Blog


Blog Index

Bill 89

Posted on 20th Dec 2015 04:25:52 in

Proposed legislation (from Bill89 2015 R.Hillier)

 

An Act to amend the Election Act with respect to the recall of members of the Legislative Assembly

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

   1.  The Election Act is amended by adding the following heading before section 1:

PART I
Definitions and Interpretation

   2.  The Act is amended by adding the following heading after section 2:

PART II
CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS

   3.  The Act is amended by adding the following Part:

Part III
recall OF MEMBERS

Definitions

Definitions

   118.  In this Part,

''chief financial officer'' means the chief financial officer of a registered campaign organizer who acts as such or is appointed as such under section 127; (''directeur des finances'')

''member'' means a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario; (''depute'')

''proponent'' means the registered voter to whom a recall petition is issued; (''promoteur'')

''recall campaign advertising'' means advertising designed for the purpose of promoting a particular result on a recall petition, but does not include genuine news reporting; (''publicite de campagne de revocation'')

''recall campaign contribution'' means a contribution to a campaign to promote a particular result on a recall petition, but does not include anything that would not be a contribution within the meaning of the Election Finances Act if it were made to a candidate as defined in that Act; (''contribution de campagne de revocation'')

''recall campaign expense'' means expenses incurred by or on behalf of a registered campaign organizer to promote a particular result on a recall petition, but does not include any expense that would not be a campaign expense within the meaning of the Election Finances Act if it were incurred by or on behalf of a candidate as defined in that Act; (''depense de campagne de revocation'')

''recall petition'' means a petition that the Chief Electoral Officer issues under section 120 for the recall of a member; (''petition en revocation'')

''recall petition period'' means the period starting on the day on which the Chief Electoral Officer issues a recall petition and ending on the earlier of,

  (a)  the 60th day after the day on which the Officer issued the petition, and

  (b)  the day on which the petition is returned to the Officer under clause 121 (1) (c); (''periode de signature d'une petition'')

''registered campaign organizer'' means a person or body registered as a campaign organizer under section 126; (''organisateur de campagne inscrit'')

''registered voter'' means a voter who is registered as an elector on the permanent register of electors under section 17.1 for an electoral district; (''votant inscrit'')

''regulations'' means the regulations made under section 130. (''reglements'')

Recall Petition

Application

   119.  (1)  A registered voter for an electoral district may apply to the Chief Electoral Officer for the issuance of a recall petition in relation to the member for the electoral district.

Contents of application

   (2)  The application for the issuance of a recall petition shall contain,

  (a)  the name and electoral district of the member;

  (b)  the name and residential address of the applicant and the person who has agreed in writing to act as the applicant's chief financial officer;

   (c)  a statement, not exceeding 250 words, setting out why, in the opinion of the applicant, the recall of the member is warranted;

  (d)  a declaration of the applicant that he or she is not disqualified under this Act from making the application; and

  (e)  all other information that is specified by the regulations.

Fee

   (3)  The application for the issuance of a recall petition shall be accompanied by the processing fee specified by the regulations.

Time for application

   (4)  No application for the issuance of a recall petition may be made,

  (a)  during the 12 months following the day of the election at which the member was last elected; or

  (b)  within 12 months before the day scheduled for the next general election following the day of the election at which the member was last elected.

Issuance of recall petition

   120.  (1)  If satisfied that the requirements of section 119 have been met, the Chief Electoral Officer shall issue the recall petition to the applicant in the form specified by the regulations and notify the member affected by the petition and the Speaker of the Assembly.

Inspection of petition

   (2)  Once a recall petition has been issued, the public may inspect it at the office of the Chief Electoral Officer during regular office hours.

No further petitions until determination

   (3)  Once a recall petition has issued for an electoral district, the Chief Electoral Officer shall not issue any other recall petition for the same district until the first petition has been the subject of a determination under section 124.

Return of recall petition

   121.  (1)  A recall petition is invalid unless,

  (a)  every page of the petition identifies the name and the electoral district of the member affected by the petition and the name of the proponent;

  (b)  it is signed by the number of persons who, on the day of the issuance of the petition, are registered voters for the electoral district of the member affected by the petition and who represent at least 20 per cent of the total number of voters who voted in the electoral district in the election at which the member was last elected; and

   (c)  it is returned to the Chief Electoral Officer within 60 days after the day on which it was issued.

Only one signature

   (2)  A person may sign any one recall petition only once.

Address and witness

   (3)  To be counted for the purpose of clause (1) (b), a signature on the recall petition shall be accompanied by the residential address of the person who signed and shall be witnessed by the person who canvassed for the signature.

Canvassers

   122.  (1)  No person, other than a canvasser registered under this section, may canvass for signatures on a recall petition.

Registration

   (2)  A registered voter for the electoral district in which the member affected by the recall petition has been elected may apply, by providing his or her name and residential address, to the Chief Electoral Officer to be registered as a canvasser at any time after the Officer has issued the petition.

Inducements prohibited

   (3)  A registered canvasser shall not solicit or accept any valuable consideration for canvassing for signatures on a recall petition and a person shall not directly or indirectly pay, give, lend or procure any inducement for a person to register as a canvasser for signatures on a recall petition.

Producing identification

   (4)  A registered canvasser shall carry the identification issued by the Chief Electoral Officer and produce it to any person who requests to see it.

Access to permanent register of electors

   (5)  The Chief Electoral Officer shall allow a registered canvasser to have access to the permanent register for electors for the electoral district, if the person provides a signed oath that he or she will protect and maintain the confidentiality of the register.

Restrictions

   (6)  A registered canvasser shall not,

  (a)  knowingly make any false or misleading statements about the recall petition or about the member affected by the petition; or

  (b)  use information obtained while canvassing for signatures for any purpose other than for canvassing for signatures on a recall petition.

No alteration

   (7)  A registered canvasser shall not alter the names and addresses provided by the persons who sign a recall petition, except that if the person signing has made an error, the canvasser may strike out a signature and address for the purpose of having the person sign the petition correctly.

Cancellation of petition

   123.  If, during the period after the Chief Electoral Officer issues the recall petition and before the Officer makes a determination under section 124 with respect to the petition, the member affected by the petition dies or resigns his or her seat or the Assembly is dissolved, the petition is cancelled.

Determination

   124.  (1)  Within 30 days of receiving a recall petition under clause 121 (1) (c), the Chief Electoral Officer shall determine, in accordance with subsection (2) and the regulations, if any, whether the petition meets the requirements of section 121 and whether the proponent has complied with sections 127 to 129.

Verification of signatures

   (2)  In determining whether the recall petition meets the requirements of section 121, the Chief Electoral Officer shall,

  (a)  verify that the persons who signed the petition meet the requirements of that section; and

  (b)  contact directly a random sample of the persons who signed the petition to verify that their signatures are valid.

Publication of determination

   (3)  The Chief Electoral Officer shall report the determination made to the proponent, the member and the Speaker of the Assembly and shall promptly publish a notice of it in The Ontario Gazette.

Recall of member

   (4)  If the Chief Electoral Officer determines that the recall petition meets the requirements of section 121 and that the proponent has complied with sections 127 to 129, the seat of the member becomes vacant on the day that the determination is published in The Ontario Gazette under subsection (3).

Campaign Financing

Application of Election Finances Act

   125.  (1)  Subject to subsections (4) and (5), sections 16, 17, 21 to 25, 28, 29, 31 and 32, subsection 33 (4) and sections 34, 34.1 and 35 of the Election Finances Act apply to registered campaign organizers, recall campaign contributions and recall campaign advertising.

Same, third party advertising

   (2)  Subject to subsections (4) and (5), sections 37.1 to 37.4 and 37.7 to 37.13 of the Election Finances Act apply to registered campaign organizers as if they were third parties within the meaning of that Act.

Same, auditors

   (3)  Subject to subsections (4) and (5), sections 40, 42 and 43 of the Election Finances Act apply to registered campaign organizers as if they were candidates registered under that Act.

Modifications

   (4)  The provisions of the Election Finances Act mentioned in subsections (1), (2) and (3) shall be read as if,

  (a)  references to a registered candidate were references to a registered campaign organizer;

  (b)  references to a campaign period, an election period or the period described in clause 37.9 (1) (a) of that Act were references to a recall petition period; and

   (c)  references to polling day were references to the day on which a recall petition is returned to the Chief Electoral Officer under clause 121 (1) (c).

Regulations

   (5)  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations amending or replacing subsections (1) to (4).

Registration of campaign organizers

   126.  (1)  No person or body shall organize a campaign to promote a particular result on a recall petition unless the person or body has registered with the Chief Electoral Officer as a campaign organizer.

Same, advertising

   (2)  No person or body shall engage in recall campaign advertising unless the person or body has registered with the Chief Electoral Officer as a campaign organizer.

Exceptions

   (3)  A person or body is not required to be registered as a campaign organizer if,

  (a)  the person or body does not spend more than $1,000 on a campaign to solicit votes or promote a particular result on a recall petition;

  (b)  the person or body does not combine their money with that of other persons or bodies who spend more than $1,000 on a campaign to solicit votes or promote a particular result on a recall petition; or

   (c)  the only involvement of the person or body in a recall petition consists of broadcasting or publishing, in the ordinary course of business, advertisements to solicit votes or promote a particular result on a recall petition.

Contents of application

   (4)  An application for registration as a campaign organizer shall contain the information specified by the regulations and shall be accompanied by the application fee specified by the regulations.

Chief financial officer

   (5)  No person or body shall apply for registration as a campaign organizer until the person or body has a chief financial officer in accordance with section 127.

Registration

   (6)  The Chief Electoral Officer shall register an applicant as a campaign organizer upon receipt of the application and fee required by subsection (4) unless the name of the applicant so closely resembles the name of another registered campaign organizer that the two are likely to be confused.

Register

   (7)  The Chief Electoral Officer shall maintain a register containing the names of all registered campaign organizers and the information set out in their respective applications for registration, together with all revisions that the Officer makes to the register.

Duty to notify

   (8)  A registered campaign organizer shall notify the Chief Electoral Officer within a reasonable time if there is any change to the information provided in the application for registration and the Officer shall revise the register accordingly.

Change of name

   (9)  If there is a change in the name of a registered campaign organizer, the Chief Electoral Officer shall not change the registered name of the campaign organizer or revise the register if the changed name would so closely resemble the name of another registered campaign organizer that the two are likely to be confused.

Chief financial officer

   127.  (1)  For the purposes of this Part, no registered campaign organizer shall accept any recall campaign contributions or incur any recall campaign expenses during a recall petition period unless,

  (a)  the organizer has an individual acting as chief financial officer as described in this section and has complied with subsection (5); or

  (b)  the organizer has appointed a chief financial officer in accordance with the Election Finances Act.

Qualifications

   (2)  A registered campaign organizer who is an individual may act as his or her own chief financial officer or may appoint another individual as chief financial officer.

Disqualification

   (3)  An individual is disqualified from acting as chief financial officer if the individual is,

  (a)  an election official or an individual who is otherwise a member of the staff of the Chief Electoral Officer;

  (b)  an individual who does not have full capacity to enter into contracts; or

   (c)  an individual who, at any time within the previous seven years, has been convicted of an offence under this Act or the Election Finances Act.

Appointment

   (4)  The appointment of a chief financial officer shall be made in writing and shall,

  (a)  include the name, mailing address and telephone number of the individual appointed and the effective date of the appointment; and

  (b)  be accompanied by,

           (i)  a signed consent of the individual appointed to act as chief financial officer, and

          (ii)  a signed statement of the individual appointed that he or she is not disqualified from acting as a chief financial officer.

Notice

   (5)  A registered campaign organizer that is required to have a chief financial officer shall deliver to the Chief Electoral Officer as soon as practicable,

  (a)  a statement as to whether or not the organizer is acting as his or her own chief financial officer;

  (b)  if the organizer is not acting as his or her own chief financial officer, a copy of the appointment and the consent and statement mentioned in clause (4) (b); and

   (c)  an address to which notices under this Act may be delivered to the chief financial officer or the organizer.

Change of financial officer

   (6)  If there is any change in who is the chief financial officer of a registered campaign organizer, the organizer shall, as soon as possible, notify the Chief Electoral Officer of the change by delivering a notice in accordance with subsection (5).

Recall campaign contributions

   128.  (1)  After a recall petition is issued, no person or body shall accept a recall campaign contribution unless the person or body is, or is acting on behalf of, a registered campaign organizer.

No political contribution tax credit

   (2)  For greater certainty, a recall campaign contribution is not an eligible contribution for the purposes of subdivision f of Division B of Part III or section 102 of the Taxation Act, 2007.

Limit on recall campaign contributions

   129.  (1)  No person or body shall contribute, in a recall petition period, more than $7,500, multiplied by the indexation factor determined under section 40.1 of the Election Finances Act, to any group of registered campaign organizers that promotes the same result on the petition.

Person's own funds

   (2)  If a person spends his or her own money on a campaign to promote a particular result on a recall petition, the money is deemed to be a recall campaign contribution.

Regulations

Regulations

   130.  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations,

  (a)  specifying anything in this Part that is described as being specified by the regulations or done in accordance with the regulations;

  (b)  specifying the qualifications required for registration as a campaign organizer.

Commencement

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

Short title

   5.  The short title of this Act is the Election Amendment Act (MPPs' Recall), 2015.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTE

The Bill amends the Election Act to provide a process by which a member of the Legislative Assembly may be recalled and a by-election held to fill the vacant seat.

An eligible voter in a member's electoral district can apply to the Chief Electoral Officer for the issuance of a recall petition. No application for the issuance of a recall petition may be made during the year following the member's election or one year before the next scheduled general election.

A proponent of a recall petition has 60 days to return the petition to the Chief Electoral Officer with the signatures of eligible voters in the electoral district who represent at least 20 per cent of the total number of voters who voted at the last election held in the district. In that case, the seat of the member in the Assembly becomes vacant. A by-election is then held to fill the vacancy. The recalled member is free to be a candidate at the by-election.