1994 Legislative Session: 3rd Session, 35th Parliament
The following electronic version is for informational purposes only.
The printed version remains the official version.
MS. JUDELINE TYABJI
WHEREAS it is necessary that the public institutions of the people of British Columbia function to serve the best interests of the people;
AND WHEREAS these institutions must have some degree of accountability to the people whom they serve and who pay for them;
AND WHEREAS political interference in these institutions would be an abrogation of the public trust;
This private member's bill is to address the public's best interests through direct action.
1 In this Act:
"board" means the Parliamentary Review Board as consituted in this Act;
"Demand for Recall" means a petition tabled in the legislature by the Attorney General and accepted by the Clerk, which meets the eligibility criteria for recall of a public officer set out in this Act;
"jurisdiction" means that region over which the public officer has the authority to make decisions, and is an area defined by the line ministry responsible for that officer;
"local Member of the Legislative Assembly" is the Member of the Legislative Assembly for the riding in which the petitioner resides or has a direct, identifiable interest;
"individual" means an ordinary resident of British Columbia;
"minister" means the Attorney General or another minister designated by the Attorney General;
"motion" means the motion introduced by the Attorney General for debate on the prayer of the petition which is tabled in the House;
"petition" refers to the documents obtained by the petitioner at the office of the local Member of the Legislative Assembly;
"petitioner" means the individual who initiates the petition against the public officer;
"prayer of the petition" is the invocation of the petitioners, which includes reasonable grounds for recall;
"public officer" means an appointed officer acting on behalf of the public in a position of trust, and includes a judge, police chief, or school superintendant;
"recall" means the action undertaken by the signators to the petition in response to a specific event, decision or action by a public officer;
"residents" means the number of people in the identified jurisdiction of the public officer by the latest government census statistics, and is a number provided to the petitioner by the local Member of the Legislative Assembly;
"signator" means any individual who signs the petition, and who resides or has a direct, identifiable interest in the jurisdiction of the public officer named in the petition.
2 Any individual may initiate a petition for recall of a public officer on the basis of a specific event, decision, or action for which the member can give evidence of reasonable grounds for such event, decision, or action being contrary to the public trust.
3 The eligible petition must
(a) follow a formal outline as provided by the Clerk of the House to the offices of the Members of the Legislative Assembly for the purposes of tabling in the House;
(b) be available to the public in the office of the local Member of the Legislative Assembly;
(c) be approved for tabling by the Clerk of the House as a Demand for Recall based on the criteria set out below.
4 On providing the individual with the petition for recall, the local Member of the Legislative Assembly must notify the individual against whom the action is being initiated in writing as soon as possible, and within one week of the member's receipt of the petition from the local Member of the Legislative Assembly.
5 A copy of the written notification of recall against a public officer must be provided to the minister by the local Member of the Legislative Assembly without delay, and within seven days of the individual's receipt of the petition.
6 The petition must meet the following requirements for eligibility in order to be tabled in the House as a Demand for Recall:
(a) it must have a prayer which defines the invocation of the signators;
(b) it must name the event, decision, or action taken by the public officer which provided the grounds for the petition;
(c) the signators to the petition must show on the petition that they are residents of the jurisdiction of the public officer named in the prayer of the petition;
(d) the specified number of signatures.
7 The specified number of signatures required by the petitioner shall be provided to the member by the local Member of the Legislative Assembly. The guidelines defining the number of signatures needed approximates the formula of:
(i) 1.5% of the residents of the jurisdiction, when that jurisdiction is the province of British Columbia or has greater than or equal to 1,000,000 residents;
(ii) 2% of the residents of a jurisdiction when the jurisdiction is a region with a population greater than or equal to 300,000 but fewer than 1,000,000 members;
(iii) 8% of the residents of a jurisdiction when the jurisdiction is a region with greater than or equal to 100,000 but fewer than 300,000;
(iv) 10% of the residents of a jurisdiction when the jurisdiction has greater than or equal to one but fewer than 100,000 members.
8 The geographic area or relevant population of jurisdiction of the public officer named in the petition shall be provided to the individual by the local Member of the Legislative Assembly.
9 Spending limits may be provided by regulation of the Attorney General's office.
10 Petitions which meet the criteria of a Demand for Recall shall be provided to the minister at the first opportunity during a sitting of the legislature.
11 The Premier, on the recommendation of the minister, shall recall the house for an emergency sitting to allow tabling of the Demand for Recall.
12 On receipt of the petition, and on verification of its eligibility as a Demand for Recall, the minister shall notify the public officer whom the petition names of the receipt of the petition and its eligibility as a Demand for Recall within two days.
13 The minister shall table the petition in the legislature without delay, and within seven days of receiving it.
14 The petition shall form part of the public record as a Demand for Recall, and shall be available to the other members of the legislature and the public.
15 On tabling the petition, a notice of motion shall be provided to the Clerk of the House by the Attorney General, or a member of cabinet designated by the Attorney General, of a debate on the prayer of the petition.
16 The Members of the Legislative Assembly shall debate the motion, on the matter of principle with regard to the grounds cited by the prayer of the petition, within fourteen days of the tabling of the petition.
17 The debate on the motion shall take precedence over regular business of the Legislative Assembly, but shall not take precedence over the Budget Debate, to resolve the reasonableness of the recall of the public officer.
18 No Member of the Legislative Assembly shall be restrained from speaking to the motion, unless a member is in a conflict of interest by the debate.
19 Following the debate on the motion for the Demand for Recall, a recorded vote of the members of the legislature shall be taken.
20 A majority vote shall refer the petition to the Parliamentary Review Board.
21 The Parliamentary Review Board shall consist of the following:
(a) a simple majority of Members of the Legislative Assembly from the government benches, including one member of cabinet who is not the Attorney General;
(b) a minority of representatives of the sitting MLAs of the opposition, chosen by the Committee of Selection to reflect the distribution of seats in the House;
(c) no more than ten MLAs.
22 The board shall be chaired by an MLA of the board from the government benches who is not a cabinet minister.
23 The chair is elected by the MLAs of the board.
24 The chair shall have a vote on any matter in the event of a tie.
25 The mandate of the Parliamentary Review Board is to make a recommendation to the minister of the need to act on the Demand for Recall.
26 The Parliamentary Review Board shall report to the minister within fourteen days of the vote on the motion of the Demand for Recall.
27 The report of the board to the minister shall be tabled in the Legislative Assembly within two days of its receipt by the minister.
28 At the time of the report to the House, the minister shall announce a decision of acceptance or rejection of the Demand for Recall.
29 The acceptance of the Demand for Recall shall be immediate, notwithstanding a reconsideration by the individual named in the petition.
30 If the public officer's position is governed by federal legislation, the Premier shall ask the Prime Minister to recall the public officer.
31 A public officer recalled by any process of this act has the right to apply for reconsideration.
32 A reconsideration of a Demand for Recall shall be heard by a panel of the Parliamentary Review Board as it was constituted for the review of the Demand for Recall, and three peers of the public officer.
33 The peers of the public officer shall be appointed by the public officer.
34 The appeal shall be a public process.
35 At the discretion of the minister, the public officer may continue to receive pay during the reconsideration.
36 In the event of successful reconsideration, the applicant shall be compensated in a reasonable manner, determined by the panel, for wages and time.
37 A petition requesting a Demand for Recall shall by-pass the Parliamentary Review Board in extraordinary circumstances.
38 A by-pass of the Parliamentary Review Board shall occur if:
(a) the number of names on the petition is equal to a simple majority of the residents of the jurisdiction;
(b) the Premier instructs the Attorney General to by-pass the board.
39 The Attorney General has the power of a veto of the by-pass, which shall be exercised at the discretion of the Attorney General.
40 It is an offence to:
(a) initiate a petition against a public officer without reasonable grounds; or
(b) mislead the signators to the petition as to the grounds for the petition.
41 Any action taken against the petitioner shall be tabled in the House without delay, and within two working days of the action commencing against the petitioner.
42 No action on harassment shall be taken without the consent of the Attorney General in consultation with the local Member of the Legislative Assembly.
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