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Vol: IX  –  Issue: II  –  February 2010


Historical Changes Tool
We are pleased to report that all remaining BC Statutes now include the historical changes tool that was introduced last month. To access this new feature, click the View Historical Changes link at the top of the table of contents of any BC Act. If there have been no recent changes, click on the link to View pre-1997 changes. Work now begins to incorporate a similar table for regulations. We will keep you posted as development progresses.

Budget Offers Few Surprises
Highlights of the recently unveiled budget include:

  • Details of a plan to allow families with children under 18 years old to defer property taxes until they sell their homes, a program announced earlier in the year.
  • The return of the LiveSmartBC homeowners program, with $35 million in funding to provide grants for homeowners to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.
  • Access by community groups to an additional $8 million in gaming grants. Overall the program will be increased to $112 million, down from $156 million.
  • No significant changes for the planned rollout of the harmonized sales tax on July 1, except that all revenue from the tax will be earmarked specifically for health care.
  • A new 2010 sports and art legacy fund, which will get $30 million for youth sports, coaching and athlete development and $30 million for arts and cultural events and organizations.
  • A new northern and rural homeowners grant, worth up to $200, for homeowners outside the Lower Mainland and Victoria's Capital Regional District.

Read the full story as reported by the CBC News.
See the Budget Measures Implementation Act, 2010 [2010 Bill 2].

Province promises action on environmental protection,
job creation and affordable housing

The recent throne speech emphasized regulatory reform and modest initiatives, continuing last year's shift away from new programs and spending. The speech promised action on issues such as environmental protection, job creation and affordable housing, all through changes to existing laws or regulations. See the full story as reported by the Vancouver Sun.

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Energy and Mines News:

B.C. to ban mining in Flathead Valley
The B.C. government has announced plans to ban all mining and oil and gas development in the Flathead Valley, located in the southeastern corner of the province. The government still plans to allow some logging in the valley, along with hunting and other recreation — but mining and petroleum is out. Read the full story as reported by the CBC News.

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Oil and Gas Commission Levy and Orphan Site Reclamation Fund Tax Regulation (363/98) Feb. 1/10 see Reg 285/2009
Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
There were no amendments this month.

Forest and Environment News:

2010 Podiums put B.C. wood
in the world spotlight

British Columbia wood is sharing the spotlight with the world's best athletes thanks to 23 podiums built from timber donated by communities, First Nations, and businesses from across the province. The podiums are built from one of 18 different wood types. The wood for each podium was harvested from a specific area or community, linking the individual podiums to the people and communities that provided the wood. See the full story in the Council of Forest Industries newsletter.

BC’s 2010 Throne Speech - Untapping
BC’s clean energy potential

The 2010 Olympics and the economy were principal topics of the recent throne speech, of course, but the BC government's commitment to revamping the Province's clean energy industry also featured prominently. For highlights from the speech relevant to the clean energy sector, read the full story as summarized in the British Columbia Renewable Energy blog.

Local Governments join Province
to pursue wood first

Mayors of the seven municipalities that have passed Wood First Resolutions in their communities signed a memorandum of understanding with the Province of B.C. The agreement recognizes the opportunity for local governments to become wood champions and support the Government of British Columbia’s Wood First Act by advocating for the adoption of Wood First resolutions by municipalities throughout B.C. Read the full news release.

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Reporting Regulation (272/2009) Feb. 4/10 see Reg 36/2010

Health News:

Food (laws) for thought: BC restaurants
may display calorie counts

Restaurants in BC may soon be required to display nutritional information. The Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport is currently in the preliminary stages of reviewing the idea of menu nutrition labeling for foods served in restaurants and food service establishments. The Ministry has not yet decided what kind of information BC restaurants will be required to provide under potential menu-labeling legislation. Read the full story as reported by The Ubyssey, UBC's campus newspaper.

Consultation to focus on future of
BC Ambulance Service

The province has launched a consultation process with ambulance paramedics and other stakeholders in hopes of improving the quality of ambulance service. The consultation follows the release of a report by an industrial inquiry commissioner. The process will focus on closer integration with the health system and other emergency service providers and opportunities for private sector service delivery. Read the full story from the Times Colonist, or read the full news release.

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Continuing Care Fees Regulation (330/97) Feb. 1/10 see Reg 278/2009
Hospital Insurance Act Regulation (25/61) Feb. 1/10 see Reg 282/2009
Patients' Bill of Rights Regulation (37/2010) NEW
Feb. 4/10
see Reg 37/2010

Labour and Company News:

Self-employed showing little interest in EI
A change to EI legislation last year made 2.6 million workers eligible for benefits that include maternity and parental leave, sickness benefits and taking time off for compassionate care of an ailing loved one who is at risk of dying. However, during the first 23 days this coverage has been offered to people who work for themselves, only 464 registered, according to figures from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. That's less than 0.02 per cent of those eligible, or just two in every 10,000. Read the full story as reported in the Vancouver Sun.

Consumer Taxation Branch
For the latest Bulletins from the Consumer Taxation Branch, see What's New.

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Low Income Climate Action Tax Credit Regulation (135/2008) Jan. 29/10 see Reg 32/2010

Local Government News:

LoGo Notebook and Client Bulletin
Staples McDannold Stewart has posted the Winter 2010 issue of their LoGo NoteBook which includes the article "Selling Land for Local Governments – Part 2" plus information on derelict and abandoned manufactured homes and collecting debts as unpaid property taxes. See the LoGo Notebook. In addition, a client bulletin has been posted on the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent judgment in the final appeal of the Tercon case, an important decision on the law of tendering contracts. See Client Bulletin.

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
British Columbia Building Code Regulation (216/2006) Feb. 1/10 see Reg 322/2009
Bylaw Notice Enforcement Regulation (175/2004) Feb. 1/10 see Regs 6/20107/2010 and 8/2010
Geotechnical Slope Stability (Seismic) Regulation (358/2006) REPEALED
Feb. 1/10
see Reg 321/2009
Liquor Control and Licensing Regulation (244/2002) Feb. 15/10 see Regs 42/2010 and 43/2010
Power Engineers, Boiler, Pressure Vessel and Refrigeration Safety Regulation (104/2004) Feb. 23/10 see Reg 46/2010
School Site Acquisition Charge Regulation (17/2000) Feb. 4/10 see Reg 38/2010
Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
There were no amendments this month.

Motor Vehicle News:

B.C. car sales rules defended
Replying to a Victoria Times Colonist article about protection for auto trade consumers, Ian Christman, director of licensing at the Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of B.C. outlines the declarations that an auto dealer must make under the Motor Dealer Act and its regulations. Read the original article and Ian Christman's response.

Long log permit conditions revised
The Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement (CVSE) office has issued a revised version of Form T-58, which authorizes the transportation of long logs (17-20.1 metres) under a number of conditions. Amendments were made to the lighting requirements. View the Revised permit.

Judge rules accident was staged to defraud ICBC
A judge has ruled against a Coquitlam man who collected damages for a car accident, finding the collision was staged to defraud the Insurance Corporation of B.C. It didn't help that the man, Davood Rezai, had filed insurance claims for 11 accidents and a previous trial had found 10 to be bogus. Read the full story as reported by the Vancouver Sun.

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Designated Use Lanes (Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games) Regulation (35/2010) NEW
Feb. 1/10
see Reg 35/2010
Motor Vehicle Act Regulations (26/58) Feb. 4/10 see Reg 39/2010
Passenger Transportation Regulation (266/2004) Jan. 29/10 see Reg 33/2010
Violation Ticket Administration and Fines Regulation (89/97) Feb. 1/10 see Regs 309/2009 and 310/2009

Real Estate and Builders Lien News:

2010 Visitors buy $32 million in
Vancouver real estate

The 2010 Olympic Winter Games were solid gold for a Vancouver-based real estate developer specializing in luxury suites. Aspac Developments says it sold $31.8 million in high-end units to people visiting Vancouver for the two-week duration of the Games. Read the full story as reported by CTV News.

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
There were no amendments this month.
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