The days of the current Society Act are officially numbered. It has now been announced that the new Societies Act will come into force on November 28, 2016.
As part of its plan to modernize the legislation governing not-for-profits in the province, on November 23, 2015 an Order in Council was passed setting November 28, 2016 as the date on which the new Societies Act will come into force. The Regulations to the Societies Act are also now publicly available and can be viewed on the website of the British Columbia Legislature.
As previously reported, the Societies Act contemplates a two-year transition period to give existing societies time to adopt required changes to their constitution and bylaws. However, provisions within constitution and bylaws of societies that do not comply with the new legislation will be invalid as of November 28, 2016. For this reason, we encourage societies to take the time now to review their constitutions and bylaws to ensure a smooth transition to the new legislation.
The new Societies Act will address many of the common complaints concerning the current Society Act and is expected to usher in enhanced flexibility and accountability measures.
A link to the main Order in Council and the Regulations can be found here.
**Bull Housser is a Vancouver-based law firm that has been serving clients for 125 years. Our Charities and Tax-Exempt Organizations group works with not-for-profit organizations of every type and on any issue needing legal advice.