Those Wacky Parliamentarians

My colleague Vanessa Olley showed me this one. The Federal Accountability Act, S. C. 2006, c. 9 (Bill 2, 2006), which received Royal Assent on December 12, 2006, includes this as one of its coming into force provisions:


314. (1) Sections 306 and 307 come into
force on a day or days to be fixed by order of
the Governor in Council.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection 114(4) of
the Canada Pension Plan, section 312 comes
into force on the day on which this Act is
assented to, but that section does not apply in
respect of the Canada Pension Plan Investment
Board unless the lieutenant governor in
council of each of at least two thirds of the
included provinces, within the meaning of
subsection 114(1) of that Act, having in the
aggregate not less than two thirds of the
population of all of the included provinces,
has signified the consent of that province to
the amendment made by that section.

Okay, let me get my head around that one! Subsection (1) is pretty straightforward, but try reading (2). Section 312 comes into force on Royal Assent, December 12, 2006. Good good.

But then it doesn’t apply to the CPP Investment Board unless a bunch of the provinces say it does, according to ss. 114(4) of the Canada Pension Plan Act. Hmmm…I wonder at what point we will know this is the case? Does this mean that, every time we want to determine whether this applies to the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board, we need to check the legislation from every province (or, at least 2/3 of the provinces?). And how much is 2/3 of the provinces? There are 10 provinces, so does that mean 2/3 is 3 or 4? Or can a 1/3 of a province sign?

And I must say, that bit about “notwithstanding” at the beginning of the provision just doesn’t do anything for me. Could they not have drafted that provision without “Notwithstanding subsection 114(4) of the Canada Pension Plan”?? I think as long as they add the name of the act in later it could have stood without that phrase. Am I right? And they might even just have sent us to s. 114 of the Canada Pension Plan instead of repeating all that stuff about the number of provinces needing to give consent. We’ve got to look at that provision anyway.

Ho ho! Those wacky parliamentarians really gave us a good brainteaser with this one!

Additional coming into force information for Federal Accountability Act, S. C. 2006, c. 9 (Bill 2, 2006), , summarized courtesy of LEGISinfo.


  1. I think Quebec is not included, so the math will work (2/3 of nine provinces), but Stelmach wants Alberta to opt out too, so you’ll be right about the math sooner or later.

  2. Oh, then I think they should have worked a mention about Quebec into that coming into force provision. That would have made it even better.

    Thanks, Edward!