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Referendum Act (S.C. 1992, c. 30)

Full Document:  

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

Referendum Expenses and Contributions

Marginal note:Restriction on contributions

 No registered referendum committee shall accept contributions from

  • (a) an individual who is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident;

  • (b) a corporation that does not carry on business in Canada;

  • (c) a trade union that does not hold bargaining rights for employees in Canada; or

  • (d) a foreign government or an agent thereof.

Marginal note:Limit on referendum expenses

  •  (1) No person or group, other than a registered referendum committee, shall incur referendum expenses during a referendum period that, in the aggregate, exceed five thousand dollars.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (2) No registered referendum committee shall incur referendum expenses during a referendum period that, in the aggregate, exceed the product obtained by multiplying the number referred to in subsection (3) by the number of names appearing on all preliminary lists of electors at the referendum for the electoral districts in which the committee indicated, in its application for registration under section 13, it intends to support or oppose the referendum question.

  • Marginal note:Escalator

    (3) For the purposes of subsection (2), the number

    • (a) for the year commencing on April 1, 1992, is 56.4 cents; and

    • (b) for the year commencing on any subsequent April 1 is the product obtained by multiplying 30 cents by the fraction published pursuant to subsection 39(2) of the Canada Elections Act for that year.

  • Marginal note:Records

    (4) Every registered referendum committee shall keep such record of the referendum expenses and contributions of the committee as the Chief Electoral Officer may prescribe.

  • Marginal note:Bank accounts

    (5) Every registered referendum committee shall, with any of the following financial institutions, keep such accounts and make such deposits therein and payments therefrom as the Chief Electoral Officer may prescribe:

    • (a) a member of the Canadian Payments Association; and

    • (b) any local cooperative credit society that is a member of a central cooperative credit society having membership in the Canadian Payments Association.

Marginal note:Payment out of contributions

  •  (1) A registered referendum committee that incurs referendum expenses during the referendum period shall pay the expenses out of contributions received by it during or after that period, except that it shall not knowingly pay them out of contributions accepted contrary to subsection (4).

  • Marginal note:Use of borrowed money

    (2) Money provided to a registered referendum committee in the manner and under the conditions described in paragraph (a) of the definition contribution in subsection 2(1) may be used to pay referendum expenses incurred by the committee during the referendum period.

  • Marginal note:Repayment of borrowed money

    (3) Before the chief agent of a registered referendum committee files the referendum finances return with the Chief Electoral Officer, the committee shall repay any money provided and used as described in subsection (2) and pay any interest thereon or other charges or costs of obtaining it out of contributions received by the committee during or after the referendum period.

  • Marginal note:No contributions after return filed

    (4) No person shall accept a contribution on behalf of a registered referendum committee after the chief agent of the committee has filed the referendum finances return.

  • Marginal note:Repayment of contribution

    (5) Any person who accepts a contribution contrary to subsection (4) shall return the amount of the contribution to the contributor or, if that is not possible, shall pay that amount to Her Majesty in right of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (6) Where the aggregate of all contributions received by a registered referendum committee exceeds the aggregate of all referendum expenses and other expenses incurred by the committee before the chief agent of the committee files the referendum finances return with the Chief Electoral Officer, the committee shall return the amount of the excess to the contributors in proportion to their contributions or, to the extent that a return is not possible, shall pay to Her Majesty in right of Canada an amount equal to the amount of the excess that is not returnable.

  • Marginal note:Debt due to Her Majesty

    (7) Any amount not paid as required by subsection (5) or (6) is a debt due to Her Majesty in right of Canada and is recoverable as such in any court of competent jurisdiction.

Agents and Auditors

Marginal note:Registry of chief agents

 The Chief Electoral Officer shall maintain a registry of chief agents of registered referendum committees in which shall be recorded the name, address and telephone number of the chief agent of each such committee.

Marginal note:Appointment of chief agent and auditor

  •  (1) Every referendum committee that intends to apply for registration under section 13 shall, before applying, appoint a chief agent and an auditor.

  • Marginal note:Appointment of new chief agent

    (2) Where the position of chief agent of a registered referendum committee or of a referendum committee that has applied for registration becomes vacant or the chief agent is unable to perform the duties of chief agent, the committee shall forthwith appoint a new chief agent and file with the Chief Electoral Officer a notice in writing, signed by the leader of the committee, of the name, address and telephone number of the new chief agent and a statement, signed by the new chief agent, that the signer has accepted the appointment as chief agent of the committee.

  • Marginal note:Appointment of new auditor

    (3) Where the position of auditor of a registered referendum committee or of a referendum committee that has applied for registration becomes vacant or the auditor ceases to be qualified as an auditor or becomes ineligible to act as an auditor before having complied with this Act in respect of any referendum finances return of the committee, the committee shall forthwith appoint a new auditor and file with the Chief Electoral Officer a notice in writing, signed by the leader of the committee, of the name, address and telephone number of the new auditor and a statement, signed by the new auditor, that the signer has accepted the appointment as auditor of the committee.

  • Marginal note:Election officers ineligible

    (4) No returning officer or assistant returning officer, or the partner or employee of any of them, shall act as chief agent or auditor of any registered referendum committee.

Marginal note:Return by chief agent

  •  (1) Within four months after polling day at a referendum, the chief agent of each registered referendum committee shall file with the Chief Electoral Officer a true return, signed by the chief agent, substantially in prescribed form and containing detailed statements of

    • (a) all referendum expenses incurred by the committee;

    • (b) the amount of the contributions received during and after the referendum period by the committee from each of the following classes of contributors:

      • (i) individuals,

      • (ii) corporations the shares of which are publicly traded,

      • (iii) corporations the shares of which are not publicly traded,

      • (iv) trade unions,

      • (v) corporations without share capital, other than trade unions,

      • (vi) political parties,

      • (vii) governments, and

      • (viii) other groups;

    • (c) the number of contributors in each class described in paragraph (b); and

    • (d) the name of each contributor, listed according to the classes described in paragraph (b), that made one or more contributions to the committee during or after the referendum period that exceeded, or the aggregate of which exceeded, two hundred and fifty dollars and, in each case, the amount of the contribution or aggregate.

  • Marginal note:Other documents

    (2) Each return shall include the auditor’s report thereon and the originals of all bills, vouchers and receipts related thereto and be accompanied by an affidavit or statutory declaration made by the chief agent in prescribed form.

Marginal note:Auditor’s report

  •  (1) The auditor of a registered referendum committee shall make a report to the chief agent of the committee on the referendum finances return of the committee and shall make such examinations as will enable the auditor to state in the report whether in the auditor’s opinion the return presents fairly the financial transactions contained in the accounting records on which it is based.

  • Marginal note:Explanatory statement

    (2) An auditor’s report shall contain such statements as the auditor considers necessary where

    • (a) the referendum finances return does not present fairly the information contained in the accounting records on which it is based;

    • (b) the auditor has not received from agents and officers of the committee all the information and explanations that the auditor required; or

    • (c) proper accounting records have not been kept by the committee, so far as appears from the auditor’s examination.

  • Marginal note:Right of access

    (3) The auditor of a registered referendum committee is entitled to have access at all reasonable times to all records, documents, books, accounts, bills, vouchers and receipts of the committee, and is entitled to require from agents and officers of the committee such information and explanations as in the auditor’s opinion may be necessary to enable the auditor to report as required by subsection (1).

 
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