Attorney General Suzanne Anton introduced Bill No. 5 today, the Miscellaneous Statutes (Signed Statements) Amendment Act.
The proposed changes cut red tape by replacing the need for sworn statements with a simple, signed statement where appropriate. If passed, the amendments would reduce cost, delay and inconvenience for British Columbians by simplifying the law and making it easier to comply with legal requirements.
This reduction in red tape would allow individuals to attest to the facts and details they provide in an application or similar document – by way of a signed rather than a sworn statement – reducing the requirement for the services of a legal professional or commissioner of oaths, in some cases.
For many British Columbians, efficiencies would be gained in dealing with non-court-related matters. For example, an application to enroll a child in a francophone school, to receive certain forms of income assistance, or to finalize financial reporting in various applications, could be attested to by the applicant simply using their signature. It would be an offence to make a false statement.
The changes would amend 23 statutes from across government. Among the acts impacted by the amendment are the School Act, the Credit Union Incorporation Act, the Weed Control Act, the Elections Act and the Hospital Insurance Act.
Suzanne Anton, Attorney General and Minister of Justice –
“These amendments are a welcome measure for British Columbians. Signed statements, instead of sworn statements, will ensure legal standards are met, while reducing red tape and keeping more money in the pockets of British Columbian families and businesses – something we can all appreciate.”
Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business, Red Tape Reduction and Minister Responsible for Liquor Distribution Branch –
“British Columbians deserve easy access to justice services. These amendments make it simpler for people to complete their legal business, saving them time and frustration. Moving from sworn statements to signed statements is just one more way the B.C. government is reducing red tape for British Columbians.”
For a complete list of acts, visit: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/law-crime-and-justice/about-bc-justice-system/legislation-policy/signed/signed-statements-act.pdf
Check out the blog for more updates on Reducing Red Tape for British Columbians: www.gov.bc.ca/helpcutredtape