1st Session, 63rd General Assembly
66 Elizabeth II, 2017
The Honourable Lena Metlege Diab
First Reading: October 5, 2017
Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:
1 This Act may be cited as the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth Act.
2 In this Act,
(a) "Archbishop" means the Most Reverend Anthony Mancini, Roman Catholic Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth and his predecessors and successors in office and includes any cleric appointed in accordance with the Code of Canon Law to exercise the powers of the Archbishop on an interim basis;
(b) "Archdiocesan Corporation" means the Roman Catholic Archdiocesan Corporation of Halifax-Yarmouth, continued by Section 4;
(c) "Archdiocese" means the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth comprising the area of the Province within the boundaries of the Halifax Regional Municipality, the Region of Queens Municipality and the counties of Lunenburg, Shelburne, Yarmouth, Digby, Annapolis, Kings, Hants, Colchester and Cumberland;
(d) "board of stewards" means the board of stewards for a parish;
(e) "canonical" means in accordance with the Code of Canon Law;
(f) "Code of Canon Law" means the system of laws and legal principles made and enforced by the hierarchical authorities of the Roman Catholic Church to regulate its external and internal organization and governance and to order and direct the activities of Roman Catholics toward the mission of the Church;
(g) "elector" means a person qualified to vote in an election for lay stewards of a parish;
(h) "legal proceeding" means, in relation to any person, property, transaction or event, any action, suit, investigation, proceeding, judgment, ruling or order by or before
(ii) an agency, authority, commission, instrumentality, regulatory body, court or other entity exercising executive, legislative, judicial, taxing, regulatory or administrative powers or functions of or pertaining to government,
(v) another body or entity created under the authority of or otherwise subject to the jurisdiction of any of the foregoing, including any stock or other securities exchange, in each case having jurisdiction over such person, property, transaction or event;
(i) "parish" means a territory canonically erected as a parish within the Archdiocese for the purposes of the Roman Catholic Church and the benefit of the faithful of the Church;
(j) "parish corporation" means a body corporate established in accordance with Section 9;
(k) "parish priest" means a priest to whom the Archbishop has entrusted the pastoral care of the faithful in one or more parishes as the proper pastor, and includes any priest appointed by the Archbishop with the powers and faculties of a parish priest;
(l) "person" includes an individual, a partnership, a corporation, a company, a joint venture, an unincorporated organization, a union, a government or any department or agency thereof and a trust, and the heirs, executors, administrators or other legal representatives of an individual;
(m) "receiving parish" has the meaning given to it in Section 18;
(n) "Registrar" means the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies appointed under the Companies Act;
(o) "steward" means an individual occupying the position of steward for a parish;
(p) "transferring parish" has the meaning given to it in Section 18;
(q) "Yarmouth Episcopal Corporation" means The Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Yarmouth constituted by Chapter 115 of the Acts of 1954, An Act to Incorporate The Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Yarmouth and in the French Language La Corporation Episcopale Catholique Romaine De Yarmouth.
3 The Archbishop may
(a) by canonical decree, establish parishes, divide or abolish parishes or annex them or parts of them to other parishes, define or redefine the geographical boundaries of parishes and name or rename any parish;
(b) appoint, transfer and remove parish priests or administrators of any parish in accordance with the Code of Canon Law;
(c) cause the creation of parish corporations in accordance with Section 9; and
(d) make regulations relating to
(e) establish the sites of churches and other parish structures and of cemeteries and columbaria and approve the plans, specifications and costs thereof;
(f) close a cemetery or order that bodies may no longer be buried there;
(g) close a columbarium or order that ashes may no longer be deposited there;
(h) regulate the forms and modes of worship in churches and other places of worship;
(i) inspect the affairs of any parish corporation and, where in his view it is necessary, order remedial action including suspending or removing from office some or all of the lay stewards of the parish corporation and replacing them with trustees pending the election of new lay stewards.
4 The Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Halifax incorporated by Chapter 102 of the Acts of 1888, An Act respecting the Roman Catholic Archbishop in Halifax, is continued as a corporation sole under the name "Roman Catholic Archdiocesan Corporation of Halifax-Yarmouth" and consists of the Archbishop of Halifax-Yarmouth.
5 The purpose and object of the Archdiocesan Corporation is to administer the property, including St Mary's Cathedral and St Mary's Glebe, business and other temporal affairs of the Archdiocese.
6 (1) The Archdiocesan Corporation has the capacity and, subject to this Act, the rights, powers and privileges of a natural person and, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, may
(a) acquire, hold, lease, mortgage and sell real and personal property;
(b) borrow money upon the credit of the Corporation and provide security for such borrowing;
(c) make, draw, accept, endorse or become party to promissory notes and bills of exchange;
(d) guarantee the obligations of any person and, as security for such guarantee, mortgage, pledge, hypothecate or otherwise charge the whole or any part of its property;
(e) employ such persons as it considers necessary to effectively carry on its activities and establish their remuneration and benefits; and
(f) make by-laws respecting the administration, management and control of the property, business and temporal affairs of the Corporation.
(2) The Archdiocesan Corporation may
(a) fix the remuneration, benefits and allowances payable by parish corporations to parish priests and ministering clerics and specify the method and conditions of such payments;
(b) establish one or more diocesan pension plans, to be managed and administered by the Corporation for the benefit of the clergy and the lay staff of the Corporation and parish corporations, and direct that clergy and lay staff of a parish corporation are not eligible to enrol in other pension plans paid into or subsidized by a parish corporation or the Corporation;
(c) establish group insurance plans for the benefit of the parish priests and ministering clerics and the lay staff of the Corporation and parish corporations;
(d) require parish corporations to pay all or part of the premiums and contributions under the plans referred to in clauses (b) and (c);
(e) fix the annual and other levies payable by parish corporations to the Corporation;
(f) direct the repair and maintenance by parish corporations of real property vested in them and by regulation require that in certain cases such work may not be undertaken without the prior written authorization of the Corporation;
(g) supervise the construction of churches and other structures by parish corporations; and
(h) supervise and fix the conditions of expenditures of parish corporations and by regulation require expenditures not to be incurred without the prior written authorization of the Corporation.
(3) The Archdiocesan Corporation may delegate to any person all or part of the powers conferred on it by this Section other than the power to make regulations under clauses (2)(f) and (h).
7 For greater certainty,
(a) all property, real and personal, tangible and intangible, vested in the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Halifax is vested in the Archdiocesan Corporation and the Archdiocesan Corporation is responsible for all liabilities of the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Halifax;
(b) any such property that is held upon trust continues to be held under the same trusts; and
(c) no deed transfer tax, whether imposed pursuant to the Municipal Government Act or otherwise, is exigible in respect of such vesting.
8 Each parish established by the Archbishop in accordance with Section 3 has a board of stewards consisting of the parish priest and six lay stewards, being
(a) the chair of the financial council of the parish;
(b) the chair of the pastoral council of the parish; and
(c) four individuals elected by and from among the electors of the parish.
9 Immediately upon the filing with the Registrar of a certified copy of the decree substantially in the form in Schedule A establishing a parish, the board of stewards of the parish and its successors in office from time to time are a parish corporation under the name "Roman Catholic Parish of [name of parish]".
10 The parish priest is the chief executive of the parish corporation established for the parish of which he is the parish priest.
11 The parish priest is the recognized agent of the parish corporation established for the parish of which he is the parish priest, service upon whom of any originating notice, summons, process, notice or document is sufficient service upon the parish corporation, and the parish corporation shall notify the Registrar of the identity of the parish priest from time to time.
12 (1) A parish corporation has the capacity and, subject to this Act, the rights, powers and privileges of a natural person and, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, may
(a) acquire, hold, lease, mortgage and sell real and personal property;
(b) borrow money upon the credit of the corporation and provide security for such borrowing; and
(c) make, draw, accept, endorse or become party to promissory notes and bills of exchange.
(2) A document executed on behalf of a parish corporation is not invalid merely because a corporate seal is not affixed to it.
(3) The members of the board of stewards are not, in that capacity or in their capacity as members of the parish corporation, liable for any liability of the parish corporation or any act or default of the parish corporation.
(4) A parish corporation shall, in the manner set out in a regulation made by the Archbishop, indemnify a present or former steward or officer of the parish corporation against all costs, charges and expenses, including an amount paid to settle an action or satisfy a judgment, reasonably incurred by the steward or officer in respect of any civil, criminal, administrative, investigative or other proceeding in which the steward or officer is involved because of that association with the parish corporation.
13 (1) A quorum for a meeting of a board of stewards consists of the parish priest, or a person appointed by him, in accordance with a regulation made by the Archbishop, as his substitute for a particular meeting and three lay stewards.
(2) Notwithstanding any vacancy among the lay stewards, a quorum of stewards may exercise all the powers of the stewards.
14 (1) The purpose and object of a parish corporation is to acquire, hold and administer property for the practice of the Roman Catholic faith in the parish for which it is constituted.
(2) Notwithstanding its separate corporate existence and the rights conferred upon it by this Act, each parish corporation is, as representative of its parishioners, an integral part of the Roman Catholic Church in the Archdiocese and shall work collaboratively with the Archbishop, the Archdiocesan Corporation and all other parish corporations in the Archdiocese to promote the Roman Catholic faith throughout the Archdiocese.
15 (1) A parish corporation may not do any of the following without the express written authorization of the Archbishop:
(a) acquire, lease or alienate, whether or not for valuable consideration, any real property;
(b) construct any structures or buildings;
(c) erect, repair, equip, improve, transform or use any buildings or works on the real property owned by the parish corporation or of which it has the use or contribute to or aid in any manner in the erection, equipment and maintenance of such works or buildings if the amount involved exceeds an amount determined by the Archbishop by regulation;
(d) invest capital except in accordance with the investment policies of the Archdiocesan Corporation;
(e) borrow money in an amount in excess of that previously authorized by the Archbishop;
(f) borrow money repayable during the current fiscal year if the amount of such borrowings exceeds one fourth of the ordinary receipts of the parish for the preceding fiscal year;
(g) accept or refuse any donation of money, goods or services except in accordance with the gift acceptance policies of the Archdiocesan Corporation;
(h) hire the services of any person, firm or corporation for any fundraising purpose, including the annual campaign, tithing and a capital campaign;
(i) sell or in any way dispose of tangible or intangible personal property having a historic or artistic interest or acquired by the parish more than 50 years previously;
(j) commence or defend any legal proceeding;
(k) use its real or personal property as collateral for a loan or encumber it with a charge to secure payment of its loans or the performance of its obligations;
(l) issue bonds, debentures or other evidences of indebtedness or securities or sell, exchange or pledge the same;
(m) guarantee the obligations or commitments of any person or parish;
(n) enter into any arrangements with a public authority;
(o) approve, apply for or obtain any statute, ordinance, order, regulation or authorization or provision, legislative or administrative, that may seem calculated to benefit it directly or indirectly or oppose any proceeding or application of such a nature as directly or indirectly to prejudice its interests.
(2) The Archbishop may delegate to any person all or part of his powers referred to in subsection (1).
16 (1) Upon the incorporation of a parish corporation, the board of stewards shall meet within 60 days and make by-laws respecting
(a) the administration, management and control of the property, business and other temporal affairs of the parish corporation;
(b) the appointment, term of office, functions, duties and remuneration of all members, officers, agents and employees of the parish corporation with the exception of the parish priest and other clerics assigned to the parish whose remuneration is determined by the Archdiocesan Corporation in accordance with subsection 6(2); and
(c) generally for the carrying out of the objects and purposes of the parish corporation.
(2) The by-laws may be amended from time to time.
(3) The by-laws and any amendments to them have no effect until approved in writing by the Archbishop.
17 (1) Immediately upon the creation of a parish corporation in accordance with Section 9, and without the execution or registration of any deed, conveyance or transfer,
(a) except for the properties listed in Schedule B, all property both real and personal, tangible and intangible held by the Archdiocesan Corporation for the use and benefit of the parish or held by any other parish or any other person in trust for the parish is, subject to the trusts, if any, upon which the property is held, vested in and shall be held, used and administered by the parish corporation; and
(b) all liabilities of the Archdiocesan Corporation that are attributable to the parish or the property vested by virtue of clause (a) are liabilities of the parish corporation instead of the Corporation.
(2) No deed transfer tax, whether imposed pursuant to the Municipal Government Act or otherwise, is exigible in respect of such vesting.
18 (1) Where the Archbishop determines to alter the boundaries of a parish (the "transferring parish") such that part of the territory of the parish is assigned to another parish (the "receiving parish"),
(a) the existing parish corporations shall continue to operate within their respective new boundaries;
(b) the Archbishop shall file an amending decree with the Registrar describing the change in boundaries;
(c) upon such filing, without the execution or registration of any deed, conveyance or transfer,
(ii) any liability of the transferring parish that is attributable to the area assigned or the property vested by virtue of subclause (i) is the liability of the receiving parish instead of the transferring parish, and
(2) Where the Archbishop determines to amalgamate or merge the entire territories of two or more existing parishes to form a new parish,
(a) the Archbishop shall file with the Registrar a decree recording the amalgamation or merger and Section 9 applies; and
(b) upon the filing of such decree, without the execution or registration of any deed, conveyance or transfer,
19 (1) The Archbishop may by decree filed with the Registrar dissolve a parish corporation if the parish whose property it holds or formerly held has been abolished in accordance with clause 3(a).
(2) The dissolution takes effect upon the filing of the decree.
(3) Upon the filing of such decree, the abolished parish is deemed to be a transferring parish and clause 18(1)(c) applies to the property and liabilities of the dissolved parish corporation.
20 (1) Every parish corporation shall keep at its civic address one or more registers containing such information as the Archbishop may by regulation require including
(a) a copy, certified as a true copy by the Archdiocesan Corporation, of each of the decrees of the Archbishop respecting the parish corporation;
(b) the by-laws of the parish corporation;
(c) the name and address of each steward of the parish corporation;
(d) the name and address of each elector of the parish for which the parish corporation has been established;
(e) a summary of trusts and endowments created for the benefit of the parish;
(f) the debts secured by a mortgage on the real property of the parish corporation, indicating the principal amount of the debt, a summary description of the real property mortgaged and the name and address of the creditor; and
(g) minutes of the meetings of the parish corporation's board of stewards and electors.
(2) The registers are proof of their contents in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, as are extracts therefrom certified by the parish priest or the secretary of the parish corporation.
(3) The parish corporation shall maintain all such registers for such time as the Archbishop directs.
21 The Acts listed in Schedule C do not apply to the Archdiocesan Corporation or a parish corporation or their property.
22 Upon the coming into force of this Section,
(a) all property real or personal or mixed, tangible or intangible, wherever situate, excluding liability insurance policies and rights of action by way of counterclaim in any pending litigation, then vested in or possessed by the Yarmouth Episcopal Corporation is, subject to any trusts upon which a particular property is held, vested in and shall be held by the Archdiocesan Corporation and the Archdiocesan Corporation is indebted to the Yarmouth Episcopal Corporation in the amount equal to the fair value of the property, such indebtedness to be evidenced by a non-interest bearing demand promissory note to be executed by the Archdiocesan Corporation and delivered to the Yarmouth Episcopal Corporation within 30 days thereafter;
(b) no deed transfer tax, whether imposed pursuant to the Municipal Government Act or otherwise, is exigible in respect of such vesting;
(c) notwithstanding Sections 2 and 4 of Chapter 115, any conveyance of property purporting to be made to the Yarmouth Episcopal Corporation or the former Roman Catholic Diocese of Yarmouth operates as a conveyance of such property to the Archdiocesan Corporation;
(d) in Section 4 of Chapter 115, the reference to the Yarmouth Episcopal Corporation is amended to be a reference to the Archdiocesan Corporation; and
(e) Section 7 of Chapter 115 is repealed.
23 Chapter 102 is repealed.
24 This Act comes into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.
The undersigned, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Halifax-Yarmouth, hereby decrees that by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth Act (the Act), I have established a parish having the boundaries set out in the Exhibit to this Decree, under the name "The parish of [name of parish]".
Immediately upon the filing with the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies of a copy hereof, the board of stewards of that parish and their successors in office from time to time are, by virtue of Section 9 of the Act, a body corporate under the name "Roman Catholic Parish of [name of parish]".
The civic address of such body corporate is .................................................
Certified at Halifax Regional Municipality this ..... day of ................, 20.....
Archbishop of Halifax-Yarmouth
[Attach exhibit setting out geographic boundaries of the parish]
Cemetery Companies Act
Companies Winding Up Act
Corporations Miscellaneous Provisions Act
Corporations Registration Act
Part V of the Municipal Government Act with respect to the vesting of property provided for in this Act
Religious Congregations and Societies Act