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Vol: XII  –  Issue: V  –  May 2013


Summer Legislative Session
Premier Christy Clarke has made it known that she intends call back the legislature for a summer session in order to pass her balanced budget 2013. The focus of this session will be on economic growth and tightening spending. Her new cabinet is expected to be announced this coming Friday, June 7th.

New Archive Date Range Feature
Older versions of laws on Quickscribe now include a historical date range at the top of the table of contents. For example, the March 17, 2013 archived version of the BC Forest Act reads “As it read between November 16th, 2012 and March 17th, 2013”. This new feature will make it easier for you to determine the exact timeframe for which a historical law remained unchanged. This same date reference will soon be made available on the PDF version of these archived laws. Quickscribe has also embarked on a major project that is unlike anything we have worked on before. We hope to have the project completed later this year. Details to follow….

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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Company and Finance News:

BC Consumer Tax Website Update
The BC Consumer Tax Website recently introduced the following guides to help you complete your tax returns:

A number of PST notices and bulletins were released this month. These affect the following:
  • Boat and Aircraft Provincial Sales Tax (PST) Collectors,
  • Status Indians and Indian Bands, and Exempt Fuel Retailer Program
  • Production Machinery and Equipment Exemption
  • Medical Supplies and Equipment
  • Certificate of Exemption – Contractors

Securities Regulator Alleges Fraud and Illegal Distributions against BC Man
The executive director of the British Columbia Securities Commission has issued a notice of hearing alleging that a BC-based company and its director committed fraud and illegally distributed securities. The notice alleges that between August 2007 and January 2012, Ronald Stephen McHaffie and BigFoot Recreation & Ski Area Ltd. (BigFoot) raised approximately $642,960 from 30 investors through the sale of shares in BigFoot. BigFoot was incorporated in BC in 2003, purportedly to develop a recreation and ski area near Jones Lake in BC. BigFoot has never filed a prospectus in BC, and McHaffie has never been registered to sell securities in BC. The notice alleges that, through the sale of shares in BigFoot, McHaffie committed a fraud. In that regard, McHaffie made false statements to entice investors, such as telling them that their investment would be used for expenses related to getting BigFoot publicly listed, and that construction or completion of the ski resort was imminent. These statements were false, as McHaffie used investor funds to pay for personal expenses, including gas, restaurants, groceries and retail purchases, not for expenditures related to taking BigFoot public. Furthermore, although BigFoot’s ski resort proposal was rejected by the provincial government in September 2010, McHaffie continued to raise a total of $111,070 from investors after that date. View the full article published on the BC Securities Commission website. 

Settlement of International Investment Disputes Act – In force June 1st
The Settlement of International Investment Disputes Act came into force on June 1, 2013. The act will bring the benefits of a popular international convention for settling investment disputes to BC once Canada has ratified the convention. After the act is ratified, investors in BC and British Columbians investing abroad will be able to settle investment disputes through a neutral venue that offers qualified arbitrators with international investment expertise. Participation in this convention will enhance B.C.’s reputation as a competitive and dynamic place to do business and offer citizens investing abroad added security. The act, together with the Government of Canada’s ratification, will allow the implementation in British Columbia of the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of other States. The Convention establishes rules and an independent arbitration and conciliation service known as The International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, under the auspices of the World Bank. View full press release on the Ministry of Justice website. 

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act June 1/13 by 2012 Bill 34, c. 13, section 35 only (in force by Reg 290/2012), Limitation Act
Cooperative Association Act June 1/13 by 2012 Bill 23, c. 12, sections 45 to 47 only (in force by Reg 333/2012), Finance Statutes Amendment Act, 2012
Designated Accommodation Area Tax Regulation (93/2013) May 1/13 see Reg 93/2013
June 1/13 by Reg 93/2013
Insurance Act June 1/13 by Reg 291/2012 (effective on the date sections 18 to 20, 25 and 26 of the Limitation Act (Reg 290/2012) come into force)
Financial Administration Act June 1/13 by 2012 Bill 34, c. 13, section 38 only (in force by Reg 290/2012), Limitation Act
National Instrument 13-101: System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR) (378/96) May 14/13 by Reg 178/2013
National Instrument 41-101: General Prospectus Requirements (59/2008) May 14/13 by Reg 178/2013
National Instrument 44-101: Short Form Prospectus Distributions (370/2005) May 14/13 by Reg 178/2013
National Instrument 44-102: Shelf Distributions (425/2000) May 14/13 by Reg 178/2013
National Instrument 51-102: Continuous Disclosure Obligations (110/2004) May 14/13 by Reg 178/2013
National Instrument 52-107 Acceptable Accounting Principles and Auditing Standards (382/2010) May 14/13 by Reg 178/2013
National Instrument 81-101: Mutual Fund Prospectus Disclosure (1/2000) May 14/13 by Reg 178/2013
Provincial Sales Tax Act May 1/13 by 2013 Bill 2, c. 1, sections 156 and 221 only (in force by Royal Assent), Provincial Sales Tax Transitional Provisions and Amendments Act, 2013
June 1/13 by 2013 Bill 2, c. 1, section 299 only (in force by Reg 95/2013), Provincial Sales Tax Transitional Provisions and Amendments Act, 2013
Settlement of International Investment Disputes Act NEW
June 1/13
c. 16 [SBC 2006], 2006 Bill 19, whole Act in force by Reg 143/2013

Energy and Mines News:

Science Will Decide Fate of Northern Gateway,
Federal Government Says

While British Columbia may have rejected it for now, the federal Conservative government says it still awaits a decision from the joint review panel examining the Northern Gateway project before it decides whether to approve the $6-billion oilsands pipeline. On Friday, in its final written submission to the federal review panel, the British Columbia government said it cannot support Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline project as it stands because the company has failed to address environmental concerns about oil spills on land and at sea. The BC government, however, said its submission on Friday is not a death knell for the project, but sets a "high bar" for it to proceed. Read Vancouver Sun article

AME BC Releases Top Policy Issues and Recommendations Paper – 2013
The Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia released a paper intended to provide a high-level review of the top six policy issues facing British Columbia’s mineral exploration and development sector in 2013, and to offer specific recommendations that government and industry can work on together in order to address the issues and implement policy measures that will position the sector for continued and successful growth in 2013 and beyond. AME BC members have determined the top priority issues for the BC mineral exploration community to be: Permitting & Environmental Assessment, Land Access & Use, Aboriginal Relations & Engagement, Taxation, Public Geoscience, and Human Resources. View paper.

Better Oil Price Needed for Emissions Controls
to Work: Environment Minister

The ability of the oil and gas sector to absorb tough government controls on their greenhouse gas emissions depends on Canada getting a better price for its oil, Environment Minister Peter Kent says. The extra revenue would allow companies to invest heavily in leading-edge technology that would curtail pollution, he said in an interview from London. “What we have to do, one way or another, is get rid of the U.S. discount,” Kent said. “That would certainly provide great latitude to invest in the technology….Keystone or not.” Government and industry have long eyed the proposed — but not yet approved — Keystone XL pipeline as a way to demand world prices for Canadian crude. View full article in the Financial Post. 

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

Family and Children News:

Litigation Conduct may Constitute "Family Violence"
under the Family Law Act

In the recently-released decision in M.W.B. v. A.R.B., the Supreme Court has characterized a party's approach to the litigation with her husband as "family violence" within the meaning of s. 1 of the Family Law Act, and taken the violence into account, as the court must when family violence is present, in assessing the best interests of the parties' child under s. 37 of the act. To properly understand the court's reasoning you must read the decision itself. [This article] will try, however, to give the highlights.

The issues before the court involved applications by each party brought about a year and a half after the trial decision. It is clear from the decision that the parties had been engaged in an extraordinary degree of conflict long before trial. (Although costs are unreliably awarded in family law cases, they will be awarded where the court wishes to signal its disapproval of a party's conduct. In this case, the trial resulted in the husband being awarded costs, special costs and a penalty under s. 92 of the old Family Relations Act for the wife's failure to make property disclosure of her finances!) This continued after trial, largely, it would seem, manifested in the wife's obstructionist attitude toward carrying out her obligations from the trial judgment. View the full article by John-Paul Boyd posted on JP Boyd on Family Law – the Blog

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Age of Majority Act June 1/13 by 2012 Bill 34, c. 13, section 33 only (in force by Reg 290/2012), Limitation Act
Family Law Act June 1/13 by 2012 Bill 34, c. 13, section 37 only (in force by Reg 290/2012), Limitation Act
Infants Act June 1/13 by 2012 Bill 34, c. 13, section 40 only (in force by Reg 290/2012), Limitation Act
Forest and Environment News:

British Columbia v Canadian National Railway
Forest Appeals Commission – Forest Act/Wildfire Act
The appellant, Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of British Columbia (the "Province"), and the respondent, Canadian National Railway Company ("CNR"), appeared before the Forest Appeals Commission (the "Commission") in relation to a fire caused by a CNR train that destroyed 25,010.8 cubic metres of Crown timber (the "Timber"). The Wildfire Act, S.B.C. 2004, c. 31, the Wildfire Regulation, B.C. Reg. 157/2012, and the Forest Act R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 157, require a person who has damaged or destroyed Crown timber to pay to the Province an amount equal to the quantity of timber destroyed quantified at the rate of stumpage determined under the Forest Act by an appropriate government employee. In this case, an appropriate government employee assessed the value of the Timber at $254,680.38. CNR appealed that decision to the Commission. Read the full article by Joel Morris with Harper Grey LLP.

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Forest Act June 1/13 by 2012 Bill 34, c. 13, section 39 only (in force by Reg 290/2012), Limitation Act
Health News:

Health Workers Urged to Watch for Suspicious Overdoses
The Provincial Health Officer has advised emergency physicians, first responders, and other health-care workers to be watchful for potential overdoses associated with the drug fentanyl. The BC Coroners Service’s preliminary numbers suggest that there have been 23 deaths related to fentanyl in the first four months of 2013, as compared to 20 related deaths in all of 2012. When fentanyl has been sold on the street in other jurisdictions, many people died from unexpected overdoses. During a 2006 fentanyl epidemic in Chicago, 342 people died. A large supply of the drug was seized by Vancouver Police recently in connection with two overdose events. Fentanyl is very dangerous, and people taking it might be under the impression that they are taking either heroin or oxycodone. View full government news release

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Forensic Psychiatry Act June 1/13 by 2013 Bill 8, c. 12, s. 26 only (in force by Reg 160/2013), Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act, 2013
Health Care Employers Regulation (427/94) June 1/13 by Regs 152/2013 and 155/2013
Labour and Employment News:

Drug And Alcohol Testing (In the Work Place):
Recent Developments in the Law

The following paper was prepared by Eleni Kassaris of Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, Vancouver, BC, and Claire Marchant of Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, Calgary, AB, for the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia, May 2013
In Canada, there is no legislative regime that governs drug and alcohol testing in the workplace. The body of case law that addresses the topic reveals two different approaches. Western Canadian case law has generally permitted broader drug and alcohol testing programs in workplaces that are safety-sensitive, with no requirement for the employer to demonstrate an existing substance abuse problem in the work environment prior to testing. Cases from Eastern Canada reflect a narrower approach that draws a strong distinction between drug and alcohol testing, and may limit testing to circumstances where workplace operations are “inherently dangerous” or where there is a history of drug and alcohol-related incidents. However, the state of the law with respect to all types of drug and alcohol testing is evolving in Canada and requires employers to be vigilant in monitoring developments and considering the evidence that they can provide regarding the need for testing in their particular workplace. In December 2012, the Supreme Court of Canada heard the appeal of Irving, discussed below. It is expected that the Court will be releasing its decision in the near future. View the full paper as published on CLE. 

Court upholds BC Mining Company’s Use of
Temporary Foreign Workers from China

The government was justified in issuing a positive labour market opinion that allowed a British Columbia mining company to hire 201 temporary foreign workers from China, the Federal Court ruled Tuesday. The decision comes after two unions challenged the government and the companies involved, arguing Canadians are available to do the jobs required and that it was not necessary to look outside the country for foreign labour. The incident touched off a massive debate over Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program, with the government promising, and eventually delivering on, a number of changes to protect Canadian jobs. Read full article in posted in the Financial Post. 

Why DSM-5 is Important to Employers
The long-awaited DSM-5 has arrived and the controversy rages. Meanwhile, no matter what employers may think about the changes, they have no choice but to deal with the inevitable fallout. DSM-5 is the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” as newly revised from the previous DSM-IV. It was formally introduced this week by the American Psychiatric Association and it becomes the authoritative source in North America for diagnosing mental disorders. (An earlier post talked about some of the controversy in the making of DSM-5.) Why is it important to employers in BC? First – it is authoritative – for psychiatrists and psychologists, for insurers, and for WorkSafeBC. Read the full article published by Earl Phillips with McCarthy Tetrault. 

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Health Care Employers Regulation (427/94) June 1/13 by Regs 152/2013 and 155/2013

Local Government News:

Decision on UBCM Participation in Jumbo Case
The Executive of UBCM has decided not to become involved in a case before Supreme Court of British Columbia regarding the creation of the Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality. View full article on UBCM website.

Athletic Commissioner Act Now in Force
The new Act authorizes the designation of an Athletic Commissioner to be responsible for regulating and supervising professional contests and exhibitions, implementing the licensing scheme established by the Act and enforcing the Act. The Act requires that persons who are involved in activities related to professional contests or exhibitions, including promoters, contestants, referees, judges, timekeepers, matchmakers and seconds, hold a licence issued under the Act authorizing the activity. Persons who promote, hold or conduct professional contests or exhibitions are required to obtain an event permit for each event. The Act provides the commissioner with inspection powers and the power to impose administrative penalties for contraventions of the Act. The Act establishes offences against the Act and sets maximum penalties. Consequential amendments to the Vancouver Charter and Community Charter as a result of the new Act being brought into law. All of these amendments have been consolidated and posted for clients to view.

For Council/Board Agendas-BC Transit Communities
Invited to Assist Review Implementation
UBCM, in partnership with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) and BC Transit, has established a local government working group to support the implementation of recommendations from the BC Transit Independent Review Panel. Communities that are served by BC Transit are invited to participate directly in the working group or provide input on Review Panel recommendations. View full article on UBCM website. 

Eighteen Local BC Governments to be Audited
Focus will be on municipal police agreements and cost containment measures

BC’s new auditor general for municipalities announced Wednesday that two of her first performance audits will look at cost containment measures and police agreements in 18 local governments. The announcement came on the same day that the Canadian Federation of Independent Business released a Big City Spenders report that suggests Canadian municipalities — which often complain about not having enough money to provide services and infrastructure — have a spending problem rather than a revenue one. Read Vancouver Sun article.

Feedback Requested: Fisheries Act Amendments
Have questions about the recent changes to the Fisheries Act? UBCM has obtained additional information from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to assist local governments in understanding the amendments and what affect these changes will have on local governments. Members are encouraged to review the web links provided and to give their feedback and comments to UBCM. View full article on UBCM website. 

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Additional Tax Regulation for the City of Abbotsford (64/2008) REPEALED
May 1/13
by Reg 64/2008, section 5
Additional Tax Regulation for the City of Revelstoke (33/2008) REPEALED
May 1/13
by Reg 33/2008, section 5
Additional Tax Regulation for the District of Ucluelet (65/2008) REPEALED
June 1/13
by Reg 65/2008, section 5
Athletic Commissioner Act NEW
May 30/13
c. 29 [SBC 2012], 2012 Bill 50, whole Act in force by Reg 170/2013
Athletic Commissioner Regulation (170/2013) NEW
May 30/13
see Reg 170/2013
Community Charter May 30/13 by 2012 Bill 50, c. 29, section 50 only (in force by Reg 170/2013), Athletic Commissioner Act
Minister's Athletic Commissioner Regulation (171/2013) NEW
May 30/13
see Reg 171/2013
Vancouver Charter May 30/13 by 2012 Bill 50, c. 29, section 51 only (in force by Reg 170/2013), Athletic Commissioner Act

Miscellaneous News:

New BC Limitation Act – Now in Force
The new Limitation Act came into force June 1, 2013. The act replaces and repeals the former Limitation Act, makes the law easier to understand, and brings BC’s law more in line with other provinces. The Limitation Act outlines the set period of time that people have to start a proceeding to sue someone in the civil justice system. While many other laws set limitation periods, the Limitation Act sets the default regime, which means that unless another law sets the applicable limitation period, the Limitation Act applies.

Key changes include:

  • moving from a variety of basic limitation periods, based on the type of legal action, to a single two-year basic limitation period for all civil claims. Exceptions to this are civil claims that enforce a monetary judgment, exempted claims and actions that have limitation periods set by other statutes;
  • moving from a general 30-year ultimate limitation period to a single 15-year ultimate limitation period;
  • changing the commencement model of the ultimate limitation period from an “accrual” model to a model in which the clock starts running based on when an “act or omission” occurred; and
  • transition rules.

New BC Limitation Act: Transition Issues
In this paper written (by John G. Dives, QC of Dives, Harper & Stranger) for the recent CLEBC course: New BC Limitation Act, John G. Dives, QC explains the general approach taken to transition issues in the Act, and addresses some of the specific issues relating to transition and highlights some of the difficulties created by the transition to the new Act, particularly having regard to the very different approach taken in the new Act. View paper

2012 Supreme Court Annual Report
The Supreme Court 2012 Annual Report is now available on the Courts of British Columbia website.

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Apology Act June 1/13 by 2012 Bill 34, c. 13, section 34 only (in force by Reg 290/2012), Limitation Act
Forensic Psychiatry Act June 1/13 by 2013 Bill 8, c. 12, section 26 only (in force by Reg 160/2013), Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act, 2013
Limitation Act NEW
June 1/13
c. 13 [SBC 2012], 2012 Bill 34, whole Act in force by Reg 290/2012
Limitation Act REPEALED
June 1/13
by 2012 Bill 34, c. 13, section 31 only (in force by Reg 290/2012), Limitation Act
Motor Vehicle and Traffic News:

CVSE Issues Notice Re: Removable Vehicle Doors
– Motor Vehicle Act Regulations

This bulletin repeals Removable Vehicle Doors Bulletin #1-2008 issued August 7, 2008. This bulletin applies to ALL vehicles operating on highway that are subject to the British Columbia Motor Vehicle Act and the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations (MVAR). CVSE has received numerous enquiries regarding vehicles operating on highway without the driver and/or passenger door(s) in place. Reports most commonly identify certain makes and models of JEEP as some of these vehicles that typically have side doors that can be easily removed. Read the official bulletin

Court of Appeal Discusses Standard of Care
In Road Construction Liability Cases

Reasons for judgment were released this week by the BC Court of Appeal upholding a trial verdict finding the City of Abbotsford and a private contractor 80% responsible for a single vehicle collision in a construction zone. In this week’s case (Van Tent v. Abbotsford) the plaintiff was riding his motorcycle through a construction zone when he drifted over the fogline to his right. There was a two-inch drop off in the pavement level due to ongoing construction. The Plaintiff lost control and was injured. The Plaintiff was found partially at fault for not driving safely; however, the Defendants bore 80% of the blame for “failing to adequately mark the uneven pavement“. The trial judge found that the Ministry of Transportation’s Traffic Control Manual for Work on Roadways was informative of the standard of care. The Defendants “failed to adhere to several of those standards“. View the full article published by Erik Magraken on the BC Injury Law Blog. 

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

Property and Real Estate News:

Tenant Rights Advocates want Better Protection for BC Renters
Provincial laws protecting renters need to be improved, a coalition of legal and tenant’s rights groups says. The Pivot Legal Society, West Coast Legal Education and Action Fund, the BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre and other groups are proposing 13 changes to the BC Residential Tenancy Act which governs relations between renters and landlords. Scott Bernstein, lawyer with Pivot Legal, said BC law hasn’t been changed in years, and protection of tenants here has fallen behind other provinces such as Ontario. He said he hopes changing the law becomes an issue in the provincial election campaign. Read Vancouver Sun article

Floodplain Mapping: Multi-Stakeholder Workshop Generates Action Plan
Flooding poses catastrophic risks to BC’s economic vitality, safety, environment, property owners and communities, and therefore flood protection is an important issue for the BC Real Estate Association and its members. Responding to this concern, BCREA published a Floodplain Maps Action Plan on April 18. View the full article on the BC Real Estate Association website. 

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

Wills and Estates News:

Wills Variation under WESA
As previously mentioned, the Wills, Estates and Succession Act (“WESA”) comes into force on March 31, 2014. WESA will repeal and replace the Estate Administration Act, the Probate Recognition Act, the Wills Act, and the Wills Variation Act (the “WVA”). The WVA allows a spouse or child of the deceased to make a claim on the basis that the deceased’s Will did not “make adequate provision for the proper maintenance and support” of him or her. With WESA just around the corner, you might ask: what effect will the new legislation have on wills variation claims? If the deceased dies before WESA comes into force, nothing will change. The old WVA will apply. Even if the deceased dies on or after March 31, 2014, most things remain the same. Like the WVA, WESA provides that a spouse or child may file a claim to vary the Will on the basis that it did not make adequate provision for proper maintenance and support. View the full article by Gordon Behan with Clark Wilson LLP. 

Updated Explanation of BCSC Civil Rules (Probate)
The Ministry of Justice has updated its explanation of the New Supreme Court Civil Rules (Probate). The update clarifies requirements about notice that must be given before an application for probate can be submitted.

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