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- Act respecting lands of religious congregations
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Updated to 22 October 1999
This document has official status.
Act respecting lands of religious congregations
PROPERTY OF CONGREGATIONS
All lands, of what extent soever, which were in the possession of any parish, mission, congregation or society of Christians, of any denomination whatever, by virtue of any title vesting in them the property thereof, on 19 March 1839, shall be deemed to be held in mortmain forever, by and for the benefit of such parish, mission, congregation or society of Christians, and shall, by virtue of this division, be their absolute property, insofar as their respective titles extend and are valid.
R. S. 1964, c. 306, s. 1
To give effect to section 1, the rector or officiating clergyman, with the churchwardens of such parish, mission, congregation or society of Christians, or the trustees to whom the care and administration of such lands were confided, should have caused the titles thereto, and a description and measurement thereof made by a land surveyor, to be registered before 19 March 1841, in the office of the prothonotary of the Court of Queen’s Bench, or before 23 February 1877, in the office of the prothonotary of the Superior Court for the district in which such lands were situated, or, in default of such title, caused to be registered, in the manner aforesaid, authentic certificates of the peaceable possession of such lands during 10 years, such certificates being attested by seven persons, being owners or holders of real property in the place or the neighborhood thereof, with a description and measurement of such lands, made as aforesaid by a land surveyor.
R. S. 1964, c. 306, s. 2
Such titles or certificates should have contained the names and additions which such parish, mission or religious congregation, and the rector, missionary or religious teachers, churchwardens, trustees or other administrators, had taken for themselves and their successors in office, to the end that by such names they might hold and possess such lands forever, and institute and defend all actions at law necessary for the conservation of their rights therein.
R. S. 1964, c. 306, s. 3
Whenever any parish, mission, congregation or society of Christians of any denomination, not being a parish recognized by the law, is desirous of acquiring lands for the sites of churches, chapels, meeting-houses, cemeteries, dwelling-houses for their priests, ministers, ecclesiastics or religious teachers, or school-houses, and the appurtenances thereunto necessary for the said several purposes, such parish, mission, congregation or society of Christians may appoint one or more trustees, to whom and to whose successors, to be appointed in the manner set forth in the deed of transfer, the lands necessary for each and every of the purposes aforesaid may be conveyed; and such trustees and their successors forever, by the name by which they and the congregation on whose behalf they act, are designated in such deed of transfer, may acquire by purchase, donation, exchange, or as a legacy, and hold and possess the lands so acquired, and may institute and defend all actions at law for the conservation of such lands and of their rights therein.
R. S. 1964, c. 306, s. 4
1999, c. 40, s. 315
The successors of such trustees appointed in the manner provided in such deed of transfer as aforesaid, or in the manner provided at a meeting of the congregation or society held in the manner and within the period prescribed by the Act 19-20 Victoria, chapter 103, shall have the same rights and powers as if appointed in such deed of transfer.
R. S. 1964, c. 306, s. 5
1999, c. 40, s. 315
A copy of the record of the proceedings of such meeting, certified by the notary in whose office a copy of such record certified by the chairman and secretary of the meeting was deposited by
acte de dépôt
, in the manner prescribed by the act last mentioned, shall be
evidence of the contents of such record.
R. S. 1964, c. 306, s. 6
In every case wherein a parish established by law is concerned, the foregoing provisions respecting trustees shall extend to the rector and churchwardens of such parish; and whenever any such religious congregation is thereafter constituted a parish, in the manner by law provided, the property in all lands, so acquired as aforesaid, shall be vested in such parish, and the administration and control thereof shall pass from the said trustees into the hands of the
or rector of such parish, or of the other person, persons, or body to whom the same should pass, according to the rules and regulations of the church to which such parish belongs.
R. S. 1964, c. 306, s. 7
Where any congregation or society of Christians held property, as aforesaid, within any parish established by law on 19 March 1839, the property so held by such congregation or society of Christians shall not be vested in such parish, but the administration and control thereof shall remain with the said trustees of such congregation or society of Christians, to be held in mortmain forever, for the benefit of such congregation or society of Christians, as aforesaid.
R. S. 1964, c. 306, s. 8
Such trustees, or such rectors and churchwardens, shall, within two years after they have acquired such lands, conform to the provisions of sections 1, 2 and 3 concerning the registration to be made with regard to such lands at the office of the clerk, such registration being made in the office of the clerk of the Superior Court in the district in which the lands lie, and for which registration the clerks of the several districts, respectively, shall be entitled to a fee of not more than $0.05 for every 100 words.
The quantity of land so acquired for the purposes aforesaid, within the walls situated in the territory of Ville de Québec and in the territory of Ville de Montréal respectively, shall not, in the whole, exceed 34 ha, (whereof no part shall be used as a cemetery, excepting for ecclesiastics and religious persons of either sex, or for private vaults for the donors of the grounds) and outside of the walls but within the territory of the said cities, shall not exceed 2,73 ha; and the quantity of land so held in any other place for the use of each parish, mission, congregation, or religious society shall not exceed 81 ha.
R. S. 1964, c. 306, s. 9
1984, c. 47, s. 213
1996, c. 2, s. 953
Nothing in this division shall extend or apply to any parish, rectory or parsonage lawfully erected and constituted heretofore or hereafter according to the establishment of the Church of England.
R. S. 1964, c. 306, s. 10
Nothing in this division shall weaken, diminish, extinguish or affect the rights or privileges of the State or of any seignior, or of any person or corporation whatever, except such rights as are by this division expressly altered or affected.
R. S. 1964, c. 306, s. 11
1999, c. 40, s. 315
Any parish, mission, congregation or society of Christians, not being a parish recognized by law, may acquire in any way indicated by Division I of this Act, and hold and possess as thereby provided, any lands for cemeteries, subject to any trust expressed or implied touching the same, in favour of any persons or classes of persons not being of such parish, mission, congregation or society; and all trusts created or indicated so to be, by any deed or transfer of such lands for cemeteries to any such parish, mission, congregation or society are deemed to affect the same and shall have due effect accordingly.
R. S. 1964, c. 306, s. 12
1999, c. 40, s. 315
Whenever, on application of any such parish, mission, congregation or society, after two months’ notice first duly given in French and English, in the
Gazette officielle du Québec
and in one or more newspapers published in or as near as may be to the district wherein such lands are situated, it is made to appear to the satisfaction of the Government that an exchange of other land for any land held for burial purposes by such parish, mission, congregation or society is on any public ground desirable, the Government may authorize such exchange, subject to all conditions and restrictions deemed advisable, whether as to removal of bodies interred or as to other operations; and such parish, mission, congregation or society may thereupon make the exchange so authorized, and do all other acts thereto requisite or pertinent, whether for removal of bodies interred or for other operations, subject always to such conditions and restrictions and to all charges and liabilities thence resulting.
R. S. 1964, c. 306, s. 13
APPOINTMENT OF SUCCESSORS TO TRUSTEES OF LANDS HELD IN THE NAME OF RELIGIOUS CONGREGATIONS
Any congregation or society of Christians of any denomination, on whose behalf lands in Québec are now, have been or hereafter shall be held by a trustee or trustees, without the manner of appointing successors being set forth in the deed of grant or transfer of such lands, may at any time assemble in a public meeting duly called by notice in writing, signed by at least five members of such congregation or society, and affixed to the door of their place of worship, at least eight days previous to the day appointed for holding such meeting, and at such meeting, by the votes of a majority of the members of such congregation or society then and there present, determine in what manner the successors to such trustee or trustees shall be appointed from among the members of the religious denomination on whose behalf such lands were originally granted, or transferred.
R. S. 1964, c. 306, s. 14
1999, c. 40, s. 315
A record of the proceedings of the meeting shall be made out in writing, and entered and transcribed in the minute-book or other official register of the acts and proceedings of such society or congregation, and shall be signed by the chairman and secretary, and shall thereafter be deposited on record among the archives of the congregation or society; and a copy of such record, certified to be a true copy by the chairman or secretary, on oath before a justice of the peace, shall be deposited in the registry office of the registration division in which the property is situated.
A copy of such proceedings taken from the minute-book or other official register of the congregation, and certified by the clerk or custodian of the records of the congregation, or a copy certified by the registrar of the registration division wherein the same shall have been deposited according to this section, shall be
evidence of the contents thereof.
R. S. 1964, c. 306, s. 15
1996, c. 2, s. 954
The record above mentioned, made and deposited in accordance with the provisions of this division, shall, in every such case, have the same effect as a clause in the deed of grant or transfer of the lands to which it relates, setting forth the manner of appointing successors to the trustees named, would have, and no more.
R. S. 1964, c. 306, s. 16
1999, c. 40, s. 315
EXPROPRIATIONS FOR THE PURPOSE OF BUILDING AND ENLARGING CHURCHES, RECTORIES, AND FOR CEMETERY PURPOSES
Notwithstanding the preceding provisions of this Act and of the Act respecting the constitution of certain Churches (
) and any other law to the contrary, any parish, mission, congregation or society of Christians lawfully organized, or simply recognized by the competent authority of the religious denomination to which they belong, may, in conformity with the ordinary provisions of the law, obtain, by expropriation, the land necessary for the establishment or enlargement of a church, of a sacristy, of a rectory or of a cemetery for the burial of its deceased members; and every cemetery company lawfully constituted may likewise obtain by expropriation the land necessary for establishing or enlarging its cemetery.
R. S. 1964, c. 306, s. 17
1999, c. 40, s. 315
This Division ceased to have effect on 17 April 1987.
(This section ceased to have effect on 17 April 1987).
1982, c. 21, s. 1
U. K., 1982, c. 11, Sch. B, Part I, s. 33
In accordance with section 17 of the Act respecting the consolidation of the statutes (chapter R-3), chapter 306 of the Revised Statutes, 1964, in force on 31 December 1977, is repealed effective from the coming into force of chapter T-7 of the Revised Statutes.
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