Bill 19 – Small Claims Court Goes Digital with the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act

In recent years, the Provincial Court has been seeking solutions to deal with the challenge of a high volume of court actions and an increasing number of self-represented litigants. The legislature seems to think the solution lies in creating alternate streams of dispute resolution procedures outside the formal court system. In May of 2012 the Province passed Bill 44, the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act. The Act is not yet in force, but is anticipated to become law later this year.   Earlier this week, the legislature introduced some tweaks and changes to the proposed Act with Bill 19. Local governments may find themselves parties to the dispute resolution process under the Act. (more…)

Bill 3 Brings Changes to Building Regulation

The BC Legislature has introduced Bill 3 – 2015, the Building Act (“Bill 3”), and has given it first reading. Bill 3 will effect a number of changes to building regulation in the province. The overarching purpose of the legislation, according the Province’s media release, is to promote consistency in the regulation of building throughout the province. The Province has also referred to its desire to bring BC’s legislation in line with that of other provinces. As discussed in more detail below, there are a number of notable features of Bill 3, including the following: (more…)

SMS Website Changes

You may have noticed a few changes to our website! We hope you like them. (more…)

Upcoming PBLI Presentation

On May 20, Colin Stewart will be lecturing in Vancouver for the Pacific Business and Law Institute on Local Governments and Health and Criminal Regulation.

Upcoming Capilano University Presentation

On March 27, Colin Stewart will be lecturing in North Vancouver on Conflict of Interest and Bias for the Capilano University diploma program in local government law.

New Supreme Court of Canada Decisions on Collective Bargaining, the Right to Strike and Communications by Employers During Union Organizing Activities – by Susan Beach

In January the Supreme Court of Canada released three decisions that will have significant impacts upon labour relations across the country. (more…)

City of Campbell River Successful Against Challenge to its Tax Rates Bylaw

In a B.C. Supreme Court decision released on January 23, 2015 (2015 BCSC 102), the authority of the City of Campbell River to set different tax rates within the same property class was upheld, and is a decision of importance to local government throughout British Columbia. (more…)

2014 Edition of Guide for Municipal Council Members and Regional Directors

The 2014 edition of the Guide for Municipal Council Members and Regional District Directors is now available on our website. Please click here to view the new Guide.

Guide for Municipal Council Members and Regional Directors in British Columbia – December 2, 2014

Guide for Municipal Council Members and Regional Directors in BC214csdw-2

A Sigh of Relief for Elected Officials – BC Supreme Court Accepts Defence of Honesty and Good Faith in Claim for Personal Liability

In the recent BC Supreme Court decision Orchiston v. Formosa, 2014 BCSC 1080, the BC Supreme Court has ruled on the interpretation to be given to section 191 of the Community Charter and, in particular, has considered defences available to local government elected officials who may be found to have authorized the expenditure of money without lawful authority. (more…)