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Referendum Act

40-41 Elizabeth II

Chapter 30

An Act to provide for referendums on the Constitution of Canada

[Assented to 23rd June, 1992]

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Short title

Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Referendum Act.



2. (1) In this Act,

"chief agent"
« agent principal »

"chief agent", in respect of a registered referendum committee, means the person recorded in the registry maintained under section 17 as the chief agent of that committee;

« contribution »

"contribution" means money, and the commercial value of goods and services, other than volunteer labour, provided by any person, group or government, whether as a contribution, gift, loan, advance, deposit or otherwise, to any other person or group to be used by that other person or group for the purposes of a referendum, but does not include

"electoral district"
« circonscription »

"electoral district", in respect of a referendum, means any place or territorial area that would be entitled, at a general election, to return a member to serve in the House of Commons if that House were dissolved on the day on which the proclamation is issued;

"federal party"
« parti fédéral »

"federal party" means any political party that has one or more elected members in the House of Commons on the day on which writs of referendum are issued;

« groupe »

"group" means any unincorporated trade union, trade association or other group of persons acting together by mutual consent for a common purpose, and includes a federal party and a provincial party;

« s’opposer »

"oppose", in respect of a referendum question, means to be in favour of voting "no" to the question;

"polling day"
« jour du scrutin »

"polling day", in respect of a referendum, means the day named in the writs of referendum on which the poll is to be held at the referendum;

« proclamation »

"proclamation" means a proclamation referred to in subsection 3(1);

"provincial party"
« parti provincial »

"provincial party" means any political party that has one or more elected members in a provincial legislature on the day on which writs of referendum are issued or, if the legislature is then dissolved, had one or more of those members immediately before dissolution;

« référendum »

"referendum" means a referendum held pursuant to a proclamation;

"referendum committee"
« comité référendaire »

"referendum committee" means any person who, or group that, intends to incur referendum expenses over five thousand dollars;

"referendum expenses"
« dépenses référendaires »

"referendum expenses" means

(all of which are in this definition referred to as the "cost") for the purpose of supporting or opposing, directly and during a referendum period, a referendum question and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes the following costs when incurred for that purpose:

but does not include any costs incurred by a member of the Senate or the House of Commons in the discharge of the member’s duties and paid out of any allowance or other amount provided to the member pursuant to the Parliament of Canada Act;

"referendum finances return"
« rapport financier référendaire »

"referendum finances return" means the return required by subsection 19(1) to be filed with the Chief Electoral Officer by the chief agent of a registered referendum committee and includes the bills, vouchers and receipts referred to in subsection 19(2);

"referendum period"
« période référendaire »

"referendum period" means the period beginning on the day on which the text of the referendum question is approved under section 5 and ending on polling day at the referendum;

"referendum question"
« question référendaire »

"referendum question" means a question directed to be put to electors by a proclamation;

"registered referendum committee"
« comité référendaire enregistré »

"registered referendum committee" means a referendum committee that is registered under section 13;

« favoriser »

"support", in respect of a referendum question, means to be in favour of voting "yes" to the question.

Words and expressions

(2) Unless a contrary intention appears, words and expressions used in this Act have the same meaning as in the Canada Elections Act.

Federal Referendum Legislation – Contents