Bill 41, the Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act (No. 3) 2015, was introduced in the legislature today by Attorney General Suzanne Anton. If passed, the amendments will affect the following provincial statutes:
Child, Family and Community Service Act (CFCSA): This amendment will enable the expansion of the Agreements with Young Adults program, allowing the Ministry of Children and Family Development to extend the duration of agreements and raise the age limit. The amendment will also enable agreements to be used for life skills programs, in addition to the current educational, vocational and rehabilitative programs.
College and Institute Act, and University Act: Amendments to the University Act and the College and Institute Act will ensure that fees continue to be collected from students who resign from the student society. The Ministry of Advanced Education will consult with student societies to determine which program or service fees should be protected under the legislation.
Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act: Amendments will allow for child and spousal support decisions from other provinces, territories and countries to be more efficiently processed, as laid out in Anton’s mandate from Premier Christy Clark. The administrative changes will allow support order decisions from jurisdictions that do not provide court-certified copies of decisions, such as those reached by tribunal, to be registered with the B.C. Court. In addition, instead of using the court’s Sheriff Services to serve applications for support from other jurisdictions on B.C. residents, the director of maintenance enforcement will now use a private process server. Together, the amendments will cut red tape and strengthen out-of-province support order enforcement that account for about 11% of Family Maintenance Enforcement Program cases – a program that has collected $3 billion on behalf of families since 1988.
Utilities Commission Act: Today’s proposed amendments include changes required to implement recommendations from the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) Core Review Task Force. The Task Force was initiated by government in 2014 in response to concerns raised by customer groups and utilities about BCUC’s capacity to deliver clear and timely decisions.
The proposed legislative amendments would contribute to increasing the BCUC’s effectiveness and efficiency and reduce the cost of regulation for ratepayers who pay for the BCUC in their utility rates. Ratepayer groups consulted during the BCUC core review support these changes.