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This Act is current to November 29, 2017
See the Tables of Legislative Changes for this Act’s legislative history, including any changes not in force.

Electoral Reform Referendum 2009 Act

[SBC 2008] CHAPTER 9

Assented to March 31, 2008

Contents
1Definitions
2Referendum on electoral reform required
3Referendum Act does not apply
4Funding for opponent and proponent groups
5Duty if referendum is binding
6Penalties respecting misuse or non-repayment of funds
7Appropriation
8Power to make regulations
9 Repeal
10 Consequential Amendment
11Commencement

Definitions

1  In this Act:

"financial agent" means a person who, on behalf of an opponent group or a proponent group, receives payments and contributions under this Act, incurs expenses and distributes any amount received;

"opponent group", in relation to the referendum, means an individual who or organization that

(a) opposes the single transferable vote electoral system, and

(b) is established as an opponent group in accordance with the regulations for the purpose of receiving payment under section 4;

"proponent group", in relation to the referendum, means an individual who or organization that

(a) supports the single transferable vote electoral system, and

(b) is established as a proponent group in accordance with the regulations for the purpose of receiving payment under section 4;

"referendum" means the referendum required to be held under section 2;

"single transferable vote electoral system" means the model for electing members of the Legislative Assembly that was proposed by the Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform in its report issued December 10, 2004.

Referendum on electoral reform required

2  (1) A referendum respecting the single transferable vote electoral system must be held throughout British Columbia in conjunction with the general election required under the Constitution Act to be held in May 2009.

(2) The question that will be put to the electorate at the referendum must be set out in an order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

(3) Persons who are, at the time of the referendum, voters as defined in the Election Act are entitled to vote in the referendum.

(4) The Chief Electoral Officer must announce the result of the referendum in a manner that the Chief Electoral Officer considers will inform the electorate of that result.

Referendum Act does not apply

3  The Referendum Act does not apply to the referendum.

Funding for opponent and proponent groups

4  Subject to the regulations, the Chief Electoral Officer may make payments, to be used for the purpose of opposing or supporting the single transferable vote electoral system, to financial agents acting on behalf of one or more opponent or proponent groups.

Duty if referendum is binding

5  (1) The result of the referendum is binding on the government only if

(a) at least 60% of the validly cast ballots vote the same way on the question that is stated for the referendum, and

(b) in at least 60% of the electoral districts, more than 50% of the validly cast ballots vote that same way on the question.

(2) If the result of the referendum

(a) is binding on the government in accordance with subsection (1), and

(b) the ballots referred to in that subsection are in favour of adopting the single transferable vote electoral system,

the government is required to introduce the legislation needed to implement the single transferable vote electoral system in sufficient time for it to be in place for the general election required under the Constitution Act to be held in May 2013.

Penalties respecting misuse or non-repayment of funds

6  (1) If, by regulation under this Act, a provision of the Election Act or the Recall and Initiative Act applies in relation to the use or repayment of amounts paid under section 4, despite any penalty that would apply to a contravention of that provision under the Election Act or the Recall and Initiative Act, a person who contravenes the provision is liable on conviction to a fine of not more than $50 000 or to imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or both.

(2) A person who contravenes a provision of a regulation under this Act that relates to the use or repayment of amounts paid under section 4 is liable on conviction to a fine of not more than $50 000 or to imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or both.

Appropriation

7  Administrative costs of conducting the referendum, including payments made under section 4, must be paid out of the consolidated revenue fund by the Chief Electoral Officer.

Power to make regulations

8  (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations referred to in section 41 of the Interpretation Act.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations that the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable respecting the manner by which the referendum is to be conducted, including making regulations as follows:

(a) providing that specified provisions of the Election Act or the Recall and Initiative Act apply in relation to the referendum;

(b) adapting any provisions of an Act referred to in paragraph (a) with changes that the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers appropriate;

(c) without limiting paragraphs (a) and (b), respecting, for the purposes of payments made under section 4,

(i) the establishment of opponent groups or proponent groups,

(ii) the making of payments to financial agents and limits on payment,

(iii) obligations, restrictions, limitations or conditions in relation to the holding, use and disbursement of amounts received, and accounting and reporting in relation to amounts received,

(iv) liability of financial agents and principal officers or members of opponent groups or proponent groups for failing to comply with the requirements of the regulations,

(v) requirements of financial agents to repay amounts that were not used by an opponent group or a proponent group, or amounts that the financial agent knew, or ought to have known, were used for a purpose or in a manner other than as permitted under the regulations,

(vi) the publication of any matter in relation to a payment made to opponent groups or proponent groups, and

(vii) applications to the court for relief from failing to comply with one or more requirements of a regulation made under this paragraph;

(d) without limiting any other paragraph, respecting the making and receipt of payments and contributions, other than payments under section 4, and the incurring of expenses, in relation to the referendum by any individual or organization, including opponent groups and proponent groups;

(e) conferring a discretion on the Chief Electoral Officer in respect of a matter for which the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations under this section.

(3) A regulation made under the authority of subsection (2) (c) (v) may provide that amounts that must be repaid under that regulation constitute a debt due to the government by financial agents.

Repeal

[Note: See Table of Legislative Changes for the status of sections 9 and 10.]

Section(s) Affected Act
9 Electoral Reform Referendum Act

Consequential Amendment

Section(s) Affected Act
10 Referendum Act

Commencement

11  This Act comes into force on the date of Royal Assent.