BILL 19

Video Lottery Scheme Referendum Act

Chapter Outline

Definitions 1

government - gouvernement

referendum - référendum

video lottery scheme - système de loterie vidéo

Referendum to be held 2

When result is binding 3

Obligation of government to act 4

Entitlement to vote 5

Where to vote 6

Adoption of provisions of the Municipal Elections Act 7

Additional personnel 8

Scrutiny of counting process 9

Forms 10

Offences 11

Regulations 12

Expiration 13

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

Definitions

1 In this Act

"government" does not include the Legislative Assembly; («gouvernement»)

"referendum" means a vote on a question as provided for in this Act; («référendum»)

"video lottery scheme" means a video lottery scheme as defined in New Brunswick Regulation 90-142 under the Lotteries Act. («système de loterie vidéo»)

Referendum to be held

2(1) A referendum shall be conducted throughout New Brunswick on May 14, 2001, respecting video lottery schemes.

2(2) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall prescribe by regulation the question that is to be put to the voters on the referendum.

When result is binding

3 For the purposes of section 4, where a simple majority of the voters cast votes for the same response on the question submitted to referendum, including a simple majority determined after a recount if one is necessary, the result on that question is binding on the government that initiated the referendum.

Obligation of government to act

4 The government that initiated the referendum shall take any steps within the competence of the government that it considers necessary or advisable to implement the binding result on the question submitted to referendum.

Entitlement to vote

5 A person is entitled to vote on the referendum if and only if the person would be entitled to vote for a councillor on a District Education Council under the Education Act.

Where to vote

6(1) A person who votes in the referendum shall vote at the polling station where he or she is to vote for a councillor on a District Education Council under the Education Act.

6(2) If an election is not required to be held for a councillor under the Education Act in a particular school district or subdistrict, voting on the referendum shall be conducted as though there were an election for a councillor.

Adoption of provisions of the Municipal Elections Act

7(1) Subject to subsections (2) to (12), the provisions of the Municipal Elections Act and the regulations under it, other than provisions inconsistent with this Act, are adopted for the purposes of this Act and apply with the necessary modifications to all aspects of the conduct of, voting on and determination and declaration of the result of the referendum and to any other matter in relation to the referendum under this Act.

7(2) Sections 3, 3.1 and 9, subsections 12.1(2), (3) and (5), paragraphs 15(2)(a) and (b), sections 17, 18 and 19, subsections 21(3), (4) and (5), sections 22.1, 23 and 31.2, subsection 38.3(2), section 38.4, paragraph 39.3(2)(a), subsections 40(3) and 42(1), (6) and (11) to (13), sections 44, 45 and 46 and subsections 48(2) and 53(10) of the Municipal Elections Act do not apply to the conduct of, voting on and determination and declaration of the result of the referendum or to any other matter in relation to the referendum under this Act.

7(3) Unless this Act or the context requires otherwise, references in provisions of the Municipal Elections Act or the regulations under it, as adopted under subsection (1)

(a) to "triennial election", shall be read as "referendum",

(b) to "election", shall be read as "referendum", and

(c) to "elections", shall be read as "referendums".

7(4) References to "plebiscite" in paragraphs 15(2)(c), 32(3)(e) and 39.3(2)(b), subsections 40(4) and 48(1), section 51 and subsections 55(3) and (4) of the Municipal Elections Act, as adopted under subsection (1), shall be read as "referendum".

7(5) Subsection 11(3) of the Municipal Elections Act, as adopted under subsection (1), shall be read as follows:

11(3) The Municipal Electoral Officer shall, within ten days of commencing preparation of the preliminary lists, mail to all persons on a preliminary list notice, in the form prescribed by regulation, advising all persons of the polling division and polling station at which they are listed as entitled to vote on the referendum.

7(6) Paragraph 20(1)(a) of the Municipal Elections Act, as adopted under subsection (1), shall be read as follows:

(a) the question submitted to referendum,

7(7) Paragraph 21(2)(b) of the Municipal Elections Act, as adopted under subsection (1), shall be read as follows:

(b) contain the question submitted to referendum, and

7(8) Subsection 37(5) of the Municipal Elections Act, as adopted under subsection (1), shall be read as follows:

37(5) The voter, on receiving the ballot paper, shall

(a) forthwith proceed into a voting compartment and there mark the ballot paper by making a cross, an "x" or a check mark, or such other mark as is sufficient to indicate the voter's intention to vote without disclosing his or her identity, with a pencil or pen within the small circular space on the ballot paper in which the natural colour of the paper appears opposite the response to the question submitted to referendum,

(b) fold the ballot paper,

(c) show the deputy returning officer the ballot paper in such a manner that the deputy returning officer may ascertain that the ballot paper is the one given to the voter, and

(d) deposit the ballot paper in the ballot box.

7(9) Subsections 40(2), (6), (8) and (9) of the Municipal Elections Act, as adopted under subsection (1), shall be read as follows:

40(2) The deputy returning officer shall, in counting the votes, reject all ballot papers

(a) that do not bear the facsimile signature of the Municipal Electoral Officer,

(b) that have not been marked with respect to the question submitted to referendum,

(c) that have been incorrectly marked with respect to the question submitted to referendum, or

(d) on which there is any mark or writing by which the voter could be identified.

40(6) A person appointed to scrutinize the counting of the votes on the referendum may object to a ballot paper.

40(8) After the votes are counted, the poll clerk shall enter on the form provided by the Municipal Electoral Officer, and the deputy returning officer shall sign, a written statement containing

(a) the number of votes cast for each response to the question submitted to referendum,

(b) the number of ballot papers deposited,

(c) the number of ballot papers rejected, and

(d) the number of voters appearing by the poll book to have voted.

40(9) Immediately after the votes have been counted, the deputy returning officer shall

(a) place in the ballot box

(i) the ballot papers,

(ii) one copy of the written statement required under subsection (8), and

(iii) all other documents used at the polling station, except the poll book and the written statement required under subsection (8), and

(b) seal the ballot box and deliver it and the written statement required under subsection (8) to the municipal returning officer with the poll book.

7(10) Section 41 of the Municipal Elections Act, as adopted under subsection (1), shall be read as follows:

41(1) Upon receiving from the deputy returning officers the written statements required under subsection (8), the municipal returning officer shall forthwith forward them to the Municipal Electoral Officer.

41(2) Having received the written statements, the Municipal Electoral Officer shall forthwith declare the result of the referendum.

41(3) If the Municipal Electoral Officer determines that there is a tie in the number of votes cast for the two responses to the question submitted to referendum, or that the difference between the number of votes cast for the two responses is less than one per cent of the total number of votes cast on the question

(a) the Municipal Electoral Officer shall advise the Chief Justice of The Court of Queen's Bench of the circumstances,

(b) the Chief Justice of The Court of Queen's Bench shall appoint a judge of The Court of Queen's Bench of New Brunswick to supervise a recount on the question, and shall appoint such other persons as the Chief Justice considers necessary to assist in recounting the votes, and

(c) for the purposes of the recount, subsections 42(2) to (5) and (7) to (10) apply.

41(4) The Municipal Electoral Officer shall forthwith, upon making the declaration referred to in subsection (2), publish a copy in The Royal Gazette.

7(11) Subsections 42(2) to (5) and (7) to (10) of the Municipal Elections Act, as adopted under subsection (1), shall be read as follows:

42(2) The judge of The Court of Queen's Bench of New Brunswick who is appointed to supervise a recount under subsection 41(3) shall fix a time and place for the recount and shall forthwith give notice of the time and place to the Municipal Electoral Officer, the other persons who are appointed to assist in recounting the votes under paragraph 41(3)(b) and such other persons as the judge considers necessary.

42(3) The Municipal Electoral Officer shall take the ballot papers and such other documents as the judge directs to the place where the recount is being held.

42(4) At the time and place fixed for the recount, the judge and the other persons who are appointed to assist in recounting the votes under paragraph 41(3)(b) shall recount the votes cast on the referendum, in accordance with subsections (5) to (10), in the presence of

(a) the Municipal Electoral Officer,

(b) those persons considered appropriate by the Municipal Electoral Officer,

(c) two persons who were entitled to vote in the referendum, who shall be appointed by the judge, and

(d) such other persons as the judge considers necessary.

42(5) The judge and the other persons who are appointed to assist in recounting the votes under paragraph 41(3)(b) shall examine singly, and in the presence of those attending, all ballot papers counted or rejected by the deputy returning officers, as the case may be, and, during the course of the examination, keep a count of the votes cast for each response to the question submitted to referendum and reject as void and not count all ballot papers referred to in subsection 40(2).

42(7) The judge shall take notice of any objection made by a person attending the recount in respect of a ballot paper and shall decide any question arising out of the objection, and the judge's decision is final.

42(8) When the ballot papers have been examined and counted in accordance with this section, the judge shall forthwith sum up and announce how the votes have been cast for each response to the question submitted to referendum, as is indicated by the recount, and declare the result of the referendum.

42(9) Where the judge determines in the recount that there is a tie in the number of votes cast for the two responses to the question submitted to referendum, the judge shall write the two responses separately on blank pieces of paper and after folding the pieces of paper in such a way that the words are concealed, deposit them in a receptacle and direct the Municipal Electoral Officer to withdraw one of the pieces of paper, and the response that appears on the withdrawn piece of paper shall be declared by the judge to have received the greatest number of votes.

42(10) The judge shall then make and transmit forthwith to the Municipal Electoral Officer a written statement of the result of the recount, showing

(a) the number of votes cast for each response to the question submitted to referendum, and

(b) the number of ballot papers rejected in the recount.

7(12) Subsection 55(2) of the Municipal Elections Act, as adopted under subsection (1), shall be read as follows:

55(2) Any person who, on the ordinary polling day or on the day immediately preceding it,

(a) broadcasts over any radio or television station,

(i) a speech,

(ii) any entertainment, or

(iii) any advertising program,

(b) publishes or causes to be published in any newspaper, magazine or similar publication,

(i) a speech, or

(ii) any advertising, or

(c) transmits, conveys or causes to be transmitted or conveyed by any means to telephones, computers, telecopier machines or any other device capable of receiving unsolicited communications,

(i) a speech,

(ii) any entertainment, or

(iii) any advertising,

in favour of or against any response to the question submitted to referendum commits an offence, but this section shall be deemed not to prohibit a bona fide news broadcast or news publication referring to or commenting upon a speech or containing any excerpts from a speech.

Additional personnel

8 The Municipal Electoral Officer may retain the services of such persons as are required to carry out the purposes of this Act.

Scrutiny of counting process

9(1) Each municipal returning officer shall, for the purposes of counting the votes on the referendum, appoint one or more persons who are entitled to vote in the referendum to scrutinize the counting process at each polling station.

9(2) The Municipal Electoral Officer may establish the duties of a person appointed under subsection (1).

9(3) A person appointed under subsection (1) shall be paid the amount fixed for casual employees by the scale of fees and expenses under the Municipal Elections Act.

Forms

10(1) Subject to subsection (2), for the purposes of this Act, the Municipal Electoral Officer may adopt, modify and combine any forms that may be made under any of the provisions of the Municipal Elections Act.

10(2) The ballot paper for the referendum shall not be combined with any other ballot paper.

Offences

11(1) In this section

"adopted provision" means a provision of the Municipal Elections Act that is adopted with the necessary modifications under section 7, or is adopted as modified under section 7, as the case may be. («disposition adoptée»)

11(2) A person who violates or fails to comply with an adopted provision that is listed in Column I of Schedule A of the Municipal Elections Act commits an offence under this Act.

11(3) For the purposes of Part II of the Provincial Offences Procedure Act, each offence referred to in subsection (2) is punishable as an offence of the category listed in Column II of Schedule A of the Municipal Elections Act beside the section number of the adopted provision to which the offence relates.

Regulations

12 The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) prescribing the question to be submitted to referendum;

(b) defining any word or expression used in but not defined in this Act for the purposes of this Act, the regulations or both;

(c) respecting any other matter considered necessary or advisable to carry out the spirit and intent of this Act.

Expiration

13(1) This Act expires on May 14, 2002, or on such earlier date as is established by Order in Council by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.

13(2) The Regulations Act does not apply to any Order in Council made under subsection (1).