There has been sparse judicial commentary regarding British
Columbia's new Limitation Act1 since it came into
force less than a year ago on June 1, 2013. In Hanson v.
Sharma,2 however, the British Columbia Supreme
Court recently provided us with a glimpse at the Court's
interpretation of the transitional provisions in new Limitation
Act, and helped clarify when the former Limitation
Act3 ought to still apply to civil proceedings in
In Hanson, the plaintiff sought leave to further amend
his notice of civil claim. The defendants opposed the amendments,
in part, on the basis of their allegation that the relevant
limitation period had expired under the new Limitation
Act. The proceeding arose out of lease and asset purchase
agreements that were entered into in 2007. The Court addressed
whether the six-year limitation period under the former
Limitation Act applied to the facts alleged or whether the
two-year general limitation period under the new Limitation
Act applied. The original notice of civil claim had been filed
before June 1, 2013 and the original claims were not time barred
under the former Limitation Act.
In its decision, the Court allowed the plaintiff to further
amend his claim, because there was no evidence that demonstrated
that the defendants were or would be prejudiced by the further
amendments.4 With respect to the transitional provisions
of the new Limitation Act, the Court held as follows:
 In my judgment, the new Limitation Act
transitional rules are quite straight forward. The questions that
should be asked and answered are: Did the act or omission giving
rise to the cause of action occur before June 1, 2013, i.e., the
date the new Limitation Act was enacted? If the answer is
"No", the new Limitation Act applies and the
transitional rules do not apply. If the answer if "Yes",
the question becomes: Has an action been commenced before June 1,
2013? If the answer if "Yes", the old Limitation
Act applies with all former limitation periods and
The Court held that since the proceeding had been commenced
before the new Limitation Act came into force, the former
Limitation Act governs the claim.6 Section 30
of the new Limitation Act outlines the transitional
provisions in the new Limitation Act. The Court's
decision in Hanson is consistent with a plain reading of
section 30 of the new Limitation Act, and with the
literature prepared by the province in contemplation of the new
Limitation Act being brought into force.7
Generally, the new Limitation Act does not appear to be
retroactive and most civil claims arising prior to June 1, 2013
will be governed by the former Limitation Act. As
previously discussed, the new Limitation Act has, in some
cases, significantly shortened the time period for bringing a civil
claim in the province.8 However, for claims commenced
prior to June 1, 2013, the longer limitation periods under the
former Limitation Act should mainly still apply.
The foregoing provides only an overview and does not
constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any
decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal
advice should be obtained.
It's not often that our little blog intersects with such titanic struggles as the U.S. presidential race – and by using the term "titanic" I certainly don't mean to suggest that anything disastrous is in the future.
J.J. v. C.C., is an interesting case in which the court held that an automotive garage owes a duty to minor children to secure the vehicles on the premises by locking the cars and safely storing the car keys...
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.
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