The Annual Tax Sale Approaches!

In September 2015 we posted a summary of the tax sale provisions of the Local Government Act. Because of the coming into force of the revised Local Government Act earlier this year, we are reproducing that article in full, with the section references updated to the Local Government Act, R.S.B.C. 2015, c. 1. 

The tax sale provisions of Part 16, Division 7 of the Local Government Act (“LGA”) provide municipalities with the ultimate property tax collection tool – a forced sale of the property that is subject to tax. As the saying goes, you can’t fight City Hall! (more…)

New Building Act Regulations Shed Further Light on Legislative Scheme

This past June, the provincial government enacted the Building Act General Regulation, B.C. Reg. 131/2016 (the “Building Act Regulation”), providing some clarity with respect to two important elements of the new Building Act, S.B.C. 2015, c.2 (the “Building Act”). (more…)

UBCM Convention – September 27 to 30

The partners at Stewart McDannold Stuart will be attending the annual convention of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities next week.  We welcome all participants to our beautiful home town of Victoria. As in years past we are proud to sponsor the UBCM Daily News. We look forward to meeting with our clients and colleagues over the course of the convention.

BC Supreme Court Puts the Kibosh on Marihuana Dispensary

Although the federal government is studying the legalization of marihuana, with the announced intention of introducing legislation sometime in 2017, the sale of cannabis products outside of the framework provided through the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations remains illegal under Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Even so, storefront cannabis dispensaries continue to pop up in communities across Canada, and the criminal justice system seems ill equipped to do much about it.  As a result, some municipalities such as the City of Vancouver are taking the extraordinary step of actually regulating these illegal cannabis dispensaries. (more…)

The Federal Government Announces the Replacement of the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations

On August 24, 2016, the federal government repealed the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) and replaced them with a new set of regulations entitled the “Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations” (ACMPR).  The MMPR allowed for the issuance of federal licences permitting the commercial production and distribution of marihuana for medical purposes.  It replaced a previous set of regulations known as the Medical Marihuana Access Regulations (MMAR) which permitted individuals with a prescription for medical marihuana to obtain a licence to grow their own marihuana through a personal production licence, or to designate a third party to grow it on their behalf through a designated person production licence.  The intention of the MMPR was to put an end to this system and replace it with a system where marihuana could only be obtained from federally licensed commercial suppliers.  (more…)

Failure to Give Notice Results in Dismissal of Claim

In the recent case of Kazemi v. North Vancouver (City), 2016 BCSC 1240, the BC Supreme Courrt dismissed a personal injury claim against the municipality as a result of the plaintiff’s failure to give notice within the two-month period required under the Local Government Act. (more…)

TOLGMA September 14 – 16

Michael Hargraves will be presenting a legal update at this year’s TOLGMA conference, being held at Silver Star Resort in Vernon from September 14-16. Michael’s presentation will be on Friday, September 16, and he hopes to see you there.

Court Orders End to Homeless Encampment

On July 5, 2016, the Honourable Chief Justice Hinkson released his decision in British Columbia v. Adamson, 2016 BCSC 1245, following a renewed application by the Province for an interim injunction to end the “Tent City” encampment beside the Victoria Courthouse.

Chief Justice Hinkson found in favour of the Province, ordering the dismantling of the encampment to coincide with the availability of additional shelter options for the campers. (more…)

Selecting the location of cell antenna a “core” federal power – Rogers Communications Inc. v Châteauguay (City), 2016 SCC 23

The Supreme Court of Canada’s most recent decision on the division of federal and provincial powers helps clarify the extent to which local governments can control the locations of cell phone antennas and other radiocommunication infrastructure within their borders.

In Rogers Communications Inc. v Châteauguay (City), 2016 SCC 23 (“Rogers”), the Court found that, because The Constitution Act, 1867 gives the federal government exclusive control over radiocommunications, municipalities cannot exercise their powers in such a way as to prevent telecommunications companies from installing radiocommunications antenna. (more…)

Court Clarifies Authority to Require Geotechnical Reports for Hazardous Lands

Section 56 of the Community Charter, which applies not only to municipalities, but also to regional districts by virtue of section 302 of the Local Government Act, has been given some helpful interpretation by a recent decision of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. In Compagna v. Nanaimo (City), 2016 BCSC 1045, the court concluded that while the language of section 56 is broad enough to permit a building inspector to consider, and potentially rely upon a geotechnical report previously prepared for another purpose, such as an application for subdivision, it does not require the building inspector to do so. (more…)