The Alberta Act - Enactment No. 12
The Alberta Act, 1905, 4-5 Edw. VII, c. 3 (Can.)
An Act to establish and provide for the Government of the Province of Alberta.
[20th July, 1905]
WHEREAS in and by The British North America Act, 1871, being chapter 28 of the Acts of the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed in the session thereof held in the 34th and 35th years of the reign of Her late Majesty Queen Victoria, it is enacted that the Parliament of Canada may from time to time establish new provinces in any territories forming for the time being part of the Dominion of Canada, but not included in any province thereof, and may, at the time of such establishment, make provision for the constitution and administration of any such province, and for the passing of laws for the peace, order and good government of such province, and for its representation in the said Parliament of Canada;
And whereas it is expedient to establish as a province the territory hereinafter described, and to make provision for the government thereof and the representation thereof in the Parliament of Canada: Therefore His Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:--
1. This Act may be cited as The Alberta Act.
Province of Alberta formed; its boundaries
2. The territory comprised within the following boundaries, that is to say,--commencing at the intersection of the international boundary dividing Canada from the United States of America by the fourth meridian in the system of Dominion lands surveys; thence westerly along the said international boundary to the eastern boundary of the province of British Columbia; thence northerly along the said eastern boundary of the province of British Columbia to the north-east corner of the said province; thence easterly along the parallel of the sixtieth degree of north latitude to the fourth meridian in the system of Dominion lands surveys as the same may be hereafter defined in accordance with the said system; thence southerly along the said fourth meridian to the point of commencement,--is hereby established as a province of the Dominion of Canada, to be called and known as the province of Alberta.
B. N. A. Acts, 1867 to 1886, to apply
3. The provisions of The British North America Acts, 1867 to 1886, shall apply to the province of Alberta in the same way and to the like extent as they apply to the provinces heretofore comprised in the Dominion, as if the said province of Alberta had been one of the provinces originally united, except in so far as varied by this Act and except such provisions as are in terms made, or by reasonable intendment may be held to be, specially applicable to or only to affect one or more and not the whole of the said provinces.
Representation in the Senate
4.The said province shall be represented in the Senate of Canada by four members: provided that such representation may, after the completion of the next decennial census, be from time to time increased to six by the Parliament of Canada.
Representation in the House of Commons
5.The said province and the province of Saskatchewan shall, until the termination of the Parliament of Canada existing at the time of the first readjustment hereinafter provided for, continue to be represented in the House of Commons as provided by chapter 60 of the statutes of 1903, each of the electoral districts defined in that part of the schedule to the said Act which relates to the North-west Territories, whether such district is wholly in one of the said provinces, or partly in one and partly in the other of them, being represented by one member.
Readjustment after next quinquennial census
6. Upon the completion of the next quinquennial census for the said province, the representation thereof shall forthwith be readjusted by the Parliament of Canada in such manner that there shall be assigned to the said province such a number of members as will bear the same proportion to the number of its population ascertained at such quinquennial census as the number sixty-five bears to the number of the population of Quebec as ascertained at the then last decennial census; and in the computation of the number of members for the said province a fractional part not exceeding one-half of the whole number requisite for entitling the province to a member shall be disregarded, and a fractional part exceeding one-half of that number shall be deemed equivalent to the whole number, and such readjustment shall take effect upon the termination of the parliament then existing.
2. The representation of the said province shall thereafter be readjusted from time to time according to the provisions of section 51 of The British North America Act, 1867.
Election of members of House of Commons
7. Until the Parliament of Canada otherwise provides the qualifications of voters for the election of members of the House of Commons and the proceedings at and in connection with elections of such members shall, mutatis mutandis, be those prescribed by law at the time this Act comes into force with respect to such elections in the North- west Territories.
8. The Executive Council of the said province shall be composed of such persons, under such designations, as the Lieutenant Governor from time to time thinks fit.
Seat of Government
9. Unless and until the Lieutenant Governor in Council of the said province otherwise directs, by proclamation under the Great Seal, the seat of government of the said province shall be at Edmonton.
Powers of Lieutenant Governor and Council
10. All powers, authorities and functions which under any law were before the coming into force of this Act vested in or exercisable by the Lieutenant Governor of the North-west Territories, with the advice, or with the advice and consent of the Executive Council thereof, or in conjunction with that Council or with any member or members thereof, or by the said Lieutenant Governor individually, shall, so far as they are capable of being exercised after the coming into force of this Act in relation to the government of the said province, be vested in and shall or may be exercised by the Lieutenant Governor of the said province, with the advice or with the advice and consent of, or in conjunction with, the Executive Council of the said province or any member or members thereof, or by the Lieutenant Governor individually, as the case requires, subject nevertheless to be abolished or altered by the Legislature of the said province.
11. The Lieutenant Governor in Council shall, as soon as may be after this Act comes into force, adopt and provide a Great Seal of the said province, and may, from time to time, change such seal.
12. There shall be a Legislature for the said province consisting of the Lieutenant Governor and one House to be styled the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.
13. Until the said Legislature otherwise provides, the Legislative Assembly shall be composed of twenty-five members, to be elected to represent the electoral divisions defined in the schedule to this Act.
Election of members of Assembly
14. Until the said Legislature otherwise determines, all the provisions of the law with regard to the constitution of the Legislative Assembly of the North-west Territories and the election of members thereof shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to the Legislative Assembly of the said province and the elections of members thereof respectively.
Writs for first election
15. The writs for the election of the members of the first Legislative Assembly of the said province shall be issued by the Lieutenant Governor and made returnable within six months after this Act comes into force.
Laws, courts and officers continued
16. All laws and all orders and regulations made thereunder, so far as they are not inconsistent with anything contained in this Act, or as to which this Act contains no provision intended as a substitute therefor, and all courts of civil and criminal jurisdiction, and all commissions, powers, authorities and functions, and all officers and functionaries, judicial, administrative and ministerial, existing immediately before the coming into force of this Act in the territory hereby established as the province of Alberta, shall continue in the said province as if this Act and The Saskatchewan Act had not been passed; subject, nevertheless, except with respect to such as are enacted by or existing under Acts of the Parliament of Great Britain, or of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, to be repealed, abolished or altered by the Parliament of Canada, or by the Legislature of the said province, according to the authority of the Parliament, or of the said Legislature: Provided that all powers, authorities and functions which, under any law, order or regulation were, before the coming into force of this Act, vested in or exercisable by any public officer or functionary of the North-west Territories shall be vested in and exercisable in and for the said province by like public officers and functionaries of the said province when appointed by competent authority.
Province may abolish Supreme Court of N.W.T.
2. The Legislature of the province may, for all purposes affecting or extending to the said province, abolish the Supreme Court of the North-west Territories, and the offices, both judicial and ministerial, thereof, and the jurisdiction, powers and authority belonging or incident to the said court: Provided that, if, upon such abolition, the Legislature constitutes a superior court of criminal jurisdiction, the procedure in criminal matters then obtaining in respect of the Supreme Court of the North-west Territories shall, until otherwise provided by competent authority, continue to apply to such superior court, and that the Governor in Council may at any time and from time to time declare all or any part of such procedure to be inapplicable to such superior court.
As to certain corporations in N.W.T.
3. All societies or associations incorporated by or under the authority of the Legislature of the North-west Territories existing at the time of the coming into force of this Act which include within their objects the regulation of the practice of or the right to practise any profession or trade in the North-west Territories, such as the legal or the medical profession, dentistry, pharmaceutical chemistry and the like, shall continue, subject, however, to be dissolved and abolished by order of the Governor in Council, and each of such societies shall have power to arrange for and effect the payment of its debts and liabilities, and the division, disposition or transfer of its property.
As to joint-stock companies
4. Every joint-stock company lawfully incorporated by or under the authority of any ordinance of the North-west Territories shall be subject to the legislative authority of the province of Alberta if--
- the head office or the registered office of such company is at the time of the coming into force of this Act situate in the province of Alberta; and
- the powers and objects of such company are such as might be conferred by the Legislature of the said province and not expressly authorized to be executed in any part of the North-west Territories beyond the limits of the said province.
17. (1) Section 93 of The British North America Act, 1867, shall apply to the said province, with the substitution for paragraph (1) of the said section 93, of the following paragraph:--
"Nothing in any such law shall prejudicially affect any right or privilege with respect to separate schools which any class of persons have at the date of the passing of this Act, under the terms of chapters 29 and 30 of the Ordinances of the North-west Territories, passed in the year 1901, or with respect to religious instruction in any public or separate school as provided for in the said ordinances."
- In the appropriation by the Legislature or distribution by the Government of the province of any moneys for the support of schools organized and carried on in accordance with the said chapter 29 or any Act passed in amendment thereof, or in substitution therefor, there shall be no discrimination against schools of any class described in the said chapter 29.
- Where the expression "by law" is employed in paragraph 3 of the said section 93, it shall be held to mean the law as set out in the said chapters 29 and 30, and where the expression "at the Union" is employed, in the said paragraph 3, it shall be held to mean the date at which this Act comes into force.
Subsidy to province.
18. The following amounts shall be allowed as an annual subsidy to the province of Alberta and shall be paid by the Government of Canada, by half-yearly instalments in advance, to the said province, that is to say :--
In proportion to population
- for the support of the Government and Legislature, fifty thousand dollars; for government.
- on an estimated population of two hundred and fifty thousand, at eighty cents per head, two hundred thousand dollars, subject to be increased as hereinafter mentioned, that is to say :--a census of the said province shall be taken in every fifth year, reckoning from the general census of one thousand nine hundred and one, and an approximate estimate of the population shall be made at equal intervals of time between each quinquennial and decennial census ; and whenever the population, by any such census or estimate, exceeds two hundred and fifty thousand, which shall be the minimum on which the said allowance shall be calculated, the amount of the said allowance shall be increased accordingly, and so on until the population has reached eight hundred thousand souls.
Annual payment to province
19. Inasmuch as the said province is not in debt, it shall be entitled to be paid and to receive from the Government of Canada, by half-yearly payments in advance, an annual sum of four hundred and five thousand three hundred and seventy-five dollars, being the equivalent of interest at the rate of five per cent per annum on the sum of eight million one hundred and seven thousand five hundred dollars.
20. Inasmuch as the said province will not have the public land as a source of revenue, there shall be paid by Canada to the province by half-yearly payments, in advance, an annual sum based upon the population of the province as from time to time ascertained by the quinquennial census thereof, as follows :--
2. As an additional allowance in lieu of public lands, there shall be paid by Canada to the province annually by half-yearly payments, in advance, for five years from the time this Act comes into force, to provide for the construction of necessary public buildings, the sum of ninety-three thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars.
21. All Crown lands, mines and minerals and royalties incident thereto, and the interest of the Crown in the waters within the province under The North-west Irrigation Act, 1898, shall continue to be vested in the Crown and administered by the Government of Canada for the purposes of Canada, subject to the provisions of any Act of the Parliament of Canada with respect to road allowances and roads or trails in force immediately before the coming into force of this Act, which shall apply to the said province with the substitution therein of the said province for the North-west Territories.
Division of assets and liabilities between Saskatchewan and Alberta
22. All properties and assets of the North-west Territories shall be divided equally between the said province and the province of Saskatchewan, and the two provinces shall be jointly and equally responsible for all debts and liabilities of the North-west Territories : Provided that, if any difference arises as to the division and adjustment of such properties, assets, debts and liabilities, such difference shall be referred to the arbitrament of three arbitrators, one of whom shall be chosen by the Lieutenant Governor in Council of each province, and the third by the Governor in Council. The selection of such arbitrators shall not be made until the Legislatures of the provinces have met, and the arbitrator chosen by Canada shall not be resident of either province.
Rights of H. B. Co.
23. Nothing in this Act shall in any way prejudice or affect the rights or properties of the Hudson's Bay Company as contained in the conditions under which that company surrendered Rupert's Land to the Crown.
Provision as to C.P.R. Co.
24. The powers hereby granted to the said province shall be exercised subject to the provisions of section 16 of the contract set forth in the schedule to chapter 1 of the statutes of 1881, being an Act respecting the Canadian Pacific Railway Company.
Commencement of Act
25. This Act shall come into force on the first day of September, one thousand nine hundred and five.
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