of the Canada Elections Act referred to in Schedule II do not apply in respect of a referendum.

  • Marginal note:Regulations

    (3) Subject to this Act, the Chief Electoral Officer may, by regulation, adapt the Canada Elections Act in such manner as the Chief Electoral Officer considers necessary for the purposes of applying that Act in respect of a referendum.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (4) The Chief Electoral Officer may make regulations

    • (a) respecting the conduct of a referendum; and

    • (b) generally for carrying out the purposes and provisions of this Act.

  • Marginal note:No examination

    (5) Section 3 of the Statutory Instruments Act does not apply in respect of a regulation made pursuant to subsection (3) or (4).

  • Marginal note:Deposit of regulation with Clerk

    (6) A copy of each regulation that the Chief Electoral Officer proposes to make under this section shall be deposited with the Clerk of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Commons at least seven days before the day on which the regulation is proposed to be made.

  • Marginal note:Reference to committee

    (7) A regulation deposited with the Clerk of the Senate stands referred to such committee of the Senate, if any, as is designated or established, prior to the deposit, to review the regulation, and a regulation deposited with the Clerk of the House of Commons stands referred to the Special Committee on Electoral Reform established on February 14, 1992 or, if that Special Committee no longer exists, to such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established to review the regulation, and the committees may make such recommendations to the Chief Electoral Officer with respect to the regulation as they consider appropriate.

 [Repealed, 1996, c. 35, s. 88]

Marginal note:Appointment of deputy returning officers

  •  (1) As soon as convenient after the issue of the writ for a referendum, a returning officer shall, by writing in the prescribed form executed under his hand, appoint one deputy returning officer in each polling division in the electoral district to be appointed from lists supplied by the registered party whose candidate finished first in the electoral district in the last election.

  • Marginal note:Appointment of poll clerks

    (2) As soon as convenient after the issue of the writ for a referendum, a returning officer shall, by writing in the prescribed form executed under his hand, appoint one poll clerk in each polling division in the electoral district to be appointed from lists supplied by the registered party whose candidate finished second in the electoral district in the last election.

  • (3) to (5) [Repealed, 1996, c. 35, s. 89]

  • 1992, c. 30, s. 9.1
  • 1996, c. 35, s. 89

Marginal note:Lists made available

  •  (1) On a request made before Friday, the tenth day before polling day, by an agent designated in writing for an electoral district by the leader of a registered referendum committee, a federal party or a provincial party, the returning officer for the electoral district shall

    • (a) before Monday, the seventh day before polling day, furnish the agent with one copy of the certified preliminary list of electors for any polling division in the electoral district specified by the agent; and

    • (b) before polling day, furnish the agent with one copy of any amendments to the certified preliminary list of electors and one copy of the lists of electors who have voted in that polling division before polling day.

  • Marginal note:Misuse prohibited

    (2) No person shall, for any purpose not related to the conduct of the referendum or an election, copy or use a list or any part of a list furnished to an agent under this section.

Marginal note:Appointment of agents

  •  (1) The agent of each registered referendum committee designated pursuant to subsection 10(1) may appoint in writing one agent of the committee to be present when voting is taking place at each polling station in the electoral districts in which it indicated, in its application for registration under section 13, it intends to support or oppose the referendum question.

  • Marginal note:Appointment of witnesses

    (2) In the absence at a polling station in an electoral district of an agent of at least one of the registered referendum committees that support the referendum question or an agent of at least one of those committees that oppose the question or if there is no registered referendum committee that supports or opposes the question in that district, the returning officer for the district shall, as far as possible, appoint a person who supports or opposes the question, as the case may be, to act as a witness at that polling station when voting is taking place.

  • Marginal note:Rights and obligations

    (3) Each agent of a registered referendum committee, and each witness, appointed for a polling station in an electoral district has, for the purposes of proceedings at the polling station, all the rights and obligations under the Canada Elections Act of a candidate’s agent for that polling station.

Marginal note:Appointments in writing and on oath

 Every person appointed pursuant to section 11 shall be appointed in writing and shall take such oath of office as the Chief Electoral Officer may specify.

  • 1992, c. 30, s. 12
  • 1996, c. 35, s. 90

Registration of Referendum Committees

Marginal note:Application for registration

  •  (1) A referendum committee may apply for registration for the purposes of a referendum by filing with the Chief Electoral Officer, at any time during the referendum period, an application in accordance with this section.

  • Marginal note:Contents of application

    (2) An application for registration shall be signed by the leader of the referendum committee and shall

    • (a) set out

      • (i) the full name of the committee,

      • (ii) the name, address and telephone number of the leader of the committee,

      • (iii) the address and telephone number of the office of the committee where its books and records are kept and of the office to which communications may be addressed,

      • (iv) the name, address, telephone number and title of each officer of the committee,

      • (v) the name, address and telephone number of the auditor of the committee, and

      • (vi) the name, address and telephone number of the chief agent of the committee;

    • (b) indicate the electoral districts in which the committee intends to support or oppose the referendum question; and

    • (c) be accompanied by two statements, one signed by the person named pursuant to subparagraph (a)(v) and the other signed by the person named pursuant to subparagraph (a)(vi), that the signer has accepted the appointment as auditor or chief agent, as the case may be, of the committee.

  • Marginal note:Examination and disposition of application

    (3) Forthwith on receipt of an application for registration of a referendum committee, the Chief Electoral Officer shall examine the application and determine whether the committee can be registered and shall

    • (a) if the committee can be registered, register it and so inform the person who signed the application; or

    • (b) if the committee cannot be registered, inform the person who signed the application that the committee cannot be registered and indicate the reason why it cannot be registered.

  • Marginal note:Restrictions on registration

    (4) A referendum committee cannot be registered if

    • (a) the application for registration does not comply with this section; or

    • (b) the name of the committee so resembles the name of a previously registered referendum committee that the committee is likely to be confused with that previously registered referendum committee.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (5) A referendum committee cannot be registered if the name or logo of the committee is the name or logo of a federal party or a provincial party or so resembles such a name or logo that the committee is likely to be confused with the party, unless the committee is that party.

  • Marginal note:Name of parties

    (6) For the purposes of subsection (5), the name of a party means

    • (a) the full name of the party; and

    • (b) any name, or abbreviation of a name, used to identify the party in election documents.

  • Marginal note:Examination in order of receipt

    (7) Applications for registration shall be examined in the order in which they were received by the Chief Electoral Officer.

  • Marginal note:Amendment of information

    (8) Subject to subsections 18(2) and (3), where a referendum committee is registered and any information given by the committee pursuant to subsection (2) or this subsection ceases to be applicable or to be complete or accurate, the committee shall forthwith send a report in writing, signed by the leader or chief agent of the committee, to the Chief Electoral Officer setting out such information as is necessary to bring the information up to date.

  • Marginal note:Validity of registration

    (9) The registration of a referendum committee for the purposes of a referendum is valid only for that referendum.

  • 1992, c. 30, s. 13
  • 2000, c. 9, s. 566(F)
 
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