REVISED STATUTES, 1989
1 This Act may be cited as the Interpretation Act. R.S., c. 235, s. 1.
(2) After the insertion of those words, which shall follow the preamble, if any, of the statute, the various provisions of the statute shall follow in concise and enunciative form. R.S., c. 235, s. 2.
3 (1) The Clerk of the House of Assembly shall indorse on every Act of the Legislature, immediately after the title of the Act, the day, month and year when the Act was, by the Lieutenant Governor, assented to or reserved, and in the latter case the Clerk shall also indorse thereon the day, month and year when the Lieutenant Governor has signified, either by speech or message to the Legislature or by proclamation, that the Act was laid before the Governor General in Council and that the Governor General in Council was pleased to assent thereto.
(2) The indorsement shall be taken to be a part of the Act, and the day of the assent or signification, as the case may be, is the date of the commencement of the Act, if no later commencement is therein provided.
(3) Where an enactment is expressed to come into force on a particular day or on a day fixed by proclamation or otherwise, it comes into force immediately on the expiration of the previous day and, where an enactment is expressed to expire, lapse or otherwise cease to have effect on a particular day, it ceases to have effect immediately on the commencement of the following day.
(4) Where an Act contains a provision that the Act or any portion thereof is to come into force on a day later than the date of assent, that provision shall be deemed to have come into force on the date of assent to the Act.
(5) Where an Act provides that certain provisions thereof are to come or shall be deemed to have come into force on a day other than the date of assent, the remaining provisions of the Act shall be deemed to have come into force on the date of assent to the Act.
(6) Where an Act or a part of an Act is expressed to come into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation, judicial notice shall be taken of the issue of the proclamation and the day fixed thereby without being specially pleaded.
(7) Where an Act heretofore or hereafter enacted is expressed to come into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation, a proclamation may extend to the whole or any part or portion of the Act. R.S., c. 235, s. 3.
(b) "bank" or "chartered bank" means a bank to which the Bank Act (Canada) applies, a credit union incorporated pursuant to the Credit Union Act or a trust or loan company that is authorized to carry on business by or pursuant to the Trust and Loan Companies Act and receive or accept deposits within the meaning of that Act, and includes a branch, agency or office of a bank, credit union or trust or loan company;
(d) "duly qualified medical practitioner", "legally qualified medical practitioner" or any other words or expressions importing legal recognition of a person as a medical practitioner or member of the medical profession means a person registered under the Medical Act;
(g) "Governor of Canada" or "Governor General" means the Governor General of Canada, or other chief executive officer or administrator carrying on the Government of Canada on behalf and in the name of the Sovereign, by whatever title he is designated;
(j) "holiday" includes Sunday, New Year's Day, Good Friday, Canada Day, Christmas Day, the birthday or the day appointed for the celebration of the birth of the reigning Sovereign, Victoria Day, Labour Day, Remembrance Day and any day appointed by any statute in force in the Province or by proclamation of the Governor General or of the Lieutenant Governor as a general holiday or for general fast or thanksgiving, and whenever a holiday other than Remembrance Day falls on a Sunday the expression holiday includes the following day;
(p) "Lieutenant Governor" or "Governor" means the Lieutenant Governor of the Province or the chief executive officer or administrator carrying on the Government of the Province on behalf and in the name of the Sovereign by whatever title he is designated;
(r) "oath" or "affidavit", in the case of persons for the time being allowed or required by law to affirm or declare instead of swearing, includes affirmation and declaration and the word "swear" in the like case includes "affirm" and "declare";
(aa) "Revised Statutes" means the Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia for the time being in force by virtue of a proclamation issued by the Governor in Council acting under authority of a statute of the Province;
(ac) "writing", "written" or any term of like import includes words printed, painted, engraved, lithographed, photographed, or represented or reproduced by any mode of representing or reproducing words in a visible form.
(2) In an enactment, a name commonly applied to a country, place, body, corporation, society, officer, functionary, person, party or thing means the country, place, body, corporation, society, officer, functionary, person, party or thing to which the name is commonly applied although the name is not the formal or extended designation.
(3) In this Act and every enactment made at the time, before or after this subsection comes into force, "regulation" includes any rule, rule of court, order prescribing regulations, tariff of costs or fees, form, by-law, resolution or order made in the execution of a power given by an enactment except where the definition of "regulation" as defined by the Regulations Act applies or where a contrary intention appears from the enactment.
(4) Where, in this Act and every enactment made at the time, before or after the coming into force of this subsection, there is a reference to any interest in personal property to secure the payment or performance of an obligation, including a charge, lien, mortgage or pledge, that reference, unless the context otherwise requires, includes a security interest as defined in the Personal Property Security Act. R.S., c. 235, s. 7; 1990, c. 31, s. 1; 1995-96, c. 21; 1995-96, c. 13, s. 81.
that power may, for the purpose of making the enactment effective upon its coming into force, be exercised at any time after the enactment has been passed, but a regulation made thereunder before the enactment comes into force has no effect until the enactment comes into force, except in so far as is necessary to make the enactment effective. R.S., c. 235, s. 8.
9 (1) The law shall be considered as always speaking and, whenever any matter or thing is expressed in the present tense, it shall be applied to the circumstances as they arise, so that effect may be given to each enactment, and every part thereof, according to its spirit, true intent, and meaning.
(6) Where in an enactment the Sovereign is referred to or a person, body, office, officer, place, property, article or thing is described or qualified by words descriptive of the Sovereign, the reference or words shall be read as if written in the masculine gender when the Sovereign is male and as if written in the female gender when the Sovereign is female. R.S., c. 235, s. 9.
12 Marginal notes or headers and appended citations of former enactments form no part of the enactment but shall be deemed to have been inserted for convenience of reference only. R.S., c. 235, s. 12.
13 Except when a contrary intention appears, where an enactment confers power to make regulations or to grant, make or issue an order, writ, warrant, scheme or letters patent, expressions used therein have the same respective meanings as in the enactment conferring the power. R.S., c. 235, s. 13.
14 No enactment is binding on Her Majesty or affects Her Majesty or Her Majesty's rights or prerogatives in any manner unless it is expressly stated therein that Her Majesty is bound thereby. R.S., c. 235, s. 14.
(a) vest in the corporation power to sue and be sued, to contract and be contracted with by its corporate name, to have a common seal and to alter or change it at pleasure, to have perpetual succession, to acquire and hold personal property or movables for the purposes for which the corporation is constituted and to alienate the same at pleasure;
(c) exempt from personal liability for its debts, obligations or acts such individual members of the corporation as do not contravene the provisions of the enactment incorporating them. R.S., c. 235, s. 15.
16 Where the Governor is authorized to do an act by proclamation, it is to be understood that the proclamation is a proclamation issued under an order of the Governor in Council, but it is not necessary to mention in the proclamation that it is issued under the order. R.S., c. 235, s. 16.
17 Except when otherwise expressed in the enactment or in his commission or appointment, a public officer, appointed before or after this Act comes into force under authority of an enactment or otherwise, holds office during pleasure only. R.S., c. 235, s. 17.
(3) Words directing or empowering a minister of the Crown to do an act or thing, or otherwise applying to him by his name of office, include a minister acting for him or, if the office is vacant, a minister designated to act in the office by or under the authority of an order in council, and also his successors in the office and his or their deputy.
(4) Where a power is conferred or a duty imposed on the holder of an office as such, the power may be exercised and the duty shall be performed by the person for the time being charged with the execution of the powers and duties of the office. R.S., c. 235, s. 18; revision corrected.
(3) Where a member of a body designated by the Governor in Council pursuant to this Section resigns office or retires or the member's term of office expires or is terminated, the member shall, during such period of time as the Governor in Council orders, have and exercise the jurisdiction of a member in respect of any application, appeal, proceedings, matter or thing heard before the member or commenced by the member as a member of that body, including the power to complete any unfinished matter and give a decision in that matter as if the member had not so resigned or retired or the member's term of office had not expired or been terminated.
(4) For greater certainty, nothing in subsection (3) precludes the appointment of a new member to fill a vacancy created by such resignation, retirement, expiry or termination and such appointment does not affect the operation of subsection (3).
(5) A designation by the Governor in Council pursuant to subsection (1) or an order by the Governor in Council pursuant to subsection (3) may be made before or after such resignation, retirement, expiry or termination, and may be retroactive in effect. 2003, c. 7, s. 2.
(c) where the doing of an act that is expressly authorized is dependent upon the doing of any other act by the Governor in Council or by a public officer, the Governor in Council or public officer, as the case may be, has the power to do that other act;
(f) where power is conferred to make regulations, the power includes power, exercisable in like manner and subject to like consent and conditions, if any, to rescind, revoke, amend or vary the regulations and make others;
(k) where the time limited for the doing of any act expires or falls upon a Saturday or a holiday, the time so limited extends to and the act may be done on the first following day that is not a Saturday or a holiday;
(m) where an oath is required or provided for, the person to be sworn may substitute for the oath a solemn affirmation in the same form as the oath with the necessary changes. R.S., c. 235, s. 19; 2002, c. 10, s. 4.
20 (1) In an enactment or document, an Act of Nova Scotia or any other province of Canada or of Canada may be cited by reference to its title or its short title, if any, either with or without reference to the chapter, or by reference to the number of the chapter of the revised statutes or revised ordinances or of the statutes or ordinances for the year of Our Lord or the regnal year in which the Act was passed.
21 (1) A reference in an enactment by number or letter to two or more Parts, divisions, Sections, subsections, paragraphs, subparagraphs, clauses, subclauses, schedules or forms in an enactment includes the number or letter first mentioned and the number or letter last mentioned.
(2) A reference in an enactment to a Part, division, Section, schedule or form, except when a contrary intention appears, is a reference to a Part, division, Section, schedule or form of the enactment in which the reference occurs.
(3) A reference in an enactment to a subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, clause or subclause, except when a contrary intention appears, is a reference to a subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, clause or subclause of the Section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph or clause, as the case may be, in which the reference occurs.
(5) A reference in an enactment by number or letter to any Section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, clause, subclause or other division or line of another enactment is a reference to the Section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, clause, subclause or other division or line of such other enactment as printed by authority of law. R.S., c. 235, s. 21; revision corrected 1998.
(b) every bond and security given by a person appointed under the enactment remains in force, and all offices, books, papers and things made or used under the enactment shall continue to be used as before the repeal as far as consistent with the substituted provisions;
(d) in the recovery or enforcement of penalties and forfeitures incurred and in the enforcement of rights, existing or accruing under the enactment or in a proceeding in relation to matters that have happened before the repeal, the procedure established by the substituted provisions shall be followed as far as it can be adapted thereto; and
(e) when any penalty, forfeiture or punishment is reduced or mitigated by any of the provisions so substituted, the penalty, forfeiture or punishment if imposed or adjudged after the repeal shall be reduced or mitigated accordingly. R.S., c. 235, s. 23.
(a) all regulations made under the repealed enactment remain in force, in so far as they are not inconsistent with the substituted enactment, until they are annulled or others made in their stead; and
(b) a reference, in an unrepealed enactment to the repealed enactment, shall, as regards a subsequent transaction, matter or thing, be read as a reference to the provisions of the substituted enactment relating to the same subject-matter as the repealed enactment, but where there are no provisions in the substituted enactment relating to the same subject-matter, the repealed enactment shall be read as unrepealed as far as is necessary to maintain or give effect to the unrepealed enactment.
(2) Where an enactment of any other province of Canada or of Canada is repealed and other provisions are substituted by way of amendment, revision or consolidation, a reference in an enactment of Nova Scotia to the repealed enactment is, as regards a subsequent transaction, matter or thing, a reference to the provisions of the substituted enactment relating to the same subject-matter as the repealed enactment. R.S., c. 235, s. 24.
25 (1) Repeal of an enactment is not a declaration that the enactment was, or was considered by the Legislature or other body or person by whom the enactment was passed or made to have been, previously in force.
(2) A re-enactment, revision, consolidation or amendment of an enactment is not to be construed as an adoption of the construction that has by judicial decision or otherwise been placed upon the language used in the enactment or upon similar language. R.S., c. 235, s. 25.
26 Where by any enactment or by any rule of the Legislature, or by any order, regulation or commission made or issued by the Governor in Council under any law authorizing him to require the taking of evidence under oath, an oath is authorized or directed to be made, taken or administered, such oath may be administered, and a certificate of its having been made, taken or administered may be given, by anyone named in the enactment, rule, order, regulation or commission or by a judge of any court, a notary public, a commissioner for taking affidavits or a justice of the peace having jurisdiction or authority in the place in which the oath is administered. R.S., c. 235, s. 26.
27 Where an oath may be lawfully taken it may be administered to any person while such person holds in his hand a copy of the Old or New Testament without requiring him to kiss the same or, when he objects to being sworn in this manner or declares that the oath so administered is not binding upon his conscience, then in such manner and form and with such ceremonies as he may declare to be binding. R.S., c. 235, s. 27.
28 (1) Where a pecuniary penalty or a forfeiture is imposed for contravention of any enactment, then, if no other mode is prescribed for its recovery and it cannot be recovered upon summary conviction, the penalty or forfeiture is recoverable with costs by civil action or proceeding at the suit of the Crown only, or of a private party suing as well for the Crown as for himself, before a court having jurisdiction to the amount of the penalty in cases of simple contract.
(2) If no other provision is made for the appropriation of the penalty or forfeiture, one half thereof belongs to the Crown, and the other half belongs to the private plaintiff, if there is any, and if there is none the whole belongs to the Crown. R.S., c. 235, s. 28.
29 Any penalty or sum of money, or the proceeds of any forfeiture which is by any enactment given to the Province, shall, if no other provision is made respecting it, be paid into the Consolidated Fund, and be accounted for and otherwise dealt with accordingly. R.S., c. 235, s. 29.
30 Where in any enactment, a person is directed to be imprisoned or committed to prison, the imprisonment or committal shall, if no other place is mentioned or provided by law, be in or to the common jail of the locality in which the order for the imprisonment or committal is made or, if there is no common jail there, then in or to that common jail which is nearest to such locality, and the keeper of any such common jail shall receive such person and him safely keep and detain in the common jail under his custody until discharged in due course of law or bailed in cases in which bail may by law be taken. R.S., c. 235, s. 30.
31 Where it is declared that any matter is to form a municipal charge, it shall be rated, levied and collected with and by the same means as are by law directed with respect to other moneys for municipal purposes. R.S., c. 235, s. 31.
32 Unless a contrary intention appears, the interpretation Section of the Judicature Act, so far as the terms defined can be applied, extends to all matters relating to legal matters. R.S., c. 235, s. 32.
32A Sections 52A to 52G of the Trade Union Act apply to collective bargaining between a police bargaining unit as defined by Section 52A of that Act and an employer on and after the seventeenth day of March, 2005, whether the collective bargaining commenced before, on or after that day. 2005, c. 34, s. 1.
34 Where an act or omission constitutes an offence under two or more enactments, or an offence both under an enactment and at common law, the offender, unless the contrary intention appears, is liable to be prosecuted and punished under either or any of the enactments or at common law, but is not liable to be punished twice for the same offence. R.S., c. 235, s. 34.
35 (1) Where bonds are required to be given by a public officer, whether appointed under the provisions of an enactment by the Governor in Council or otherwise, they shall be taken in Her Majesty's name when not otherwise directed.
(2) Sureties to any such bond may at any time give to the Attorney General notice of their desire to withdraw from liability thereunder, and in such case the liability of the sureties does not extend to any act done or matter omitted more than three months after the receipt of the notice.
36 Where, by any enactment enacted either before or after the enactment of this Section, judicial or quasi-judicial powers are given to a judge or officer of a court, the judge or officer shall, in the absence of express provision to the contrary, be deemed to exercise such powers in his official capacity and as representing the court to which he is attached, and, for the purpose of performing the duties imposed upon him by the enactment subject to the provisions thereof, may exercise the powers he possesses as a judge or an officer of that court. R.S., c. 235, s. 36.
37 Where in any enactment or in any will, deed, lease, contract or other document there is a reference to the Canadian Armed Forces, to Her Majesty's Canadian or Royal Canadian Navy, Army or Air Force or to the Naval, Army or Air Forces of Canada, or to a commissioned officer or member thereof or any similar reference, the reference shall be construed as including a reference to the Canadian Forces or a commissioned officer or member thereof, as the case may be. R.S., c. 235, s. 37.