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This Act is current to November 1, 2017
See the Tables of Legislative Changes for this Act’s legislative history, including any changes not in force.

Treaty Commission Act

[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 461

Contents
1Definitions and interpretation
2Purpose
3Jointly established commission
4Commission not an agent
5Purpose, powers and duties of the commission
6Prior commissioners
7Appointment of commissioners
8Removal
9Reappointment
10Chief executive officer
11Terms and conditions of appointment
12Office in British Columbia
13Quorum
14Meetings and decisions of the commission
15Decisions of the Summit
16Protection of commission members
17Commissioners to be indemnified
18Commission personnel
19Pension
20Bylaws
21Annual budget
22Audit
23Annual report
24Agreement

Definitions and interpretation

1  (1) In this Act:

"agreement" means the British Columbia Treaty Commission Agreement executed among the Summit, Her Majesty in right of Canada and Her Majesty in right of British Columbia on September 21, 1992, and includes any amendments to it that may be made from time to time;

"commission" means the British Columbia Treaty Commission established as set out in section 3;

"first nation" means an aboriginal governing body, however organized and established by aboriginal people within their traditional territory in British Columbia, that has been mandated by its constituents to enter into treaty negotiations on their behalf with Her Majesty in right of Canada and Her Majesty in right of British Columbia;

"principals" means Her Majesty in right of Canada, Her Majesty in right of British Columbia and the Summit;

"Summit" means the body that is established to represent first nations in British Columbia that agree to participate in the process provided for in the agreement to facilitate the negotiation of treaties among first nations, Her Majesty in right of Canada and Her Majesty in right of British Columbia.

(2) For the purpose of the application of any enactment, "person" includes the commission.

Purpose

2  The purpose of this Act is to establish the British Columbia Treaty Commission, as undertaken in the agreement.

Jointly established commission

3  (1) There is established by the joint operation of this Act, of an Act of the Parliament of Canada and of a resolution of the Summit the British Columbia Treaty Commission consisting of the chief commissioner and not more than 4 other commissioners.

(2) For all purposes except the application to the commission of the Access to Information Act (Canada) and the Privacy Act (Canada), the commission must be treated as having been established under an Act of the Legislature of British Columbia.

Commission not an agent

4  The commission is not an agent of any of the principals.

Purpose, powers and duties of the commission

5  (1) The purpose of the commission is to facilitate, in British Columbia, the negotiation of treaties among one or more first nations, Her Majesty in right of Canada and Her Majesty in right of British Columbia.

(2) The commission has the power and capacity of a natural person, including the power to sue and be sued, to enter into contracts and to acquire, hold and dispose of property for its purpose.

(3) In furthering its purpose, the commission must

(a) assess the readiness of Her Majesty in right of Canada, Her Majesty in right of British Columbia and one or more first nations to begin negotiations, in accordance with the agreement,

(b) allocate funds that have been provided to enable first nations to participate in negotiations in accordance with criteria agreed to by the principals,

(c) encourage timely negotiations,

(d) if Her Majesty in right of Canada, Her Majesty in right of British Columbia and the first nations who are taking part in negotiations all agree, assist them in obtaining dispute resolution services,

(e) prepare and maintain a public record of the status of the negotiations, and

(f) perform any other duties that are consistent with the agreement and this Act.

Prior commissioners

6  (1) In this section, "prior commissioner" means any person who, at any time before March 1, 1996, was a commissioner under an appointment made by resolution of the Summit, an order of the Governor in Council or an order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council or jointly by the Summit, the Governor in Council and the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

(2) The prior commissioners in office on March 1, 1996 are confirmed and continue as commissioners on and after the date of the establishment of the commission as though they had been appointed under section 7 (1).

(3) The commission has all the rights, property and interests in existence on March 1, 1996 that were acquired by, and is responsible instead of any prior commissioner for all the debts, liabilities and obligations in existence on that date that were incurred by, a prior commissioner in the performance of that person's duties as a commissioner.

Appointment of commissioners

7  (1) One commissioner is to be appointed by order of the Governor in Council, one commissioner is to be appointed by order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, 2 commissioners are to be appointed by resolution of the Summit and the chief commissioner is to be appointed jointly by the Governor in Council, the Lieutenant Governor in Council and the Summit.

(2) The chief commissioner may be appointed for a term not exceeding 3 years, and the other commissioners each may be appointed for a term not exceeding 2 years.

Removal

8  (1) The chief commissioner holds office during pleasure and may be removed jointly by the Governor in Council, the Lieutenant Governor in Council and the Summit.

(2) A commissioner other than the chief commissioner holds office during pleasure and may be removed by the person or body that appointed him or her.

Reappointment

9  A commissioner or former commissioner may be reappointed.

Chief executive officer

10  (1) The chief commissioner is the chief executive officer of the commission and has supervision over and direction of the day to day operations of the commission.

(2) In the event of the absence or incapacity of the chief commissioner or if that office is vacant, the other commissioners may designate, by unanimous agreement, one of them to act as chief commissioner during the absence, incapacity or vacancy, and the designated commissioner has and may exercise all of the powers and perform all of the duties and functions of the chief commissioner.

Terms and conditions of appointment

11  After the principals have reached agreement, the remuneration and other terms and conditions of the appointment of the commissioners are to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council, order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council and resolution of the Summit.

Office in British Columbia

12  The office of the commission must be in British Columbia.

Quorum

13  (1) The chief commissioner, the commissioner appointed by the Governor General in Council, the commissioner appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council and one commissioner appointed by the Summit constitutes a quorum of the commission.

(2) For purposes of determining a quorum, an acting chief commissioner must be counted both as chief commissioner and as a commissioner appointed by the principal that appointed him or her.

Meetings and decisions of the commission

14  (1) The chief commissioner presides at meetings of the commission.

(2) Decisions of the commission must be made by agreement of at least one commissioner appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, the Governor in Council and the Summit, respectively.

Decisions of the Summit

15  Her Majesty in right of Canada and Her Majesty in right of British Columbia are entitled to rely on resolutions of the Summit that are certified in the manner specified by the Summit as proof of the decisions of the Summit that are set out in the resolutions as certified.

Protection of commission members

16  Her Majesty in right of British Columbia must not make any civil claim against the commission, any commissioner, or any employee of or person retained by the commission, for anything done, omitted, reported or said, in the course of the exercise or performance or purported exercise or performance of any power, duty or function under this Act, unless the claim arises from the wilful misconduct or gross negligence of the commissioner, employee or person retained.

Commissioners to be indemnified

17  Her Majesty in right of British Columbia indemnifies, in proportion to her funding obligations as set out in the agreement, the commissioners against all claims, damages or penalties that are made against or incurred by the commissioners in the exercise or performance of their powers, duties and functions under this Act, unless the claims, damages or penalties arise from the commissioners' wilful misconduct or gross negligence.

Commission personnel

18  (1) The commission may employ or retain the persons who are necessary to perform the duties and functions of the commission.

(2) The Public Service Act and the Public Service Labour Relations Act do not apply to the commission and its employees.

Pension

19  The Public Service Pension Plan, continued under the Public Sector Pension Plans Act, applies to the commission and to the employees of the commission.

Bylaws

20  The commission may make bylaws consistent with this Act and the agreement respecting the carrying out of the work of the commission, the management of its internal affairs and the duties of its officers and employees and of the persons retained by it.

Annual budget

21  The commission must submit its budget for each financial year to the principals for review and approval before the deadline set by the principals.

Audit

22  The accounts and financial transactions of the commission must be audited annually by a qualified independent auditor designated by the commission, and a report of the audit must be made to the commission.

Annual report

23  (1) As soon as possible, but in any case within 6 months, after the end of each of its financial years, the commission must submit to the principals a report of all activities under this Act for that financial year, including the financial statements and the auditor's report.

(2) The report submitted under subsection (1) must contain information with respect to the progress of negotiations facilitated by the commission and the other operations of the commission and any other matter that the commission considers appropriate.

(3) The minister must cause a copy of the report submitted under subsection (1) to be laid before the Legislative Assembly within the first 30 days that the House is sitting after the report is made.

Agreement

24  (1) Nothing in this Act must be interpreted as preventing the principals from amending the agreement.

(2) The commission must keep at its office a copy of the agreement and make a copy of it available at any time during usual business hours for inspection by any person.