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Within four days after the declaration of the poll any Recount. 'credible witness" may apply to the County Court Judge or to the District Judge, or in the Province of Quebec to the Judge of the Superior Court discharging his duties in the district, for a recount of the votes on any of the following grounds, viz. that the Returning Officer (1) improperly counted, or (2) improperly rejected ballot papers, or (3) that a person, whose name was included in or excluded from the list of voters, was by the judgment of a Court not entitled or was entitled to have his name on such list, or (4) that the Returning Officer improperly summed up the votes. The application must be supported by affidavit, and if security is given to the amount of 100 dollars, the Judge is to hold a recount and certify the result to the Returning Officer.
In order to allow time for an application for a recount Return. the Returning Officer is not required to make his return to the writ of election until after the sixth day from the declaration of the poll.
The return is in the following form:
I hereby certify that the Member [or Members]
Signed R. O.
The return, together with a report, and other documents are transmitted by post to the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery. A duplicate of the return is sent to each candidate, and a notice of the return is published in the Canada Gazette.
The expenses of the Returning Officer are borne by the Expenses. Dominion. The Governor-General by warrant directs the Minister of Finance to pay the necessary fees, allowances
Return to the Writ.
and disbursements out of the Consolidated Revenue'. If a candidate, as already pointed out, does not poll half as many votes as the candidate elected, he forfeits the 200 dollars deposit, which will then be applied by the Dominion towards the expenses of the election.
The use of flags or ribbons or favours on the day of election, and within eight days before such day is forbidden. Taverns are to be closed on the polling day. Corrupt practices, such as bribery or treating, or personation, or paying for the conveyance of voters are forbidden under heavy penalties ‘.
At the beginning of each Parliament a return book is furnished by the Clerk of the Crown to the Clerk of the Commons and is sufficient evidence of the return. In addition to the return book the Clerk of the Crown sends to the Clerk of the Commons a certificate of the return to each writ "deposited as of record" in the Crown Office, and this certificate is usually required before a member takes his seat. Not unfrequently members are sworn before such certificate is made out, but in such cases a resolution is passed admitting the member to take his seat, and recommending an adherence to the practice of requiring the certificate of the Clerk of the Crown to the return of the writ.
By the British North America Act, s. 128, every member before taking his seat must take and subscribe before the Governor-General, or some person authorized by him, the following oath of allegiance:—
I do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Victoria.
The Clerk is the person usually authorized by the Governor-General to administer the oath.
1 R. S. C. c. 13, ss. 121-123.
3 Ib. s. 83.
2 Ib. s. 81.
♦ Ib. ss. 84–99.
No penalty is incurred by a member who sits or votes without taking the oath. In 1875 attention was called to the fact that Mr Orton, Member for the Electoral District of Centre Wellington, had sat and voted without taking the oath. The Committee of Privileges, to whom the matter was referred, held that, as there was no law on the subject, he had neither incurred any penalty nor vacated his seat, but that his votes recorded before taking the oath should be struck out of the division list and the journals'.
Since the year 1879 all new members elected after or Introat a General Election, including Ministers after re-election, Members. have been introduced on taking their seat. Previous to that year the practice was not uniform. The practical advantage of a formal introduction is that it secures the administration of the oath not being overlooked.
The form of introduction is as follows: the new member standing between two other members is presented to the Speaker in these words,
"Mr Speaker, I have the honour to present to you A. B., Member for the Electoral District of
taken the oath and signed the roll and now claims the
The Speaker thereupon replies: "Let the Honourable Member take his seat."
The member then advances to the Chair and pays his respects to the Speaker.
5. ELECTION PETITIONS.
The trial of Election Petitions is regulated by the Dominion Controverted Elections Act 2.
Any corrupt practice committed by a candidate or by his agent, with or without the candidate's knowledge, voids
1 See Burinot, p. 143.
2 R. S. C. c. 9.
undue influence, or personation.
The Act confers jurisdiction to try Election Petitions on the following Courts:
Corrupt practices include bribery, treating,
in Quebec: the Superior Court of the Province;
in Ontario: the Court of Appeal, and the High Court of Justice of the Province;
in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward's Island and the North West Territories: the Supreme Court; and in Manitoba the Court of Queen's Bench of the Province.
A Petition may be presented either by a candidate or by any one who had a right to vote at the election to which the Petition relates.
The Petition is heard before one Judge without a jury and takes place in the Electoral District, to which the return in question relates, unless the Court is of opinion that the trial could be held more conveniently elsewhere.
An Appeal is allowed in Quebec to any three judges of the Superior Court of Quebec or of Montreal, and in the other provinces to the Court of which the Judge trying the Petition is a member.
Such Appeal must be limited to a preliminary objection, which, if allowed, would have put an end to the Petition, or to an Appeal from the decision of the Judge who tried the Petition on a point of law'.
At the conclusion of the trial the Judge makes his report to the Speaker who communicates it to the House.
6. OFFICERS OF THE HOUSE.
The Speaker is elected by the House, though after his election he proceeds, accompanied by the members, to the Senate Chamber to inform his Excellency the Governor
2 B. N. A. Act, 1867, ss. 44, 45.
1 R. S. C. c. 9, s. 50.
General that the House has "elected him to be their Speaker." The choice of the Speaker is not "confirmed” and "approved" by the Governor-General, as it is by the Crown in England. Up to 1840 the election of the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in both Upper and Lower Canada was always "approved" by the Governor, but such approval is not essential'.
When a Speaker dies or resigns during a prorogation, the House of Commons at the opening of the next Session adopts the English practice of proceeding to the Senate Chamber and asking the authority of the Governor-General to proceed to the election of a Speaker according to law2.
The duties of the Speaker are prescribed by Standing Duties of Speaker. Orders, by the customs of the House, and by English precedents.
He presides over all meetings of the House, and receives and puts all motions. He communicates to the House all messages received from the Governor-General or from the Senate. If necessary he reprimands members and under the instructions of the House commits persons to the custody of the Sergeant at Arms. He decides points of order, subject to an appeal to the House, and enforces all rules, and is the official mouthpiece of the House when an address is presented to the Crown or to the Governor-General.
If the Speaker from any cause finds it necessary to leave Absence of Speaker. the Chair, he may call upon the Chairman of Committees, or in his absence, upon any member, to take the Chair during the remainder of the day*.
If the Speaker is unavoidably absent the Chairman of Committees acts as Deputy Speaker".
The Clerk of the House is appointed by Commission The under the Great Seal to hold office during pleasure. He
1 See ante p. 114.
2 Burinot, p. 163.
3 B. N. A. Act, 1867, s. 46. 5 Ib. s. 2.