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Referendum Act (S.C. 1992, c. 30)

Full Document:  

Act current to 2023-05-17 and last amended on 2023-04-27. Previous Versions

Chief Electoral Officer’s Costs

Marginal note:Costs payable out of Consolidated Revenue Fund

 All costs incurred by the Chief Electoral Officer in performing the duties and functions imposed by this Act shall be paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Offences

Marginal note:General offence — persons

  •  (1) Every person who contravenes subsection 10(2), 16(4), 18(4), 20(1) or 32(4) is guilty of an offence and is liable

    • (a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or to both; or

    • (b) on indictment, to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or to both.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (2) Every person who does or omits to do anything in respect of a referendum that, if done or omitted to be done in respect of an election, would constitute an offence under the Canada Elections Act is guilty of an offence under this Act and is liable to punishment as described in subsection (1).

  • Marginal note:Failure to assist auditor

    (3) Every agent or officer of a registered referendum committee who

    • (a) refuses to allow the auditor of the committee to have access to any records, documents, books, accounts, bills, vouchers and receipts of the committee to which the auditor is entitled to have access under subsection 20(3),

    • (b) fails to provide the auditor with any information or explanations that the auditor has required and is entitled to require from the agent or officer under that subsection, or

    • (c) provides the auditor with any information or explanation knowing that it is false, misleading or incomplete in a material particular,

    is guilty of an offence and is liable to punishment as described in subsection (1).

  • Marginal note:General offence — referendum committees

    (4) Every referendum committee that contravenes subsection 13(8), 15(4) or (5) or 18(1), (2) or (3) is guilty of an offence and is liable to punishment as described in subsection (1).

  • Marginal note:Filing false application

    (5) Every referendum committee that files an application under section 13 knowing that it is false, misleading or incomplete in a material particular is guilty of an offence and is liable to punishment as described in subsection (1).

Marginal note:Excess referendum expenses

  •  (1) Every person who, or group that, contravenes subsection 15(1) is guilty of an offence and is liable

    • (a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to both; or

    • (b) on indictment, to a fine not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or to both.

  • Marginal note:Payments

    (2) Every registered referendum committee that contravenes section 14 or subsection 15(2) or 16(1) or (3) is guilty of an offence and is liable to punishment as described in subsection (1).

  • Marginal note:Referendum finances return

    (3) Every chief agent who contravenes subsection 19(1) or who files a return under that subsection knowing that it is false, misleading or incomplete in a material particular is guilty of an offence and is liable to punishment as described in subsection (1).

Marginal note:Broadcasting time

  •  (1) Every network operator that contravenes subsection 21(1) or fails to comply with any allocation of free broadcasting time under section 22 is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars.

  • Marginal note:Advertising restrictions

    (2) Every person who contravenes subsection 27(1) or section 28 is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars.

Marginal note:Groups deemed to be persons

  •  (1) A prosecution for an offence against this Act by a group may be brought against and in the name of the group and, for the purposes of the prosecution, the group shall be deemed to be a person and any act or thing done or omitted to be done by the leader or by another officer or an agent of the group within the scope of the leader’s, officer’s or agent’s authority to act on behalf of the group shall be deemed to be an act or thing done or omitted to be done by the group.

  • Marginal note:Name in prosecution

    (2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a prosecution against a group, other than a registered referendum committee, may be brought against the group in any of the following names:

    • (a) the name chosen by the group to identify itself;

    • (b) any name by which the group is commonly known; and

    • (c) the names, collectively, of the persons who are, or who perform the functions of, the leader and treasurer of the group.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (3) Where a group is prosecuted under the names referred to in paragraph (2)(c), the names shall be followed by the expression “as representing a group”.

Marginal note:References in offence provisions

 For the purposes of a prosecution or proceeding under this Act, the references in section 508, subsection 510(1), section 511 and subsections 512(1), 514(1) and 515(1) and (3) of the Canada Elections Act to “this Act” shall be construed as references to “the Referendum Act”.

  • 1992, c. 30, s. 38
  • 2000, c. 9, s. 571

 [Repealed, 1996, c. 35, s. 92]

Review of Act

Marginal note:Review of Act

  •  (1) On the expiration of three years after the coming into force of this Act, this Act shall be referred to such committee of the Senate, of the House of Commons or of both Houses of Parliament as may be designated or established for the purpose of reviewing this Act.

  • Marginal note:Report

    (2) The committee to which this Act is referred shall review the Act and submit a report thereon to the House or Houses of Parliament of which it is a committee, including a statement of any changes the committee recommends.

Coming into Force

Marginal note:Coming into force

Footnote * This Act shall come into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council.

Marginal note:No amendment to apply for six months, except after notice

  • Footnote * (1) No amendment to this Act applies for any purpose within six months after the day on which the amendment comes into force unless, before the expiration of those six months, the Chief Electoral Officer has published in the Canada Gazette a notice that the necessary preparations for the bringing into operation of the amendment have been made, in which case the amendment shall apply for all purposes of this Act on and after the day specified in the notice, which day may not be before the day on which the notice is published.

  • Marginal note:No writ within first three months unless notice

    (2) No writ of referendum may be issued within three months after the day on which this Act comes into force unless, before the expiration of those three months, the Chief Electoral Officer has published in the Canada Gazette a notice that the necessary preparations for the bringing into operation of this Act have been made.

 
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