NEWS RELEASE · 21st April 2010
Ministry of Attorney General
Bill 11, the Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act (No. 2), 2010, introduced in the legislature today, will affect the following provincial statutes:
Emergency and Health Services Act - Amendments enable new regulations for qualified paramedics in providing expanded emergency and non-emergency services. Changes support the integration of the ambulance service more closely with the health care system, particularly in rural and remote areas, and the exploration of progressive ways to enhance the role of paramedics in serving the needs of patients.
Environmental Management Act and Hospital District Act - Amendments align these statutes with the creation of the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality in February 2009. Their enactment will ensure the municipality continues to carry out required waste management and hospital district functions.
Estates of Missing Persons Act - Changes repeal Section 12, which originally authorized county courts to hear matters for missing persons when their estates were of small value. County courts were discontinued in 1990 and the B.C. Supreme Court does not require additional authority to hear such matters.
First Peoples' Heritage, Language and Culture Act - Amendments help modernize and create a more representative governance structure that better reflects the mandate of the First Peoples' Heritage, Language and Culture Council. They follow discussions with the council, which included consultation with tribal councils and other First Nations across B.C. The changes also expand the First Peoples' advisory committee to improve and represent the makeup of B.C.'s First Nations' language groups.
Health Professions Act - Amendments address interpretation issues and drafting oversights identified after the act was revised in 2008. A total of 24 health professions are governed by 21 regulatory colleges under the act.
Hospital Act - Amendments define who can act as a representative or power of attorney for people living in private hospitals and extended care facilities, as well as who can accept a gift or be in a will. They extend protections against the financial abuse of people in public residential and assisted-living facilities to those in private facilities and extended-care facilities and rectify inconsistencies in related acts.
Land Act - Amendments affect three areas of the act. The Crown will retain rights to fossils on land dispositions under the act, so fossils can be managed for scientific, heritage, educational and commercial value. The amendment permits the transfer of fossil ownership to organizations, institutions or individuals in specific cases. A second housekeeping amendment clarifies legislative authority for the collection of fees and rents under the act. A third change validates land transfers to ensure B.C.'s contractual obligations under a 2009 agreement to the Tsay Keh Dene First Nation.
Land Title Act - A minor amendment requires the electronic submission of land title applications. Some exemptions are permitted. Changes support modernization of the Land Title and Survey Authority's delivery of services.
Local Government Act, Community Charter, Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District Act, Islands Trust Act, Vancouver Charter - Changes respond to land use and development concerns raised by local governments and the development industry. They provide greater local government flexibility and increased certainty to the development community. Amendments also modernize existing planning and development tools, improve regional growth management processes, address gaps and streamline some administrative matters for local governments.
Changes to the Vancouver Charter will provide the City of Vancouver with more flexibility to regulate solid waste, providing the same authority other municipalities have under the Community Charter.
Ministry of Health Act - Amendments provide certainty for the Ministry of Health Services to collect, use and disclose personal data critical for the responsible governance of the health care system. For example, without the correct data, the ministry cannot administer critical projects, such as the provincial surgical waitlist registry.
Motor Vehicle Act - Amendments provide stronger oversight of vehicle-inspection programs through improved monitoring, the ability to impose conditions on inspectors and facilities and a streamlined process for updating inspection standards. Legal authority under vehicle-inspection programs will be enhanced to remove unsafe vehicles from highways.
Passenger Transportation Act - Changes improve public safety by giving the registrar of passenger transportation and the Passenger Transportation Board tools to ensure only individuals of suitable conduct and character provide commercial passenger services. The registrar can investigate an applicant or existing licensee to determine their fitness to provide passenger transportation services and, as a result, deny, suspend or cancel a passenger transportation licence. Authority will be given to the board to review issues of fitness at any time to ensure a licensee remains fit and proper while holding a passenger transportation licence.
Statute Uniformity Act - Repeals the act, first passed in 1918 and now obsolete. Currently, provincial participation in national statute uniformity work takes place through the Uniform Law Conference of Canada.
Transportation Act - Change removes the statutory requirement for the BC Transportation Financing Authority to obtain the approval of the Lt.-Gov.-in-Council to enter into agreements with Canada, other provinces and jurisdictions outside of Canada. This streamlines the ability of the authority to enter into agreements with these jurisdictions, improves administrative efficiency and eliminates redundancy.
Bill 11 confirms amendments made by regulation to correct minor errors in statutes as authorized by Section 12 of the Statute Revision Act. It also makes a number of consequential amendments to allow for new rule numbers and terms when the new B.C. Supreme Court civil and family rules come into force July 1.