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Bill C-217

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1st Session, 36th Parliament,
46 Elizabeth II, 1997

The House of Commons of Canada

BILL C-217

An Act to amend the Access to Information Act (disclosure of results of public opinion polls)

R.S., c. A-1; R.S., cc. 22, 27, 28, 33, 44, 46 (1st Supp.), cc. 1, 8, 19, 36 (2nd Supp.), cc. 1, 3, 12, 17, 18, 20, 24, 28, 33 (3rd Supp.), cc. 1, 7, 10, 11, 16, 21, 28, 31, 32, 41, 47 (4th Supp.); 1989, cc. 3, 27; 1990, cc. 1, 2, 3, 13; 1991, cc. 3, 6, 16, 38; 1992, cc. 1, 21, 33, 34, 36, 37; 1993, cc. 1, 2, 3, 27, 28, 31, 34, 38; 1994, cc. 10, 26, 31, 38, 40, 41, 43; 1995, cc. 1, 5, 11, 12, 18, 28, 29, 41, 45; 1996, cc. 8, 9, 10, 11, 16; 1997, cc. 6, 9, 20, 23

      Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

1. The Access to Information Act is amended by adding, after section 5, the following heading and section:

Results of public opinion polls

Notice of public opinion poll

5.1 (1) Any department, branch, office, board, agency, commission, corporation or other body established by or pursuant to any Act of Parliament or established by or pur suant to any proclamation, order in council or other instrument made or issued by or under the authority of the Governor in Council, otherwise than in the execution of a power conferred by or under an Act of Parliament, that commissions a public opinion poll, shall forthwith give notice thereof to the designated Minister and to the Speaker of the House of Commons.

Report of the results

(2) The designated Minister shall forthwith cause to be prepared for submission to the House of Commons a report of the results of every public opinion poll commissioned by any body referred to in subsection (1); the report shall include:

    (a) a description of the nature of the public opinion poll;

    (b) a copy of the questions asked and a summary of the responses given;

    (c) the period during which the poll was conducted;

    (d) the name of the person or firm commis sioned to conduct the public opinion poll;

    (e) the cost of the public opinion poll.

Report laid before House of Commons

(3) The designated Minister shall lay the report prepared under subsection (2) before the House of Commons not later than fifteen days after the completion of the public opinion poll or, if the House of Commons is not then sitting, shall, within the same period, deposit the report with the Information Commissioner and cause the report to be published in the Canada Gazette, and lay the report before the House of Commons on any of the first five days thereafter that it is sitting.

Definition of ``public opinion poll''

(4) For the purposes of this section, ``public opinion poll'' means any activity to obtain, through sampling techniques, the opinions and attitudes of members of the Canadian public on public policy issues, and includes all types of quantitative or qualitative research, conducted among members of the public using a prepared questionnaire or interview schedule.