Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick
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Electoral Boundaries and Representation Act

Legislature :
55
Session :
2
Bill No. :
72
Member :
Hon. Lord
First Reading :
2005-6-9
Second Reading :
2005-6-10
Committee of the Whole :
2005-6-30
Amended :
2005-6-30
Third Reading :
2005-6-30
Royal Assent :
2005-6-30
Download PDF :
Bill 72

Text of Bill :
Chapter Outline



PART 1

INTERPRETATION

Definitions......................................................................................................................................... 1

census — recensement

Chief Electoral Officer — directeur général des élections

Commission — commission

commissioner — commissaire

electoral quotient — quotient électoral

total population — population totale

PART 2

ESTABLISHMENT AND COMPOSITION OF COMMISSION

Establishment of Commission......................................................................................................... 2

Timing of establishment of Commission........................................................................................ 3

Appointment of Commissioners...................................................................................................... 4

Composition of Commission........................................................................................................... 5

Vacancy............................................................................................................................................... 6

Publication......................................................................................................................................... 7

Remuneration and expenses.............................................................................................................. 8

PART 3

MANDATE OF COMMISSION

Census information provided to Commission................................................................................ 9

Reports of Commission.................................................................................................................. 10

Electoral quotient............................................................................................................................ 11

Guiding principles........................................................................................................................... 12

Procedure......................................................................................................................................... 13

Assistance to Commission............................................................................................................. 14

Initial public hearings...................................................................................................................... 15

Preliminary report........................................................................................................................... 16

Copies of preliminary report.......................................................................................................... 17

Public hearings on preliminary report........................................................................................... 18

Final report....................................................................................................................................... 19

Objections to final report............................................................................................................... 20

PART 4

ADOPTION OF FINAL REPORT

Adoption of final report.................................................................................................................. 21

PART 5

CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS AND COMMENCEMENT

Consequential amendments............................................................................................................ 22

Commencement provision.............................................................................................................. 23





Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick, enacts as follows:



PART 1

INTERPRETATION

Definitions

1                           The following definitions apply in this Act.



"census" means a census of the population conducted under the Statistics Act (Canada). (recensement)



"Chief Electoral Officer" means the Chief Electoral Officer appointed under section 5 of the Elections Act. (directeur général des élections)



"Commission" means an Electoral Boundaries and Representation Commission established under section 2. (commission)



"commissioner" means a co-chairperson or a member appointed to a Commission under section 4. (commissaire)



"electoral quotient" means the electoral quotient established under section 11. (quotient électoral)



"total population" means the total population of New Brunswick determined by a census. (population totale)



PART 2

ESTABLISHMENT AND COMPOSITION OF COMMISSION

Establishment of Commission

2(1)                   The Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall establish an Electoral Boundaries and Representation Commission for the census taken in 2001 and for each decennial census taken after 2001.



2(2)                   A Commission shall consider and report on readjustments to the representation of the population of New Brunswick in the Legislative Assembly based on the census.



Timing of establishment of Commission

3(1)                   As soon as is practicable after the commencement of this Act and after each decennial census after 2001, the Chief Electoral Officer shall obtain from the Chief Statistician of Canada a copy of that part of the census showing the total population and its distribution.



3(2)                   The Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall establish a Commission within 30 days after receiving notice from the Chief Electoral Officer that he or she has obtained a copy of the census information referred to in subsection (1).



Appointment of Commissioners

4(1)                   The Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall appoint to a Commission the commissioners recommended by the Legislative Administration Committee of the Legislative Assembly.



4(2)                   When a Commission completes its mandate under this Act, the Commission is abolished and the appointments to the Commission are revoked.



Composition of Commission

5(1)                   A Commission shall be composed of the following persons:



(a)               2 co-chairpersons, one representing the English linguistic community and one representing the French linguistic community; and



(b)               3 to 5 members.



5(2)                   The following persons shall not be eligible to be appointed to a Commission:



(a)               a member of the Legislative Assembly;



(b)               a member of the House of Commons;



(c)               a member of the Senate; and



(d)               the Chief Electoral Officer.



5(3)                   The following persons shall not be eligible to be appointed as a chairperson:



(a)               a person who was a candidate in



(i)         any of the two provincial or federal general elections immediately preceding the establishment of the Commission, or



(ii)       a provincial or federal by-election during that period;



(b)               a person who was a member of the Legislative Assembly, the House of Commons or the Senate in any of the two Legislative Assemblies or Parliaments immediately preceding the current Legislative Assembly or Parliament; and



(c)               a person who was an official agent, chief agent or campaign manager of a candidate or political party in



(i)         any of the two provincial or federal general elections immediately preceding the establishment of the Commission, or



(ii)       a provincial or federal by-election during that period.



5(4)                   A person appointed to a Commission shall be a resident of the Province.



Vacancy

6(1)                   A Commission may continue to act under the authority of this Act notwithstanding that there is a vacancy in the membership of the Commission.



6(2)                   Within 30 days after a vacancy occurs on a Commission, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall fill the vacancy in accordance with section 4.



Publication

7                           The Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall, without delay, publish notice of the appointments to a Commission in The Royal Gazette.



Remuneration and expenses

8(1)                   A chairperson of a Commission shall be entitled to the following:



(a)               remuneration as established by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council; and



(b)               reimbursement for expenses that the chairperson incurs while acting on behalf of the Commission at a rate established by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.



8(2)                   A member of a Commission shall be entitled to the following:



(a)               remuneration as established by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council; and



(b)               reimbursement for expenses that the member incurs while acting on behalf of the Commission at a rate established by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.



PART 3

MANDATE OF COMMISSION

Census information provided to Commission

9                           Within 14 days after the establishment of a Commission under section 2, the Chief Electoral Officer shall provide the co-chairpersons with copies of the census information referred to in subsection 3(1).



Reports of Commission

10(1)               Upon receiving that part of the census referred to in section 9, a Commission shall prepare, in accordance with this Act, a preliminary report and a final report containing the recommendations of the Commission with respect to the electoral districts in the Province.



10(2)               The recommendations in a report under subsection (1) shall include the following:



(a)               the division of the Province into 55 electoral districts;



(b)               the boundary description of each electoral district; and



(c)               the name of each electoral district.



10(3)               The name of an electoral district shall be based upon geographic considerations.



10(4)               The preliminary report and the final report of a Commission shall be the report of the majority of the commissioners.



Electoral quotient

11                        A Commission shall establish the electoral quotient for the Province by dividing the total population by the total number of electoral districts.



Guiding principles

12(1)               Subject to subsections (2), (3) and (4), when dividing the Province into electoral districts, a Commission shall ensure that the population of each electoral district is as close as reasonably possible to the electoral quotient.



12(2)               A Commission may depart from the principle of voter parity as set out in subsection (1) in order to achieve effective representation of the electorate as guaranteed by section 3 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and based upon the following considerations:



(a)               communities of interest;



(b)               effective representation of the English and French linguistic communities;



(c)               municipal and other administrative boundaries;



(d)               the rate of population growth in a region;



(e)               effective representation of rural areas;



(f)                geographical features, including the following:



(i)         the accessibility of a region;



(ii)       the size of a region; and



(iii)    the shape of a region; and



(g)               any other considerations that the Commission considers appropriate.



12(3)               If a Commission is of the opinion that it is desirable to depart from the principle of voter parity under subsection (2) when establishing an electoral district, the population of the electoral district shall deviate by no greater than 10% from the electoral quotient.



12(4)               If a Commission is of the opinion that it is desirable to depart from the principle of voter parity under subsection (2) when establishing an electoral district, in extraordinary circumstances the population of the electoral district may be no more than 25% less than the electoral quotient.



Procedure

13                        A Commission may make rules to regulate its proceedings and conduct its business.



Assistance to Commission

14(1)               The Chief Electoral Officer shall make his or her staff available to a Commission to assist the Commission in performing its duties under this Act.



14(2)               A Commission may hire the employees and retain the services of the advisors necessary to perform its duties under this Act.



Initial public hearings

15(1)               Before preparing a preliminary report, a Commission shall hold public hearings throughout the Province at the times and places that the Commission considers appropriate in order to hear representations on the existing electoral districts and the establishment of new electoral districts.



15(2)               A Commission shall provide reasonable notice to the residents of the Province of the time, place and purpose of a public hearing under subsection (1).



Preliminary report

16(1)               A Commission shall prepare a preliminary report within 90 days after the establishment of the Commission under section 2.



16(2)               Without delay after completing a preliminary report, a Commission shall do the following:



(a)               file a copy of the preliminary report with the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly;



(b)               make the preliminary report public; and



(c)               provide notice to the residents of the Province of the times and places of public hearings to hear representations on the preliminary report, and the notice shall include the following:



(i)         a map indicating the boundaries of the proposed electoral districts recommended in the preliminary report; and



(ii)       such other information as the Commission considers appropriate.



Copies of preliminary report

17                        The Clerk of the Legislative Assembly shall forward a copy of the preliminary report of a Commission to each member of the Legislative Assembly.



Public hearings on preliminary report

18                        A Commission shall hold public hearings throughout the Province at the times and places that the Commission considers appropriate in order to hear representations on the recommendations contained in the preliminary report of the Commission.



Final report

19(1)               After the public hearings under section 18 are complete, a Commission shall prepare its final report after taking into consideration the representations made at the public hearings.



19(2)               A Commission shall prepare a final report within 90 days after filing a preliminary report under paragraph 16(2)(a).



19(3)               Without delay after completing a final report, a Commission shall do the following:



(a)               file a copy of the final report with the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly; and



(b)               make the final report public.



19(4)               The Clerk of the Legislative Assembly shall immediately forward a copy of the final report of a Commission to each member of the Legislative Assembly.



Objections to final report

20(1)               Within 14 days after the final report of a Commission is filed with the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly under paragraph 19(3)(a), a written objection to the report may be made to the Legislative Administration Committee of the Legislative Assembly stating the following:



(a)               the recommendation in the final report that is being objected to;



(b)               the reason for the objection; and



(c)               the manner in which it is proposed that the recommendation be amended.



20(2)               An objection under subsection (1) shall be in the form of a motion and shall be signed by at least 2 members of the Legislative Assembly.



20(3)               The Legislative Administration Committee shall do the following:



(a)               consider the objections submitted to it and the amendments proposed to the final report of a Commission; and



(b)               within 30 days after the expiration of the time period referred to in subsection (1), forward to a Commission a report that shall include the following information:



(i)         the Committee's recommendations respecting objections made under subsection (1);



(ii)       the minutes of the Committee's proceedings; and



(iii)    the evidence considered by the Committee.



20(4)               A Commission shall consider and dispose of the recommendations of the Legislative Administration Committee.



20(5)               Within 30 days after a Commission receives a report under paragraph (3)(b), the Commission's final report, with or without amendments in accordance with its disposition of the recommendations of the Legislative Administration Committee,



(a)               shall be filed with the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, and



(b)               shall be forwarded to the Chief Electoral Officer.



20(6)               If no objections are made under subsection (1), the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly shall immediately forward to the Chief Electoral Officer the final report of a Commission.



20(7)               The Clerk of the Legislative Assembly shall forward to each member of the Legislative Assembly a copy of the final report of a Commission under subsection (5) or (6).



PART 4

ADOPTION OF FINAL REPORT

Adoption of final report

21(1)               The Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall make a regulation prescribing the boundary description and name for each electoral district.



21(2)               A regulation under subsection (1) shall be made in accordance with the recommendations in the final report of a Commission forwarded to the Chief Electoral Officer under subsection 20(5) or (6).



21(3)               A regulation under subsection (1) shall come into force on the first dissolution of the Legislative Assembly after the final report of a Commission is forwarded to the Chief Electoral Officer under subsection 20(5) or (6).



21(4)               Subject to subsection (5), a regulation under subsection (1) shall not be amended except in accordance with the recommendations in the final report of a Commission forwarded to the Chief Electoral Officer under subsection 20(5) or (6).



21(5)               The following amendments may be made to a regulation under subsection (1):



(a)               on the recommendation of the Legislative Administration Committee of the Legislative Assembly, an amendment with respect to the name of an electoral district; and



(b)               an amendment to correct an error in the legal description of the boundary of an electoral district.



PART 5

CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS AND COMMENCEMENT

Consequential amendments

22(1)               Section 4 of the Elections Act, chapter E-3 of the Revised Statutes, 1973, is repealed and the following is substituted:



4                           The Province is divided into electoral districts as described in a regulation made under section 21 of the Electoral Boundaries and Representation Act, and each electoral district is entitled to return one member.



22(2)               Schedule A of the Act is repealed.



Commencement provision

23                        Section 22 of this Act comes into force on the date of the commencement of a regulation under subsection 21(1) of this Act.

 

Amendment :








Section 12


Subsection 4





Strike out subsection 12(4) and substitute the following:





12(4) Notwithstanding subsection (3), if a Commission is of the opinion that it is desirable to depart from the principle of voter parity under subsection (2) when establishing an electoral district, in extraordinary circumstances the population of the electoral district may be more than 10% less than the electoral quotient.







Section 5

Subsection 3





Strike out "as a chairperson" and substitute "to a Commission".







Section 20





Strike out section 20 and substitute the following:





20(1) Within 14 days after the final report of a Commission is filed with the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly under paragraph 19(3)(a), a written objection to the report may be submitted to the Commission stating the following:





(a) the recommendation in the final report that is being objected to;






(b) the reason for the objection; and





(c) the manner in which it is proposed that the recommendation be amended.





20(2) An objection under subsection (1) shall be signed by at least 2 members of the Legislative Assembly.





20(3) A Commission shall consider and dispose of the objections submitted under subsection(1).





20(4) Within 30 days after the expiration of the time period referred to in subsection (1), the Commission's final report, with or without amendments in accordance with its disposition of the objections submitted under subsection (1),





(a) shall be filed with the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, and





(b) shall be forwarded to the Chief Electoral Officer.





20(5) If no objections are submitted under subsection (1), the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly shall immediately forward to the Chief Electoral Officer the final report of a Commission.





20(6) The Clerk of the Legislative Assembly shall forward to each member of the Legislative Assembly a copy of the final report of a Commission under subsection (4) or (5).







Section 21


Subsection 2





Strike out "subsection 20(5) or (6)" and substitute "subsection 20(4) or (5)".







Section 21


Subsection 3





Strike out "subsection 20(5) or (6)" and substitute "subsection 20(4) or (5)".







Section 21


Subsection 4





Strike out "subsection 20(5) or (6)" and substitute "subsection 20(4) or (5)".










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