The Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act (No. 2), 2018, was introduced in the legislature today, Apr. 23, 2018, by Attorney General David Eby.
If approved by the legislature, the amendments will affect the following provincial statutes:
Business Corporations Act:
Amendments to the Business Corporations Act will eliminate outdated legislation related to the Auditor Certification Board. In the past, the board was used to accredit certified management accountants to act as auditors. However, since the enactment of the Chartered Professional Accountants Act in 2015, all accounting professionals hold a single designation (chartered professional accountant), and the board is no longer necessary.
College and Institute Act:
An amendment to the College and Institute Act will streamline land transaction decisions for the province’s 14 public colleges and institutes. Currently, both the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training need to review all land transactions. The change will leave the decision with the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. The amendment is consistent with the University Act, as well as for the land transaction decision making process of the ministries of Education and Health.
Infants Act and Public Guardian and Trustee Act:
The proposed amendments to the Infants Act and the Public Guardian and Trustee Act will improve support to British Columbia’s youth transitioning from provincial care by providing assistance with financial decision making. The changes, if passed, will allow the public guardian and trustee (PGT) to serve as property guardian for a youth when they reach the age of 19, and, if the youth agrees, allows the PGT to continue to hold and manage the youth’s funds up till the time the youth turns 27 years of age.
Liquor Control and Licensing Act:
Administrative amendments to the Liquor Control and Licensing Act (LCLA) will resolve minor omissions, inconsistencies or ambiguities identified after the new Act was passed in 2015. The amendments include providing the general manager with greater flexibility to impose terms and conditions relating to the employment of minors at establishments and events; establishing a defence for licensees and permittees for when a minor is found in a licensed establishment or event if the licensee or permittee requested ID and believed it to be authentic; clarifying that the general manager can cancel or suspend a licence for non-compliance with all reporting and record requirements; amending the definition of “authorized vendor” in the Liquor Distribution Act to include the holder of a special event permit; and correcting an improper reference.
Procurement Services Act:
Amendment to the Procurement Services Act will allow procurement to be delegated outside of the B.C. public service. This will enable the B.C. public sector to participate in group procurement opportunities conducted by the federal, provincial and territorial governments thus reducing a barrier to new markets and more business. These updates will make public sector purchasing more flexible and allow B.C. to leverage volume discounts, access new markets and reduce administration costs associated with purchasing as part of a bigger group.
Property Law Act:
The proposed amendment modernizes the terms in section 34 by allowing owners of property to apply for a court order to enter an adjoining property to carry out repair or work if their building, structure, improvement or work is so close to the boundary that the work or repair cannot otherwise be done and when the consent of the other owner cannot reasonably be obtained.
Riparian Areas Protection Act:
Riparian areas of the province are areas near streams and rivers. Since 2006, regulations have been in place to protect fish habitats and ensure environmental stewardship under increasing threats from urban development.
The proposed amendment will enhance that protection by giving the minister the authority to publish criteria and methods through a manual for qualified environmental professionals (like registered biologists) to follow when they are carrying out habitat assessments in riparian areas. The change also means government can reject an assessment report that is incomplete or does not comply with methods or criteria set in regulation of the manual. The change responds to one of the recommendations from the 2014 B.C. Ombudsperson report, Striking a Balance: The Challenges of Using a Professional Reliance Model in Environmental Protection – British Columbia’s Riparian Areas Regulation.
These amendments will incorporate voting provisions from the Societies Act interim regulations into the act itself, in order to maintain these provisions when the interim regulation expires in 2019. In addition, the amendments will simplify administrative processes for societies by clarifying what information must be recorded in the minutes, improving the process under which the registrar of companies facilitates access to a society’s records and removing an unnecessary waiting period before a society can be restored.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (six acts below):
Amendments to Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing legislation are intended to ensure that legislation is accurate, up-to date, and without unnecessary impediments to local governance. The amendments seek to address issues brought forward by a variety of local government bodies, including the Islands Trust, and the City of Vancouver, and issues identified by the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. The proposed amendments include:
Capital Regional District and Sooke Hills Protection Act:
The amendments will replace ministerial approval for adopting or amending water supply local service bylaws within the Capital Regional District with the more standard approval by the Inspector of Municipalities.
Cultus Lake Park Act:
The amendments will allow non-resident leaseholders within the park to vote in general local elections and other elector approval processes. All park residents are leaseholders, but part-time residents cannot meet the Local Government Act requirements to qualify as electors due to the nature and shorter duration of their leases. The amendments will provide an opportunity for all residents of the park to participate in these democratic processes.
Islands Trust Act:
The amendments will change the name of the Islands Trust’s Trust Fund Board to the Islands Trust Conservancy, to more accurately represent the extent and nature of the board’s mandate.
Minor amendments will enhance consistency by aligning the timing of local government appointments to library boards with the timing of all other local government appointments.
Local Government Act:
Minor amendments to the Local Government Act will restore ministerial regulation making authority respecting public hearing procedures for regional growth strategies. Other minor amendments to this act and consequential amendments to a number of other acts, will also update references from the Greater Vancouver Regional District to the Metro Vancouver Regional District, to reflect the regional district’s legal name change in 2017.
Minor amendments to the Vancouver Charter will remove an inconsistent reference to a “10-year vesting period” for council members no longer in compliance with provincial pension legislation and municipal pension plan rules. Minor changes will also remove outdated references to the defunct Board of Police Commissioners to reduce confusion with the current Police Board.