The Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act (Bill 17), 2022, was introduced in the legislative assembly on Thursday, March 31, 2022.
If passed by the legislature, the amendments will affect the following provincial statutes:
Insurance (Vehicle) Act
The amendments to the Insurance (Vehicle) Act are technical amendments that have the effect of making permanent provisions that were temporarily provided for by the Insurance (Vehicle) Transitional Regulation.
There is no change to Basic Vehicle Damage Coverage as a result of these amendments and no change to the amount that will be paid by basic insurance for vehicle repairs for accidents occurring in B.C.
Ministry of Mines and Energy Act
Unneeded requirements around the certification of mineral assayers will be repealed to ensure responsible use of public resources and to maintain effective oversight of the mining sector in B.C. An assayer tests ores, metals and minerals and analyzes them to determine composition.
The assayer requirements were introduced in the late 1800s and have become redundant due to the regulation of professional geoscientists and growth in commercialized laboratories. Repealing these requirements will bring the Province in line with other jurisdictions.
The Offence Act establishes the framework on how violation tickets can be disputed and enforced in British Columbia. There are approximately 80,000 violation ticket disputes filed each year in B.C. and approximately 30% of those disputes proceed to a hearing.
Amendments to the Offence Act will provide British Columbians with options to resolve violation ticket disputes faster and with reduced need to appear in the courtroom.
The first proposed amendment will allow British Columbians to dispute their violation tickets online. The current dispute process is largely paper based.
The second proposed amendment would allow the court greater flexibility to set remote hearings where appropriate. The COVID-19 pandemic response resulted in increased use of remote appearance options and provided access to improved technology. Continuing this flexibility will help maintain better access to the courts.
The third proposed amendment will create a framework for development and testing of pre-hearing ticket dispute resolution options. These options will be tested through time-limited pilot projects.