Fair Representation Act, 2011

[ Extracts of An Act to amend the Constitution Act, 1867, the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act and the Canada Elections Act ]

S.C. 2011, c. 26

[Assented to 2011-12-16.]

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

SHORT TITLE

1. This Act may be cited as the Fair Representation Act.

CONSTITUTION ACT, 1867

2. Subsection 51(1) of the Constitution Act, 1867 is replaced by the following:

51. (1) The number of members of the House of Commons and the representation of the provinces therein shall, on the completion of each decennial census, be readjusted by such authority, in such manner, and from such time as the Parliament of Canada provides from time to time, subject and according to the following rules:

1. There shall be assigned to each of the provinces a number of members equal to the number obtained by dividing the population of the province by the electoral quotient and rounding up any fractional remainder to one.

2. If the number of members assigned to a province by the application of rule 1 and section 51A is less than the total number assigned to that province on the date of the coming into force of the Constitution Act, 1985 (Representation), there shall be added to the number of members so assigned such number of members as will result in the province having the same number of members as were assigned on that date.

3. After the application of rules 1 and 2 and section 51A, there shall, in respect of each province that meets the condition set out in rule 4, be added, if necessary, a number of members such that, on the completion of the readjustment, the number obtained by dividing the number of members assigned to that province by the total number of members assigned to all the provinces is as close as possible to, without being below, the number obtained by dividing the population of that province by the total population of all the provinces.

4. Rule 3 applies to a province if, on the completion of the preceding readjustment, the number obtained by dividing the number of members assigned to that province by the total number of members assigned to all the provinces was equal to or greater than the number obtained by dividing the population of that province by the total population of all the provinces, the population of each province being its population as at July 1 of the year of the decennial census that preceded that readjustment according to the estimates prepared for the purpose of that readjustment.

5. Unless the context indicates otherwise, in these rules, the population of a province is the estimate of its population as at July 1 of the year of the most recent decennial census.

6. In these rules, "electoral quotient" means

(a) 111,166, in relation to the readjustment following the completion of the 2011 decennial census, and

(b) in relation to the readjustment following the completion of any subsequent decennial census, the number obtained by multiplying the electoral quotient that was applied in the preceding readjustment by the number that is the average of the numbers obtained by dividing the population of each province by the population of the province as at July 1 of the year of the preceding decennial census according to the estimates prepared for the purpose of the preceding readjustment, and rounding up any fractional remainder of that multiplication to one.

(1.1) For the purpose of the rules in subsection (1), there is required to be prepared an estimate of the population of Canada and of each province as at July 1, 2001 and July 1, 2011 - and, in each year following the 2011 decennial census in which a decennial census is taken, as at July 1 of that year - by such authority, in such manner, and from such time as the Parliament of Canada provides from time to time.

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TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

14. (1) In this section and sections 15 to 22, "the Act" means the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act.

(2) Words and expressions used in sections 15 to 22 have the same meaning as in the Act.

15. For the purpose of the readjustment following the 2011 decennial census, the population estimates as at July 1, 2001 prepared under section 12.1 of the Act, as enacted by section 4, are deemed, for the purpose of the application of rule 4 in subsection 51(1) of the Constitution Act, 1867, as enacted by section 2, and the sending of estimates referred to in that section 12.1, to have been prepared for the purpose of the readjustment following the 2001 decennial census.

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17. Sections 18 to 22 apply only in respect of the readjustment of the representation of the provinces in the House of Commons that is required to be made on the completion of the 2011 decennial census and only if

(a) this Act comes into force on or after the day on which the Chief Statistician sends to the Chief Electoral Officer the return, in respect of that census, that is referred to in subsection 13(1) of the Act; and

(b) a representation order has not been proclaimed in the period beginning on the day on which that return is sent and ending on the day on which this Act comes into force.

18. The Chief Statistician shall comply with section 12.1 of the Act, as enacted by section 4, as soon as feasible after the coming into force of this Act.

19. If this Act comes into force before the day on which a statement referred to in subsection 14(1) of the Act is published in the Canada Gazette in respect of the 2011 decennial census,

(a) the amendments made by sections 2 and 6 apply for the purpose of the calculation referred to in that subsection; and

(b) despite subsection 20(1) of the Act, as enacted by section 9, the 10-month period referred to in that subsection during which each commission is to complete a report is deemed to begin on the later of the day on which the statement referred to in subsection 14(1) of the Act is published in the Canada Gazette and the day on which the commission is established.

20. If this Act comes into force on or after the day on which a statement (in sections 21 and 22 referred to as the "first statement") referred to in subsection 14(1) of the Act is published in the Canada Gazette in respect of the 2011 decennial census, the Chief Electoral Officer shall

(a) as soon as feasible after receiving the estimates referred to in section 12.1 of the Act, as enacted by section 4, calculate the number of members of the House of Commons to be assigned to each province, subject and according to the provisions of section 51 of the Constitution Act, 1867 and the rules in that section, as amended by section 2; and

(b) on the completion of that calculation, cause a statement (in sections 21 and 22 referred to as the "second statement") to be published in the Canada Gazette setting out the results of the calculation.

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INTERPRETATION

23. A reference to the Constitution Acts, 1867 to 1982 is deemed to include a reference to sections 2, 14, 15 and 17 to 20.


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W.F.M.