E-Brief: April 2020

Financial support and resources for businesses and individuals

The Law Society has been hearing from lawyers who are concerned about their economic future as individuals and business. In order to assist you, your firm and your clients, we have compiled links to a number of measures announced by the federal and provincial governments to assist individuals and businesses with managing the financial impacts of COVID-19. Further information about federal and provincial support programs may be found here.

Update to suspension of limitation periods

The Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General has issued MO98, which replaces the previous Ministerial Order regarding limitation and time periods, so that mandatory limitation periods and time periods for commencing court proceedings under the Builders Lien Act (and, by consequence, the Strata Property Act) are not suspended. MO98 takes effect as of April 15. A full version of MO98 may be found here.

Update from Chief Justice Bauman on Court of Appeal operations

Chief Justice Bauman has issued an update regarding the Court of Appeal’s efforts to increase its capacity to hear matters during the Covid-19 pandemic. Further updates will be posted to the Court of Appeal website as they become available.

Bencher by-election in Vancouver County: reminder about call for nominations and electoral district

Nominations of candidates for election in the upcoming Bencher by-election in Vancouver County close at 5:00 pm on Monday, April 20, 2020. In light of the current health directives, nominations can only be accepted by email to BencherRelations@lsbc.org. Nomination forms may be downloaded from the Bencher election page on the Law Society’s website. For more information, see the Notice to the Profession. To confirm you are eligible to vote in the upcoming by-election, the member portal has been updated to display your electoral district. Log in to the member portal and confirm your electoral district is correct. If you believe there is an error with your electoral district, please contact elections@lsbc.org.

Client identification and verification: free webinar

The Law Society and Continuing Legal Education Society of BC have partnered to offer an online CLE-TV: Anti-Money Laundering – Client Identification and Verification Rules webinar free of charge. The one-hour webinar is eligible for CPD credit in ethics and features practice advisor Barbara Buchanan, QC, who guides lawyers through the client identification and verifications rules. For more information and resources, see the Law Society’s Client ID & Verification webpage.

Continuing Legal Education Society of BC appointments

The Law Society is currently seeking expressions of interest for appointments as the Law Society’s nominee to the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC’s Board of Directors. In particular, candidates from Victoria County and Vancouver County are encouraged to submit their application and supporting resume online. The deadline for applications is 5:00 pm, Thursday, April 30, 2020. Further information about CLEBC and the requirements for the position can be found here.

Attention! Creditors remedies lawyers

The Ministry of Attorney General has issued a Consultation Paper on the Uniform Civil Enforcement Money Judgments Act, requesting responses to questions by May 1, 2020. The consultation paper introduces potential fundamental changes to creditors remedies law, including: two year limitation period for enforcing judgments, pro-rata sharing among judgement creditors, new preservation orders, severance of a joint tenancy upon registration of a judgment and more. The responses will be used to solicit input into reforming the current Court Order Enforcement Act. Further information, including how to make a submission, is available in the consultation paper.

Trust notices available on the member portal

The Law Society will no longer be mailing filing notices for Trust Reports and Trust Administration Fee. We have discontinued using Canada Post to ensure the safety of our membership, to reduce the impact on the environment and to reduce costs. As such, Trust Assurance will now email the Designated Representative of the law firm advising that the filing notices are available on the Member Portal. Should you have any questions or concerns please contact Trust Assurance at trustaccounting@lsbc.org or 604.697.5810.

New property transfer tax return

Lawyers who practise real estate law should note that, effective April 20, 2020, the BC Ministry of Finance will launch a new property transfer tax return. The new return combines three forms into one (Property Transfer Tax Return - FIN 530, Additional Property Transfer Tax Return - FIN 532, Property Transfer Tax Calculator for Residential Property Over $3,000,000 - FIN 536) and aligns with LTSA’s new web filing. More information may be found on the Ministry’s Information for Legal Professionals on Filing Property Tax Transfer web page.

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