Bill 13, the Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act (No. 2), 2011, was introduced in the legislature today by Attorney General Barry Penner. If passed, the amendments will affect a number of provincial statutes.
Child, Family and Community Service Act - The amendment, which allows the court to permanently transfer custody of children who are living with relatives in temporary out-of-care agreements, creates an alternative to bringing children into foster care and will provide continuity and permanency for both children and their caregivers. The amendment also includes safeguards to ensure permanent transfers only occur when they are in the child's best interests, while ensuring that due process is in place before parental rights are severed.
Clean Energy Act - Amendment extends the legislated deadline for the submission of BC Hydro's first Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) by one year to 30 months. The panel reviewing BC Hydro and the impact of hydro rate increases on B.C. families will present its recommendations by June 30. The amendment ensures that BC Hydro has the time and flexibility to include any new direction from this review in their IRP. It will also give BC Hydro adequate time to consult with industry stakeholders, communities, First Nations and families across the province.
Environment and Land Use Act - The Environment and Land Use Act is being amended to better reflect current practices of appointing non-cabinet MLAs to sit as members on the Environment and Land Use Committee.
Forest Act - Amendments will limit transfers of receiving licences, strengthen eligibility criteria for new woodlots and change named decision-maker references.
* The Forest Act will be amended so that a non-lumber producer can only transfer a "receiving licence" to another non-lumber producer. This will help support the bioenergy, pulp and paper and value-added industries by providing security of supply for lower quality fibre needed by the non-lumber sector.
* The Forest Act will be amended to make large tenure holders ineligible to apply for or hold a woodlot licence. Woodlot licence opportunities are intended for individuals, First Nations and small companies that want to participate in small-scale forestry. The amendment will help maintain the intent of the woodlot licence program as it is expanded.
* The Forest Act, Forest and Range Practices Act and the Ministry of Forests and Range Act will be amended so that minister replaces decision-maker references, such as regional manager or district manager. This will enable the minister to delegate powers and duties to officials in the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations as needed to optimize decision making and improve efficiency.
Law and Equity Act - If passed, the amendment will resolve potential uncertainty and avoid litigation over certain leases as they relate to common property in strata developments.
Legislative Assembly Management Committee Act - The amendment allows for the continued authority and position of the speaker between the time a general election is called to when a subsequent parliament elects a new speaker. It eliminates the need for legislation in order to continue the speaker through that period.
Medicare Protection Act - Changes to the act will create authority to require adult British Columbians to re-enrol in the Province's Medical Services Plan by updating proof of their identity to a higher assurance level. The amendments to the Medicare Protection Act will support the introduction of a more secure photo card, which would replace the current CareCard.
Milk Industry Act - Minor amendments will allow for changes to the Milk Industry Standards Regulation that will facilitate inter-provincial and international trade.
Motor Vehicle Act (Two amendments)
* Golf Carts
Golf carts and certain industrial utility vehicles will no longer require registration, licensing or insurance through ICBC to operate in parking lots or for incidental highway use in specific situations, such as crossing a public roadway between two areas of a golf course.
* Driving Licensing
To comply with the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Motor Vehicle Act will be amended to establish a designation code for use on the drivers' licences of commercial drivers who are ineligible to drive in the U.S. owing to specific medical conditions, such as epilepsy, insulin-dependent diabetes or certain hearing deficiencies. Other changes will allow holders of foreign drivers' licences to keep their existing licence so they can practise before taking a B.C. road test. Previously, foreign licence-holders had to surrender their driver's licence when applying for a B.C. driver's licence.
Protected Areas of BC Act - Amends the boundary description of Nisga'a Memorial Lava Bed Park to remove 10.5 hectares to allow for the construction of a segment of the Northwest Transmission Line. The Northwest Transmission Line received its environmental assessment certificate Feb. 23 and federal environmental assessment approval May 6. The western route of the Northwest Transmission Line requires the use of lands in Nisga'a Memorial Lava Bed Park. The Nisga'a Lisims Government supported the western route and has consented to amending the boundary of the park to facilitate construction of the Northwest Transmission Line.
Special Accounts Appropriation and Control Act - Amendments will allow the Province to invest in a wider range of affordable housing solutions for people in greatest need. Earnings from the Housing Endowment Fund will contribute to new supportive housing, including those currently being developed in eight communities across the province. The fund has already contributed $25 million to help projects across B.C. bring unique housing solutions to low-income seniors, working families, youth and those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Child, Family and Community Service Act
Ministry of Children and Family Development
Clean Energy Act, Special Accounts Appropriation and Control Act
Ministry of Energy and Mines
Environment and Land Use Act, Forest Act
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
Law and Equity Act
Ministry of Attorney General
Legislative Assembly Management Committee Act
Ministry of Labour, Citizens' Services and Open Government
Medicare Protection Act
Ministry of Health
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Milk Industry Act
Ministry of Agriculture
Motor Vehicle Act
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
Protected Areas of BC Act
Ministry of Environment