Uniform Acts Drafting Conventions
(1973 Proceedings, pages 26, 276)
1. (1) In this Act
(a) "Act" means an Act of the Legislature;
(b) "enact" includes issue, make, establish or prescribe;
(c) "enactment" means an Act or a regulation or any portion of an Act or regulation;
(d) "public officer" includes any person in the public service of the Province
(i) who is authorized by or under an enactment to do or enforce the doing of an act or thing or to exercise a power, or
(ii) upon whom a duty is imposed by or under an enactment;
(e) "regulation" means a regulation, order, rule, form, tariff of costs or fees, proclamation or by-law enacted
(i) in the execution of a power conferred by or under the authority of an Act, or
(ii) by or under the authority of the Lieutenant Governor in Council,
but does not include an order of a court made in the course of an action or an order made by a public officer or administrative tribunal in a dispute between two or more persons;
(f) "repeal" includes revoke, cancel or rescind.
(2) For the purposes of this Act, an enactment that has expired or lapsed or otherwise ceased to have effect shall be deemed to have been repealed.
2. Her Majesty is bound by this Act.
3. (1) Every provision of this Act extends and applies to every enactment, whether enacted before or after the commencement of this Act, unless a contrary intention appears in this Act or in the enactment.
(2) The provisions of this Act apply to the interpretation of this Act.
(3) Nothing in this Act excludes the application to an enactment of a rule of construction applicable thereto and not inconsistent with this Act.
Date of commencement
4. (1) The date of the commencement of an Act or of any portion thereof for which no other date of commencement is provided in the Act is the date of assent to the Act.
(2) Where an Act contains a provision that the Act or any portion thereof is to come into force on a day later than the date of assent to the Act, that provision shall be deemed to have come into force on the date of assent to the Act.
"Date of assent" of reserved Acts
(3) In this section "the date of assent" with reference to an Act that has been reserved for the signification of the Governor General's pleasure, means the date of the signification by the Lieutenant Governor that the Governor General in Council assented to the Act.
(4) Every regulation of a class that is exempted from the application of the Regulations Act or to which that Act does not apply and which is not expressed to come into force on a particular day comes into force the day the regulation was enacted.
Time of Commencement or Repeal
Time of commencement
5. (1) An enactment shall be construed as coming into force immediately on the expiration of the day prior to the day of its commencement.
Time of repeal
(2) Where an enactment is expressed to expire, lapse or otherwise cease to have effect on a particular day, it shall be construed as ceasing to have effect immediately on the commencement of the following day.
Regulation Prior to Commencement
6. (1) Whee an enactment that is not in force contains provisions conferring power
(a) to make regulations; or
(b) to do any other thing,
that power may be exercised at any time before the enactment comes into force, but a regulation so made or a thing so done has no effect until the enactment comes into force except in so far as may be necessary to make the enactment effective upon its coming into force.
(2) Where an Act is to come into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation,
(a) the proclamation may apply to, and fix a day for the commencement of, any provision of the Act; and
(b) proclamations may be issued at different times in respect of different provisions of the Act.
RULES OF CONSTRUCTION
Effect of private Acts
7. No provision in a private Act affects the rights of any person, except only as therein mentioned or referred to.
Enactment Always Speaking
Enactments always speaking
8. (1) Every enactment shall be construed as always speaking.
(2) Where a provision in an enactment is expressed in the present tense, the provision shall be applied to the circumstances as they arise.
9. Every enactment shall be construed as being remedial and shall be given such fair, large and liberal construction and interpretation as best ensures the attainment of its objects.
Preambles part of enactments
10. He preamble of an enactment shall be construed as part thereof intended to assist in explaining its purport and object.
Marginal Notes, etc.
Reference aids not part of enactments
11. In an enactment marginal notes, headings and references after the end of a section or other division to former enactments form no part of the enactment but shall be construed as being inserted for convenience of reference only.
Application of Definitions
Definitions and interpretation provisions
12. Definitions or interpretation provisions in an enactment shall be construed as being applicable to the whole enactment including the section containing the definitions or interpretation provision.
Application of expressions in enactments to regulations
13. Where an enactment confers power to enact regulations expressions used in the regulations have the same respective meanings as in the enactment conferring the power.
Crown not bound except as stated
14. No enactment is binding on Her Majesty or affects Her Majesty or Her Majesty's rights or prerogatives in any manner, except only as therein mentioned or referred to.
15. (1) Where a proclamation is issued pursuant to an order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, it is not necessary to mention in the proclamation that it is issued pursuant to such an order.
(2) Where the Lieutenant Governor in Council has authorized the issue of a proclamation, the proclamation may purport to have been issued on the day its issue was so authorized, and the day on which it so purports to have been issued shall be deemed to be the day on which the proclamation takes effect.
(3) Where an Act or any portion thereof is expressed to come into force on a day fixed by proclamation, judicial notice shall be taken of the issue of the proclamation and the day fixed thereby without being specially pleaded.
Corporate rights and powers
16. Words in an enactment establishing a corporation shall be construed
(a) to vest in the corporation power
(i) to sue in its corporate name,
(ii) to contract and be contracted with by its corporate name,
(iii) to have a common seal and to alter or change it at pleasure,
(iv) to have perpetual succession,
(v) to acquire and hold personal property or movables for the purposes for which the corporation is established and to alienate the same at pleasure, and
(vi) to regulate its own procedure and business;
(b) to make the corporation liable to be sued in its corporate name;
(c) to vest in a majority of the members of the corporation the power to bind the others by their acts;(d) to exempt from personal liability for its debts, obligations or acts such individual members of the corporation as do not contravene the provisions of the enactment establishing the corporation;
(e) in the case of a corporation having a name consisting of an English and a French form or a combined English and French form, to vest in the corporation power to use either the English or French form of its name or both forms and to show on its seal both the English and French forms of its name or to have two seals, one showing the English and the other showing the French form of its name.
Majority and Quorum
17. (1) Where in an enactment an act or thing is required or authorized to be done by more than two persons, a majority of them may do it.
(2) Where an enactment establishes a board, commission or other body consisting of three or more members (in this section called the "association"),
(a) if the number of members of the association provided for by the enactment is a fixed number, then at least one-half of that number of members constitute's a quorum at a meeting of the association;
(b) if the number of members of the association provided for by the enactment is not a fixed number but is within a range having a maximum or minimum, or both, and the number of members is within that range, then at least one-half of the number of members in office constitutes a quorum at a meeting of the association;
(c) an act or thing done by a majority of the members of the association present at a meting, if the members present constitute a quorum, shall be deemed to have been done by the association; and
(d) a vacancy in the membership of the association does not invalidate the constitution of the association or impair the right of the members in office to act, if the number of members in office is not less than a quorum.
Judges and Court Officers
Powers to judges and court officers
18. (1) Where by an enactment judicial or quasi-judicial powers are given to a judge or officer of a court, the judge or officer shall be deemed to exercise those powers in his official capacity and as representing that court, and he may for the purpose of performing the duties imposed upon him by the enactment, subject to the provisions thereof, exercise the powers he possesses as a judge or officer of that court.
(2) Without restricting the generality of subsection (1), where under any enactment an appeal is given from any person, board, commission or other body to a court or judge, an appeal lies from the decision of the court or judge as in the case of any other action, matter or proceeding in that court or in the court of which the judge is a member.
Appointment, Retirement and Powers of Officers
Appointments of officers
19. (1) The authority under an enactment to appoint a public officer is authority to appoint during pleasure.
Commencement of appointments
(2) Where a person is appointed by or under the authority of an enactment to an office effective on a specified day, the appointment shall be deemed to have been effected immediately upon the expiration of the previous day.
Termination of appointments
(3) Where the appointment of a person by or under the authority of an enactment is terminated effective on a specified day, the termination shall be deemed to be effective immediately upon the expiration of that day.
20. Words in an enactment authorizing the appointment of a public officer include the power of
(a) fixing his term of office;
(b) terminating his appointment or removing suspending him;
(c) reappointing or reinstating him;
(d) fixing his remuneration and varying or terminating it;
(e) appointing another in his stead or to act in his stead whether or not the office is vacant; and
(f) appointing a person as his deputy.
Power to act for ministers and public officers
21. (1) Words in an enactment directing or empowering a Minister of the Crown to do an act or thing, or otherwise applying to him by his name of office, shall be construed to include
(a) a Minister acting for him;
(b) if the office is vacant, a Minister designated to act in the office by or under the authority of an order in council; and
(c) the person holding the office of deputy of the Minister so directed or empowered whether or not office of that Minister is vacant;
but nothing in this subsection shall be construed to authorize a deputy to exercise any authority conferred upon a minister to enact a regulation as defined in the Regulations Act.
(2) Words in an enactment directing or empowering any other public officer to do any act or thing, or otherwise applying to him by his name of office, shall be construed to include
(a) the holder of the office of deputy to that public officer; and
(b) a person appointed to act in the stead of the holder of the office, whether or not the office is vacant.
22. Where an enactment provides that a document is evidence of a fact without anything in the context to indicate that the document is conclusive evidence, then, in any judicial proceedings, the document is admissible in evidence and the fact shall be deemed to be established in the absence of any evidence to the contrary.
(NOTE: Individual jurisdictions may prefer to include this provision in their respective Evidence Acts.)
Computation of Time
Computation of time
23. (1) Where in an enactment the time limited for the doing of a thing expires or falls upon a holiday, the thing may be done on the day next following that is not a holiday.
(2) Where in an enactment the time limited for registration or filing of any instrument, or for the doing of any thing, expires or falls on a day on which the office or place in which the instrument or thing is required to be registered, filed or done is not open during its regular hours of business on that day, the instrument or thing may be registered, filed or done on the day next following on which the office or place is open.
(3) Where an enactment contains a reference to a number of clear days or to "at least" or "not less than" a number of days between two events, in calculating the number of days there shall be excluded the days on which the events happen.
(4) Where an enactment contains a reference to a number of days, not expressed to be clear days of "at least" or "not less than" a number of days between two events, in calculating the number of days there shall be excluded the day on which the first event happens and there shall be included the day on which the second event happens.
(5) Where in an enactment a time is expressed to begin or end at, on or with a specified day, or to continue to or until a specified day, the time includes that day.
(6) Where in an enactment a time is expressed to begin after or to be from a specified day, the time does not include that day.
(7) Where an enactment provides that any thing is to be done within a time after, from, of or before a specified day, the time does not include that day.
(8) Where an enactment contains a reference to a period of time consisting of a number of months after or before a specified day, the number of months shall be counted from, but not so as to include, the month in which the specified day falls, and the period shall be reckoned as being limited by and including
(a) the day immediately after or before the specified day, according as the period follows or precedes the specified day, and
(b) the day in the last month so counted having the same calendar number as the specified day, but if such last month has no day with the same calendar number, then the last day of that month.
(9) For the purpose of construing a reference in an enactment to a specified number of years of age of a person, a person shall be deemed to have attained a specified number of years of age upon the commencement of the anniversary, of the same number, of the day of his birth.
24. (1) Where in an enactment anything is required or authorized to be done by or before a judge, magistrate, justice of the peace, or public officer, it shall be done by or before one whose jurisdiction or powers extend to the place where such thing is to be done.
(2) Where in an enactment power is given to a person to do or enforce the doing of any act or thing, all such powers shall be deemed to be also given as are necessary to enable the person to do or enforce the doing of the act or thing.
(3) Where in an enactment a power is conferred or a duty imposed, the power may be exercised and the duty shall be performed from time to time as occasion requires.
(4) Where in an enactment a power is conferred to make regulations, the power shall be construed as including a power exercisable in the like manner, and subject to the like consent and conditions, if any, to repeal or amend the regulations and make others.
(5) Where in an enactment the doing of an act that is expressly authorized is dependent upon the doing of any other act by the Lieutenant Governor in Council or by a public officer, the Lieutenant Governor in Council or public officers, as the case may be, has the power to do that other act.
Use of forms and words
25. (1) Where a form is prescribed by or under an enactment, deviations therefrom not affecting the substance or calculated to mislead, do not invalidate the form used.
(2) In an enactment words importing male person include female persons and corporations.
(3) In an enactment words in the singular include the plural and words in the plural include the singular.
(4) Where a word or expression is defined in an enactment, other parts of speech and grammatical forms of the same word or expression have corresponding meanings.
26. In an enactment
1. "Assembly" means the Legislative Assembly of the Province;
2. "bank" or "chartered bank" means a bank to which the Bank Act (Canada) applies;
3. "commencement" when used with reference to an enactment, means the time at which the enactment comes into force;
4. "Executive Council" means the Executive Council of .....................;
5. "Gazette" means The ...................... Gazette published by the Queen's Printer of ...........;
6. "Government" or "Government of ...................." means Her Majesty in right of the Province;
7. "Government of Canada" means Her Majesty in right of Canada;
8. "Governor", "governor of Canada" or "Governor General" means the Governor general of Canada and includes the Administrator of Canada;
9. "Governor in Council" or "Governor General in Council" means the Governor General acting by and with the advice of, or by and with the advice and consent of, or in conjunction with, the Queens' Privy Council for Canada;
10. "Great Seal" means the Great Seal of the Province;
11. "hereafter" shall be construed as referring to the time after the commencement of the enactment containing that word;
12 "herein" used in a section or part of an enactment shall be construed as referring to the whole enactment and not to that section or part only;
13. "Her Majesty", "His Majesty", "the Queen", "the King", "the Crown" or "the Sovereign" means the Sovereign of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other realms and territories and Head of the Commonwealth;
14. "holiday" includes
(NOTE: Each jurisdiction shall fill in the days appropriate to its own jurisdiction.)
15. "Legislature" means the Lieutenant Governor acting by and with the advice and consent of the Assembly;
16. "Lieutenant Governor" means the Lieutenant Governor of the Province and includes the Administrator of the Province;
17. "Lieutenant Governor in Council" means the Lieutenant Governor acting by and with the advice of, or by and with the advice and consent of, or in conjunction with, the Executive Council;
18. "may" is to be construed as permissive and empowering;
19. "month" means a calendar month;
20. "now" and "next" shall be construed as referring to the time of commencement of the enactment containing the word;
21. "oath" includes a solemn affirmation or declaration, whenever the context applies to any person by whom and in which case a solemn affirmation or declaration may be made instead of an oath; and in like cases the expression "sworn" includes the expression "affirmed" or "declared";
22. "person" includes a corporation;
23. "prescribed" means prescribed by or under the enactment in which the word occurs;
24. "proclamation" mean a proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor under the Great Seal issued pursuant to an order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council;
25. "province" means the Province of ...................;
26. "province" when used as meaning a part of Canada other than ........................, includes the Northwest Territories and the Yukon Territory;
27. "shall" is to be construed as imperative;
28. "statutory declaration" or "solemn declaration" means a solemn declaration made under section 19 of the Uniform Evidence Act;
29. "will" includes codicil;
30. "Writing", "written" or any term of like important includes words printed, typewritten, painted, engrave, lithographed, photographed or represented or reproduced by any mode of representing or reproducing words in visible form;
31. "Year" means any period of twelve consecutive months.
27. In an enactment the name commonly applied to any country, place, body, corporation, society, officer, functionary, person, party or thing, means the country, place, body, corporation, society, officer, functionary, person, party or thing to which the name is commonly applied, although the name is not the formal or extended designation thereof.
References and Citations
Citation includes amendments
28. In an enactment a citation of or reference to another enactment shall be construed as a citation of or reference to the other enactment as amended from time to time whether before or after the commencement of the enactment in which the citation or reference occurs.
References in enactments
29. (1) A reference in an enactment to a series of numbers or letters by the first and last numbers or letters of the series shall be construed as including the number or letter first mentioned and the number or letter last mentioned.
(2) A reference in an enactment to a part, division, section, schedule, appendix or form shall be construed as a reference to a part, division, section, schedule, appendix or form of the enactment in which the reference occurs.
(3) A reference in an enactment to a subsection, clause, subclause, paragraph or subparagraph shall be construed as a reference to a subsection, clause, subclause, paragraph or subparagraph of the section, subsection, clause, subclause or paragraph, as the case may be, in which the reference occurs.
(4) A reference in an enactment to regulations shall be construed as a reference to regulations made under the enactment in which the reference occurs.
(5) A reference in an enactment by number or letter to any section, subsection, clause, subclause, paragraph, subparagraph or other division or line of another enactment shall be construed as a reference to the section, subsection, clause, paragraph, subparagraph or other division or line such other enactment as printed by authority of the ................. Act.
Amending enactments part of enactment amended
30. An amending enactment shall be construed as part of the enactment that it amends.
Repeal and Amendment
31. Whee an enactment is repealed in whole or in part, the repeal does not
(a) revive an enactment or thing not in force or existing immediately before the time when the repeal takes effect;
(b) affect the previous operation of the enactment so repealed or anything done or suffered thereunder;
(c) affect any right, privilege, obligation or liability acquired, accrued, accruing or incurred under the enactment so repealed;
(d) affect any offence committed against or a contravention of the provisions of the enactment so repealed, or an penalty, forfeiture or punishment incurred in respect of or under the enactment so repealed; or
(e) affect any investigation, proceeding or remedy in respect of any such right, privilege, obligation, liability, penalty, forfeiture or punishment,
and an investigation, proceeding or remedy as described in clause (e) may be instituted, continued or enforced and the penalty, forfeiture or punishment imposed as if the enactment had not been repealed.
Repeal and replacement
32. (1) Where an enactment (in this section called the "former enactment") is repealed and another enactment (in this section called the "new enactment") is substituted therefor,
(a) every person acting under the former enactment shall continue to act as if appointed or elected under the new enactment until another is appointed or elected in his stead;
(b) every proceeding commenced under the former enactment shall be continued under and in conformity with the new enactment so far as it may be done consistently with the new enactment;
(c) the procedure established by the new enactment shall be followed as far as it can be adapted thereto
(i) in the recovery or enforcement of penalties and forfeitures incurred under the former enactment,
(ii) in the enforcement of rights existing or accruing under the former enactment, and
(iii) in a proceeding in relation to matters that have happened before the repeal;
(d) when any penalty, forfeiture or punishment is reduced or mitigated by the new enactment, the penalty, forfeiture or punishment if imposed or adjudged after the repeal shall be reduced or mitigated accordingly;
(e) all regulations made under the former enactment remain in force and shall be deemed to have been made under the new enactment in so far as they are not inconsistent with the new enactment, until they are repealed or others made in their stead; and
(f) any reference in an unrepealed enactment to the former enactment shall, as regards a subsequent transaction, matter or thing, be construed as a reference to the provisions of the new enactment elating to the same subject matter as the former enactment, but where there are no provisions in the new enactment relating to the same subject matter, the former enactment shall be construed as being unrepealed in so far as is necessary to maintain or give effect to the unrepealed enactment.
(2) Where an enactment of any other province of Canada or of Canada is repealed in whole or in part and other provisions ore substitute by way of amendment, revision or consolidation, a reference in an enactment of (Province) to the repealed enactment shall, as regards a subsequent transaction, matter or thing be construed to be a reference to the provisions of the substituted enactment relating to the same subject-matter as the repealed enactment.
No implications from repeal, amendment, etc.
33. (1) The repeal of an enactment in whole or in part, the repeal of an enactment and the substitution therefor of another enactment or the amendment of an enactment shall not be construed to be or to involve,
(a) a declaration that the enactment was or was considered by the Legislature or other body or person by whom the enactment was enacted to have been previously in force; or
(b) a declaration as to the previous state of the law.
Amendment not a declaration of an intention to change the law
(2) The amendment of an enactment shall not be construed to be or to involve a declaration that the law under the enactment prior to the amendment thereof was or was considered by the Legislature or other body or person by whom the enactment was enacted to have been different from the law as it is under the enactment as amended.
Re-enactment not an adoption of judicial construction
(3) A re-enactment, revision, consolidation or amendment of an enactment shall not be construed to be or to involve an adoption of the construction that has by judicial decision or otherwise been placed upon the language used in the enactment or upon similar language.