Annual Report 2016/2017

  • August 16, 2017

Submitted by Section Secretary, Bryan Millman

Summary of Meetings

Number of Meetings Held:5

September 27, 2016
Guest Speakers: Debbie Turner, Deputy Registrar at Registries and Online Services, Jill Sinkwich, Director at the Ministry of Finance, and Tona Hetherington, Director at the Ministry of Finance
Meeting Title/Topic: Getting Ready for the new Societies Act
Synopsis: The new Societies Act came into effect on November 28, 2016. As a result, every society in British Columbia is required to transition to this new legislation by completing a mandatory online filing between November 28, 2016 and November 28, 2018.
Debbie Turner, Deputy Registrar at Registries and Online Services, together with Jill Sinkwich and Tona Hetherington, Directors at the Ministry of Finance who helped develop the legislation, discussed transitioning to the new Societies Act and the British Columbia Corporate Registry's newly developed online services to facilitate such transition points.

December 8, 2016
Guest Speakers: Michael Blatchford, Bull Housser & Tupper LLP, Kate Bake-Paterson, DLA Piper (Canada) LLP, Sarah Fitzpatrick, Miller Thomson LLP and Bryan Millman, Bull Housser & Tupper LLP
Meeting Title/Topic: Societies Act Q & A
Synopsis: A panel of charity lawyers, consisting of Kate Bake-Paterson, Sarah Fitzpatrick and Bryan Millman, hosted this meeting to field (and do its best to answer!) any questions regarding the new Societies Act. As a prelude to this Q&A session, charity lawyer Michael Blatchford was on hand to briefly discuss the concepts of directors and senior managers under the new Societies Act.

February 16, 2017
Guest Speakers: Ron Laufer, OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), and Bryan Millman, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
Meeting Title/Topic: Membership Disputes, Elections and the Societies Act
Synopsis: While the legislation governng Societies in British Columbia changed as of November 28, 2016, the frequency of membership disputes is not expected to slow down. Some might even argue that the frequency of such disputes is set to escalate under the new Societies Act. At this section meeting, Bryan Millman, a lawyer at Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, and Ron Laufer, a past Election Expert - Consultant at OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), discussed various membership dispute scenarios (in particular, those arising from election irregularities), the implications of the new Societies Act and their own unique experiences with this topic.

April 20, 2017
Guest Speakers: Kate Bake-Paterson, Associate Counsel, DLA Piper LLP, Bryan Millman, Associate, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, and Lix Moxham, Legal Counsel, The University of British Columbia
Meeting Title/Topic: How to Document a Gift
Synopsis: At this joint meeting with the Canadian Association of Gift Planners - Vancouver Chapter, a panel of lawyers discussed different document types that relate to charitable gifts, including pledges, deeds of gift, gift agreements and terms of reference.

May 25, 2017
Guest Speaker: Kathryn Chan, Assistant Professor at the University of Victoria Faculty of Law
Meeting Title/Topic: Administrative Law Issues arising under the Registered Charity Regime
Synopsis: At this year's national CBA Charity Law Symposium, Kathryn Chan gave a presentation on "Administrative Law Issues arising under the Registered Charity Regime". At this local CBA section meeting, Kathryn recapped the highlights of that presentation, and lead a discussion on the procedural fairness and substantive review issues that may arise in charitable registration and audit proceedings.

Comments and Observations of the Secretary

The significant changes to the legislative landscape governing societies in British Columbia provided much material for discussion throughout the course of the 2016/2017 year. Our Section's meetings served as an invaluable resource for practitioners throughout the Province interested in keeping abreast with the implications of the new Societies Act and other matters relating to the law of charities. The members of this CBA Section continuously demonstrate collegiality and openness to engage in debate over the finer points in this area of law.