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Vol: XI  –  Issue: VIII  –  August 2012


New Video Tutorials
Haven’t had time to learn how Quickscribe’s new BC Legislative Digest can benefit you? Are you somewhat familiar with some of Quickscribe’s historical legislative research tools, but would like to learn more? Quickscribe has been busy updating the video help tutorials and have published two new videos to YouTube. These 10-minute videos will go a long way to ensure you and your colleagues are taking advantage of all the features QS has to offer:

BC Legislative Digest TutorialWatch Now!

QS Historical Legislative Research ToolsWatch Now!
*If links to YouTube do not work, copy and paste the following URLs into your browser. Videos will be added to the help menu shortly.
BC Legislative Digest Tutorial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ug52wnx7A6A
QS Historical Legislative Research Tools:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-94-B3B_wA

Quickscribe Online News
With summer drawing to an end, Quickscribe is now ready to embark on a number of exciting initiatives. Some of these projects include the refining and expansion of existing Quickscribe Online research tools (Status Checker/Pending Changes) but also the addition of new services, including the addition of a new OIC tracker. We hope to have many of these enhancements completed before the end of the year, so stay tuned!

Tip: Log in to Quickscribe Online prior to clicking Reporter links.

FEDERAL LEGISLATION — For notification of federal amendments, we recommend you use our RSS feed.

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Energy and Mines News:

Numerous Changes to Drilling and
Production Regulation, 282/2010

B.C. Reg. 241/2012 made numerous changes to the Drilling and Production Regulation, 282/2010. These changes came into force on August 14, 2012. For more details on these changes please refer to BC Reg. 241/2012.

BC Wants Feds to Beef Up
Environmental Laws, Funding

Ottawa must strengthen regulations and inspection requirements to protect the land and the ocean before BC will support Enbridge's $6-billion Northern Gateway project, BC Environment Minister Terry Lake said Thursday. He said the federal funds available to clean up marine spills must also increase. Lake's comments came as the National Energy Board announced stepped-up audits at Enbridge's control centre in Edmonton, and U.S. regulators told the company it could not restart a Wisconsin pipeline following a recent leak until it hired an independent party to supervise a new safety plan. Read Vancouver Sun article.

BC Pipeline Review Needed to Restore Legal Powers
Province has signed away rights to carry out its own assessment
Last week, NDP leader, Adrian Dix, announced his commitment to a "made in BC" environmental review of the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. As an adviser to Dix on this issue, Murray Rankin explains the legal considerations behind this decision: In 2010, the BC Liberals signed an "equivalency agreement" with Ottawa, which said, in effect, that an environmental assessment of the Enbridge pipeline and tanker proposal carried out by the Harper government's joint review panel would constitute a BC environmental assessment as well. View the Times Colonist article and read more here.

Critics Launch Court Action, Release E-mail
Scathing BC’s Environmental Assessment Process

BC’s environmental assessment process is so flawed it cannot hope to fill the void created by the federal government walking away from assessments of almost 500 projects, critics charged Wednesday, while launching court action and releasing a scathing internal government email. Ecojustice went to BC Supreme Court seeking a judicial review of the province’s failure to conduct a formal environmental assessment on the Holmes hydro power project near McBride. Read more.

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Drilling and Production Regulation (282/2010) Aug. 13/12 by Reg 241/2012
Aug. 14/12 by Reg 242/2012
Fee, Levy and Security Regulation (278/2010) Aug. 14/12 by Reg 243/2012
QCS Exemption Regulation (239/2012) NEW
Aug. 1/12
see Reg. 239/2012

Family, Wills & Estates News:

Determining Spousal Status Can Be Difficult
The number of people in common law relationships has steadily increased over the years. While many couples may actively choose a common law relationship over marriage, others may do so inadvertently, making a decision to cohabit without really considering whether they are, or intend to be, in a common law relationship. In the estate context, status as a common law spouse is significant. Under the Estate Administration Act, a common law spouse may be entitled to all or a part of the estate of a deceased who died without a will. Under the Wills Variation Act, a common law spouse may have a claim against an estate where the deceased did have a will but the common law spouse was not adequately provided for. View full article by Areet Kaila with Clark Wilson LLP.

New Report Claims Bias against Abused Mothers in
Child Custody Cases – Family Relations Act

A new report published by the West Coast Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) identifies a number of problems with the way parenting assessments conducted by psychologists and other professionals in contentious child-custody cases. The report, entitled Troubling Assessments: Custody and Access Reports and Their Equality Implications for BC Women, was authored by Shahnaz Rahman and Laura Track.

What if a Gift in a Will No Longer Exists?
What happens if a specific gift you were promised under a will no longer exists at the time of the testator’s death? The short answer is the missing gift fails, and you may have no claim to an equivalent benefit from the estate. For example, if your father left you his Honda in his will and subsequently sold the Honda and bought a Mercedes, then you would no longer be entitled to the Honda. Nor would you be entitled to the Mercedes in its place. The same principle applies to real property. The result may seem harsh, but it is based on sound policy consideration. View full article by Lauren Liang with Clark Wilson.

Unmarried Couples and Property Transition
Provisions of the Family Law Act

JP Boyd recently published a short article on how the transitional provisions of the Family Law Act are going to work with unmarried couples' existing property claims. Read the post on Courthouse Libraries' blog, The Stream:

I’ve been getting a lot of calls lately about how the transition provisions of the Family Law Act work in respect of the present property claims of unmarried couples. It’s not terribly complicated. This is what s. 252 of the FLA provides: 

Transition: Proceeding Respecting Property Division
(1) This section applies despite the repeal of the former Act and the enactment of Part 5 of this Act.
(2) Unless the spouses agree otherwise,

(a) a proceeding to enforce, set aside or replace an agreement respecting property division made before the coming into force of this section, or
(b) a proceeding respecting property division started under the former Act must be started or continued, as applicable, under the former Act as if the former Act had not been repealed.
The good news about this provision is in the last line about proceedings started or continued under the Family Relations Act. Here’s how this plays out.
Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Vital Statistics Act Aug. 1/12 by 2011 Bill 10, c. 24, ss. 20 and 21 only (Reg 121/2012), Nurse Practitioners Statutes Amendment Act, 2011
Forest and Environment News:

Cut More Timber to Fight Pine Beetle,
Help Burns Lake: Government Report

The BC timber industry is at stake and the provincial government and forestry companies are going to have to make changes to stave off a dramatic drop that will come sooner or later, says a new government report released Wednesday. The report [by the BC Timber Supply Committee] says the pine beetle will decimate up to 70 percent of the central Interior’s marketable timber by 2021 if the report’s 22 recommendations aren’t implemented. Read full Vancouver Sun article.

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

BC Government Asks for Injunction Targeting
Private Clinic – Health Care Laws

The British Columbia government filed an application Wednesday for an injunction that would force a controversial private clinic operator to stop billing patients, a move that will likely see the province's courts become the latest to weigh the constitutionality of this country's health-care laws. The province's Medical Services Commission released an audit last month that concluded the Cambie Surgery Centre and the Specialist Referral Clinic, which are owned by the same company, have been illegally billing patients for procedures that are supposed to be covered by the public system. The commission ordered them to stop the practice by August 17, but the clinics ignored that deadline, prompting the request for an injunction. No date has been set to hear the application. The audit's findings were no surprise. The clinics' outspoken operator, Dr. Brian Day, has openly admitted flouting the health-care law for more than a decade, repeatedly challenging the province to attempt to shut him down. Read it on Global News.

Privacy is a Partner, Not a Foe, in Medical Research
Medical research is vital to all British Columbians. It saves lives and decreases morbidity. It improves our health outcomes and creates efficiencies in health care. And attracting research dollars is good for BC’s economy. In recent weeks, there has been a lively debate about the barriers researchers encounter in accessing health data for medical research. Many participants in this debate allege that privacy law and policies are the culprits. Elizabeth Denham disagrees. As BC’s information and privacy commissioner, she is confident that it is possible to facilitate research and protect privacy at the same time. View the full article.

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Child Care Licensing Regulation (332/2007) Sept. 1/12 s. 77 (3) repeals s. 77
Optometrists Regulation (33/2009) Aug. 1/12 by Reg 200/2012
Pool Regulation (296/2010) Aug. 8/12 by Reg 240/2012
Labour, Company and Finance News:

Employment Standards Coalition to Curb Child Labour -
BC Employment Standards Act

When Jeni Mathers tells people that children as young as 12 are working on British Columbia's construction sites and factory floors, she gets some extreme reactions. "A lot of people are in denial about it. When we talk to them they're shocked, they're embarrassed, they say, 'That can't possibly be.'" Mathers is one of several members of the BC Employment Standards Coalition who have been visiting community events across the province, raising awareness for what they, and many others, see as a huge problem. In BC, any child under 15 can hold almost any job with little more regulation than a parent's permission note. These young workers are inexperienced, poorly protected and being injured on a regular basis. View the full article written by Peter Goffin and published on Rabble.ca.

Employer Obligations under the Human Rights Code
Although you may not realize it, the Human Rights Code applies to employment, and governs your decision making with respect to your employees. The Code specifies that, as an employer, you cannot make any employment decisions based on the grounds of the race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, political belief, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation or age unless that decision is based upon a bona fide occupational requirement. You can’t even make employment decisions based on an employee having been convicted of a criminal or summary conviction offence that is unrelated to the employment unless there is a bona fide occupational requirement for that decision. So what is considered a “bona fide occupational requirement”? Simply put, it is a quality or attribute that is integral to the function of a job. Generally, there would be undue hardship placed on you, the employer, if you had to hire someone without that quality or attribute. View full article by Daniel Sorensen with BC Employment Lawyer Blog.

BC Labour Leader, Families Call for Tougher
Measures to Prosecute Workplace Deaths

It’s been almost four years since Tracey Phan’s father died at a mushroom farm near Vancouver, one of three workers killed when toxic gas leaked into a small shed on the site. An investigation by WorkSafe BC, the province’s workers’ compensation board, later identified a litany of violations that contributed to the deaths, and the farm’s owners were fined hundreds of thousands of dollars after pleading guilty to breaking occupational health and safety laws. View full story in the Globe And Mail.

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act Aug. 1/12 by 2011 Bill 10, c. 24, s. 1 only (Reg 121/2012), Nurse Practitioners Statutes Amendment Act, 2011
Designated Institutions Regulation (158/2003) Aug. 31/12 by Reg 258/2012
Employment Standards Act Aug. 1/12 by 2011 Bill 10, c. 24, ss. 4 to 6 only (Reg 121/2012), Nurse Practitioners Statutes Amendment Act, 2011
Pension Benefits Standards Regulation (433/93) Sept. 1/12 by Reg 135/2012
Prescribed Time Periods for Decisions Regulation (49/2012) NEW
Sept. 1/12
see Reg 49/2012

Local Government News:

Community Charter Amendments
B.C. Reg. 138/2012 brought into force sections of the Community, Sport and Cultural Development Statutes Amendment Act, 2011 effective September 1, 2012. These amendments affect the following sections:

  • section 220: increases the limit on the assessed value of farm improvements that is exempt from taxation under the Act.
  • section 222: adds a transitional provision applicable to real property, in a newly incorporated municipality or in an area newly included in a municipality, that was, immediately before the incorporation or inclusion, exempt from taxation because of section 15 (1) (f.1) of the Taxation (Rural Area) Act, added by this Bill.

Municipal Retirees Double-dipping,
Says Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Two North Vancouver municipalities are facing criticism for hiring back recently retired senior employees and paying them pensions and contract wages at the same time. Fire chiefs Dave Burgess and Barry Penman from the City of North Vancouver and Steven Feenstra, a deputy fire chief with the District of North Vancouver, retired recently and were then hired back on contracts to train their replacements. The practice, which is allowed under municipal pension rules, smacks of poor planning, says Jordan Bateman, BC director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. View Vancouver Sun article.

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Application for Farm Classification Regulation (247/2012) NEW
Sept. 1/12
see Reg 247/2012 (Replaces Reg 153/96)
Assessment Act Sept. 1/12 by 2011 Bill 8, c. 2, ss. 1 and 2 only (Reg 138/2012), Community, Sport and Cultural Development Statutes Amendment Act, 2011
Community Charter Sept. 1/12 by 2011 Bill 8, c. 2, ss. 3 and 4 only (Reg 138/2012), Community, Sport and Cultural Development Statutes Amendment Act, 2011
Fare Collection Regulation (190/2012) NEW
Sept. 4/12
see Reg 190/2012
Greater Vancouver Transit Conduct and Safety Regulation (87/99) Sept. 4/12 by Reg 187/2012
Interpretation Act Aug. 1/12 by 2011 Bill 10, c. 24, s. 8 only (Reg 121/2012), Nurse Practitioners Statutes Amendment Act, 2011
Maximum Ticketed Amount Regulation (188/2012) NEW
Sept. 4/12
see Reg 188/2012
Prescribed Classes of Property Regulation (438/81) Sept. 1/12 by Reg 138/2012
School Act Aug. 1/12 by 2011 Bill 10, c. 24, s. 19 only (Reg 121/2012), Nurse Practitioners Statutes Amendment Act, 2011
Sept. 1/12 by 2011 Bill 8, c. 2, s. 14 only (Reg 138/2012), Community, Sport and Cultural Development Statutes Amendment Act, 2011
Standards for  the Classification of Land as a Farm Regulation (411/95) Sept. 1/12 by Reg 138/2012 (renamed "Classification of Land as a Farm Regulation")
Taxation (Rural Area) Act Sept. 1/12 by 2011 Bill 8, c. 2, s. 15 only (Reg 138/2012), Community, Sport and Cultural Development Statutes Amendment Act, 2011
Vancouver Charter Sept. 1/12 by 2011 Bill 8, c. 2, s. 13 only (Reg 138/2012), Community, Sport and Cultural Development Statutes Amendment Act, 2011

Miscellaneous News:

No Gaming at New Video Game Bar:
Ministry – BC Liquor Laws

BC’s first-ever video game bar is opening this weekend – but thanks to the province’s rigid liquor laws, customers won’t actually be able to play games at all. Brian Vidovic intended for his new restaurant and bar on Hornby Street, called EXP, to be a place where patrons could play video games and enjoy themed-food, booze and music. The concept quickly garnered attention, excitement and more than 2,500 likes on its Facebook page. But it wasn’t long before Vidovic came up against a liquor licensing barrier to his grand plan. “We are not allowed to have any video game consoles in our space,” said Vidovic. “And the way that they worded it… that could mean anything from an iPod, an iPhone or even an iPad.” According to BC liquor licensing laws, the primary focus for food-primary restaurants must always be on the service of food. That means if Vidovic wants to avoid a liquor-primary licence and the expensive price tag that goes with it, he can’t have video games at the table. Read more.

Canadian Bar Association – BC Branch Responds
to Justice System Review Report

The Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch (CBABC) President, Kerry Simmons, responded positively today to the government’s release of a series of important reports on the justice system in BC: A Criminal Justice System for the 21st Century, Making Justice Work: Improving Access and Outcomes for British Columbians, and British Columbia Charge Assessment Review. “These reports are as complex as the nature of justice reform and we are pleased to see that the approaches to possible solutions are as in-depth as the problems,” commented Kerry Simmons, CBABC President. Adding, “there were countless debates and conversations with many interested parties and we are encouraged to see that the report includes some of the concrete recommendations put forward by the Canadian Bar Association of British Columbia.” View full news posting by CBABC.

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Correction Act Aug. 1/12 by 2011 Bill 10, c. 24, s. 2 only (Reg 121/2012), Nurse Practitioners Statutes Amendment Act, 2011
Crime Victim Assistance Act Aug. 1/12 by 2011 Bill 10, c. 24, s. 3 only (Reg 121/2012), Nurse Practitioners Statutes Amendment Act, 2011
Motor Vehicle and Traffic News:

CVSE Issues New Circular
Financial Responsibility for Owner-Operators
Purpose of Circular
To advise that effective immediately, owner-operators of out-of-province commercial vehicles may provide, as proof of financial responsibility (FR), the FR filing number of the motor carrier they are leased on to. Owner-operators must provide accompanying documentation to show that the vehicle is leased to the carrier.
The Motor Vehicle Act requires out-of-province commercial vehicles to be insured to BC minimum insurance requirements. Proof of financial responsibility must be carried by the operator and produced for law enforcement upon request. View circular.

Should We Speed Up BC's Highways?
The whole province would move faster if speed limits on major roads were increased, says a drivers' advocate. Ian Tootill said Friday that BC's speed limits are flawed and should be revised by applying a big dose of common sense. "Highways and cars are engineered to go faster and faster, but many speed limits are set too low," said Tootill, co-founder of SENSE – Safety by Education, Not Speed Enforcement. "Safe and reasonable speeds for the majority should be made legal." Tootill said many BC roadways would benefit from increases in speed, especially the Coquihalla, a superhighway with banked curves, divided lanes and few entry ramps to cause distraction. Read more.

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Insurance (Vehicle) Act Aug. 1/12 by 2011 Bill 10, c. 24, s. 7 only (Reg 121/2012), Nurse Practitioners Statutes Amendment Act, 2011
Motor Fuel Tax Act Aug. 1/12 by 2011 Bill 10, c. 24, s. 13 only (Reg 121/2012), Nurse Practitioners Statutes Amendment Act, 2011
Motor Vehicle Act Aug. 1/12 by 2011 Bill 10, c. 24, ss. 15 to 17 only (Reg 121/2012), Nurse Practitioners Statutes Amendment Act, 2011
Offence Act Aug. 1/12 by 2011 Bill 10, c. 24, s. 18 only (Reg 121/2012), Nurse Practitioners Statutes Amendment Act, 2011

Real Estate and Builders Lien News:

Working to Improve Housing Affordability in BC
Because housing affordability directly impacts the quality of life of British Columbians, BCREA consistently and regularly recommends that the provincial government minimize the negative impact of the Property Transfer Tax (PTT). In a recent submission to the provincial government's Expert Panel on Tax, BCREA explained that, since 2001, BC's Liberal government has made tax competitiveness a cornerstone of its fiscal policy. The one outstanding exception is the PTT, which is by far the highest provincial property transfer tax in the country. In an environment of increasing labour scarcity, this negative exception to BC's competitiveness rule puts the province at a disadvantage. BCREA recommends the provincial government:

  • increase the 1% PTT threshold from $200,000 to $525,000, with 2% applying to the remainder of the fair market value; and
  • index the 1% PTT threshold of $525,000 using Statistics Canada's New Housing Price Index, and make adjustments annually.
The BC Chamber of Commerce makes the same recommendations in its 2012-2013 Policy and Positions Manual, available at www.bcchamber.org. For more information about BCREA's government relations role and other public policy positions, visit their site.
Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Personal Property Security Act Sept. 1/12 by 2011 Bill 5, c. 23, ss. 1 to 6 only (Reg 182/2012), Personal Property Security Amendment Act, 2011
Personal Property Security Regulation (227/2002) Sept. 1/12 by Reg 123/2012
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