A recent decision of the BC Supreme Court may set a precedent that rules and other documents incorporated by bylaw may be enforced as bylaws, when certain circumstances are met. It is also one of the first reported cases to establish oppression under the new Societies Act.
The BC government has passed the Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act (No. 2), 2018, S.B.C. 2018, c. 23 (Bill 24), which provides additional clarity around higher-threshold special resolutions, auditors, and record production.
The BC Government has passed legislation which will change how society disputes are handled. All societies, members, and non-profit partners should be aware of these changes.
It is difficult to know which level of court a society may assert certain provisions of the Societies Act before. A Master of the BC Supreme Court has certain limited powers, while a judge is able to rely on the inherent jurisdiction of the court as well as specific statutory powers set out in the new Act to determine certain final relief.
Many aboriginal groups and artists have traditional marks, designs, patterns or otherwise which they use in association with their cultural heritage or with goods or services. Canadian intellectual property laws are broad enough to provide protection to many of these. This post sets out a high-level overview of these protections and what they may apply to.
Societies Act lawyers often rely only on the statutory language. It is useful to regularly consult recent court cases to determine if BC judges have considered the modernized act and either incorporated prior leading case law or common-law principles into the jurisprudence. A list of three cases from 2017, all notable, are below.
Every so often, I file Freedom of Information (“FOI”) requests to obtain internal program materials which may be of use to BC Societies from the Registrar of Companies. The results contain presentations, quick reference sheets, and other useful documentation which may be of interest to those transitioning to the new Act.
I was asked recently whether the indemnity provisions in the Societies Act mean that societies in BC don’t need an insurance policy. This post clarifies insurance and discusses the advantages of a policy and the disadvantages of relying on the indemnity provisions.
As of March 29, 2017, the Hospital Act now sets out more than 50 societies designated “hospital societies” who may not change their constitution or bylaws without ministerial approval, and must provide an affidavit they have complied with the terms of the Hospital Act over the course of their last fiscal year.
Let’s not pretend. No one joins a society because they enjoy fighting with other members. Litigation is expensive, time-consuming, and generally unpleasant for all involved. Often these disputes start because of “meeting stacking”: where a certain group signs-on a bunch of members who change the organization in some fundamental way, which other members disagree with. Here are five bylaw drafting and governance tips to avoid issues with meeting stacking.