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Community Charter

[SBC 2003] CHAPTER 26

Part 4 — Public Participation and Council Accountability

Division 1 — Elections, Petitions and Community Opinion

Election proceedings

81  (1) A general local election for the mayor and all councillors of each municipality must be held in the year 2005 and every 3 years after that.

(2) By-elections for office on municipal council must be held as required under section 37 [by-elections] of the Local Government Act.

(3) General local elections and by-elections must be held in accordance with Part 3 [Electors and Elections] of the Local Government Act.

Petitions to council

82  (1) A petition to a council is deemed to be presented to council when it is filed with the corporate officer.

(2) A petition to a council must include the full name and residential address of each petitioner.

Council may seek community opinion

83  (1) A council may seek community opinion on a question that the council believes affects the municipality, by voting or any other process the council considers appropriate.

(2) The results of a process under this section are not binding on the council.

Division 2 — Approval of the Electors

Approval of the electors

84  If approval of the electors is required under this Act or the Local Government Act in relation to a proposed bylaw, agreement or other matter, that approval may be obtained either by

(a) assent of the electors in accordance with section 85, or

(b) approval of the electors by alternative approval process in accordance with section 86.

Assent of the electors

85  (1) If assent of the electors is required or authorized under this Act or the Local Government Act in relation to a proposed bylaw, agreement or other matter, that assent is obtained only if a majority of the votes counted as valid are in favour of the bylaw or question.

(2) Part 4 [Other Voting] of the Local Government Act applies to obtaining the assent of the electors.

Alternative approval process

86  (1) Approval of the electors by alternative approval process under this section is obtained if

(a) notice of the approval process is published in accordance with subsection (2),

(b) through elector response forms established under subsection (3), electors are provided with an opportunity to indicate that council may not proceed with the bylaw, agreement or other matter unless it is approved by assent of the electors, and

(c) at the end of the time for receiving elector responses, as established under subsection (3), the number of elector responses received is less than 10% of the number of electors of the area to which the approval process applies.

(2) Notice of an alternative approval process must be published in accordance with section 94 [public notice] and must include the following:

(a) a general description of the proposed bylaw, agreement or other matter to which the approval process relates;

(b) a description of the area to which the approval process applies;

(c) the deadline for elector responses in relation to the approval process;

(d) a statement that the council may proceed with the matter unless, by the deadline, at least 10% of the electors of the area indicate that the council must obtain the assent of the electors before proceeding;

(e) a statement that

(i)   elector responses must be given in the form established by the council,

(ii)   elector response forms are available at the municipal hall, and

(iii)   the only persons entitled to sign the forms are the electors of the area to which the approval process applies;

(f) the number of elector responses required to prevent the council from proceeding without the assent of the electors, determined in accordance with subsection (3);

(g) other information required by regulation to be included.

(3) For each alternative approval process, the council must

(a) establish the deadline for receiving elector responses, which must be at least 30 days after the second publication of the notice under subsection (2),

(b) establish elector response forms, which

(i)   may be designed to allow for only a single elector response on each form or for multiple elector responses, and

(ii)   must be available to the public at the municipal hall from the time of first publication until the deadline, and

(c) make a fair determination of the total number of electors of the area to which the approval process applies.

(4) The council must make available to the public, on request, a report respecting the basis on which the determination under subsection (3) (c) was made.

(5) For the purposes of this section, the electors of the area to which an alternative approval process applies are the persons who would meet the qualifications referred to in section 161 (1) (a) [who may vote at other voting] of the Local Government Act if assent of the electors were sought in respect of the matter.

(6) Elector responses may be made on an elector response form obtained under subsection (3) or on an accurate copy of the form.

(7) For an elector's response to be considered for the purposes of this section, the elector must

(a) sign an elector response form that includes

(i)   the person's full name and residential address, and

(ii)   if applicable, the address of the property in relation to which the person is entitled to register as a non-resident property elector, and

(b) submit the elector response form to the corporate officer before the deadline established for the alternative approval process.

(8) After the deadline for an alternative approval process has passed, the corporate officer must determine and certify, on the basis of the elector response forms received before that deadline, whether elector approval in accordance with this section has been obtained.

(9) A determination under subsection (8) is final and conclusive.

(10) A person must not sign more than one elector response form in relation to the same alternative approval process, and a person who is not an elector for the area of the approval process must not sign an elector response form.

Matters requiring approval or assent may be combined

87  (1) If two or more related matters require approval of the electors or assent of the electors, instead of seeking that approval or assent in relation to each matter, the council may seek the approval or assent in relation to the related matters as if they were a single matter.

(2) As a restriction, if any of the related matters referred to in subsection (1) requires the assent of the electors, approval of the electors under that subsection may only be obtained by assent of the electors.

Agreements requiring approval or assent

88  (1) If an agreement is in relation to a matter that requires approval of the electors or assent of the electors, the requirement also applies to an amendment to the agreement in relation to that matter.

(2) As an exception, subsection (1) does not apply if the amendment is authorized by regulation or is made with the approval of the minister.

Division 3 — Open Meetings

General rule that meetings must be open to the public

89  (1) A meeting of a council must be open to the public, except as provided in this Division.

(2) A council must not vote on the reading or adoption of a bylaw when its meeting is closed to the public.

Meetings that may or must be closed to the public

90  (1) A part of a council meeting may be closed to the public if the subject matter being considered relates to or is one or more of the following:

(a) personal information about an identifiable individual who holds or is being considered for a position as an officer, employee or agent of the municipality or another position appointed by the municipality;

(b) personal information about an identifiable individual who is being considered for a municipal award or honour, or who has offered to provide a gift to the municipality on condition of anonymity;

(c) labour relations or other employee relations;

(d) the security of the property of the municipality;

(e) the acquisition, disposition or expropriation of land or improvements, if the council considers that disclosure could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality;

(f) law enforcement, if the council considers that disclosure could reasonably be expected to harm the conduct of an investigation under or enforcement of an enactment;

(g) litigation or potential litigation affecting the municipality;

(h) an administrative tribunal hearing or potential administrative tribunal hearing affecting the municipality, other than a hearing to be conducted by the council or a delegate of council;

(i) the receipt of advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose;

(j) information that is prohibited, or information that if it were presented in a document would be prohibited, from disclosure under section 21 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act;

(k) negotiations and related discussions respecting the proposed provision of a municipal service that are at their preliminary stages and that, in the view of the council, could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality if they were held in public;

(l) discussions with municipal officers and employees respecting municipal objectives, measures and progress reports for the purposes of preparing an annual report under section 98 [annual municipal report];

(m) a matter that, under another enactment, is such that the public may be excluded from the meeting;

(n) the consideration of whether a council meeting should be closed under a provision of this subsection or subsection (2);

(o) the consideration of whether the authority under section 91 [other persons attending closed meetings] should be exercised in relation to a council meeting.

(2) A part of a council meeting must be closed to the public if the subject matter being considered relates to one or more of the following:

(a) a request under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, if the council is designated as head of the local public body for the purposes of that Act in relation to the matter;

(b) the consideration of information received and held in confidence relating to negotiations between the municipality and a provincial government or the federal government or both, or between a provincial government or the federal government or both and a third party;

(c) a matter that is being investigated under the Ombudsperson Act of which the municipality has been notified under section 14 [ombudsperson to notify authority] of that Act;

(d) a matter that, under another enactment, is such that the public must be excluded from the meeting.

(e) a review of a proposed final performance audit report for the purpose of providing comments to the auditor general on the proposed report under section 23 (2) of the Auditor General for Local Government Act.

(3) If the only subject matter being considered at a council meeting is one or more matters referred to in subsection (1) or (2), the applicable subsection applies to the entire meeting.

Other persons attending closed meetings

91  (1) If all or part of a meeting is closed to the public, the council may allow one or more municipal officers and employees to attend or exclude them from attending, as it considers appropriate.

(2) If all or part of a meeting is closed to the public, the council may allow a person other than municipal officers and employees to attend,

(a) in the case of a meeting that must be closed under section 90 (2), if the council considers this necessary and the person

(i)   already has knowledge of the confidential information, or

(ii)   is a lawyer attending to provide legal advice in relation to the matter, and

(b) in other cases, if the council considers this necessary.

(3) The minutes of a meeting or part of a meeting that is closed to the public must record the names of all persons in attendance.

Requirements before meeting is closed

92  Before holding a meeting or part of a meeting that is to be closed to the public, a council must state, by resolution passed in a public meeting,

(a) the fact that the meeting or part is to be closed, and

(b) the basis under the applicable subsection of section 90 on which the meeting or part is to be closed.

Application of rules to other bodies

93  In addition to its application to council meetings, this Division and section 133 [expulsion from meetings] also applies to meetings of the following:

(a) council committees;

(b) a municipal commission established under section 143;

(c) a parcel tax roll review panel established under section 204;

(d) a board of variance established under section 899 of the Local Government Act;

(e) an advisory body established by a council;

(f) a body that under this or another Act may exercise the powers of a municipality or council;

(g) a body prescribed by regulation.

Division 4 — Public Notice and Access to Records

Requirements for public notice

94  (1) If this section applies, the applicable notice must be

(a) posted in the public notice posting places, and

(b) published in accordance with this section.

(2) Subject to subsection (4), publication under subsection (1) (b)

(a) must be in a newspaper that is distributed at least weekly

(i)   in the area affected by the subject matter of the notice, and

(ii)   if the area affected is not in the municipality, also in the municipality, and

(b) unless otherwise provided, must be once each week for 2 consecutive weeks.

(3) The obligation under subsection (2) may be met by publication of the notice in more than one newspaper, if this is in accordance with that subsection when the publications are considered together.

(4) If publication under subsection (2) is not practicable, the notice may be given in the areas by alternative means as long as the notice

(a) is given within the same time period as required for publication,

(b) is given with the same frequency as required for publication, and

(c) provides notice that the council considers is reasonably equivalent to that which would be provided by newspaper publication if it were practicable.

(5) As an exception, subsection (4) (b) does not apply in relation to an area if the alternative means is by individual distribution to the persons resident in the area.

(6) If the same matter is subject to 2 or more requirements for publication in accordance with this section, the notices may be combined so long as the requirements of all applicable provisions are met.

(7) A council may provide any additional notice respecting a matter that it considers appropriate, including by the Internet or other electronic means.

Public access to municipal records

95  (1) In addition to the public access provided by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, a council may, by bylaw, provide for public access to its records and establish procedures respecting that access.

(2) If an enactment requires that a municipal record be available for public inspection, that obligation is met by having the record available for public inspection at the municipal hall during regular office hours.

(3) If a municipal record is available for public inspection, a person may have a copy made of all or part of the record on payment of any applicable fee established by the council under section 194 [municipal fees].

(4) A person inspecting a record of a municipality must not, without authorization, remove the record from the place where it has been provided for inspection.

(5) An obligation or authority under this Act to provide public access to a municipal record does not apply to records that must not be disclosed under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Agreements that require elector approval or assent

96  If an agreement is proposed or made in relation to a matter that requires approval of the electors or assent of the electors,

(a) the agreement, and

(b) all records relating to the agreement that are in the custody or under the control of the municipality

must be available for public inspection at the municipal hall during the time when the approval or assent process is underway.

Other records to which public access must be provided

97  (1) The following municipal records, or copies of them, must be available for public inspection:

(a) all bylaws and all proposed bylaws that have been given first reading;

(b) all minutes of council meetings, other than a meeting or part of a meeting that is closed to the public;

(c) all minutes of meetings of bodies referred to in section 93 [application of rules to other bodies], other than a meeting or part of a meeting that is closed to the public;

(d) the annual municipal report under section 98;

(e) all disclosure statements under section 106 [disclosure of gifts];

(f) the report under section 168 [council remuneration, expenses and contracts];

(g) the written disclosures referred to in section 6 (1) [disclosures by council members and nominees] of the Financial Disclosure Act;

(h) any applicable agreements under section 9 (5) [concurrent authority agreements].

(2) The obligation under subsection (1) is met if the record is made available at the municipal hall within 7 days after it has been requested.

Division 5 — Reporting

Annual municipal report

98  (1) Before June 30 in each year, a council must

(a) prepare an annual report,

(b) make the report available for public inspection under section 97, and

(c) have the report available for public inspection at the meeting required under section 99.

(2) The annual report must include the following:

(a) the audited annual financial statements referred to in section 167 (4) for the previous year;

(b) for each tax exemption provided by a council under Division 7 [Permissive Tax Exemptions] of Part 7 [Municipal Revenue], the amount of property taxes that would have been imposed on the property in the previous year if it were not exempt for that year;

(c) a report respecting municipal services and operations for the previous year;

(d) a progress report respecting the previous year in relation to the objectives and measures established for that year under paragraph (f);

(e) any declarations of disqualification made under section 111 [application to court for declaration of disqualification] in the previous year, including identification of the council member or former council member involved and the nature of the disqualification;

(f) a statement of municipal objectives, and the measures that will be used to determine progress respecting those objectives, for the current and next year;

(g) any other information the council considers advisable.

Annual meeting on report

99  (1) The council must annually consider, at a council meeting or other public meeting,

(a) the annual report prepared under section 98, and

(b) submissions and questions from the public.

(2) The annual meeting must occur at least 14 days after the annual report is made available for public inspection under section 97.

(3) The council must give notice of the date, time and place of the annual meeting in accordance with section 94 [public notice].

Division 6 — Conflict of Interest

Disclosure of conflict

100  (1) This section applies to council members in relation to

(a) council meetings,

(b) council committee meetings, and

(c) meetings of any other body referred to in section 93 [application of open meeting rules to other bodies].

(2) If a council member attending a meeting considers that he or she is not entitled to participate in the discussion of a matter, or to vote on a question in respect of a matter, because the member has

(a) a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in the matter, or

(b) another interest in the matter that constitutes a conflict of interest,

the member must declare this and state in general terms the reason why the member considers this to be the case.

(3) After making a declaration under subsection (2), the council member must not do anything referred to in section 101 (2) [restrictions on participation].

(4) As an exception to subsection (3), if a council member has made a declaration under subsection (2) and, after receiving legal advice on the issue, determines that he or she was wrong respecting his or her entitlement to participate in respect of the matter, the member may

(a) return to the meeting or attend another meeting of the same body,

(b) withdraw the declaration by stating in general terms the basis on which the member has determined that he or she is entitled to participate, and

(c) after this, participate and vote in relation to the matter.

(5) For certainty, a council member who makes a statement under subsection (4) remains subject to section 101 [restrictions on participation if in conflict].

(6) When a declaration under subsection (2) or a statement under subsection (4) is made,

(a) the person recording the minutes of the meeting must record

(i)   the member's declaration or statement,

(ii)   the reasons given for it, and

(iii)   the time of the member's departure from the meeting room and, if applicable, of the member's return, and

(b) unless a statement is made under subsection (4), the person presiding at that meeting or any following meeting in respect of the matter must ensure that the member is not present at any part of the meeting during which the matter is under consideration.

Restrictions on participation if in conflict

101  (1) This section applies if a council member has a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in a matter, whether or not the member has made a declaration under section 100.

(2) The council member must not

(a) remain or attend at any part of a meeting referred to in section 100 (1) during which the matter is under consideration,

(b) participate in any discussion of the matter at such a meeting,

(c) vote on a question in respect of the matter at such a meeting, or

(d) attempt in any way, whether before, during or after such a meeting, to influence the voting on any question in respect of the matter.

(3) A person who contravenes this section is disqualified from holding an office described in, and for the period established by, section 110 (2), unless the contravention was done inadvertently or because of an error in judgment made in good faith.

Restrictions on inside influence

102  (1) A council member must not use his or her office to attempt to influence in any way a decision, recommendation or other action to be made or taken

(a) at a meeting referred to in section 100 (1) [disclosure of conflict],

(b) by an officer or an employee of the municipality, or

(c) by a delegate under section 154 [delegation of council authority],

if the member has a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in the matter to which the decision, recommendation or other action relates.

(2) A person who contravenes this section is disqualified from holding an office described in, and for the period established by, section 110 (2), unless the contravention was done inadvertently or because of an error in judgment made in good faith.

Restrictions on outside influence

103  (1) In addition to the restriction under section 102, a council member must not use his or her office to attempt to influence in any way a decision, recommendation or action to be made or taken by any other person or body, if the member has a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in the matter to which the decision, recommendation or other action relates.

(2) A person who contravenes this section is disqualified from holding an office described in, and for the period established by, section 110 (2), unless the contravention was done inadvertently or because of an error in judgment made in good faith.

Exceptions from conflict restrictions

104  (1) Sections 100 to 103 do not apply if one or more of the following circumstances applies:

(a) the pecuniary interest of the council member is a pecuniary interest in common with electors of the municipality generally;

(b) in the case of a matter that relates to a local service, the pecuniary interest of the council member is in common with other persons who are or would be liable for the local service tax;

(c) the matter relates to remuneration, expenses or benefits payable to one or more council members in relation to their duties as council members;

(d) the pecuniary interest is so remote or insignificant that it cannot reasonably be regarded as likely to influence the member in relation to the matter;

(e) the pecuniary interest is of a nature prescribed by regulation.

(2) Despite sections 100 to 103, if a council member

(a) has a legal right to be heard in respect of a matter or to make representations to council, and

(b) is restricted by one or more of those sections from exercising that right in relation to the matter,

the council member may appoint another person as a representative to exercise the member's right on his or her behalf.

Restrictions on accepting gifts

105  (1) A council member must not, directly or indirectly, accept a fee, gift or personal benefit that is connected with the member's performance of the duties of office.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to

(a) a gift or personal benefit that is received as an incident of the protocol or social obligations that normally accompany the responsibilities of office,

(b) compensation authorized by law, or

(c) a lawful contribution made to a member who is a candidate for election to a local government.

(3) A person who contravenes this section is disqualified from holding an office described in, and for the period established by, section 110 (2), unless the contravention was done inadvertently or because of an error in judgment made in good faith.

Disclosure of gifts

106  (1) This section applies if

(a) a council member receives a gift or personal benefit referred to in section 105 (2) (a) that exceeds $250 in value, or

(b) the total value of such gifts and benefits, received directly or indirectly from one source in any 12 month period, exceeds $250.

(2) In the circumstances described in subsection (1), the council member must file with the corporate officer, as soon as reasonably practicable, a disclosure statement indicating

(a) the nature of the gift or benefit,

(b) its source, including, if it is from a corporation, the full names and addresses of at least 2 individuals who are directors of the corporation,

(c) when it was received, and

(d) the circumstances under which it was given and accepted.

(3) A person who contravenes this section is disqualified from holding an office described in, and for the period established by, section 110 (2), unless the contravention was done inadvertently or because of an error in judgment made in good faith.

Disclosure of contracts with council members and former council members

107  (1) If a municipality enters into a contract in which

(a) a council member, or

(b) a person who was a council member at any time during the previous 6 months,

has a direct or indirect pecuniary interest, this must be reported as soon as reasonably practicable at a council meeting that is open to the public.

(2) In addition to the obligation under section 100 [disclosure of conflict], a council member or former council member must advise the corporate officer, as soon as reasonably practicable, of any contracts that must be reported under subsection (1) in relation to that person.

(3) A person who contravenes subsection (2) is disqualified from holding an office described in, and for the period established by, section 110 (2), unless the contravention was done inadvertently or because of an error in judgment made in good faith.

Restrictions on use of insider information

108  (1) A council member or former council member must not use information or a record that

(a) was obtained in the performance of the member's office, and

(b) is not available to the general public,

for the purpose of gaining or furthering a direct or indirect pecuniary interest of the council member or former council member.

(2) A person who contravenes this section is disqualified from holding an office described in, and for the period established by, section 110 (2), unless the contravention was done inadvertently or because of an error in judgment made in good faith.

Court order for person to give up financial gain

109  (1) If a council member or former council member has

(a) contravened this Division, and

(b) realized financial gain in relation to that contravention,

the municipality or an elector may apply to the Supreme Court for an order under this section.

(2) Within 7 days after the petition commencing an application under this section is filed, it must be served on

(a) the council member or former council member, and

(b) in the case of an application brought by an elector, the municipality.

(3) On an application under this section, the Supreme Court may order the council member or former council member to pay to the municipality an amount equal to all or part of the person's financial gain as specified by the court.

(4) In the case of an application made by an elector, if the court makes an order under subsection (3), the municipality must promptly pay the elector's costs within the meaning of the Supreme Court Civil Rules.

(5) The court may order that costs to be paid under subsection (4) may be recovered by the municipality from any other person as directed by the court in the same manner as a judgment of the Supreme Court.

(6) Except as provided in subsection (4), the costs of an application are in the discretion of the court.

Division 7 — Disqualification

Circumstances in which a person is disqualified from office on council

110  (1) A person elected or appointed to office on a council is disqualified from holding that office if any of the following applies:

(a) the person does not make the required oath or affirmation of office within the time established by section 120 (1) [oath or affirmation of office];

(b) the person is absent from council meetings for a period of 60 consecutive days or 4 consecutive regularly scheduled council meetings, whichever is the longer time period, unless the absence is because of illness or injury or is with the leave of the council;

(c) the person is disqualified under any of the following:

section 101 [restrictions on participation if in conflict];

section 102 [restrictions on inside influence];

section 103 [restrictions on outside influence];

section 105 [restrictions on accepting gifts];

section 106 [disclosure of gifts];

section 107 [disclosure of contracts];

section 108 [restrictions on use of insider information];

(d) the person is disqualified under section 191 [liabilities for use of money contrary to Act];

(e) the person is disqualified under section 66 (2) [who may hold elected office] of the Local Government Act or section 38 (2) [who may hold elected office] of the Vancouver Charter.

(2) A person disqualified under subsection (1) is disqualified from holding office on a local government, including office on the council of the City of Vancouver, as follows:

Applicable provision Period of disqualification
(1) (a) [failure to take oath] until the next general local election;
(1) (b) [unexcused absence] until the next general local election;
(1) (c) [conflict] until the next general local election;
(1) (d) [unauthorized use of money] for 3 years from the date of the vote to which the disqualification relates;
(1) (e) [election disqualifications] in accordance with Part 3 [Electors and Elections] of the Local Government Act or Part I of the Vancouver Charter.

Application to court for declaration of disqualification

111  (1) If it appears that a person is disqualified under section 110 and is continuing to act in office,

(a) 10 or more electors of the municipality, or

(b) the municipality,

may apply to the Supreme Court for an order under this section.

(2) As a restriction, a municipality may only make an application under subsection (1) if this is approved by a resolution that

(a) is adopted by a vote of at least 2/3 of all council members, and

(b) identifies the grounds for disqualification under section 110 which the council considers apply.

(3) Sections 100 [disclosure of conflict] and 101 [restrictions on participation if in conflict] do not apply to the council member who is subject to a resolution referred to in subsection (2) of this section in relation to that resolution.

(4) An application under this section may only be made within 45 days after the alleged basis of the disqualification comes to the attention of

(a) any of the electors bringing the application, in the case of an application under subsection (1) (a), or

(b) any member of council other than the person alleged to be disqualified, in the case of an application under subsection (1) (b).

(5) Within 7 days after the petition commencing an application under this section is filed, it must be served on

(a) the person whose right to hold office is being challenged, and

(b) in the case of an application under subsection (1) (a), the municipality.

(6) On the hearing of the application, the court may declare

(a) that the person is qualified to hold office,

(b) that the person is disqualified from holding office, or

(c) that the person is disqualified from holding office and that the office is vacant.

Status of person subject to an application

112  (1) A person who is subject to an application under section 111 and who considers that he or she is qualified to hold office may continue to act in office pending the determination of the Supreme Court respecting the application.

(2) If a person who is declared disqualified from holding office by the Supreme Court appeals the decision, the appeal does not operate as a stay of the declaration and the person is disqualified pending the final determination of the appeal.

(3) If a declaration of disqualification referred to in subsection (2) is overturned on final appeal and the term of office for which the person was elected has not ended,

(a) the person is entitled to take office for the remainder of the term if otherwise qualified, and

(b) for this purpose, any other person elected or appointed to the office since the declaration of disqualification ceases to hold office at the time the person declared qualified takes office.

Costs of an application

113  (1) In the case of an application under section 111 made by a group of electors, if the court declares that the person challenged is not qualified to hold office, the municipality must promptly pay the electors' costs within the meaning of the Supreme Court Civil Rules.

(2) The court may order that costs to be paid under subsection (1) may be recovered by the municipality from the person who was declared disqualified or any other person as directed by the court in the same manner as a judgment of the Supreme Court.

(3) Except as provided in subsection (1), the costs of an application are in the discretion of the court.

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