Qp Date

Recall and Initiative Act

[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 398

Part 9 — Offences

Prosecution of organizations and their directors and agents

154  (1) An act or thing done or omitted by an officer, director, employee or agent of an organization within the scope of the individual's authority to act on behalf of the organization is deemed to be an act or thing done or omitted by the organization.

(2) If an organization commits an offence under this Act, an officer, director, employee or agent of the organization who authorizes, permits or acquiesces in the offence commits the same offence, whether or not the organization is convicted of the offence.

(3) A prosecution for an offence under this Act may be brought against an unincorporated organization in the name of the organization and, for the purposes of the prosecution, the unincorporated organization is deemed to be a person.

Defence of due diligence

155  An individual or organization is not guilty of an offence under this Act if the individual or organization exercised due diligence to prevent the commission of the offence.

Signature and vote buying offences

156  (1) An individual or organization must not pay, give, lend or procure an inducement for any of the following purposes:

(a) to induce an individual to sign a petition or refrain from signing a petition;

(b) to reward an individual for having signed a petition or having refrained from signing a petition;

(c) to induce an individual to vote or refrain from voting in an initiative vote;

(d) to induce an individual to vote or refrain from voting for or against an initiative;

(e) to reward an individual for having voted or refrained from voting as described in paragraph (c) or (d);

(f) to procure or induce an individual to attempt to procure a particular result in an initiative vote;

(g) to procure or induce an individual to attempt to procure the vote of a voter or the failure of a voter to vote.

(2) An individual must not accept an inducement

(a) to sign a petition or refrain from signing a petition,

(b) as a reward for having signed a petition or refrained from signing a petition,

(c) to vote or refrain from voting,

(d) to vote or refrain from voting for or against an initiative, or

(e) as a reward for having voted or refrained from voting as described in paragraph (c) or (d).

(3) An individual or organization must not advance, pay or otherwise provide an inducement, or cause an inducement to be provided, knowing or with the intent that it is to be used for any of the acts prohibited by this section.

(4) An individual must not offer, agree or promise to do anything otherwise prohibited by this section.

(5) An individual or organization prohibited from doing something by this section must not do the prohibited act directly, indirectly or by another individual or organization on behalf of the individual or organization who is subject to the prohibition.

(6) An individual or organization who contravenes this section commits an offence and is liable to a fine of not more than $10 000 or imprisonment for a term not longer than 2 years, or both.

Intimidation offences

157  (1) An individual or organization must not intimidate an individual for any of the following purposes:

(a) to persuade or compel an individual to sign a petition or refrain from signing a petition;

(b) to punish an individual for having signed a petition or having refrained from signing a petition;

(c) to persuade or compel an individual to vote or refrain from voting in an initiative vote;

(d) to persuade or compel an individual to vote or refrain from voting for or against an initiative;

(e) to punish an individual for having voted or having refrained from voting as described in paragraph (c) or (d).

(2) An individual or organization must not, by abduction, duress or fraudulent means, do any of the following:

(a) impede, prevent or otherwise interfere with an individual's right to sign a petition;

(b) compel, persuade or otherwise cause an individual to sign a petition or refrain from signing a petition;

(c) impede, prevent or otherwise interfere with an individual's right to vote in an initiative vote;

(d) compel, persuade or otherwise cause an individual to vote or refrain from voting in an initiative vote;

(e) compel, persuade or otherwise cause an individual to vote or refrain from voting for or against an initiative.

(3) An individual or organization prohibited from doing something by this section must not do the prohibited act directly, indirectly or by another individual or organization on behalf of the individual or organization who is subject to the prohibition.

(4) An individual or organization who contravenes this section commits an offence and is liable to one or more of the penalties referred to in section 156 (6).

Wrongful signing and voting

158  (1) An individual who does any of the following commits an offence:

(a) signs a petition or votes in an initiative vote when not entitled to do so;

(b) signs the same petition more than once or votes more than once in the same initiative vote;

(c) signs a petition, or obtains a ballot for an initiative vote, in the name of another individual, whether the name is of a living or dead individual or of a fictitious individual;

(d) contravenes section 105 (3) or 109 (6) of the Election Act in relation to an initiative vote.

(2) An individual who commits an offence under subsection (1) is liable to one or more of the penalties referred to in section 156 (6).

Offences in relation to canvassing for signatures

159  (1) An individual or organization who does any of the following commits an offence:

(a) canvasses for signatures on a petition when not entitled to do so under this Act;

(b) contravenes section 6 (2) or (3) or 22 (2) or (3) respecting inducement in relation to canvassing for signatures on a petition;

(c) falsely represents that a document is a petition issued by the chief electoral officer or a copy of one issued by the chief electoral officer;

(d) canvasses for signatures on a petition in a time period other than that during which the petition may be signed under this Act;

(e) does not comply with any regulations respecting the conduct of individuals who canvass for signatures on petitions.

(2) An individual or organization who contravenes this section commits an offence and is liable to a fine of not more than $5 000 or imprisonment for a term not longer than one year, or both.

Offences in relation to financing

160  (1) An individual or organization who does any of the following commits an offence:

(a) consents to be appointed as a financial agent under this Act when not entitled to be appointed to the position;

(b) contravenes section 34, 64 (1) or 95, respecting the obligations of a financial agent;

(c) contravenes

(i)   section 41, 42 or 43, regarding making or accepting an initiative petition contribution,

(ii)   section 68 or 69, regarding making or accepting an initiative vote contribution, or

(iii)   section 116, 117 or 118, regarding making or accepting a recall contribution;

(d) contravenes section 44 regarding prohibited initiative petition contributions, section 70 regarding prohibited initiative vote contributions or section 119 regarding prohibited recall contributions;

(e) contravenes section 46 regarding incurring initiative petition expenses, section 72 regarding incurring initiative vote expenses or section 121 regarding incurring recall expenses;

(f) contravenes

(i)   section 47 by incurring an initiative petition expense in excess of the applicable expenses limit, unless relief has been granted under section 54,

(ii)   section 73 by incurring an initiative vote expense in excess of the applicable expenses limit, unless relief has been granted under section 80, or

(iii)   section 122 by incurring a recall expense in excess of the applicable expenses limit, unless relief has been granted under section 129.

(2) An individual or organization who commits an offence under subsection (1) is liable to a fine of not more than $5 000 or imprisonment for a term not longer than one year, or both.

Offences in relation to initiative or recall advertising and promotion

161  (1) An individual or organization who does any of the following commits an offence:

(a) contravenes section 87 respecting a restriction on initiative advertising or section 136 respecting a restriction on recall advertising;

(b) contravenes section 88 respecting identification of the sponsor of initiative advertising or section 137 respecting identification of the sponsor of recall advertising;

(c) contravenes section 89 respecting a rate charged for initiative advertising or section 138 respecting a rate charged for recall advertising;

(d) contravenes section 90 respecting initiative advertising on general voting day for an initiative vote;

(e) contravenes section 91 respecting a restriction on activities near the office of a district electoral officer or a voting place for an initiative vote;

(f) contravenes section 92 respecting the publication of an initiative opinion survey;

(g) contravenes section 93 respecting an advertising limit;

(h) contravenes section 96 or 143 respecting the requirement to be registered as a sponsor;

(i) fails to record information as required by section 98 (2) or 145 (2).

(2) An individual or organization who commits an offence under subsection (1) is liable to a fine of not more than $5 000 or imprisonment for a term not longer than one year, or both.

Offences in relation to false or misleading information

162  (1) An individual or organization who does either of the following commits an offence:

(a) provides false or misleading information when required or authorized by this Act or the regulations to provide information;

(b) makes a false or misleading statement or declaration when required by this Act or the regulations to make a statement or declaration.

(2) An individual or organization is not guilty of an offence under this section if, at the time the information was given or the statement or declaration was made, the individual or organization did not know that it was false or misleading and, with the exercise of reasonable diligence, could not have known that it was false or misleading.

(3) An individual or organization who commits an offence under this section is liable to a fine of not more than $10 000 or imprisonment for a term not longer than 2 years, or both.

Offence in relation to use of information

163  (1) An individual or organization who uses personal information referred to in section 168 except as authorized by that section commits an offence.

(2) An individual or organization who commits an offence under this section is liable to a fine of not more than $10 000 or imprisonment for a term not longer than 2 years, or both.

Penalties under this Part are in addition to any others

164  Any penalty under this Part is in addition to and not in place of any other penalty to which an individual or organization may be liable in respect of the same matter.

Limitation

165  A prosecution under this Act must be commenced within one year of the time when the subject matter of the prosecution arose.

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