Qp Date

Recall and Initiative Act

[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 398

Part 4 — Initiative Petition Financing

Division 1 — Authorized Participants and Financial Agents

Authorized participants must have financial agent

29  (1) The authorized participants for an initiative petition are

(a) the proponent of the petition, and

(b) the opponents of the petition, being the individuals and organizations for whom a financial agent has been designated under section 32.

(2) An authorized participant may only accept initiative petition contributions and incur initiative petition expenses through the financial agent for the authorized participant.

(3) The following are disqualified from acting as financial agent:

(a) an election official, a voter registration official or an individual who is otherwise a member of the staff of the chief electoral officer;

(b) an individual who does not have full capacity to enter into contracts;

(c) an individual who is disqualified under section 53, 56, 79 or 82;

(d) an individual who, at any time within the previous 7 years, has been convicted of an offence under this Act or the Election Act.

Financial agent for proponent

30  (1) Within 60 days after the day on which notice of approval in principle for an application for an initiative petition is published in the Gazette, the proponent must deliver the following to the chief electoral officer:

(a) a statement as to whether or not the proponent is acting as his or her own financial agent;

(b) if the proponent is not acting as his or her own financial agent, a copy of the appointment and the consent and statement referred to in subsection (2) (b);

(c) an address to which notices under this Act may be delivered to the financial agent or the proponent, as referred to in section 166.

(2) The appointment of a financial agent for a proponent must be made in writing and must

(a) include the name, mailing address and telephone number of the individual appointed and the effective date of the appointment, and

(b) be accompanied by

(i)   a signed consent of the individual appointed to act as financial agent, and

(ii)   a signed statement of the individual appointed that he or she is not disqualified from acting as a financial agent.

(3) If there is any change in who is the financial agent for a proponent, the proponent must, as soon as possible, notify the chief electoral officer of this change and, for these purposes, must deliver notice in accordance with subsection (1) (a) to (c).

Application to become an opponent of an initiative petition

31  (1) An individual or organization who wishes to be an opponent of an initiative petition must apply to the chief electoral officer in accordance with this section within 30 days after the day on which notice of approval in principle for the petition is published in the Gazette.

(2) An application must include the name of an individual proposed as financial agent for the applicant, who

(a) may be the applicant, another applicant or someone who is not an applicant, and

(b) may be proposed as the financial agent for another applicant.

(3) In addition to the name of the individual proposed as financial agent for the applicant, an application must include the following:

(a) the full name of the applicant and, in the case of an applicant organization that has a different usual name, this usual name;

(b) the full address and telephone number of the applicant and, if this is different, the address to which notices under this Act and other communications may be delivered to the applicant, as referred to in section 166;

(c) in the case of an applicant organization, the names of the principal officers of the organization or, if there are no principal officers, of the principal members of the organization;

(d) a statement that the applicant opposes the initiative;

(e) a statement that the applicant is not disqualified from being an authorized participant.

(4) An application must be signed, as applicable, by the individual applicant or, in the case of an applicant organization, by 2 principal officers of the organization or, if there are no principal officers, by 2 principal members of the organization.

(5) The chief electoral officer may require applications to be in a specified form.

(6) An application is not complete unless the individual who is proposed as financial agent files the following with the chief electoral officer before the end of the application period under subsection (1):

(a) his or her signed consent to act as financial agent if designated under section 32;

(b) his or her name, mailing address and telephone number;

(c) an address to which, if the individual is designated, notices under this Act may be delivered to the financial agent or the opponents or opponent group for whom he or she is acting as financial agent, as referred to in section 166;

(d) a signed statement that he or she is not disqualified from acting as a financial agent.

Financial agents for opponents

32  (1) The chief electoral officer must designate financial agents for opponents in accordance with this section as soon as possible after the end of the application period under section 31 (1).

(2) If one individual is proposed under section 31 as financial agent by 50% or more of the total number of applicants under that section, the chief electoral officer must designate that individual as financial agent for the applicants by whom he or she was proposed.

(3) If 2 or more individuals proposed under section 31 as financial agent are each proposed by 20% or more of the total number of applicants under that section, the chief electoral officer must designate those individuals as financial agents for the applicants by whom they were proposed.

(4) If

(a) none of the individuals proposed under section 31 as financial agent are proposed by 20% or more of the total number of applicants under that section, or

(b) only one individual is proposed under section 31 as financial agent by 20% or more, but less than 50%, of the total number of applicants under that section,

the chief electoral officer must proceed in accordance with subsections (5) and (6).

(5) In the circumstances referred to in subsection (4), the chief electoral officer must notify the applicants of the following:

(a) the results of the process under this section up to this time;

(b) the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the other individuals and organizations that have applied to become opponents;

(c) the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the individuals who have been proposed as financial agent by the applicants.

(6) An applicant who is notified under subsection (5) may file a signed statement with the chief electoral officer indicating, for the purpose of subsection (8), the individual proposed by the applicant as financial agent, who may be

(a) the same individual that the applicant originally proposed under section 31 as financial agent, or

(b) an individual proposed under section 31 as financial agent by another applicant.

(7) A statement under subsection (6) must be filed with the chief electoral officer within 29 days after the end of the application period under section 31 (1) and must be signed, as applicable, by the individual applicant or by 2 principal officers of the applicant organization.

(8) After the 29 day period referred to in subsection (7),

(a) if one or more of the individuals proposed under section 31 is proposed as financial agent by 20% or more of the applicants, as indicated by the signed statements under subsection (6) of this section, the chief electoral officer must designate each of those individuals as financial agent for the applicants by whom they were proposed, and

(b) if none of the individuals proposed under section 31 are proposed as financial agent by 20% or more of the applicants, as indicated by the signed statements under subsection (6) of this section, no financial agent is to be designated under this section and no individual or organization may act as an opponent.

Notice to opponent groups

33  (1) The opponents for whom the same financial agent is designated are, together, an opponent group for the initiative petition.

(2) As soon as possible after financial agents are designated under section 32, the chief electoral officer must give notice of the following to the applicants for whom financial agents have been designated:

(a) that they are opponents for the initiative petition;

(b) the name, address and telephone number of the individual who has been designated as their financial agent;

(c) the other opponents who are part of their opponent group;

(d) the initiative petition expenses limit for their opponent group determined in accordance with section 48 (2).

(3) If applicable, the chief electoral officer must notify those applicants for whom no financial agent has been designated that they will not be and must not act as opponents of the initiative petition for the purposes of this Act.

(4) If an individual designated as a financial agent for an opponent group is unable to act as financial agent, the chief electoral officer may designate another individual as financial agent for the opponent group and, for this purpose, may establish a process for selecting that other individual.

General obligations of financial agent

34  (1) Without limiting the obligations of a financial agent of an authorized participant under any other provision of this Act, a financial agent must do the following:

(a) ensure that all initiative petition contributions, initiative petition expenses and other income and expenditures in relation to the initiative petition are properly recorded to allow compliance with the reporting requirements of this Act;

(b) ensure that all money received by or on behalf of the authorized participant in relation to an initiative petition is deposited in an account in a savings institution and that all expenditures of the authorized participant are paid from an account in a savings institution;

(c) ensure that all records required to be kept for the purposes of this Act by the authorized participant are maintained in British Columbia;

(d) ensure that all financial records and receipts of the authorized participant in relation to this Act are retained for at least 5 years from the date of filing of any report under this Act required in relation to them;

(e) make every reasonable effort to ensure that every expenditure greater than the applicable amount under section 177 (2) (e) of the Election Act that is incurred by the authorized participant in relation to the initiative petition is documented by a statement setting out the particulars of the expenditure.

(1.1) For the purposes of subsection (1) (b), a financial agent must ensure that a separate account is established for each authorized participant for whom the financial agent is acting.

(2) A financial agent is not personally liable for any liability of an authorized participant for whom the financial agent is acting unless the liability is personally guaranteed by the financial agent.

Assistant financial agent

35  (1) A financial agent may authorize one or more individuals to accept initiative petition contributions and incur initiative petition expenses on behalf of the financial agent.

(2) An individual who is authorized under subsection (1) to accept initiative petition contributions and incur initiative petition expenses has, for those purposes, all the powers, duties and protections of the financial agent.

(3) As soon as practicable after an authorization under subsection (1) is made, a copy of the authorization must be delivered to the chief electoral officer.

Division 2 — Initiative Petition Contributions and Expenses

Initiative petition contributions generally

36  (1) Subject to this Part, an initiative petition contribution is an amount of money or the value of any property or services provided without compensation by way of donation, advance, deposit, discount or otherwise to an authorized participant in relation to an initiative petition.

(2) If property or services are provided to an authorized participant at less than market value or acquired from an authorized participant at greater than market value, the difference between the market value of the property or services at the time provided and the amount charged is an initiative petition contribution.

(3) The amount of any money, but not the value of any property or services, provided in relation to an initiative petition by an authorized participant who is an individual is an initiative petition contribution.

(4) The value of the following is not an initiative petition contribution:

(a) services provided by a volunteer;

(b) property of a volunteer if the property is provided or used in relation to the services of the individual as a volunteer;

(c) property or services provided by an election official, a voter registration official or any other member of the staff of the chief electoral officer in that official capacity;

(d) publishing, without charge, news, an editorial, an interview, a column, a letter or a commentary in a genuine periodical publication or a radio or television program;

(e) broadcasting time provided, without charge, as part of a genuine public affairs program;

(f) producing, promoting or distributing a publication for no less than its market value, if the publication was planned to be sold regardless of the petition.

Initiative petition contributions through loans and debts

37  (1) A loan to an authorized participant is not an initiative petition contribution unless it is forgiven or written off.

(2) If a loan to an authorized participant is made at a rate of interest that is less than the prime rate of the principal banker to the government at the time the rate of interest for the loan is set, the benefit of the difference between the amount of interest that would be payable at that prime rate and the amount of interest being charged for the loan is an initiative petition contribution.

(3) The amount of a debt owed by an authorized participant in relation to initiative petition expenses is an initiative petition contribution if it remains unpaid for 6 months after becoming due and no legal proceedings to recover the debt have been commenced by the creditor.

(4) For certainty, nothing in subsection (3) affects the rights of a creditor in relation to a debt that becomes an initiative petition contribution under that subsection.

Initiative petition contributions through fundraising functions

38  (1) Except as provided in this section or if received as anonymous contributions under section 41 (1) (f), funds raised by an initiative petition fundraising function held by or on behalf of an authorized participant are not initiative petition contributions.

(2) If a charge per individual is made for an initiative petition fundraising function, the following rules apply:

(a) the payment of the charge by an organization is an initiative petition contribution;

(b) if the per individual charge is greater than the applicable amount under section 182 (2) (b) of the Election Act, the payment of the charge by an individual is an initiative petition contribution;

(c) if the per individual charge is the amount referred to in paragraph (b) or less,

(i)   the payment by an individual of more than the applicable amount under section 182 (2) (c) (i) of the Election Act, in respect of one or more charges, is an initiative petition contribution, and

(ii)   the payment by an individual of the amount referred to in subparagraph (i) or less, in respect of one or more charges, is not an initiative petition contribution.

(3) If the amount paid for property or services offered for sale at an initiative petition fundraising function is greater than their market value, the difference between the amount paid and the market value at the time it is agreed to be paid is an initiative petition contribution.

(4) The value of property or services, or both, donated by an organization or individual for sale at an initiative petition fundraising function is an initiative petition contribution unless the property or services or both, as applicable,

(a) are used for sale at the initiative petition fundraising function, and

(b) have a total value that is not greater than the applicable amount under section 182 (4) (b) of the Election Act.

Initiative petition expenses

39  (1) Subject to this Part, an initiative petition expense is the value of property or services used during an initiative petition period to promote or oppose, directly or indirectly, an initiative petition or draft Bill.

(2) A deficit incurred in holding an initiative petition fundraising function during an initiative petition period is an initiative petition expense.

(3) The value of the following is not an initiative petition expense:

(a) property and services referred to in section 36 (4);

(b) goods produced by an individual as a volunteer from the property of the individual;

(c) goods produced by an authorized participant who is an individual from the property of the authorized participant.

General valuation rules

40  (1) The rules in this section apply for the purpose of determining the value of an initiative petition contribution or initiative petition expense unless otherwise expressly provided in this Part.

(2) The value of any property or services is

(a) the price paid for the property or services, or

(b) the market value of the property or services, if no price is paid or if the price paid is lower than the market value.

(3) If the property is a capital asset, the value of the property is the market value of using the property.

(4) The value of free advertising space in a periodical publication and free broadcasting time provided to an authorized participant for an initiative petition is nil if the space or time is made available on an equitable basis to both the proponent and the opponent groups.

Division 3 — Making and Accepting Initiative Petition Contributions

Restrictions on making initiative petition contributions

41  (1) An individual or organization must not do any of the following:

(a) make an initiative petition contribution to an authorized participant except by making it to the financial agent;

(b) make an initiative petition contribution without disclosing to the financial agent the information required to be recorded under section 45;

(c) make an initiative petition contribution of money in an amount greater than the applicable amount under section 186 (1) (c) of the Election Act, except by means of

(i)   a cheque with the name of the contributor legibly shown on it and drawn on an account in the contributor's name maintained in a savings institution,

(ii)   a money order with the name of the contributor legibly shown on it and signed by the contributor, or

(iii)   a credit card in the name of the contributor, evidenced by an authorization for the payment with the name of the contributor legibly shown on it and signed by the contributor;

(d) make an initiative petition contribution with the money, other property or services of another;

(e) make an initiative petition contribution indirectly by giving money, other property or services to an individual or organization

(i)   for that individual or organization to make as an initiative petition contribution, or

(ii)   as consideration for that individual or organization making an initiative petition contribution;

(f) make an anonymous initiative petition contribution unless the contribution

(i)   is provided in response to a general solicitation for funds at a function held on behalf of or in relation to the affairs of the authorized participant to whom the contribution is provided, and

(ii)   has a value of less than the applicable amount under section 186 (1) (f) (ii) of the Election Act.

(2) As an exception to subsection (1) (d), an individual or organization may make an initiative petition contribution indirectly by providing compensation to an individual who provides services that are an initiative petition contribution, in which case the individual or organization providing the compensation is the contributor for the purposes of this Act.

Restrictions on accepting initiative petition contributions

42  (1) A financial agent must not accept an initiative petition contribution that the financial agent has reason to believe is made in contravention of this Act.

(2) If an individual authorized under section 35 becomes aware that an initiative petition contribution may have been made in contravention of this Act, the individual must immediately inform the financial agent.

Limits on anonymous contributions

43  (1) A financial agent must not accept, in relation to an initiative petition, more than 50% of the applicable amount under section 188 (1) of the Election Act in permitted anonymous contributions under section 41 (1) (f) of this Act.

(2) A financial agent must not accept an anonymous initiative petition contribution if this will exceed the limit under subsection (1).

Prohibited contributions must be returned

44  (1) If a financial agent becomes aware that an initiative petition contribution was made or accepted in contravention of this Act, the financial agent must return to the contributor

(a) the initiative petition contribution, or

(b) an amount equal to the value of the initiative petition contribution,

within 14 days after the financial agent becomes aware of the contravention.

(2) If a financial agent is not able to comply with subsection (1), as soon as practicable the financial agent must instead pay the amount referred to in that subsection to the chief electoral officer for payment to the consolidated revenue fund.

(3) If an account maintained by a financial agent for the proponent contains insufficient funds to make a payment required under subsection (1) or (2), the proponent is liable to provide the necessary funds to meet the deficiency.

(4) If an account maintained by a financial agent for an opponent group contains insufficient funds to make a payment required under subsection (1) or (2), the members of the opponent group are jointly and separately liable to provide the necessary funds to meet the deficiency.

Financial agent must record each initiative petition contribution

45  (1) For the purposes of complying with the reporting requirements of this Part, a financial agent must record the following for each initiative petition contribution made to the authorized participant:

(a) the value of the contribution;

(b) the date the contribution was made;

(c) the full name and address of the contributor;

(d) the class of the contributor as described in subsection (2);

(e) if the contributor is a numbered corporation or an unincorporated organization, the full names and addresses of at least 2 individuals

(i)   who are directors of the organization, or

(ii)   if there are no individual directors, who are principal officers or principal members of the organization.

(2) Contributors must be classified as follows:

(a) individuals;

(b) corporations;

(c) unincorporated organizations engaged in business or commercial activity;

(d) trade unions;

(e) non-profit organizations;

(f) other contributors.

(3) As an exception in the case of anonymous contributions permitted under section 41 (1) (f), the financial agent must record the following:

(a) a description of the function at which the contributions were collected;

(b) the date of the function;

(c) the number of people in attendance at the function;

(d) the total amount of anonymous contributions accepted.

(4) In the case of a loan referred to in section 37, at the time the loan is made the financial agent must record the following:

(a) the information referred to in subsection (1) (b) to (e);

(b) the amount of the loan;

(c) the rate of interest charged for the loan.

(5) For an initiative petition fundraising function held by or on behalf of an authorized participant, the financial agent must record the following:

(a) a description of the function;

(b) the date of the function;

(c) the cost, the gross income and the net income or loss arising from the function.

Division 4 — Initiative Petition Expenses

Restrictions on who may incur initiative petition expenses

46  (1) Subject to section 93, an individual or organization other than an authorized participant must not incur an initiative petition expense.

(2) The financial agent of an authorized participant must not pay an initiative petition expense unless the payment is made out of the property of the authorized participant for whom it is incurred.

Initiative petition expenses in excess of limit prohibited

47  (1) As applicable,

(a) a proponent must not incur an initiative petition expense if incurring the expense will result in the initiative petition expenses of the proponent exceeding the expenses limit determined under section 48 (1), and

(b) a member of an opponent group must not incur an initiative petition expense if incurring the expense will result in the initiative petition expenses for the opponent group exceeding the expenses limit determined for that opponent group under section 48 (2).

(2) The following expenses are not to be included as initiative petition expenses for the purpose of determining whether an authorized participant has complied with the applicable expenses limit:

(a) fees charged by the chief electoral officer under this Act;

(b) costs incurred for producing copies of the petition in accordance with the regulations;

(c) legal or accounting services provided to comply with this Act or the regulations;

(d) services provided by a financial agent in that capacity;

(e) expenses incurred in holding a fundraising function if no deficit is incurred;

(f) interest on a loan for initiative petition expenses to an authorized participant;

(g) the cost of any communication that an authorized participant that is an organization sends exclusively to its members;

(h) expenses prescribed for the purposes of this section by regulation.

(3) An initiative petition expense that is not included for the purpose of calculating whether there has been compliance with a limit under this Part remains an initiative petition expense and is subject to all other provisions of this Act.

Initiative petition expenses limit

48  (1) The value of initiative petition expenses incurred by the proponent or in total by the members of all the opponent groups of the initiative petition during an initiative petition period must not exceed the limit calculated by multiplying

(a) the applicable amount under subsection (3) or (4), and

(b) the number of registered voters for all electoral districts in British Columbia as of the date on which the petition was issued.

(2) The chief electoral officer must determine the expenses limit for each opponent group by allocating the limit calculated under subsection (1) to the groups in the same proportion as the number of members in the group bears to the total number of members in all of the opponent groups.

(3) For an initiative petition that is issued during the period beginning on February 24, 1995 and ending on December 31, 1995, the amount to be used under subsection (1) (a) is $0.25.

(4) For each initiative petition period that begins on or after January 1, 1996, the chief electoral officer must adjust the amount under subsection (3) and, for these purposes, section 204 (2) and (4) of the Election Act applies.

(5) The chief electoral officer must

(a) have notice of an adjusted amount under subsection (4) published in the Gazette, and

(b) give notice of the applicable expenses limit to the financial agents for the authorized participants.

Division 5 — Reporting

Reporting of information regarding initiative petition contributions

49  (1) Where this Act requires that initiative petition contributions be disclosed in a report, the report must include the following:

(a) for each contributor who made one or more initiative petition contributions that in total have a value of more than the applicable amount under section 206 (1) (a) of the Election Act, the information required to be recorded under section 45 (1) of this Act, other than the address of an individual;

(b) for anonymous contributions, the information required to be recorded under section 45 (3);

(c) for contributions not referred to in paragraph (a) or (b), the aggregate value of the contributions received and the total number of contributors from whom they were received.

(2) On request by the chief electoral officer, a contributor must file with the chief electoral officer a solemn declaration that the contributor has not contravened this Act or the regulations.

Initiative petition financing report

50  (1) Within 28 days after the end of the initiative petition period, the financial agent of the proponent and the financial agent of each opponent group must file with the chief electoral officer on behalf of the authorized participant for whom the financial agent is acting a financing report in accordance with this section.

(2) A financing report must include the following:

(a) the initiative petition expenses incurred by the authorized participant, showing separately those expenses that are not included for the purposes of determining whether the applicable expenses limit was exceeded;

(b) the initiative petition contributions accepted by the authorized participant, reported in accordance with section 49;

(c) any loans or guarantees received by the authorized participant for initiative petition expenses and any conditions attached to them, including for the loans referred to in section 37 the information recorded under section 45 (4) other than the address of an individual;

(d) for initiative petition fundraising functions held by or on behalf of the authorized participant, the information recorded under section 45 (5);

(e) any income received and any expenditures made or incurred by the authorized participant in relation to the initiative petition, if these are not otherwise disclosed in the report;

(f) any initiative petition contributions received but returned or otherwise dealt with in accordance with section 44.

(3) A supplementary report must be filed with the chief electoral officer as follows:

(a) if any of the information required to be disclosed in a report filed under this section changes, the financial agent must file a supplementary report within 14 days after the financial agent or an authorized participant becomes aware of the change;

(b) if the financial agent or an authorized participant for whom the financial agent is acting becomes aware that a report under this section did not completely and accurately disclose the information required to be disclosed in the report, the financial agent must file a supplementary report within 14 days after the financial agent or authorized participant becomes aware of the incompleteness or inaccuracy.

(4) A report under this section must be prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and must be filed with a solemn declaration of the financial agent as to its accuracy.

(5) After examining a report under this section, the chief electoral officer may require the report to be audited in accordance with the directions of the chief electoral officer at the expense of the authorized participant and may establish a time limit by which the financial agent must provide the report to the chief electoral officer.

(6) A report under this section must be available for public inspection at the office of the chief electoral officer during its regular office hours until one year after the day on which the next initiative vote may be held under section 14.

(7) For certainty, a report under this section is required even if the initiative petition is not submitted to the chief electoral officer in accordance with section 7.

Publication of financing summary

51  As soon as practicable after a financing report under section 50 (1) is received, the chief electoral officer must publish a report including the following:

(a) the name of the authorized participant on whose behalf the financing report is filed;

(b) an identification of the relevant initiative petition;

(c) a summary of the information included in the financing report;

(d) a statement of the applicable expenses limit;

(e) a statement as to whether the authorized participant complied with the applicable expenses limit.

Division 6 — Penalties for Failure to Comply

Publication of failure to comply

52  (1) The chief electoral officer must have notice of the following published in the Gazette:

(a) the name of an authorized participant for whom an initiative petition financing report is not filed in accordance with section 50;

(b) the name of an authorized participant for whom a required initiative petition financing report is not filed in accordance with section 55;

(c) the name of an authorized participant who exceeds the applicable expenses limit;

(d) the name of an authorized participant in relation to whom there was a conviction under section 162 in relation to an initiative petition financing report.

(2) Publication under subsection (1) must take place as soon as possible after the chief electoral officer becomes aware of the applicable circumstances referred to in that subsection.

Effect of incurring expenses over limit

53  (1) Unless relief is granted by a court under section 54,

(a) if the proponent exceeds the expenses limit,

(i)   the initiative petition fails, and

(ii)   the proponent must pay to the chief electoral officer a penalty of double the amount by which the expenses exceed the limit, and

(b) if the total initiative petition expenses of an opponent group exceed the expenses limit for that opponent group, the members of the opponent group are jointly and separately liable to pay to the chief electoral officer a penalty of 10 times the amount by which the expenses exceed the limit.

(2) Subsection (1) (a) does not prevent the government from introducing into the Legislative Assembly the draft Bill that was the subject of the initiative petition.

(3) The penalties referred to in subsection (1) are effective as follows:

(a) if no application under section 54 is made in respect of an authorized participant subject to the penalty, at the end of the period for making such an application;

(b) if, on the final determination of an application under section 54, the court refuses to grant relief from the penalty, at the time of that determination.

(4) In all cases, until the applicable penalty under subsection (1) is paid, an authorized participant who exceeds the initiative petition expenses limit is not eligible

(a) to apply for the issuance of a petition under section 3,

(b) to become an authorized participant for an initiative petition or an initiative vote, or

(c) to act as a financial agent in relation to an initiative petition or an initiative vote.

(5) A penalty received by the chief electoral officer under this section must be paid into the consolidated revenue fund.

Court order for relief from expenses limit

54  (1) An authorized participant may apply to the Supreme Court in accordance with this section for relief from section 53 for failing to comply with an expenses limit.

(2) An application may be made only

(a) within 58 days after the end of the initiative petition period, or

(b) if the failure to comply is disclosed by a supplementary report under section 50 (3), within 14 days after the day on which the supplementary report is filed.

(3) Within 7 days after it is filed, the petition commencing an application must be served on the chief electoral officer and the financial agents for the other authorized participants.

(4) The applicant, the other authorized participants and the chief electoral officer are parties to the application.

(5) On the hearing of an application, the court may

(a) grant relief if the court considers that, in relation to the non-compliance, the financial agent and the applicant have acted in good faith, or

(b) refuse to grant relief.

Late filing of required reports

55  (1) This section applies if a financial agent fails to file a report under Division 5 of this Part with the chief electoral officer within the time period established by that Division or by a court under section 57.

(2) The chief electoral officer must give notice to the proponent or opponents for whom the report was to be filed that, if the report is not filed within the late filing period permitted by this section, the proponent or opponents will be subject to the penalties provided in this Division unless an extension is granted by a court under section 57.

(3) On payment to the chief electoral officer of a late filing fee of the applicable amount under section 220 (5) (b) of the Election Act, the report may be filed within 30 days after the end of the time period for filing established by Division 5 of this Part or before a later date permitted by a court under section 57 of this Act.

Failure to file initiative petition financing report

56  (1) Unless relief is granted by a court on an application under section 57 commenced before the end of the late filing period under section 55 (3), the following penalties apply if an initiative petition financing report is not filed with the chief electoral officer before the end of that period:

(a) in the case of a report for the proponent,

(i)   the initiative petition fails, and

(ii)   the proponent must pay a penalty of the applicable amount under section 220 (5) (a) of the Election Act to the chief electoral officer for each day after the last day on which it may be filed under section 55 of this Act up to the date on which it is in fact filed;

(b) in the case of a report for an opponent group, the opponents who are members of the opponent group are jointly and separately liable to pay a penalty of the applicable amount under section 220 (5) (b) of the Election Act to the chief electoral officer for each day after the last day on which it may be filed under section 55 of this Act up to the date on which it is in fact filed.

(2) Subsection (1) (a) does not prevent the government from introducing into the Legislative Assembly the draft Bill that was the subject of the initiative petition that failed because of the application of that subsection.

(3) The penalties referred to in subsection (1) are effective as follows:

(a) if no application under section 57 is made in respect of an authorized participant subject to the penalty, at the end of the period for making such an application;

(b) if, on the final determination of an application under section 57, the court refuses to grant relief from the penalty, at the time of that determination.

(4) In all cases, until the applicable penalty under subsection (1) is paid and the report is filed, an authorized participant who fails to file an initiative petition financing report is not eligible

(a) to apply for the issuance of a petition under section 3,

(b) to become an authorized participant for an initiative petition or an initiative vote, or

(c) to act as a financial agent in relation to an initiative petition or an initiative vote.

Court order for relief from filing obligations

57  (1) An authorized participant may apply to the Supreme Court in accordance with this section for relief from an obligation to file a financing report in accordance with this Act.

(2) An application may be made only

(a) within 58 days after the end of the initiative petition period, or

(b) in the case of a supplementary report referred to in section 50 (3), within 14 days after the authorized participant becomes aware of the change, incompleteness or inaccuracy referred to in that section.

(3) Within 7 days after it is filed, the petition commencing an application must be served on the chief electoral officer and on the financial agents for the other authorized participants.

(4) The applicant, the other authorized participants and the chief electoral officer are parties to the application.

(5) On the hearing of an application, the court may do the following:

(a) relieve the authorized participant from the obligation to file the report, or from specified obligations in relation to the report, if the court considers that, in relation to the non-compliance, the financial agent and the applicant have acted in good faith;

(b) grant an extension of the time for filing the report without payment of a late filing fee under section 55 if

(i)   the application is commenced before the end of the time for filing without penalty, and

(ii)   the court considers that, in relation to the non-compliance, the financial agent and the applicant have acted in good faith;

(c) grant an extension of the time for filing the report, subject to payment of the late filing fee under section 55, if the court considers that, in relation to the non-compliance, the financial agent and the applicant have acted in good faith;

(d) make any order the court considers appropriate to secure compliance with this Act and the regulations to the extent the court considers reasonable in the circumstances;

(e) refuse to grant an extension or other relief.

False or misleading reports relating to an initiative petition

58  (1) In addition to the penalty referred to in section 162, if a proponent of an initiative petition is convicted under that section in relation to a report under this Part relating to the initiative petition, that initiative petition fails.

(2) Subsection (1) applies as follows:

(a) if no appeal of the conviction is made, at the end of the period for making such an appeal;

(b) if the conviction is upheld on its final determination on appeal, at the time of that determination.

(3) Subsection (1) does not prevent the government from introducing into the Legislative Assembly the draft Bill that was the subject of the initiative petition.

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