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Referendum Act

[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 400

Contents
 1 Lieutenant Governor in Council may order a referendum
 2 Application to Recall and Initiative Act
 3 Results of referendum to be announced
 4 Some referendums are binding on the government
 5 Duty if referendum is binding
 6 Regulations
 7 Appropriation

Lieutenant Governor in Council may order a referendum

1  (1) If the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers that an expression of public opinion is desirable on any matter of public interest or concern, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation, order that a referendum be conducted in the manner provided for in this Act.

(2) If the Lieutenant Governor in Council orders a referendum, the order must

(a) state the question or questions that will be put to the electorate at the referendum,

(b) specify the date on which the referendum will be conducted, and

(c) designate the area of British Columbia within which the referendum will be held.

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

Application to Recall and Initiative Act

2  This Act does not apply to initiative votes under the Recall and Initiative Act.

Results of referendum to be announced

3  The Chief Electoral Officer must announce the results of a referendum in a manner that the Chief Electoral Officer considers will inform the electorate of that result.

Some referendums are binding on the government

4  If more than 50% of the validly cast ballots vote the same way on a question stated, that result is binding on the government that initiated the referendum.

Duty if referendum is binding

5  If the results of a referendum are binding, the government must, as soon as practicable, take steps, within the competence of the government, that the government considers necessary or advisable to implement the results of the referendum including any and all of the following:

(a) changing programs or policies, or introducing new programs or policies, that are administered by or through the executive government;

(b) introducing legislation in the Legislative Assembly during its first session after the results of such a referendum are known.

Regulations

6  (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) providing that specified provisions of the Election Act apply to and in relation to a referendum under this Act, and

(b) adapting any provisions of that Act with changes that the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers appropriate.

(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 a referendum under this Act is to be conducted.

Appropriation

7  Administrative costs of conducting a referendum under this Act may be paid out of the consolidated revenue fund.