The BC Ministry of Finance is continuing with its plan to
modernize the Society Act, releasing draft replacement
legislation and a call for submissions from interested stakeholders
throughout the province.
On August 6, 2014, the Ministry of Finance issued a press
release and a White Paper which includes draft legislation for a
new Societies Act, complete with detailed annotations and
explanatory comments. The White Paper represents the latest phase
of the multi-year review of the Society Act which first
began in 2009. In 2011, the Ministry released a discussion paper
setting out some general principles and policy proposals for new
The draft legislation addresses many of the common complaints
concerning the current Society Act and provides a welcome
degree of modernization. While striving to "keep things
simple" the draft legislation necessarily is somewhat more
complex in comparison to the current Act, which dates from
Stakeholders are encouraged to provide submissions and feedback
on the draft legislation. The Ministry takes pains to clarify
that the draft legislation does not represent the final government
policy, but is the next step in the development of replacement
legislation that will better serve the 27,000 societies that exist
in British Columbia. In our experience, the Ministry carefully
considers all submissions from stakeholders and has transparently
used feedback in prior consultations to adjust its thinking in this
legislative process. We encourage every society in BC to carefully
review the White Paper and to provide a submission on the issues
that matter to the sector generally and to your specific
To link to the Ministry's press release, click here.
To link directly to the White Paper and draft legislation, click
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