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Oak Island Treasure Act and the Special Places Protection Act (amended)

BILL NO. 68

(as introduced)

1st Session, 62nd General Assembly
Nova Scotia
63 Elizabeth II, 2014



Private Member's Bill



Oak Island Treasure Act
and the Special Places Protection Act
(amended)



The Honourable Denise Peterson-Rafuse
Chester–St. Margaret's



First Reading: April 23, 2014

(Explanatory Notes)

Second Reading:

Third Reading:

Explanatory Notes

Clause 1 repeals provisions of the Oak Island Treasure Act that allow

(a) the Minister to issue or renew a treasure-hunting licence; and

(b) a licence holder to retain treasure discovered and recovered upon payment of a royalty.

Clause 2 cancels all existing treasure-hunting licences as of the coming into force of this Clause.

Clause 3 amends the Special Places Protection Act to add Oak Island treasure to the definition of "heritage object".

Clause 4 directs the Minister to designate Oak Island as a protected site.

Clause 5 allows persons whose existing treasure-hunting licences are cancelled by Clause 2 and who are issued a heritage research permit within six months of the cancellation to retain any coins or gold or silver bars discovered and recovered by the person, subject to a requirement to deliver a portion of the coins or bars, as selected by the archaeologist appointed by the Government of Nova Scotia, to the Nova Scotia Museum or another public institution, to become the property of Nova Scotia.

Clause 6 requires the holder of a heritage research permit to pay the expenses in relation to an archaeologist appointed by the Government of Nova Scotia to monitor the site of any explorations or excavations carried out on Oak Island.

An Act to Amend Chapter 39
of the Acts of 2010,
the Oak Island Treasure Act,
and Chapter 438 of the Revised Statutes, 1989,
the Special Places Protection Act

Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:

1 Sections 4, 5 and 9 of Chapter 39 of the Acts of 2010, the Oak Island Treasure Act, are repealed.

2 Chapter 39 is further amended by adding immediately after Section 13 the following Section:

13A On the coming into force of this Section, all licences issued pursuant to this Act, and in effect immediately before the coming into force of this Section, are hereby cancelled.

3 Clause 3(aa) of Chapter 438 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Special Places Protection Act, as enacted by Chapter 45 of the Acts of 1990 and amended by Chapter 39 of the Acts of 2010, is further amended by striking out "but does not include" in the second and third lines and substituting "and includes".

4 (1) Section 7 of Chapter 438, as amended by Chapter 44 of the Acts of 1990, is further amended by adding immediately after subsection (1) the following subsection:

(1A) The Minister shall designate Oak Island as a protected site.

(2) Subsection 7(2) of Chapter 438 is amended by adding "or (1A)" immediately after "(1)" in the second line.

5 Chapter 438 is further amended by adding immediately after Section 8 the following Section:

8A (1) Subsection to subsection (2), where a person who was the holder of a licence issued under the Oak Island Treasure Act and cancelled under Section 13A of that Act is issued a heritage research permit

(a) within six months of the cancellation of the licence; and

(b) with respect to land on Oak Island,

the person may retain, for the person's own use and benefit, any coins or gold or silver bars that are recovered

(c) by the person;

(d) within the area covered by the permit; and

(e) within two years of the issuance of the permit.

(2) A person referred to in subsection (1) shall deliver possession of such coins and gold and silver bars recovered as are selected by the archaeologist appointed under Section 9A, the value of which must not exceed twenty-five percent of the value of all of the coins and gold and silver bars recovered within the area covered by the permit within two years of the issuance of the permit, to the Museum or to any other public institution that the Minister may designate, which coins and bars become the property of the Province.

6 Chapter 438 is further amended by adding immediately after Section 9 the following Section:

9A The Government of the Province shall select an archaeologist to monitor any site on Oak Island at which the holder of a heritage research permit undertakes archaeological, historical or palaeontological explorations or excavations, and the permit holder shall pay all expenses in relation to the appointment of the archaeologist and the monitoring of the site by the archaeologist.


This page and its contents published by the Office of the Legislative Counsel, Nova Scotia House of Assembly, and © 2014 Crown in right of Nova Scotia. Created April 23, 2014. Send comments to legc.office@novascotia.ca.