Quickscribe Services Ltd.
Toll Free: 1-877-727-6978
Phone: 1-250-727-6978
Fax: 1-250-727-6699

Email: info@quickscribe.bc.ca

Website: www.quickscribe.bc.ca

Vol: XI  –  Issue: XII  –  December 2012


Happy New Year!
2013 promises to be an interesting year legislatively, with a number of highly publicized laws scheduled to come into force. Quickscribe will work hard to deliver you these changes as soon as they come into law and likely well before they are made available elsewhere. We are also very excited about the numerous initiatives we have planned for the coming year. The Quickscribe team would like to wish you a very happy and prosperous 2013!

New Enhancements
Quickscribe is pleased to announce that significant enhancements to your Quickscribe Online service are scheduled to be posted within the next 24 hours. These enhancements include:

  • The Status Checker results page has been completely redesigned to make it easier than ever to check the status of a particular Bill or Act. This redesign will also make it much easier to determine whether or not something has come into force.
  • New enhancements have been made to the Proposed Changes alert that gets displayed on the table of contents for any Act when proposed changes are in the works. The new alert now includes pending changes for older Bills that had achieved Royal Assent but are set to come into force by regulation at a later date.

Quickscribe Online Survey Results
Thank you again for the great feedback we received from our recent survey. More than 100 surveys were returned. We received some very good suggestions and we hope to address most of these in the coming year. We are humbled by the one stat indicating 81% of respondents state they are very satisfied with QO. For a more detailed summary of some of the results, please refer to the email associated with this Reporter. 

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.

[ Previous Reporters ]



Energy and Mines News:

Oil, Gas Development Banned in BC's Sacred Headwaters
The BC government has confirmed a ban on oil and gas development in the Sacred Headwaters region of northwestern BC. "As part of a tripartite agreement, Shell Canada is immediately withdrawing plans to explore for natural gas in the Klappan by relinquishing its tenures," the province said in a release. "In addition, the Province of British Columbia will not issue future petroleum and natural-gas tenure in the area." A four-year ban on oil and gas exploration in the area expired December 2012. Click here to view the full CBC article.

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Smart Meters and Smart Grid Regulation (368/2010) Dec. 27/12 by Reg 405/2012

Family, Wills & Estates News:

Early Consolidation of Family Law Act Now Available
Due to customer requests, we have made available an early consolidation of the BC Family Law Act Chapter 25 [SBC 2011] as it will look when it comes into force on March 18, 2013. The Act is only accessible via the blue Find Act/Regulation search field on the left navigation. We have made efforts to highlight the fact that this law is not yet in force. You’ll note that you will also be able to use Quickscribe’s PDF tools to print off all or parts of this Act on demand.

Out With the Old, In With the New: Changes to Plan for in 2013
The last few years have welcomed a range of important reforms affecting the practice of family law in British Columbia, including the new Supreme Court Family Rules, recalculated child support tables, the extension of the Notice to Mediate Regulation to family law matters and the expansion of the family law justice centre court model beyond Nanaimo. 2013 is going to be no different. In fact, in 2013 we are going to undergo reforms of a scope and magnitude not seen in the last thirty years. If the changes implemented in 2010, 2011 and 2012 were not your cup of tea, you are going to hate 2013. View the full article by JP Boyd on JP Boyd’s BC Family Law Resource The Blog.

The New Test for Capacity to Make an Enduring Power of Attorney
BC’s new Power of Attorney Act (the “Act”), which came into effect on September 1, 2011, brought with it a number of changes relating to the “enduring power of attorney”, which is a type of power of attorney that continues to be valid after the person giving the power becomes incapable of managing his or her own affairs. One of the changes in the new Act relates to the required capacity of the person giving the power (the “Grantor”) at the time the enduring power of attorney is made. In order to make a valid enduring power of attorney, the Grantor must understand the nature and consequences of the power of attorney. View the full article by Areet Kaila with Clark Wilson LLP.

Settlement of Wills Variation Claims Involving Minors
Under the Wills Variation Act of BC, a spouse or child of a deceased may apply to the Court to vary the deceased’s Will if the Will does not make adequate provision for the proper maintenance and support of the spouse or child. In some cases, adult beneficiaries and adult challenger(s) of the Will may agree amongst themselves to distribute an estate in a way that is different than that the deceased has directed in the Will without the necessity of a court application. But what if a minor is a named beneficiary in the Will? Can the challenger(s) of the Will reach an agreement with all the beneficiaries, including the minor, to distribute the estate differently than the terms of the Will direct? View the full article by Lauren Liang with Clark Wilson LLP.

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

Changes to Controlled Alien Species Regulation 94/2009
The BC government has amended the controlled alien species regulation to protect our environment, with tough fines for those who introduce invasive species into local ecosystems. The BC government has strengthened the regulation, acting on a previous commitment to ban the snakehead fish. All public comments received on the government’s policy paper supported strong action on this issue. Main measures include:

  • Prohibiting the possession, breeding, release or transportation of high-risk aquatic species such as the snakehead. Releasing a live snakehead into local waters could result in a fine of up to $250,000.
  • Requiring that no invasive zebra or quagga mussel, alive or dead, be present on boats or related equipment. Failure to clean mussels off boats or equipment could result in a fine of up to $100,000.
Read government news release.

Supreme Court Holds Environmental Orders
Can Be Compromised in CCAA Proceedings

On December 7, 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Newfoundland and Labrador v. AbitibiBowater Inc. The Supreme Court held that orders issued by environmental regulators requiring the remediation of contaminated property can, if certain criteria are met, be characterized as monetary claims, and those claims can be subject to compromise in insolvency proceedings. This decision has important implications for commercial lenders, restructuring companies and stakeholders of companies that have historical environmental liabilities. View the full article published by Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP.

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Cleaner Gasoline Regulation (498/95) Jan. 1/13 by Reg 346/2010
Controlled Alien Species Regulation (94/2009) Dec. 19/12 by Reg 402/2012
Health News:

Ban on Doctor-Assisted Suicides Outdated, Plaintiffs Argue
BC Court of Appeal asked to support doctor-assisted suicides

A number of plaintiffs are asking the British Columbia Court of Appeal to uphold a decision that struck down a two-decade-old ruling banning doctor-assisted suicides. A BC Supreme Court judge threw out the law last year but the federal government is appealing that ruling, arguing that a 1993 Supreme Court of Canada decision, a case involving Sue Rodriguez, was final. The plaintiffs behind the case that once included ALS patient Gloria Taylor, who died last year, say much has changed since 1993. Read CBC article.

BC Services Card to Replace CareCard
Starting February 15, 2013, and over the next five years, eligible British Columbians between the ages of 19 and 74 will be required to replace their CareCard with the new BC Services Card by renewing their enrolment in the Medical Services Plan. The current CareCard was introduced in 1989 and has not been significantly updated over the last 20 years. The new BC Services Card takes advantage of significant advances in technology since that time, to provide a more convenient and secure piece of identification with enhanced features to protect citizens’ personal information. The new card is more secure as it includes a photograph of the beneficiary, anti-forgery features, identity proofing and an expiry date. The card can also be combined with a driver’s licence and acts as photo ID – meaning one less card to carry. To get a new BC Services Card, eligible British Columbians can simply enrol when renewing their driver’s licence. People who do not drive can still enrol at the nearest location where driver’s licences are issued. Read full government news release.

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Medical and Health Care Services Regulation (426/97) Jan. 1/13 by Reg 304/2012
Labour, Company and Finance News:

Mental Illness at Work: New Diagnoses May Affect Employers
A recent piece in the Vancouver Sun highlights some concerns with new mental illness diagnoses that likely are coming to your workplace. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is being revised. When DSM V comes out next May we will see new mental disorders and broadened definitions of existing disorders. It’s important because the DSM is basically the “bible” of psychiatry and is relied on by the medical profession, insurers and regulators for identifying mental illness and for verifying specific diagnoses. For one example, the DSM is specifically referred to in BC’s Workers Compensation Act and will be the guide for determining whether there is a mental disorder under the new Bill 14 bullying and harassment provisions. View full article by Earl Phillips with McCarthy Tetrault.

Registration for PST is Now Open!
You have the following options to register to collect PST:

  • Online – through the new online system called eTaxBC. Online registration should take you about 10 to 20 minutes to complete and is the quickest way to get your new PST number. When you register online, you can also sign up for online services to manage your PST account and report and pay PST online.
  • In person – go to your nearest Service BC Centre or visit our office at 1802 Douglas Street in Victoria.
  • By mail or fax – complete the Application for Registration for Provincial Sales Tax (FIN 418) and mail or fax your completed form to the address or fax number shown on the form. If you require extra space to enter your business information, complete the Application for Registration for Provincial Sales Tax (PST) Supplementary (FIN 418S).
Click here to read more on the government website.

New EI Changes Take Effect January 6, 2013
Canadians who are looking for work while claiming Employment Insurance will see several changes came into effect [January 6th], stemming from the federal government's EI reform announced in last year's March budget. Claimants will be able to sign up for "new, much simpler to use" job alerts system that will see job postings from a variety of sources emailed to subscribers twice a day, Human Resources Minister Diane Finley said in a news release. Other measures, including changes to the definitions of "suitable employment" and "a reasonable job search" will also come into effect [on January 6th]. They were first announced by Finley in May. Under the new regulations, several factors such as type of work, wages, commuting time, working conditions, hours of work, and personal circumstances, will be considered when defining "suitable employment." View full CBC article.
Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Business Number Regulation (388/2003) Dec. 1/12 by Reg 330/2012
Designated Institutions Regulation (158/2003) Dec. 4/12 by Reg 388/2012
Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Regulation (265/2002) Jan. 1/13 by Reg 332/2012
Income Tax Act Jan. 1/13 by 2012 Bill 54, c. 35, ss. 247, 248 and 250 (in force by Royal Assent), Provincial Sales Tax Act
Insurance (Captive Company) Act Regulation (157/87) Jan. 1/13 by Reg 337/2012
Insurance Regulation (403/2012) NEW
Dec. 19/12
see Reg 403/2012 (Replaces B.C. Reg. 213/2011)
Medical and Health Care Services Regulation (426/97) Jan. 1/13 by Reg 304/2012
National Instrument 21-101: Marketplace Operation (251/2001) Dec. 31/12 by Reg 201/2012
New Housing Transition Tax and Rebate Act NEW
Dec. 1/12
c. 31 [SBC 2012] 2012 Bill 56, (whole Act in force by Reg 324/2012)
New Housing Transition Tax and Rebate Regulation (324/2012) NEW
Dec. 1/12
see Reg 324/2012
Pension Benefits Standards Regulation (433/93) Jan. 1/13 by Regs 136/2012 and 285/2012
Provincial Sales Tax Act Dec. 1/12 see 2012 Bill 54, c. 35, sections 1, 168 (1) (e) and (2) to (10), 173, 174 (1) to (3), (5) and (6), 211 (1) (c) and (d) and (3) to (6), 216 and 226 to 229 only (in force by Reg 346/2012)

Local Government News:

District Energy
The Continuing Legal Education Society of BC recently released the paper “District Energy: An Overview of Legal Issues” by Michael Hargraves, with Stewart McDannold Stuart. The purposes of this paper are several: to introduce the concept of district energy and some of its basic characteristics; to examine the legal authority available to municipalities in BC for establishing and regulating a district energy system; to discuss the options for financing a district energy system; and to examine the options available for compelling owners to connect. Click here to view the full article on the SMS site.

Islands Trust Council Asks Province to Invest in Ferries
Islands Trust Council is calling on the provincial government to keep the promise to treat ferries as an essential part of BC’s transportation infrastructure. Islands Trust Council, a local government responsible for the Southern Gulf and Howe Sound islands, is making four specific requests in a December 20 submission to the provincial government in response to the BC Coastal Ferries consultation process. “Ferries are lifelines for coastal communities and businesses; just like highways are in the rest of the province,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Chair of the Islands Trust Council. “The current approach to the marine transportation system is failing us and the future is predictable. As fares go up, ridership goes down, and as ridership goes down, fares go up yet again. As services get cut, coastal economies weaken further. This cycle of decline has to stop and the root of the problem lies with chronic provincial government underinvestment.” View full article by Islands Trust. 

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
British Columbia Building Code Regulation (264/2012) NEW
Dec. 20/12
see Reg 264/2012 (replaces 216/2006)
British Columbia Fire Code Regulation (263/2012) NEW
Dec. 20/12
see Reg 263/2012 (replaces B.C. Reg. 175/2006)
Electrical Power Corporations Valuation Regulation (217/86) Dec. 7/12 by Reg 393/2012
Managed Forest Land and Cut Timber Values Regulation (90/2000) Dec. 7/12 by Reg 390/2012
Railway and Pipeline Corporations Valuation Regulation (203/86) Dec. 7/12 by Reg 394/2012
Railway, Pipeline, Electric Power and Telecommunications Corporation Rights of Way Valuation Regulation (218/86) Dec. 7/12 by Reg 392/2012
Telecommunications Corporations Valuation Regulation (226/86) Dec. 7/12 by Reg 391/2012

Miscellaneous News:

Paralegals Pilot Project Aims to Reduce Price
of Legal Services, Increase Access to Justice

The Law Society, the Provincial Court and the Supreme Court of British Columbia have implemented a new pilot project that allows some paralegals to make limited appearances in court, a first in BC. “The Law Society’s Benchers are developing ways to improve the public’s access to more affordable legal services,” said Doug Munro, a policy lawyer with the Law Society. “Expanding the range of services paralegals can provide is one way of accomplishing this.” Until now, paralegals have not been permitted to appear in court on behalf of clients. Under the two-year pilot project beginning this month, designated paralegals have the right of appearance, subject to certain conditions, including:

  • The pilot project is limited to family law
  • In Provincial Court, paralegals may appear in the Cariboo/Northeast District and Surrey
  • In Supreme Court, paralegals may appear in Vancouver, New Westminster and Kamloops
  • Paralegals will primarily deal with non-contentious procedural applications
 View full article posted on the Law Society website.

New Practice Directions – January 1, 2013
Chief Justice Bauman issued three new practice directions [in December]:

PD-38 - Request for Assignment of Judge – Insolvency Proceedings
This Practice Direction sets out the procedure and electronic form to be used by a party or counsel making requesting the assignment of a judge in insolvency proceedings.
PD – 39 – Model Discharge Order
This Practice Direction prescribes a model form of order for the discharge of a receiver appointed in a proceeding pursuant to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. B-3 and to section 39 of the Law and Equity Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 253.
PD – 40 – Model Approval and Vesting Order
This Practice Direction prescribes a model form of order for approval and vesting orders in insolvency proceedings.
The purpose of these practice directions is to require the use of standardized form for requesting the assignment of a judge in insolvency proceedings and to require the use of model orders for certain applications in insolvency proceedings which make it easier for the parties and the court to focus on the issues that are in dispute. All of the practice directions come into effect on January 1, 2013. Source: the Courts of British Columbia website.
Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Legal Profession Act Jan. 1/13 by 2012 Bill 40, c. 16, ss. 1 (a) and (e), 3, 4, 20, 29, 31 (b) and (c), 33, 34, 35 (a), 36 (a), (c) to (g), 37 and 45 (b) and (d) [part] (in force by Reg 339/2012), Legal Profession Amendment Act, 2012
Motor Vehicle and Traffic News:

Vehicle Damage and the Law of “Accelerated Depreciation”
When a vehicle is damaged in a BC car crash and subsequently repaired, the repaired vehicle may have a lower market value than it otherwise would have. Can the owner of such a vehicle be compensated for this loss? The answer is yes and is dealt with under a head of damage known as "accelerated depreciation". Reasons for judgment were released today by the BC Supreme Court dealing with this legal principle. View the full article published by Erik Magraken on his blog, BC Injury Law.

CVSE - Restricted Routes for Wide Bunks Hauling Beetle Killed Wood
Effective January 2, 2013, Form CVSE 1013 shows the routes that are not currently approved for the transport of beetle killed wood using overwidth bunks to a maximum of 2.9 meteres (route restrictions are not applicable when empty). Previous versions of this form showed approved routes. View official CVSE posting for more details.

No Proof BC's Cellphone Driving Law Saving Lives
It's now been illegal to use a handheld cellphone while driving in BC for three years, but the province says it can't prove the law has saved any lives. BC superintendent of motor vehicles Steve Martin says the law works, he just can’t prove it. "I wish I could just say that we saved this many lives, and I'm just not confident in the data." Read full CBC article.

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Inspectors Authorization Regulation (372/92) Dec. 23/12 by Reg 338/2012
Motor Vehicle Act Dec. 23/12 by 2012 Bill 33, c. 11, ss. 30, 31 and 34 to 37 only (in force by Reg 338/2012), Justice Statutes Amendment Act, 2012
Motor Vehicle Act Regulations (26/58) Dec. 23/12 by Reg 338/2012

Real Estate and Builders Lien News:

Real Estate Case Law Update - Pre-Sales
As real estate law has been around for centuries, it is not surprising that changes in the common law are rare. Most reported residential real estate decisions are highly fact-driven. The issues at play are typically not the law, but the facts and, perhaps, how the law applies to those facts. Read the full article by Bryan G. Baynham, Q.C. and Wesley J. McMillan with Harper Grey LLP.

Selecting A Strata Management Company
Strata councils frequently ask for guidance in the selection of a strata management company. The Vancouver Island Strata Owners Association (VISOA) has drafted a model RFP for strata management services to assist strata councils in designing their own strata management RFP. While VISOA cannot recommend management companies, it can provide assistance to strata councils in identifying management companies that provide the services they want. A common method of selecting service contractors is to circulate a “Request for Proposals” (RFP) identifying the services required. Interested service contractors can then reply to the request. View the RFP model published by VISOA.

BC Government Increases Homeowners Grant Threshold
The BC government is raising the threshold for the province's homeowner grant well past the $1 million mark, which Finance Minister Mike de Jong said is in response to rising assessments, even though some assessments are going down. Homeowners in the Greater Vancouver area with homes assessed at $1,295,000 will be eligible for a $570 reduction in their property taxes. "The homeowner grant helps keep property taxes affordable for families, even as property value assessments rise," de Jong said. "By ensuring the homeowner grant threshold keeps pace with assessments, we're helping families with the costs of owning their homes and ensuring at least 95.5% of BC homeowners are eligible for the full grant." View the full article published in Business Vancouver.

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
New Housing Transition Tax and Rebate Act NEW
Dec. 1/12
c. 31 [SBC 2012] 2012 Bill 56, (whole Act in force by Reg 324/2012)
New Housing Transition Tax and Rebate Regulation (324/2012) NEW
Dec. 1/12
see Reg 324/2012
The content of this document is intended for client use only. Redistribution to anyone other than Quickscribe clients (without the prior written consent of Quickscribe) is strictly prohibited.