Checklist Manual – Recent updates
The 2010 update reflects statutory amendments, new case law, and changes in practice to March 1, 2010, except that the checklists incorporate Supreme Court Civil Rules, B.C. Reg. 168/09 and Supreme Court Family Rules, B.C. Reg. 169/09, which replace Supreme Court Rules, B.C. Reg. 221/90 on July 1, 2010.
Lawyers must collect GST in accordance with the Excise Tax Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. E-15, and PST in accordance with the Social Service Tax Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 431. Effective July 1, 2010, PST is eliminated and lawyers are instead required to collect HST, also imposed under the Excise Tax Act. However, collection of PST continues under rules established for transition to HST. When billing for legal services provided before and after July 1, lawyers must charge PST and GST (but not HST) if 90% or more of the services are performed before July 1. If less than 90% of the legal services are performed before July 1, lawyers must charge PST, GST and HST based on the proportion of services performed before and after July 1. PST collection requirements continue under the transition rules until December 31, 2010.
Corporate and Commercial
Under the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA), BC and Alberta agreed to reconcile their business registration and reporting requirements. The TILMA Implementation Act, S.B.C. 2008, c. 39 and the Extraprovincial Companies and Foreign Entities from a Designated Province Regulation, B.C. Reg. 88/2009, came into force in 2009.
The Truth in Sentencing Act, S.C. 2009, c. 29 came into force on February 22, 2010. For offences committed on or after February 23, an accused will no longer receive double-time credit for pre-trial custody. Instead, an accused will be limited to one day of credit for each day of custody, unless he or she can fit within the exception in s. 719(3.1) of the Criminal Code, which allows credit of one-and-one-half day for each day “where circumstances justify it.” Bill S-4, S.C. 2009, c. 28, in force on January 8, 2010, created three new offences: identity theft, trafficking in identity information, and unlawful possession of or trafficking in government-issued documents. Bill C-14, S.C. 2009, c. 22, in force on October 2, 2009, expanded the definition of first degree murder and made several other amendments to the Criminal Code. In R. v. Grant,  2 S.C.R. 353, the Supreme Court of Canada revised the test for the exclusion of evidence under s. 24(2) of the Charter.
The Supreme Court Family Rules, B.C. Reg. 169/2009 govern family law proceedings in the Supreme Court of BC, effective July 1, 2010. The new Family Rules, together with the new Supreme Court Civil Rules, replace Supreme Court Rules, B.C. Reg. 221/90. Among other significant changes are rule amendments for commencing proceedings, using alternatives to trial, applying for interim relief, obtaining discovery and using expert evidence.
The Supreme Court Civil Rules, B.C. Reg. 168/2009 replace the Supreme Court Rules, B.C. Reg. 221/90 on July 1, 2010. Changes include: the introduction of proportionality; more active judicial case management when requested or ordered; restrictions on document discovery and oral examinations for discovery; a fast track for claims under $100,000 and cases that can be tried in under three days; and a variety of changes with respect to experts.
Wills and Estates
The Wills, Estates and Succession Act, S.B.C. 2009, c. 13 received Royal Assent in 2009 and is expected to come into force in 2011. WESA will repeal and replace the Estate Administration Act, the Probate Recognition Act, the Wills Act and the Wills Variation Act, and introduce new procedures for administration of small estates. The Adult Guardianship and Planning Statutes Amendment Act, 2007 (Bill 29) received Royal Assent in 2009. If proclaimed, it will repeal the Patients Property Act, and strengthen and clarify representation agreements and enduring powers of attorney. The Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act, 2009 (Bill 13) received Royal Assent in 2009; it allows the provisions of Bill 29 dealing with incapacity planning to be implemented separately from adult guardianship.