Search Results | Clear Search | Previous (in doc) | Next (in doc) | Prev Doc | Next Doc
Qp Date

Recall and Initiative Act

[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 398

Part 2 — Legislative Initiatives

Division 1 — Initiative Petition

Subject matter of legislative proposals

2  A legislative proposal may be made with respect to any matter within the jurisdiction of the Legislature.

Application for initiative petition

3  (1) A registered voter may apply to the chief electoral officer for the issuance of a petition to have a legislative proposal introduced into the Legislative Assembly in accordance with this Act.

(2) The application for the issuance of an initiative petition must include the following:

(a) the name and residential address of the applicant;

(b) a copy of a draft Bill for introduction into the Legislative Assembly;

(c) a solemn declaration of the applicant that he or she is not disqualified under this Act from making the application;

(d) any other information that may be prescribed.

(3) The application for the issuance of an initiative petition must be accompanied by a processing fee of $50.

(4) The draft Bill must comply with section 2 and be drafted in a clear and unambiguous manner.

(5) The initiative petition must not relate to a legislative proposal that is the same as or substantially similar to a legislative proposal that is the subject of another initiative petition if

(a) the initiative petition period for that other petition has not ended, or

(b) that other petition has been submitted to the chief electoral officer in accordance with section 7 but has not yet been dealt with under that section and, if applicable, under sections 10 and 11.

Issue of initiative petition

4  (1) If satisfied that the requirements of section 3 have been met, the chief electoral officer must

(a) notify the proponent that the application has been approved in principle,

(b) publish notice of the approval in principle in the Gazette and in at least one newspaper circulating in British Columbia, and

(c) issue the petition 60 days after the notice is published in the Gazette.

(2) Once an application has received approval in principle, the application and the draft Bill accompanying the application may be inspected at the office of the chief electoral officer during its regular office hours.

(3) An initiative petition must be in the form set out in the regulations and must have separate signature sheets for each electoral district.

(4) An initiative petition must be signed within 90 days from the date on which it is issued by the chief electoral officer, subject to an extension under section 17 (4).

Who may sign an initiative petition

5  (1) In order to sign an initiative petition, an individual

(a) must have been a registered voter on the date the petition was first issued, and

(b) on the date he or she signs a signature sheet for the petition, must be a registered voter for the electoral district for which the signature sheet was issued.

(2) An individual may sign any one initiative petition only once.

(3) An individual who signs an initiative petition must also indicate his or her residential address on the petition.

Who may canvass for signatures

6  (1) A registered voter may canvass for signatures on an initiative petition if, before the date on which he or she begins canvassing,

(a) the voter has been resident in British Columbia for at least 6 months, and

(b) the voter has registered his or her name and residential address with the chief electoral officer.

(2) A person must not, directly or indirectly, accept any inducement for canvassing for signatures on an initiative petition.

(3) A person must not, directly or indirectly, pay, give, lend or procure any inducement for a person who canvasses for signatures on an initiative petition.

Requirements for initiative petition

7  (1) An initiative petition must comply with the following requirements:

(a) the signature sheets must be submitted to the chief electoral officer by the end of the period under section 4 (4) or, if applicable, in accordance with section 17;

(b) for each electoral district in British Columbia, the signature sheets for the electoral district must be signed by at least 10% of the total number of registered voters entitled to sign those signature sheets.

(2) To be counted for the purpose of subsection (1) (b), a signature on the petition must be accompanied by the residential address of the individual who signed and must be witnessed by the individual who canvassed the signature.

(3) For the purpose of subsection (1) (b), the total number of registered voters must be calculated as of the date on which the initiative petition was first issued.

Continuation of petition if an electoral district is disestablished or changed

7.1  If an electoral district is disestablished or changed between the time an initiative petition is issued and the time it is to be submitted to the chief electoral officer, the references in this Part to an electoral district are deemed to be a reference to the electoral district as it was at the time the petition was issued.

Time limit for determination

8  Within 42 days from the day on which the petition is submitted to the chief electoral officer, he or she must determine whether the petition meets the requirements of section 7.

Division 2 — Select Standing Committee

Select standing committee

9  (1) At the start of the first session of each Parliament, the committee of selection appointed under the Standing Orders of the Legislative Assembly must appoint a select standing committee on Legislative Initiatives for the purpose of this Act.

(2) The select standing committee remains in existence until the dissolution of the Parliament for which the members of the committee are appointed.

(3) The select standing committee may meet and conduct its business regardless of whether or not the Legislative Assembly is in session.

Referral of initiative to select standing committee

10  If the chief electoral officer determines in accordance with the regulations that

(a) the initiative petition meets the requirements of section 7, and

(b) the proponent has complied with Part 4,

the chief electoral officer must send a copy of the petition and draft Bill to the select standing committee.

Duty of select standing committee

11  (1) The select standing committee must, within 30 days of receiving a copy of the initiative petition and draft Bill under section 10, meet to consider the initiative petition and draft Bill.

(2) The select standing committee must, within 90 days of the date of its first meeting,

(a) table a report recommending that the draft Bill be introduced at the earliest practicable opportunity, or

(b) refer the initiative petition and draft Bill to the chief electoral officer.

Effect of report by select standing committee

12  If the select standing committee tables a report recommending that the draft Bill be introduced at the earliest practicable opportunity into the Legislative Assembly, the government must

(a) introduce the Bill at the earliest practicable opportunity, or

(b) if the Bill is for the appropriation of any part of the consolidated revenue fund or of any tax or impost,

(i)   request the Lieutenant Governor to recommend the Bill by a message in accordance with sections 46 and 47 of the Constitution Act to the Legislative Assembly, and

(ii)   introduce the Bill at the earliest practicable opportunity.

Division 3 — Initiative Vote

Initiative vote

13  (1) If the select standing committee refers the initiative petition and draft Bill to the chief electoral officer, the chief electoral officer must hold an initiative vote under this Act.

(2) On the recommendation of the minister after consultation with the chief electoral officer, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting the conducting of an initiative vote under this Act.

(3) Without limiting subsection (2), the regulations may

(a) specify what provisions of the Election Act apply, and

(b) adapt any of the provisions of the Election Act with changes that the regulations may provide.

Initiative voting day every 3 years

14  (1) If required, initiative votes must be held on September 28, 1996 and on the last Saturday of September every third year after that date.

(2) At least 90 days before general voting day for an initiative vote, the chief electoral officer must publish notice of the vote in the Gazette and in at least one newspaper circulating in British Columbia.

Determination of successful initiative vote

15  (1) Subject to Part 5, the chief electoral officer must declare an initiative vote to be successful if

(a) more than 50% of the total number of registered voters in British Columbia vote in favour of the initiative, and

(b) more than 50% of the total number of registered voters for each of at least 2/3 of the electoral districts in British Columbia vote in favour of the initiative.

(2) For the purpose of subsection (1), the total number of registered voters must be calculated as of the date of the vote.

Effect of successful initiative vote

16  If the chief electoral officer declares an initiative vote to be successful, the government must do one of the following:

(a) introduce the Bill at the earliest practicable opportunity;

(b) if the Bill is for the appropriation of any part of the consolidated revenue fund or of any tax or impost,

(i)   request the Lieutenant Governor to recommend the Bill by a message in accordance with sections 46 and 47 of the Constitution Act to the Legislative Assembly, and

(ii)   introduce the Bill at the earliest practicable opportunity.

Division 4 — Effect of General Election

Suspension of petition process during general election

17  (1) If a general election is called during the 90 day signing period under section 4 (4) for an initiative petition, after the election is called

(a) the period for signing the initiative petition is suspended,

(b) copies of the original signature sheets issued under section 4 may not be used for further signatures,

(c) any further signatures for the petition must be on a signature sheet issued under subsection (3) of this section, and

(d) signature sheets issued under this section must be signed before the end of the extended period for signing the petition under subsection (4) of this section.

(2) In order to have the initiative petition reissued, the proponent must, within 72 hours after the day on which the general election is called, submit to the chief electoral officer all signed copies of the signature sheets for the petition that were issued under section 4.

(3) As soon as practicable after reporting the results of the general election to the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, the chief electoral officer must reissue the petition by issuing new signature sheets that are marked as being provided under this section.

(4) Despite any other provision of this Act, the extended period for signing referred to in subsection (1) (d) begins on the day when the signature sheets are issued under subsection (3) and ends the number of days later that is equal to the remaining number of days in the original signing period under section 4 (4).

(5) The signature sheets for the reissued petition must be submitted to the chief electoral officer before the end of the period under subsection (4).

(6) For an initiative petition to which this section applies, only those signature sheets submitted to the chief electoral officer in accordance with this section are to be considered for the purposes of section 7 (1) (b).

(7) If a general election is called between the time when a petition is submitted under section 7 and the determination under section 10, the time period under section 8 does not apply and the chief electoral officer must complete the required determinations as soon as possible after the return of the writs for the general election.

General election after petition sent to select standing committee

18  (1) If a general election is called after the initiative petition and draft Bill have been sent to the select standing committee but before it has reached its decision, the new select standing committee appointed after the election must meet within 30 days from the start of the first session of the Legislative Assembly following the election to consider the initiative petition and draft Bill.

(2) If a general election is called after the select standing committee has tabled a report under section 11 (2) (a) but before the Bill has been introduced into the Legislative Assembly, the government must

(a) introduce the Bill at the first session of the Legislative Assembly following the election, or

(b) if the Bill is for the appropriation of any part of the consolidated revenue fund or of any tax or impost,

(i)   request the Lieutenant Governor to recommend the Bill by a message in accordance with sections 46 and 47 of the Constitution Act to the Legislative Assembly, and

(ii)   introduce the Bill at the first session of the Legislative Assembly following the election.

Contents  |  Part 1  |  Part 2  |  Part 3  |  Part 4  |  Part 5  |  Part 6  |  Part 7  |  Part 8  |  Part 9  |  Part 10