Where are the experts? Where are the authoritative opinions or interpretations? Our democracy and laws are at stake.
Here are the relevant sections:
Duration of House of Assembly
The people of this province must demand that the law be upheld and demand a ruling on the legislation.
Let's look at the intent - the law provides the establishment of a fixed election date - to provide predictability and stability in the election process and to reduce political opportunism. Secondly the law provided for an exception - in that it anticipates that a Premier could resign early. The law defines early as before the end of the third year. Given this eventuality the law prescribes that the fixed election date provision is no longer applicable and establishes a new process with limits. The limit prescribed is- not later than 12 months afterward.
The reason the wording "before the end of the third year" is used in 3.1 to outline timing - is that by the end of the third year the election is already set by law in 3.
Therefore the only meaning one can attribute to the word "afterward" is relative to the resignation date NOT the date a new leader is chosen and sworn in. Otherwise an election would never have to be held as long as he/she is not sworn in as Premier. That is also the reason the words "in either case no later than provided for in 3" are not used to define a new time limit in the event of a resignation.
The election must be called by January 24th 2015 and we must demand the law be followed. If this means going to the Lieutenant Governor or to the courts for interpretation - then so be it.
The reason for my review of the language again - this time - taking off the "loophole" blinders and giving credit to the drafters (Justice Department officials) - is because what was taking place by the PC's appeared to be in direct conflict with the intent of the law.
Additionally if one reads section 3.1 minus the wording between comma's which defines a new leader - one can see the intent was the date referring to the resignation. The only reason the inserted wording was used was to differentiate the authority of a new leader versus an interim leader.