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Friday, February 12, 2016
Saskatchewan Justice

The Referendum and Plebiscite Act applies to votes by electors.

A referendum is a vote by the people of Saskatchewan on any question of public interest or concern and is ordered by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

A referendum is binding if more than 60% of the votes cast in a referendum support it but a referendum is not binding unless at least 50% of the electors entitled to vote in the referendum do so.

A plebiscite is a vote by the people of Saskatchewan on any question of public interest or concern:

  • ordered by the Lieutenant Governor in Council;
  • directed by the Assembly; or
  • directed by the Minister of Justice.

The Minister of Justice must direct a plebiscite when he or she receives a petition, signed by at least 15 per cent of the electors, requesting that a question concerning a matter within the jurisdiction of the government be put to electors. The Chief Electoral Officer determines whether the petition has been signed by 15 per cent of electors.

A referendum or plebiscite is conducted throughout the province unless the Lieutenant Governor in Council or Assembly directs that a local or regional vote be conducted. Individuals who are entitled to vote under The Election Act, 1996 are entitled to vote in a referendum or plebiscite.

During a referendum or plebiscite, no government department, board, commission, Crown corporation or agency is allowed to publish, in any manner, any information about their activities that relates to the question or questions in the referendum or plebiscite except for routine information or in the case of an emergency.

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