BC Ministry of Finance opens consultation on the Societies Act

12 July 2019

By Kevin Zakreski

The Ministry of Finance for British Columbia has just begun a public consultation on proposed amendments to the Societies Act. A message (PDF) from the deputy minister of finance explains why the ministry is contemplating amendments to the Societies Act:

The purpose of these proposed amendments is to ensure the Act remains and becomes even more user-friendly. In doing so, the proposed amendments are aimed at addressing ambiguities, omissions and inconsistencies within the Act and other legislation. They will also streamline, update and refine processes, and remove unnecessarily burdensome Corporate Registry filing requirements.

Consultation materials (PDF) set out 36 proposed amendments to the Societies Act. These proposed amendments address a range of discrete matters, including the following:

  • clarifying the definition of general meeting;
  • defining register of directors and register of members and setting out information that must be contained in the two registers;
  • eliminating the option to report the society’s 10 highest-paid employees from the remuneration-reporting requirement;
  • clarifying that no one may act (in a manner similar to a proxy holder for a member) for an absent director at a directors’ meeting;
  • stating that an individual who has been found to be incapable of managing his or her financial affairs under the Adult Guardianship Act isn’t qualified to serve as a director and clarifying that an individual who regains mental capacity may requalify to serve as a director; and
  • refining requirements for requisitioning general meetings, giving notice of general meetings, and making members’ proposals for general meetings.

In addition to proposed amendments to the Societies Act, the consultation also seeks comment on 13 proposed amendments to the Business Corporations Act and 6 proposed amendments to the Cooperative Association Act.

The consultation is open until 23 August 2019. More information on the consultation and on how to submit a response is available on the Societies Act Consultation 2019 webpage.

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