A new Limitation Act came into force in B.C.
on June 1st, 2013. The Limitation Act, SBC
2012, c 13 (the "New Act") is intended to simplify the
process for civil claims and bring B.C.'s limitation periods in
line with the modern approach adopted in many other provinces,
The New Act contains several significant differences from the
old Limitation Act, RSBC 1996, c 226 (the "Old
Basic Limitation Period – Under the Old Act, the basic
limitation period varied between 2, 6 and 10 years based on the
cause of action. The New Act implements a 2 year limitation
period for most claims.
Ultimate Limitation Period – The ultimate limitation
period provided under the Old Act ranged from as short as 6 years
to as long as 30 years. This has been replaced with a uniform
ultimate limitation period of 15 years from the date an act or
omission occurs for all causes of action, regardless of whether the
claim has been discovered.
Confirming a Cause of Action – Under the Old Act, the
basic limitation period reset when a defendant confirmed that a
plaintiff had a valid claim, but the ultimate limitation period
continued to run. Under the New Act, both the basic and
ultimate limitation periods reset.
Third Party Claims – The Old Act did not provide a
limitation period for third party claims, including claims for
contribution and indemnity, so long as the originating claim was
commenced within the appropriate limitation period. The New
Act provides that claims for contribution and indemnity are subject
to a 2 year limitation period from the later of the day on which
the claimant is served with pleadings on which the claim for
contribution and indemnity is based, or the first day on which the
claimant knew or reasonably ought to have known that a claim for
contribution or indemnity may be made.
Some elements of the Old Act remain unchanged in the New
Discoverability – The test for discoverability remains
the same. The limitation period will not begin to run until a
plaintiff is aware that it has a claim; however, plaintiffs are
expected to exercise reasonable efforts to ascertain whether they
have a potential claim.
Contracting Out – Like the Old Act, the New Act is silent
on a party's ability to contract out of limitation periods.
Existing case law is likely to continue to apply and the court will
review contracts on a contextual basis to determine if allowing the
agreement is appropriate and just in the circumstances.
The transition rules in the New Act specify that the Old Act
will continue to apply to claims that have been discovered before
June 1st, 2013, and the New Act will apply to claims discovered on
or after June 1st, 2013. For breach of contract claims, this
means that if the breach was discovered before June 1st, 2013,
the claim will attract the Old Act's basic limitation period of
6 years. However, if the breach is discovered on or after
June 1st, 2013, the New Act will apply and the limitation period
will be two years.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
In Irwin v. Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, 2015 ABCA 396, the Alberta Court of Appeal found that the "ABVMA" failed to afford procedural fairness to a veterinarian undergoing an incapacity assessment.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).