Bill 23, the Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act, 2015, was introduced in the legislature today by Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton.
If passed, the amendments will affect the following provincial statutes:
Employment and Assistance Act and Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act: The proposed amendments to these acts will eliminate periods of ineligibility for people who are convicted of fraudulently obtaining income or disability assistance. The amendments include a higher mandatory repayment amount to accelerate the recovery of any debt and will allow people currently ineligible due to fraud to apply for income and disability assistance.
Liquor Distribution Act: Administrative changes will help to continue modernizing the province’s liquor industry pursuant to changes stemming from B.C.’s Liquor Policy Review. The amendments will allow BC Liquor Stores to operate more consistently with other licensees - for example, by simplifying the administrative process for setting operating hours. The changes are also intended to allow BC Liquor Stores to advertise in the same way as other liquor retailers do.
Maanulth First Nations Final Agreement Act: The proposed amendment authorizes the Provincial Court to make and enforce orders to support prosecutions by Maa-nulth First Nations under their foreshore laws. The current Final Agreement Act authorizes Maa-nulth First Nations to enforce their foreshore laws, but does not provide the Provincial Court with the authority to issue and enforce orders related to prosecutions under Maa-nulth foreshore laws.
Municipalities Enabling and Validating Act: Amendments to the Municipalities Enabling and Validating Act (MEVA) enable the District of Port Edward and Pacific Northwest LNG (PNW) to enter into a municipal property tax agreement regarding the property tax revenue to be generated from the proposed PNW LNG facility on Lelu Island. Amendments to MEVA also validate Maple Ridge’s recent reclassification as a city and actions taken by the City of Maple Ridge since its reclassification. Legislation also includes amendments to the Local Government Act to provide Cabinet with authority to change municipal classifications when in the public interest as well as minor corrections identified by legislative counsel as part of the statute revision process.
Natural Products Marketing (British Columbia) Act: The proposed amendments will enable marketing boards and commissions to require that their producer members participate in mandatory biosecurity and insurance programs, and apply an administrative penalty for those that fail to comply.
Oil and Gas Activities Act: The amendments will streamline the existing multi-agency regulatory process for facilities that use non-renewable resources to produce value-added products such as gas-to-liquids and methanol by making the Oil and Gas Commission solely responsible for the construction, operation and permitting of these facilities. This streamlined process is designed to attract new investment for value-added production and facilitate economic growth.
Pension Benefits Standards Act: Minor housekeeping amendments were proposed.
Petroleum and Natural Gas Act: The Government of British Columbia manages Crown land for subsurface resource development and collects royalty revenue from production under the Petroleum and Natural Gas Act (PNGA). A new section in the act will allow the Province to enter into long-term royalty agreements with natural gas producers. These agreements will specify the royalty rates owed to the Province by a producer. With this certainty, industry can plan their operations over a longer period of time and commit capital to jobs and production needs. The Province will have guaranteed royalty revenue each year.
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act: The proposed amendment will give veterinarians the authority to destroy an animal or have it destroyed when the animal is in critical distress. At present, an animal in critical distress may suffer until an agent of the BC Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA) can be located to authorize destruction. A second amendment will provide statutory protection from legal proceedings for veterinarians who make such decisions.
Provincial Symbols and Honours Act: This proposed amendment to the 1989 Provincial Symbols and Honours Act, establishes a Medal of Good Citizenship recognizing British Columbians who have acted in a particularly generous, kind or self-sacrificing manner for the common good of other citizens without expectation of reward. This amendment encourages the virtue of good citizenship and ensures that individuals whose lives and actions exemplify this virtue are recognized by the Province.
Public Agency Accommodation Act: Amendments to the Public Agency Accommodation Act introduced today streamline procedures for the release of unused and surplus government properties. The change removes the requirement to transfer administration of land twice, first to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, then to the Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services before surplus properties can be sold. This will save both time and money while eliminating red tape.
Queen’s Printer Act: The amendments to the Queen’s Printer Act introduced today support the expansion of government printing to external printing suppliers instead of an in-house print shop. The shift modernizes government’s printing model and will expand opportunities for small businesses in the industry. Queen’s Printer will continue to deliver brokerage expertise, electronic publishing services, BC Laws, and protocol and recognition products.
Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters Act: The Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters Act sets out the guidelines for rental assistance for seniors. The amendment is an administrative change, ensuring that all payments have been properly authorized. Repealing this act eliminates unnecessary red tape, making it easier to manage the Shelter Assistance for the Elderly Renters program. The changes do not affect the benefits for seniors or how the program is operated - benefits will continue to be calculated through regulation.
Statute Revision Act: Every year, government is made aware of small errors - such as spelling errors or any error in a revision - that are in various pieces of legislation and as an interim fix, corrections are made by regulation. The changes reflected in the regulations are being put before the legislature to be finalized.
Employment and Assistance Act and Employment Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act
Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation
Liquor Distribution Act
Ministry of Justice - Solicitor General
Maanulth First Nations Final Agreement Act
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
Municipalities Enabling and Validating Act
Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
Bonnie Bates Gibbs
Natural Products Marketing (B.C.) Act
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act
Ministry of Agriculture
250 889-5945 (cell)
Pension Benefits Standards Act
Ministry of Finance
Petroleum and Natural Gas Act
Oil and Gas Activities Act
Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters Act
Ministry of Natural Gas Development and Responsible for Housing
Provincial Symbols and Honours Act
Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat
Public Agency Accommodation Act
Queen’s Printer Act
Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services
Statute Revision Act
Ministry of Justice - Attorney General