The miscellaneous statutes amendment act (Bill 13) was introduced in the legislative chamber on Feb. 27, 2020.
If approved by the legislature, the amendments will affect the following provincial statutes:
Adoption Act, Assessment Act, Building Act, Evidence Act, Land Title Act, Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act (No. 3) 2010, Motor Vehicle Act, New Relationship Trust Act, Trespass Act and Vital Statistics Act
Minor amendments to these ten statutes would ensure the terms of the Nisga’a Treaty are referenced correctly and are consistent with the wording of the Treaty.
Family Law Act, Family Maintenance Enforcement Act and Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act
Proposed amendments will lead to better assistance for British Columbia families by enabling family justice counsellors (Family Justice Services Division), search officers (Locate Services), and enforcement officers (Family Maintenance Enforcement Program) to obtain the information they need within the framework of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
For example, amendments would clarify that parents who are receiving assistance from a family justice counsellor can share information, such as names and addresses, about other family members with the counsellor. Amendments also clarify that an enforcement officer with the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program may request the social insurance number of a debtor with significant arrears of child or spousal support to verify the debtor’s identity to enforce a support order.
Guide Dog and Service Dog Act
Proposed changes would streamline certification processes and clarify the relationship between the act and B.C.’s Human Rights Code. Amendments will recognize the high standards of guide and service dog training schools accredited by the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International by deeming guide and service dog teams from those schools to be certified under the act.
Requiring these teams to undergo the formal certification process is duplicative, time-consuming and unnecessary from a public safety standpoint. The requirement for trainers to get a separate certificate for a dog-in-training in addition to the trainer certificate will also be eliminated. The amendments will address a widespread misperception that certification is mandatory for guide and service dog teams to access public places and services. The act is not intended to take away from existing protections for persons with disabilities under the Human Rights Code.
Labour Mobility Act
Proposed amendments will correct out-of-date references to the Agreement on Internal Trade, which was replaced with the Canadian Free Trade Agreement in July 2017. As a result of its reference to the Agreement on Internal Trade, some portions of the Labour Mobility Act ceased to have legal effect when the Canadian Free Trade Agreement was implemented.
The proposed amendments will update the act with the necessary references to the Canadian Free Trade Agreement, restoring the act’s original effect retroactive to July 2017.
Land Owner Transparency Act
Minor technical amendments would clarify public search parameters, allow for the removal of out-of-date information from the public registry and provide for the collection of additional information from transparency declarations. The act was introduced in 2019 as a key tool to combat money laundering.
Lobbyists Registration Act
Amendments will correct a minor cross-referencing error.
Pharmaceutical Services Act and E-Health Act
Proposed minor amendments will bring legislation in line with recent changes to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, which were required to keep pace with current technology, such as cloud-based services.
Supreme Court Act
To improve access to justice and reduce court delays, proposed amendments would allow the appointment of five more judges to the B.C. Supreme Court, for a total of 95 judges in addition to the chief justice and the associate chief justice.
Water Sustainability Act
The Water Sustainability Act governs the allocation and regulation of the diversion, use and storage of water from streams and groundwater in B.C. The amendments are intended to make administrative corrections and provide more authority for government to collect, use and disclose the personal information of water users to ensure authorization holders, applicants, emergency responders and the public have continued access to the information needed to manage water use in B.C.