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Explanatory Note

CHAPTER 35

An Act to amend
the Election Act,
the Election Finances Act and
the Legislative Assembly Act,
to repeal the Representation Act, 1996
and to enact the
Representation Act, 2005

Assented to December 15, 2005

Note: This Act amends or repeals more than one Act. For the legislative history of these Acts, see Public Statutes – Detailed Legislative History on www.e-Laws.gov.on.ca.

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

Election Act

1.  (1)  The definition of “electoral district” in section 1 of the Election Act is amended by striking out “Representation Act, 1996” and substituting “Representation Act, 2005”.

(2)  Sections 7.1 and 7.2 of the Act are repealed and the following substituted:

New Electoral Districts

Appointment of returning officers for new electoral districts

7.1  (1)  During the transitional period described in subsection (2), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may appoint returning officers under subsection 7 (1) for the electoral districts established by subsection 2 (1) of the Representation Act, 2005 as well as for the existing electoral districts referred to in subsection 2 (5) of that Act.

Same

(2)  The transitional period begins on the date of Royal Assent and ends on the day of the first dissolution of the Legislature that follows the date of Royal Assent.

Same

(3)  Any appointments of returning officers for the existing electoral districts that are still in effect expire on the last day of the transitional period.

Definition

(4)  In this section,

“date of Royal Assent” means the day the Election Statute Law Amendment Act, 2005 receives Royal Assent.

(3)  Section 9 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Four-Year Terms

General elections at four-year intervals

Powers of Lieutenant Governor

9.  (1)  Nothing in this section affects the powers of the Lieutenant Governor, including the power to dissolve the Legislature, by proclamation in Her Majesty’s name, when the Lieutenant Governor sees fit.

First Thursday in October

(2)  Subject to the powers of the Lieutenant Governor referred to in subsection (1),

(a) a general election shall be held on Thursday, October 4, 2007, unless a general election has been held, after the day on which the Election Statute Law Amendment Act, 2005 receives Royal Assent and before October 4, 2007, because of a dissolution of the Legislature; and

(b) thereafter, general elections shall be held on the first Thursday in October in the fourth calendar year following polling day in the most recent general election.

Dates for Writs, Close of Nominations and Polling Day

Dates for writs, close of nominations and polling day

Application to all elections

9.1  (1)  This section applies to all elections.

Powers of Lieutenant Governor in Council

(2)  When an election is to be held, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may,

(a) order that the writ or writs for the election be issued; and

(b) appoint and proclaim a day,

(i) for the close of nominations and the grant of a poll where required, and

(ii) as polling day.

Date of writ

(3)  A writ for an election shall be dated on a Wednesday.

Day for close of nominations and grant of poll

(4)  The day for the close of nominations and the grant of a poll where required shall be,

(a) in the case of a general election under subsection 9 (2), the second Thursday after the date of the writ;

(b) in any other case, the third Thursday after the date of the writ.

Polling day

(5)  Polling day shall be the fifth Thursday after the date of the writ.

Alternate day

(6)  If the Chief Election Officer is of the opinion that a Thursday that would otherwise be polling day is not suitable for that purpose because it is a day of cultural or religious significance, the Chief Election Officer shall choose another day in accordance with subsection (7) and recommend to the Lieutenant Governor in Council that polling day should be that other day, and the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make an order to that effect.

Same

(7)  The alternate day shall be one of the seven days following the Thursday that would otherwise be polling day.

Regular general election, time for order

(8)  In the case of a general election under subsection 9 (2), an order under subsection (6) shall not be made after August 1 in the year in which the general election is to be held.

Election Finances Act

2.  (1)  Subsection 2 (1) of the Election Finances Act is amended by adding the following clause:

(j.2) publish, on a website on the Internet, the reports filed under section 34.1 or the information contained in those reports;

(2)  Subsection 2 (2) of the Act is amended by striking out “under subclause (1) (l) (ii)” and substituting “under clause (1) (j.2) or subclause (1) (l) (ii)”.

(3)  Subsection 2 (3) of the Act is amended by striking out “under subclause (1) (l)” and substituting “under clause (1) (j.2) or (l)”.

(4)  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Disclosure of contributions

Application, amounts over $100

34.1  (1)  Subsection (2) applies in respect of a single contribution in excess of $100 and contributions from a single source that in the aggregate exceed $100.

Disclosure

(2)  A contribution shall be disclosed in accordance with subsection (3) if it is accepted,

(a) on behalf of a registered political party,

(i) in any year, excluding any campaign period all or part of which falls in that year, or

(ii) in any campaign period; or

(b) on behalf of a registered leadership contestant, in the leadership contest period.

Report to Chief Election Officer

(3)  Within 10 days after the contribution is deposited in accordance with subsection 16 (3), the chief financial officer of the political party or leadership contestant shall file with the Chief Election Officer a report about the contribution.

Publication on website

(4)  Within 10 days after the report is filed, the Chief Election Officer shall ensure that the report or the information it contains is published on a website on the Internet in accordance with clause 2 (1) (j.2).

Counting days

(5)  For the purposes of subsections (3) and (4), Saturdays, Sundays and days that are public holidays as defined in the Employment Standards Act, 2000 shall not be counted.

Separate treatment

(6)  Contributions to which subclause (2) (a) (i) applies shall be dealt with separately from those to which subclause (2) (a) (ii) applies.

Contributions deposited on and after January 1, 2004 included

(7)  This section applies to contributions that are deposited in accordance with subsection 16 (3) on or after January 1, 2004.

Transition

(8)  In the case of a contribution that is deposited in accordance with subsection 16 (3) before the effective date,

(a) subsections (3) and (4) do not apply;

(b) within 60 days after the effective date, the chief financial officer of the political party or leadership contestant shall file a report about the contribution with the Chief Election Officer, unless the contribution has already been included in a financial statement filed under section 41 or 42; and

(c) within 30 days after the report is filed under clause (b), the Chief Election Officer shall ensure that the report or the information it contains is published on a website on the Internet in accordance with clause 2 (1) (j.2).

Definition

(9)  In this section,

“effective date” means the day on which subsection 2 (4) of the Election Statute Law Amendment Act, 2005 comes into force.

(5)  Subsections 38 (3.3), (3.4), (3.5) and (3.6) of the Act are repealed and the following substituted:

Increase for candidates in certain northern electoral districts

(3.3)  The amount determined under subsection (3) shall be increased by the applicable amount in relation to candidates in the following electoral districts:

1. Algoma-Manitoulin.

2. Kenora-Rainy River.

3. Nickel Belt.

4. Thunder Bay-Atikokan.

5. Thunder Bay-Nipigon.

6. Timiskaming-Cochrane.

7. Timmins-James Bay.

Applicable amount

(3.4)  For the purpose of subsection (3.3), the applicable amount is $7,000, multiplied by the indexation factor determined under section 40.1 and rounded to the nearest dollar.

(6)  Clause 43 (2) (a) of the Act is amended by striking out “38 (2)” and substituting “38 (3)”.

(7)  Section 44.1 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

New constituency associations due to readjustment

Definitions

44.1  (1)  In this section and in section 44.2,

“effective date” means the date on which the Representation Act, 2005 comes into force; (“date de prise d’effet”)

“new”, when used in connection with electoral districts or constituency associations, refers to the electoral districts described in subsection 2 (1) of the Representation Act, 2005 and to their constituency associations; (“nouvelles”)

“old”, when used in connection with electoral districts or constituency associations, refers to the electoral districts described in subsection 2 (5) of the Representation Act, 2005 and to their constituency associations. (“anciennes”)

Registration of new constituency associations

(2)  After the effective date, the Chief Election Officer shall register new constituency associations in the register mentioned in subsection 11 (2).

Formal requirements of application

(3)  The Chief Election Officer shall register a new constituency association only if its application complies with subsection 11 (2) and is accompanied by a document, in a form prescribed by the Chief Election Officer, indicating the approval of the registered political party concerned.

Automatic dissolution of old associations

(4)  Except for the purposes of this section, every old constituency association is dissolved on,

(a) December 31, 2006; or

(b) the day the Legislature is dissolved, if it is dissolved on a day that falls before December 31, 2006.

Earlier dissolution at party’s request

(5)  The Chief Election Officer shall, if the registered political party concerned so requests in writing, make an order dissolving an old constituency association as of a specified date before December 31, 2006.

Assets and liabilities

(6)  Every old constituency association shall transfer its assets and liabilities to one or more new registered constituency associations, to the registered political party concerned or to both, subject to any written direction by the registered political party concerned,

(a) in the case of dissolution under clause (4) (a) or under subsection (5), before it is dissolved;

(b) in the case of dissolution under clause (4) (b), within 10 days after being dissolved.

Filing of direction

(7)  A direction referred to in subsection (6) shall be filed with the Chief Election Officer.

Authority to act on party’s behalf

(8)  Each registered political party shall provide the Chief Election Officer with a document identifying the person or persons who have authority to perform the functions referred to in subsections (3), (5) and (6).

Report

(9)  Within 90 days after being dissolved, every old constituency association shall file with the Chief Election Officer a statement setting out the assets and liabilities it still held, if any,

(a) on the day it was dissolved, in the case of dissolution under clause (4) (a) or under subsection (5);

(b) on the 11th day after being dissolved, in the case of dissolution under clause (4) (b).

Deemed transfer to party

(10)  Any assets and liabilities that an old constituency association still held on the day referred to in clause (9) (a) or (b), as the case may be, are deemed to have been transferred to the registered political party on that day; the party may then transfer them to its new constituency associations as it sees fit.

Combining filings

(11)  The Chief Election Officer may allow an old constituency association to combine any reports and statements required to be filed under this Act with the previous calendar year’s reports and statements.

Postponing filings

(12)  The Chief Election Officer may allow a new constituency association to postpone the filing of any reports and statements required under this Act until the end of the following calendar year.

(8)  Section 44.2 of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

By-election during transition period

44.2  (1)  If a writ is issued for an election in an old electoral district after a registered constituency association has been dissolved under section 44.1, but before the first dissolution of the Legislature that occurs after the effective date, the registered political party concerned may,

(a) establish a provisional constituency association for the old electoral district;

(b) designate a new constituency association to act in the place of the old constituency association; or

(c) conduct the electoral campaign directly without interposing a provisional or designated constituency association.

Application of Act

(2)  With respect to the campaign period, this Act applies to the provisional constituency association, designated constituency association or registered political party, as the case may be, as if it were a registered constituency association for the electoral district.

Same, campaign expenses

(3)  Without limiting the generality of subsection (2), a registered political party that conducts an electoral campaign directly is entitled to incur campaign expenses under subsection 38 (2), to the same extent as a constituency association, in addition to its expenses under subsection 38 (1).

(9)  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Failure to deposit contribution, file report

46.1  If the chief financial officer of a party or leadership contestant registered under this Act knowingly contravenes subsection 34.1 (3),

(a) the chief financial officer is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $5,000; and

(b) the party or leadership contestant is also guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than double the amount of the contribution with respect to which no report was filed.

Legislative Assembly Act

3.  (1)  Section 1 of the Legislative Assembly Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Composition of Assembly

1.  The Assembly is composed of the number of members that is determined under the Representation Act, 2005.

(2)  Section 3 of the Act is repealed.

(3)  Subsection 9 (2) of the Act is amended by striking out “section 82” and substituting “section 83”.

(4)  The Act is amended by striking out “Ontario Court (General Division)” wherever it appears in the following provisions and substituting in each case “Superior Court of Justice”:

1. Subsection 17 (3).

2. Section 22.

3. Section 45.

4. Section 58.

5. Paragraph 6 of subsection 99 (11).

(5)  The Act is amended by striking out “Treasurer of Ontario” wherever it appears in the following provisions and substituting in each case “Minister of Finance”:

1. Section 54.

2. Section 81.

3. Subsections 82 (1) and (2).

4. Subsection 84 (2).

Representation Act, 2005

Representation Act, 2005

4.  (1)  The Representation Act, 2005, as set out in Schedule 1, is hereby enacted.

Repeal

(2)  The Representation Act, 1996 is repealed.

Commencement and Short Title

Commencement

5.  This Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.

Short title

6.  The short title of this Act is the Election Statute Law Amendment Act, 2005.

SCHEDULE 1
REPRESENTATION ACT, 2005

Definition

1.  In this Act,

“federal electoral districts” means the federal electoral districts that were established under the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act (Canada) and were in effect on September 1, 2004.

Redistribution

2.  (1)  For the purpose of representation in the Legislative Assembly, Ontario is divided into the following electoral districts:

1. The 11 northern electoral districts listed in section 4, with the same boundaries as were in effect on October 2, 2003, subject to subsection (2).

2. In the part of Ontario that lies outside the 11 northern electoral districts, 96 southern electoral districts whose names and boundaries are identical to those of the corresponding federal electoral districts, subject to subsection (3).

Boundary adjustment

(2)  In accordance with the process by which the federal electoral districts were established, the Municipality of Algonquin Highlands forms part of the southern electoral district of Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock rather than part of the northern electoral district of Parry Sound-Muskoka.

Name changes

(3)  For the purposes of paragraph 2 of subsection (1), the following rules apply with respect to the names of southern electoral districts:

1. If, as the result of a redistribution under the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act (Canada) that takes place after September 1, 2004, a new federal electoral district is established with the same boundaries as one of the 96 southern electoral districts, that southern electoral district is renamed so as to have the same name as the new federal electoral district.

2. If a federal electoral district with the same boundaries as one of the 96 southern electoral districts is renamed by an Act of Parliament that comes into force after September 1, 2004, that southern electoral district is renamed so as to have the same name as the federal electoral district.

3. A name change under paragraph 1 or 2 takes effect on the same day as the establishment or renaming of the federal electoral district, unless the establishment or renaming takes effect during the period that begins on the day after the day a writ is issued for a general election or for a by-election in the southern electoral district and ends on polling day, in which case the change of name is postponed to the day after polling day.

Effective date

(4)  The redistribution described in subsection (1) takes effect immediately after the first dissolution of the Legislature that follows the day on which the Election Statute Law Amendment Act, 2005 receives Royal Assent.

Existing electoral districts maintained until effective date

(5)  Until the redistribution described in subsection (1) takes effect, Ontario is divided into 103 electoral districts with the names and boundaries that were in effect on October 2, 2003.

One member per district

3.  One member shall be returned to the Assembly for each electoral district.

11 northern electoral districts

4.  The 11 northern electoral districts referred to in paragraph 1 of subsection 2 (1) are:

1. Algoma-Manitoulin.

2. Kenora-Rainy River.

3. Nickel Belt.

4. Nipissing.

5. Parry Sound-Muskoka.

6. Sault Ste. Marie.

7. Sudbury.

8. Thunder Bay-Atikokan.

9. Thunder Bay-Superior North.

10. Timiskaming-Cochrane.

11. Timmins-James Bay.

Commencement

5.  This Schedule comes into force on the day the Election Statute Law Amendment Act, 2005 receives Royal Assent.

Short title

6.  The short title of the Act set out in this Schedule is the Representation Act, 2005.

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Explanatory Note

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