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We wonder whether “wilful” was willingly and wilfully worded wisely

Today we very quickly moved through committee stage of  Bill 37, the Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act, (No. 2), 2015 (what I’ve called the Comma and Spellchecker Act). This bill  simply corrected a few commas, a bracket that shouldn’t have been italicized, and a couple of spelling mistakes. I spoke to this bill earlier at second reading, Today, during committee stage I had but one question. Why are we only checking the spelling of willful in a couple of bills and not all of them?

Below are the text and video of the question together with the Minister’s response.


Video of Exchange



Text of Exchange


A. Weaver: I’ve got one question, and the question is with respect to: why these changes? Why I say that is I recognize the importance of changing the spelling of “willful” and doing it through legislation, as we are here.

But as I outlined in second reading, the Community Charter, Insurance Premium Tax Act, the Local Government Act, the Logging Tax Act, the Maa-nulth First Nations Final Agreement Act, the Mineral Tax Act, the Motor Fuel Tax Act, the Perpetuity Act — I don’t even know what some of these are — the Personal Property Security Act, the Property Transfer Tax Act, Railway Act, Tobacco Tax Act and on and on also have “wilful” spelt differently.

My question to the minister is this: Why do we selectively correct the spelling of “wilful” in some — the School Act, I reckon, is important — and not in other acts. Surely, in doing this, we would do a global search of how wilful is spelt and change all occurrences of wilful to be consistent across acts so that we’re not introducing more of these spell-checker acts wilfully.

Hon. S. Anton: The spelling of the word wilfully does occur in different acts and it’s spelled differently, as the member has pointed out. I’m glad that he has time to look up these things.

The issue in the Tobacco Tax Act is that it was spelled differently in the same act. The act was under consideration for other reasons, so it was thought an opportune time to correct it so at least the act itself was internally consistent.

Every time there’s a correction, it does require consultation. These mistakes are found, but you still have to go out to the ministry and make sure that they’re good with it and do all the proper dotting of the i’s and crossing of the t’s, so to speak, typographically. This was an opportune one to do right now. There may be others brought forward in the future, and that will be a matter of discretion as we move forward.

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