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Application Approved for Initiative Petition to Amend the Police Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 11, 2013

VICTORIA – British Columbia’s Chief Electoral Officer, Keith Archer, has granted approval in principle on an initiative petition application. The petition will be issued to proponent Dana Larsen on Monday, September 9, 2013. The title of the initiative is: An initiative to amend the Police Act.

“This initiative petition application is the ninth to be approved since the legislation came into force in 1995”, says Archer.

Any registered voter can apply to have a petition issued to gather support for a legislative proposal. After the petition is issued, the proponent will have 90 days to canvass and collect signatures of at least 10% of the registered voters in each of British Columbia’s 85 electoral districts.

Individuals or organizations who intend to oppose the initiative, conduct initiative advertising, or canvass for signatures must be registered with Elections BC. The deadline for opponent application is Monday, August 12, 2013.

Registered voters as of September 9, 2013 may sign the petition once for the electoral district in which they are registered.

For more information on the initiative petition, visit the Elections BC website (elections.bc.ca).

Attachments: Backgrounder
Summary of legislative proposal
Summary of Initiative Petitions

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Contact:
Don Main
Communications Manager
Elections BC
Phone: 250-387-1709
Email: Don.Main@elections.bc.ca
Website: elections.bc.ca

Elections BC is a non-partisan Office of the Legislature responsible for the administration of the Election Act, Recall and Initiative Act, and conduct of referenda under the Referendum Act.

BACKGROUNDER
July 11, 2013

FACTS ABOUT INITIATIVE

The Recall and Initiative Act is administered by the Chief Electoral Officer. The Act allows registered voters in British Columbia to propose new laws or changes to existing laws.

Any registered voter can apply to have a petition issued to gather support for a legislative proposal by submitting an application to the Chief Electoral Officer. A completed application consists of a fully completed and signed application form, a copy of the draft Bill, and a non-refundable $50 processing fee. The draft Bill must be on a matter within the jurisdiction of the provincial legislature and must be written in a clear and unambiguous manner. Approval in principle of an application is officially granted at the time a Notice of Petition is published in the British Columbia Gazette.

Individuals and organizations may apply to be an opponent to an initiative petition within 30 days of approval in principle.

Sixty days after the notice is published in the Gazette, the Chief Electoral Officer issues an original petition signature sheet and cover sheet for each electoral district. An initiative petition must be signed and returned to the Chief Electoral Officer within 90 days from the date on which it is issued. Signatures may be gathered by volunteer canvassers.

The petition must be signed within the 90-day canvassing period by at least 10% of the registered voters in each of the electoral districts in the province, who were registered to vote on the date the petition was issued. The proponent must comply with the initiative financing provisions. If these requirements are met, the Chief Electoral Officer must send a copy of the verified petition and draft Bill to a Select Standing Committee on Legislative Initiatives.

The Select Standing Committee must meet within 30 days of receipt of the petition and draft Bill. From their first meeting, the Committee has 90 days to consider the legislative proposal and either table a report recommending introduction of the draft Bill, or refer the initiative to the Chief Electoral Officer for an initiative vote. Initiative votes are scheduled every three years. If required, the next initiative vote will be on September 27, 2014. Individuals and organizations may apply to be an opponent to an initiative vote within 30 days after the day on which notice of the vote is published in the Gazette.

For an initiative vote to be successful, the majority of registered voters in the province must vote in favour of the initiative and more than 50% of registered voters in at least two-thirds of the electoral districts in the province must vote in favour of the initiative. If successful, government must introduce the initiative Bill at the earliest practical opportunity.

Up to July 10, 2013, eight initiative applications received approval in principle since the Recall and Initiative Act was brought into force in February of 1995.

One initiative petition, the 2010 HST Initiative Petition, met the requirements and was sent with the draft Bill to the Select Standing Committee on Legislative Initiatives.

Initiative Petition Timeline

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Contact:
Don Main
Communications Manager
Elections BC
Phone: 250-387-1709
Email: Don.Main@elections.bc.ca
Website: elections.bc.ca

Elections BC is a non-partisan Office of the Legislature responsible for the administration of the Election Act, Recall and Initiative Act, and conduct of referenda under the Referendum Act.