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Revised Statutes of Newfoundland 1990
AN ACT RESPECTING AN ELECTORAL DISTRICTS BOUNDARIES COMMISSION TO REPORT UPON THE DELIMITATION OF THE PROVINCE INTO DISTRICTS FOR WHICH MEMBERS SHALL BE RETURNED TO THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
1. This Act may be cited as the Electoral Boundaries Act.
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2. In this Act
(a) "commission" means the Newfoundland Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission continued by section 3;
(b) "districts" mean districts for which members shall, by virtue of the House of Assembly Act, be returned to the House of Assembly;
(c) "member" means member of the House of Assembly; and
(d) "minister" means the Minister of Justice.
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3. (1) The Newfoundland Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission is continued.
(2) The commission shall consist of 4 members, composed of a chairperson and 3 other members.
(3) The chairperson of the commission shall be appointed by the Chief Justice of Newfoundland from among the judges of the Court of Appeal and the Trial Division, but where there is no judge able or free to act as chairperson, the Chief Justice shall appoint a chairperson from among those persons resident in the province whom he or she considers suitable.
(4) The Chief Justice of Newfoundland shall appoint the chairperson of the commission within 30 days after the receipt by him or her of a written request from the minister to make that appointment.
(5) The 3 members of the commission other than the chairperson shall be appointed by the speaker of the House of Assembly from among those persons resident in the province whom the speaker considers suitable.
(6) A reference in
(a) subsection (3) to the Chief Justice of Newfoundland includes a reference to a person temporarily performing the duties of the Chief Justice; and
(b) subsection (5) to the speaker of the House of Assembly includes a reference to a person temporarily performing the duties of the speaker.
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4. (1) The commission may appoint 1 of its members as deputy chairperson who shall, in the event of the absence or incapacity of the chairperson or where the office of chairperson is vacant, act as chairperson.
(2) At all meetings of the commission, 2 members of the commission constitute a quorum, and where, at a meeting of the commission, there is an equality of votes, the chairperson or person acting as chairperson has a deciding vote.
(3) A vacancy in the membership of the commission or in the office of chairperson does not impair the right of the remaining members to act, but where a vacancy occurs it shall be filled by appointment in the manner provided in section 3.
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5. A person is not eligible to be a member of the commission while he or she is a member of the House of Assembly or a member of the Senate or House of Commons of Canada.
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Time of appointment to commission
6. (1) Appointments of members of the commission shall be made as expeditiously as possible so as to enable the duties of the commission under this Act to continue to be performed as speedily as possible.
(2) The appointments of members of the commission shall, immediately upon the completion of the commission's duties under sections 13 and 14 or at a later date, should the Lieutenant-Governor in Council direct by order, lapse and necessary appointments shall then be made to the commission in sufficient time to permit its carrying out its duties under this Act.
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Notice of appointments to be published
7. The minister shall immediately publish notice of appointments to the commission made under this Act in the Gazette.
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8. The commission shall be responsible to the minister.
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Remuneration of commission
9. Subject to section 57 and the other provisions of the Judges Act (Canada), the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may authorize the payment of remuneration and expenses to the members of the commission.
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10. (1) Subject to the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, the commission may establish posts for and appoint officers and technical and professional and other employees as it considers necessary, and fix their remuneration and expenses and terms of service and prescribe their duties and functions.
(2) Subject to the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, the commission may temporarily employ technical and professional and other employees as it considers necessary and, with the like approval, fix the remuneration of and prescribe the expenses that may be incurred by those assistants in carrying out their official duties.
(3) A person employed in the administration of this Act shall preserve secrecy with respect to all matters that come to his or her knowledge in the course of his or her employment and shall not communicate any of those matters to another person except
(a) for purposes of the administration of this Act; or
(b) in the other circumstances that the commission may prescribe.
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Status of commission and its staff
11. A member of the commission or a person employed by the commission does not become, by reason of that employment only, an officer of the Crown.
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12. Payments required to be made by the Crown in carrying out the provisions of this Act shall be paid by the Minister of Finance, on the request of the minister, out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the province.
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Redistribution and population quotient
13. (1) In the calendar year 1993, and in each 10th calendar year following, the commission shall, as soon as is convenient after March 31 in each year
(a) divide the province into 52 proposed 1-member districts, retaining where advisable the names of districts existing prior to the division; and
(b) establish a quotient for each proposed district in the province by dividing the total population of the province by 52.
(2) For the purposes of establishing the quotient under subsection (1), the population of the province shall be taken as in the latest census figures available under the Statistics Act (Canada) on March 31 of the calendar year in which the quotient is being established, irrespective of when those census figures were actually taken.
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14. (1) In the calendar year 1993, and in each 10th calendar year following, the commission shall prepare a report to the minister setting out its recommendations concerning
(a) the division of the province into 52 1-member districts;
(b) the description of the boundaries of each district; and
(c) the name to be given to each district.
(2) Before the end of the calendar year 1993, and before the end of each 10th calendar year following, the commission shall submit the report referred to in subsection (1) to the minister, who shall
(a) submit a copy immediately to the Lieutenant-Governor in Council; and
(b) lay a copy before the Legislature within 15 days after the report is submitted to the Lieutenant-Governor in Council if the Legislature is then sitting, and, if it is not, then within 15 days after the beginning of the next session.
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Rules for guidance of commission
15. In preparing a report under section 14,
(a) the commission shall ensure that the division of the province into districts and the description of the boundaries shall proceed on the basis that the population of each district in the province as a result shall correspond as nearly as may be to the quotient established under section 13;
(b) with respect to Labrador, the commission
(i) shall proceed to make its report, subject to Labrador being entitled to at least 4 districts, all of which are to be completely in Labrador, and
(ii) shall take into account special geographic considerations and the community of interests of the residents of Labrador, or a part of Labrador;
(c) the commission may depart from the strict application of paragraph (a) in a case where
(i) special geographic considerations, including in particular the sparsity, density or relative rate of growth of population of a region of the province, the accessibility of a region or its size or shape, appear to the commission to make a departure necessary or desirable, or
(ii) a special community or diversity of interests of the inhabitants of a region of the province appears to the commission to make a departure necessary or desirable, but in no case, except as may be necessary to give effect to paragraph (b), shall the population of a district in the province as a result depart from the quotient established under section 13 to a greater extent than 25% more or 25% less.
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Powers of commission
16. In the performance of its duties under this Act the commission, and each member of the commission, is vested with all the powers that are or may be conferred on a commissioner under the Public Inquiries Act and the commission is considered to be an "investigating body" for the purposes of the Public Investigations Evidence Act.
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17. All departments of the government of the province shall make available their services and facilities to the commission for the purpose of enabling the commission to discharge its duties under this Act.
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Rules of procedure
18. The commission may make rules for regulating its proceedings and for the conduct of its business.
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19. (1) The commission may, in the performance of its duties under this Act, sit at the times and places in the province that it considers necessary, except that before completing its report under section 14 it shall hold at least 1 sitting in the island portion of the province and at least 1 sitting in Labrador for the hearing of representations by interested persons.
(2) Reasonable notice of the time and place fixed by the commission for sittings to be held by it for the hearing of representations from interested persons shall be given by advertisement published in the Gazette and in at least 1 newspaper of general circulation in the province, but the notice shall be given at least 30 days before the commencement of sittings.
(3) With respect to the mandatory sittings in the island portion of the province and in Labrador referred to in subsection (1), there shall be included in the advertisement referred to in subsection (2) a map or drawing prepared by the commission showing the proposed division of the province into districts and indicating the name proposed to be given to each district, together with a schedule setting out the proposed boundaries of each district, which map or drawing and schedule shall be in a form and contain the detail that, in the opinion of the commission, will be reasonably sufficient for the purposes for which those sittings are to be held.
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Implementation of report
20. Where the House of Assembly, by resolution,
(a) approves; or
(b) approves with alterations
the recommendations of the commission contained in the copy of the report laid before the Legislature under subsection 14(2), the government shall, as soon after that resolution as is convenient, introduce a bill to implement that resolution.
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