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Vol: XII  –  Issue: VII  –  July 2013


Short Summer Legislative Session Ends
The 17-day session was wrapped up on July 25th, long enough to pass the following Bills:

A decision on whether or not to reconvene the legislature later this fall will be made in September.

Incorrect Chapter Numbers
The Chapter numbers first appearing for Bills 2 and 3 on the Legislative Assembly's website for the summer session were inaccurately posted as Chapters 2 and 3 respectively, although confirmed as correct by Queen’s Printer at the time. The actual Chapter numbers were subsequently posted to the site after a week, and any documents on QS Online affected by this error were promptly amended and republished with the correct citations.

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

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Company and Finance News:

BCSC Panel Sanctions Director and President and CEO
of Parking Technology Company

A British Columbia Securities Commission panel has sanctioned a director and the president and CEO of a now-bankrupt parking technology company for illegally distributing securities. In July 2012, a commission panel found that Photo Violation Technologies Corp. (PVT), Frederick Lawrence Marlatt (a.k.a. Frederick Lawrence Mitschele), and Michael Wallace Minor contravened securities laws by selling approximately $3.6 million in PVT shares to 272 investors without being registered and with no prospectus. The panel determined that exemptions claimed by the respondents were not applicable. At the time of the distributions, Mitschele was president and CEO of PVT, a BC company whose business was the development and commercialization of parking meter technology. Minor was a director of PVT. In its sanctions decision, the panel noted that a major mitigating factor was that Mitschele and Minor took considerable steps on behalf of PVT to ensure compliance with the Securities Act, including the obtaining of legal advice and meeting with commission staff with a view to addressing PVT’s compliance issues. Other mitigating factors were that neither Mitschele nor Minor has any prior disciplinary history, and that neither was enriched through their activities in PVT (in fact, both of them incurred losses in the hundreds of thousands of dollars as a result of their involvement with PVT). View full press release by BCSC. 

Adoption of amendments were made to National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements, Exemptions and Ongoing Registrant Obligations, B.C. Reg. 226A/2009, and Companion Policy 31-103CP Registration Requirements, Exemptions and Ongoing Registrant Obligations relating to cost disclosure, performance reporting and client statements. The amendments came into force July 15, 2013 and have been consolidated on QS Online.

PST Bulletins
A number of consumer tax bulletins and news releases have been issued recently on the Consumer Tax website. These include:

BC Government Announces New Corporate Model
In response to an emerging demand for socially focused investment options, British Columbia has launched a new hybrid corporate model, the community contribution company (C3 or CCC). Designed to bridge the gap between for-profit businesses and non-profit enterprises, this innovative business model is the first of its kind in Canada. C3 status allows entrepreneurs in BC to pursue social goals through their businesses while still generating a profit and providing investment opportunities to like-minded investors. View full Ministry of Finance news release

Securities Regulator Alleges that Lawyer Engaged in Illegal Insider Trading
The executive director of the British Columbia Securities Commission has issued a notice of hearing alleging that a lawyer working in Vancouver, BC engaged in illegal insider trading. The notice states that Weiqing Jane Jin, a partner in a Beijing law firm, was hired as a consultant in the Vancouver office of an international business law firm in February 2009. Hathor Exploration Limited, a mineral exploration company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), was a client of the law firm. The notice states that in June 2011, Hathor entered into a confidentiality agreement with CGNPC Uranium Resource Co. Ltd., a nuclear power company. CGNPC was interested in Hathor’s uranium property holdings. Jin was assigned to work with Hathor in July 2011, and she was involved in negotiations to amend the confidentiality agreement in August 2011 to include an exclusivity clause and a notification period. On Friday, August 12, 2011, Hathor emailed CGNPC copies of the confidentiality agreement and the amended agreement, and requested that CGNPC sign it by the next day (when the exclusivity period was to commence). View BCSC news release

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Business Corporations Act July 29/13 by 2012 Bill 23, c. 12, sections 1 (a), 2 to 6, 8 to 16, 33 (a), (c), (d), 35 and 37 (h) (in force by Reg 71/2013), Finance Statutes Amendment Act, 2012
Community Contribution Company Regulation (63/2013) NEW
July 29/13
by Reg 63/2013
Extraprovincial Associations and Corporations from a Designated Province Regulation (89/2009) July 1/13 by Reg 111/2013
Extraprovincial Limited Liability Partnerships and Limited Partnerships from a Designated Province Regulation (90/2009) July 1/13 by Reg 119/2013
to Apr. 1/13
by 2013 Bill 2, c. 17, section 26 only (in force by Royal Assent), Budget Measures Implementation Act, 2013
Income Tax (BC Family Bonus) Regulation (231/98) July 1/13 by Reg 75/2013
National Instrument 31-103: Registration Requirements, Exemptions and Ongoing Registrant Obligations (226A/2009) July 15/13 by Reg 193/2013

Energy and Mines News:

Nisga’a First Nation Sues BC Government over
Environmental Assessment for Proposed Mine

A First Nation in British Columbia's northwest is taking the provincial government to court over plans to redevelop an open-pit molybdenum mine on lands where it says its members have fishing and hunting rights. In a petition launched in BC Supreme Court this week, the Nisga'a allege, in part, that the provincial government failed to consult the First Nation on environmental issues before issuing an environmental certificate to Vancouver-based Avanti Mining Inc. The First Nations' leaders accuse the government of breaching the Nisga'a Final Agreement. But the Ministry of Environment said in a statement issued Friday evening that the provincial government takes the treaty very seriously and consultation was a central aspect of the environmental assessment. Read the Vancouver Sun article

New PST Bulletin for Mining Industry
The BC Government has issued a a new bulletin that provides information on how the PST applies to businesses in the mining industry: Bulletin PST 111.

LNG to Bring More Than 100,000 Jobs to BC, Says Report
BC Jobs Minister Shirley Bond is touting new figures that predict more than 100,000 jobs are coming to the province thanks to the liquefied natural gas industry – but opposition critics wonder if the province can train enough people to fill the positions. The report by the BC Natural Gas Workforce Strategy Committee estimates 60,000 workers will be needed to build LNG plants and pipelines starting in 2016, and 75,000 workers will be needed to keep them running after that. Read CBC article

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Carbon Tax Act July 25/13 by 2013 Bill 2, c. 17, sections 6 and 7 only (in force by Royal Assent), Budget Measures Implementation Act, 2013
Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Renewable and Low Carbon Fuel Requirements) Act July 1/13 by 2012 Bill 41, c. 18, sections 15 to 28 only (in force by Reg 335/2012), Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act (No. 2), 2012
Hydro and Power Authority Act July 25/13 by 2013 Bill 2, c. 17, section 19 only (in force by Royal Assent), Budget Measures Implementation Act, 2013
Petroleum Development Road Regulation (356/98) REPEALED
July 3/13
by Reg 136/2013
Renewable and Low Carbon Fuel Requirements Regulation (394/2008) July 1/13 by Reg 335/2012

Family and Children News:

Supreme Court Releases Important Decision on Relocation – Family Law Act
There has been a flurry of judgments published over the last two or three months on the relocation provisions of the Family Law Act. ... In his post, [John-Paul Boyd] review[s] a critical new case from our Supreme Court, L.J.R. v. S.W.R., that [he] suspects is going to become the new go-to case on relocation claims.

For other recent cases, click on the "mobility" label at the bottom of [his] post. In a nutshell, the parties in this case had been involved in a brief relationship that produced a child in 2010. The father maintained contact with the child and pursued a meaningful relationship with her, to the point of moving closer to the child from another province, at the suggestion of the mother, in order to make his contact with the child easier and the parties wound up sharing the child's time on a week-on/-off basis. In 2012, the mother reconnected with an old flame whom she wound up marrying in 2013. As the mother's new husband lived and worked in Tennessee, the mother applied to take the child and move there. Read the full article posted on JP Boyd on Family Law The Blog.

New Self Help Guides
The BC Family Law website has recently published a number of self help guides:

Important Supreme Court Decision Addresses Penalties for Nondisclosure – Family Law Act
Mr. Justice Punnett of the Supreme Court has released his judgment on an application for a fine under s. 213 of the Family Law Act for failing to make proper financial disclosure in the timely manner required by the rules of court. The judgment in this case, J.D.G. v. J.J.V., is the first decision on the nondisclosure provisions of the new act. The background facts relevant to the application are these:

  • Under SCFR 5-1 the application respondent's financial statement (an important court form used to describe a party's income, assets, expenses and debts) was due on 7 December 2012. It was not produced.
  • It was not produced at a Judicial Case Conference heard on 8 January 2013, contrary to SCFR 7-1.
  • It was not produced by 18 Janaury 2013, contrary to an order made at the JCC.
  • In fact, it was not produced until 10 April 2013, two days before the application was heard.
Click here to view the full article posted by John-Paul Boyd on JP Boyd on Family Law the Blog.
Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Supreme Court Civil Rules (168/2009) July 1/13 by Reg 65/2013
Supreme Court Family Rules (169/2009) July 1/13 by Reg 65/2013
Forest and Environment News:

Government Doing Fewer Inspections of Forest and Range Practices
An investigation into government’s inspections of compliance with forest and range practice legislation found that the number of inspections is one-third of what it was a few years ago, according to a report released today. "The Forest and Range Practices Act is intended to keep environmental standards high, with strong compliance and enforcement. Government needs to demonstrate that it is carrying out enough inspections to adequately monitor compliance with legislation, or public confidence will be diminished," said Al Gorley, board chair. Inspections decreased for a variety of reasons, one of which was the 2010 consolidation of natural resource ministries that now sees fewer natural resource officers inspecting a much greater number and type of activities on Crown land. For example they now inspect dams, recreation activities, illegal structures like cabins and docks, litter, open burning, etc. As a result of this investigation, the board recommends improvements to how the government records and reports industry compliance. Read the Forest Practices Board entire news release.To view the full report by the FPB, download full report.  

Rustad Echoes Liberal Comments on Release of Mill Explosion Report
BC's Aboriginal Relations Minister is repeating comments made by his BC Liberal colleagues regarding the delayed release of the BC Safety Authority report into the Babine Forest Products sawmill explosion. The NDP is leading the charge accusing the government of witholding vital safety information, but John Rustad says Crown Counsel must have exclusive access to the document in order to properly assess if charges should be laid without a media frenzy in their face. Rustad says the families of the killed as well as the wounded are among those that respect due process. See more

No Carbon Tax Rise, Despite Program's Success
BC Minister of Environment Mary Polak says her government will stick to its promise to freeze the carbon tax for the next five years, despite a new study which finds it is reducing emissions. The study from the University of Ottawa concluded that since BC introduced the carbon tax shift in 2008, the province's consumption of fossil fuels reduced nearly 19 per cent per capita compared to the rest of Canada. Meanwhile British Columbia's gross domestic product has kept pace with that of the whole country. View CBC article.

New Woodlot Licence Available near Enderby, BC
British Columbia continues to expand forest opportunities for individuals, groups and First Nations with the offering of a new woodlot licence near Enderby, British Columbia. The woodlot (W2024) is about 20 kilometres north of Enderby and covers 1,186 hectares with an allowable annual cut of 3,000 cubic metres. Read more at the ForestTalk website. 

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Forest Act July 25/13 by 2013 Bill 2, c. 17, sections 9 to 16 only (in force by Royal Assent), Budget Measures Implementation Act, 2013
Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Renewable and Low Carbon Fuel Requirements) Act July 1/13 by 2012 Bill 41, c. 18, sections 15 to 28 only (in force by Reg 335/2012), Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act (No. 2), 2012
Renewable and Low Carbon Fuel Requirements Regulation (394/2008) July 1/13 by Reg 335/2012
Health News:

Recent Court of Appeal Decision Determines Meaning of Limitation Period
under s. 8(7) of the Health Care Costs Recovery Act

British Columbia (Attorney General) v. Beacon Community Services Society, 2013 BCCA 317
This decision deals with an appeal by the Province from the chambers judge’s decision to summarily dismiss its action against Beacon Community Services Society to recover its health care costs under s. 8 of the Health Care Costs Recovery Act, S.B.C. 2008, c. 27. Section 8 of the Act permits the Province to initiate its own legal proceeding against a wrongdoer for the recovery of past and future health care services. Section 8(5) indicates that the Ministry’s limitation for bringing an independent action is the later of two dates:

(a)  the date that is 6 months after the expiration of the limitation period that applies to the beneficiary’s right to commence a legal proceeding against a wrongdoer, or
(b)  the earliest of five potentially other applicable dates.
Section 8(7) states:
Subsection (5) (b) does not apply if the limitation period referred to in subsection (5) (a) has expired before the date that subsection comes into force.
The plaintiff was injured on November 4, 2006. He brought an action in June 2007 and was granted judgment in April 2009. The Act came into force on April 1, 2009. In May 2009, the Ministry became aware of the decision. It filed its own action against the original defendants in October 2009 to recover health care costs. The defendants took the position that the Ministry’s claim was statute barred because it was not brought by May 4, 2009, i.e., within two years and six months of the tortious act. A chambers judge agreed and dismissed the claim. The Ministry appealed, arguing that dates under 8(5)(b) should have applied because the limitation period referred to in 8(5)(a) was 30 months and not 24 months. View the full article published by Jennifer Woznesensky with Harper Grey LLP. 

Patient's Family Sues BC over Living Will
The actions of Abbotsford nursing home staff who are spoon-feeding an 82-year-old Alzheimer's patient – contrary to the wishes she expressed in her living will – constitute battery, a lawsuit by her daughter and husband alleges. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in BC Supreme Court against Fraser Health, the nursing home and the provincial government, is expected to be precedent-setting as it should clarify end-of-life rights of patients and the obligations of health providers. The patient, Margaret (Margot) Bentley, is a former nurse and the daughter of Charles Tysoe, who was a BC Court of Appeal judge. She frequently reminded relatives and friends that she had executed the legal document, the suit states. Katherine Hammond, Bentley's daughter and co-plaintiff (with Bentley's second husband John), said in an interview that her mother would have shunned the public spotlight and would never have wanted to become a right-to-die "test case." Read the Vancouver Sun article

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Emergency Medical Assistants Regulation (210/2010) July 17/13 by Reg 194/2013
Labour and Employment News:

Human Rights Tribunal Takes On Forum Hopping – Human Rights Code
The BC Human Rights Tribunal has breathed new life into the concept of what it means to further the purposes of the Human Rights Code with the result that employers have some hope in stopping forum hopping and serial litigation. Mahdi v. Hertz Canada Limited could prove to be one of the Tribunal’s most important dismissal decisions yet. Mr. Mahdi is a long time unionized employee of Hertz. Over the course of about four years he pursued multiple grievances about his vacation rights. He had some success following hearings or by way of settlement. Before the last of his vacation grievances was settled, he filed a human rights complaint alleging religious discrimination; specifically that his request for vacation during Ramadan was denied. He also claimed the vacation denials were in retaliation for his previous human rights complaint. He had never raised an issue of religious discrimination in his vacation grievances, he knew that Hertz had not yet been notified of the human rights complaint and he never mentioned the complaint before the last grievance was settled. View full article by Earl Phillips with McCarthy Tetrault. 

BC Proposes Giving Teachers Right to Strike to Secure 10-year Deal
BC's education minister is proposing to give teachers back the right to strike with legislative amendments planned for the next time the legislature sits, part of an effort to reach a 10-year contract agreement. In a letter to school board chairs and superintendents Wednesday, Education Minister Peter Fassbender said the amendments will reflect what he calls "innovations," including allowing teachers to negotiate directly with the government. He also told reporters later that teachers have asked for the full right to strike, a right the union lost after the Liberal government came to power in 2001. "We're wide open to that discussion as we move forward," he said. "I think what it says is we want to sit down and talk about how do we ensure stability in the school system, that we avoid disruption. and that's really the key." Read more on the Vancouver Sun website.

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Regulation (265/2002) July 7/13 by Reg 70/2013
Public Education Labour Relations Act July 1/13 by 2012 Bill 22, c. 3, section 11 only (in force by Royal Assent), Education Improvement Act
Review of Old Permanent Disability Awards Regulation (177/2013) NEW
Aug. 1/13
see Reg 177/2013

Local Government News:

Comparing BC's Gas Tax Fund with Other Provinces, Territories
British Columbia was the first jurisdiction in Canada to negotiate a Gas Tax Agreement (GTA) with the federal government. As a result there are a few features about BC's agreement that are unique. The vast majority of BC's GTA, though, mirrors agreements in other jurisdictions, particularly in the area of eligible and ineligible costs. As part of the terms and conditions of the GTA, eligible and ineligible costs reflect federal priorities as the provider of funding to the program, and are consistent for agreements in all provinces and territories. For example, all Gas Tax agreements in Canada require that in order to be eligible, all capital projects must result in a tangible capital asset in the applicable province/territory, primarily for public use or benefit, and owned by an Eligible Recipient. In addition, all agreements require that the project must improve the quality of the environment, and contribute to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, clean water or clean air. View UBCM article

Frustrated by BC Safety Laws, Vancouver Prepares to Roll Out
Helmet Vending Machines at Bike-share Stations

Despite its near-rabid commitment to bike lanes, this week Vancouver became the last of Canada’s three most populous cities to inaugurate a municipal bike-share system. Throughout, proponents have laid the blame for this laggard-status squarely on BC’s 17-year-old helmet law. Unlike in Toronto or Montreal, any lidless Vancouverite caught atop two wheels faces a $100 fine. But now, with city hall having given the go-ahead for shared bike stations to hit Vancouver streets by 2014, the city has a convenient workaround: Helmet vending machines. Read National Post article

Amateur Combat Sports become Legal
The BC government has introduced new regulations that give clarity and confidence to the combat sport sector to allow amateur events to go forward, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Coralee Oakes announced [in early August]. Regulation of amateur combat sport events was required due to recent changes to the Criminal Code of Canada that have had a number of effects:

  • Requires provinces to designate amateur combat sport events as either needing or not needing regulation. The BC government now will be regulating mixed martial arts, kickboxing, pankration and Muay Thai events. These sports’ events now will need permission from the BC Athletic Commissioner (BCAC).
  • Allows provincial governments to exempt amateur combat sports from regulation if they are on the International Olympic or Paralympic Committee lists. The BC government is exempting these sports (boxing, wrestling, tae kwon do and judo) at this time.
  • Allows provincial governments to exempt non-Olympic and non-Paralympic combat sports from oversight. The BC government will not require event regulation for the sports of wushu, karate, kung fu, grappling and jiu jitsu.
While sanctioning processes are still being developed, the BCAC expects that no amateur event will be negatively affected by the changes to the Criminal Code. View the full government news release.
Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Elevating Devices Safety Regulation (101/2004) July 2/13 by Reg 164/2013
Home Owner Grant Act July 25/13 by 2013 Bill 2, c. 17, sections 17 and 18 only (in force by Royal Assent), Budget Measures Implementation Act, 2013
Land Tax Deferment Act July 25/13 by 2013 Bill 2, c. 17, sections 27 to 30 only (in force by Royal Assent), Budget Measures Implementation Act, 2013

Miscellaneous News:

BC Launches "Aggressive" Agenda to Modernize Liquor Laws
A study is underway in BC to look at broadening and modernizing the province’s outdated liquor laws. The study will look at a variety of issues surrounding liquor, including whether people should be allowed to bring alcoholic beverages to beaches and parks, according to attorney general Suzanne Anton. Anton said the BC Liberals have an aggressive agenda to immediately update the laws. The topic of BC’s liquor laws has been a hot topic in recent years, as some businesses have struggled to stay afloat amid restrictions. Read the full article on Global News

Supreme Court Rules against Tabling French-only
Court Documents in BC

The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down an attempt to file French-only court documents in British Columbia, in a minority language-rights case that could have a ripple effect in parts of the country. Lawyer Mark Power, who was part of the legal team arguing for the right to plead in French, said the case will have a different impact in different provinces. [The] 4-3 decision will be felt in some provinces – BC, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island – where groups will be forbidden from tabling documents in the minority language alone, he said. It will not apply, he said, in six provinces that have laws or constitutional protections guaranteeing access to the court system in either official language. That includes New Brunswick, which is officially bilingual under the 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms; Quebec and Manitoba, which received similar protections under the 1867 Constitution; and Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan, which have passed laws that allow certain French language rights in court, he said. The Supreme Court ruled Friday that there are no such guarantees in BC. View the full article on Global Post. 

Court Grants Injunction against Notary Public
who Violated Legal Profession Act

The Law Society has obtained an injunction in BC Supreme Court prohibiting Gail Joan MacDonald from providing legal services in contravention of the Legal Profession Act. The Law Society sought the injunction after learning that MacDonald, a notary public practising in Mission, had assisted in the probate of an estate and had drafted wills which included trusts and life estates, all for a fee. In a decision dated July 8, 2013 the court found MacDonald had breached the Act by providing legal services that she was not authorized to provide under the Notaries Act. Read the full article and decision as posted by the Law Society of BC. 

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Independent School Regulation (262/89) July 1/13 by Reg 125/2013
Public Education Labour Relations Act July 1/13 by 2012 Bill 22, c. 3, section 11 only (in force by Royal Assent), Education Improvement Act
Motor Vehicle and Traffic News:

BC Court of Appeal Finds Pub 20% At Fault for Over-serving
Patron Who Caused a Vehicle Collision

Adding this site’s archived cases addressing commercial host liability, reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Court of Appeal addressing the blameworthiness of a pub who overserved a patron who then drove drunk and caused a catastrophic collision. In this week’s case (Hansen v. Sulyma) the Plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle that ran out of gas and was parked off the side of the road. At the same time the Defendant, who had been drinking excessively at a nearby pub, “approached from behind, swung wide and hit their car.” The crash had catastrophic results rendering the Plaintiff quadriplegic. The motorist was found largely responsible for the crash but the BC Court of Appeal also allocated 20% of the blame to the pub. In addressing their blameworthiness for over serving a patron the Court provided the following reasons: (read the full article by Erik Magraken on his BC Injury Law Blog). 

Recent CVSE Bulletins
A number or Circulars and bulletins have been issued by CVSE recently. Of note, these include

  • Amended National Safety Code (NSC) 10 Cargo Securement Standard To advise that the National Safety Code (NSC) 10 standard on cargo securement was amended by the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) and approved by all provinces and territories (Effective January 1st, 2014). Circular 03-13
  • AMENDED Preapproved and Unladen Heavy Haul (HH) Combinations Travelling on Long Combination Vehicle (LCV) Designated Routes Without a Pilot Car. Circular 02-13
  • Inspection of Flood Damaged Vehicles VI Bulletin 04-13
  • Inspection Intervals for Commercial Trailers VI Bulletin 07-13
Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
There were no amendments this month.

Property and Real Estate News:

Amendments to Property Tax Regulations
The UDI Taxation Committee successfully amended the regulation allowing for residential classification on vacant mixed-use development land. This amendment to the regulation was for land having no present use. Prior to the amendment, mixed-use sites were often classified as 100% commercial. With the changes, mixed-use may now be split class. Recent appeals have revealed shortcomings in zonings that are given unfavourable treatment (e.g., commercial taxation) by BC Assessment, resulting in higher property taxes being paid by developers. Read the full article and bulletin by the Urban Development Institute. 

Real Estate Investment and Securities Regulation
Real estate has long served as an attractive investment opportunity for those with some extra cash to spend. Whether as rental property generating monthly income or as a long-term investment offering the potential for significant appreciation in value, real estate can provide the investor with a relatively stable place to park his or her money. Add to this stability the fact that most people can understand a real estate transaction as compared to more complex investment structures, and real estate comes off as an excellent investment strategy for most investors. However, what seems so straightforward at first can quickly become complex, especially when that simple real estate transaction turns into an offering subject to securities regulation. The question then becomes, how does a real estate purchase morph into an investment regulated by the often confusing intricacies of securities law? View article by Collin May with Miller Thomson LLP. 

Act or Regulation Affected Effective Date Amendment Information
Land Tax Deferment Act July 25/13 by 2013 Bill 2, c. 17, sections 27 to 30 only (in force by Royal Assent), Budget Measures Implementation Act, 2013
Property Transfer Tax Act July 25/13 by 2013 Bill 2, c. 17, section 31 only (in force by Royal Assent), Budget Measures Implementation Act, 2013

Wills and Estates News:

BC Law Society Prevails against Notary Public over Will Drafting
The Supreme Court of British Columbia has clarified the circumstances in which certain wills must be drafted by lawyers rather than by notaries public. In The Law Society of British Columbia v. MacDonald, a notary public was found to have violated the Legal Profession Act by drafting a will without the authorization to do so. The respondent, Gail Joan MacDonald, was also banned from engaging in the practice of law not authorized by the Notaries Act. Notaries public in British Columbia provide legal services to the public such as residential real estate transactions, will preparations, powers of attorney, health care directives, and statutory declarations. Section 18 of the Notaries Act sets out the circumstances in which notaries public may draw and supervise the execution of certain types of wills. Read the full article by Charlotte Santry posted on the Canadian Lawyer Magazine Blog. 

Electronic Wills: The Way of the Future?
A judge in Ohio recently ruled that a will written and signed on a tablet computer was a valid will, as discussed on the American Bar Association Journal website here. The case involved a man named Javier Castro, who needed a blood transfusion in order to survive his illness, but refused due to his religious beliefs. While in hospital, Javier discussed preparing a will with his two brothers. Since they had no pen or paper to do so, they decided to write the will on one of their Samsung Galaxy tablets. Javier signed the will on the tablet. The judge found that Javier’s will met the legal definition of a will in Ohio. Of course, a precedent from Ohio doesn’t mean much here in BC, and at present the formalities required to create a valid will in BC do not allow for electronic wills. However, the new Wills, Estates and Succession Act (“WESA”) coming into force March 31, 2014 will bring us closer to the possibility of a will in electronic form being found valid. View full article by Areet Kaila with Clark Wilson LLP. 

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