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Posted on Thursday, Sep 29, 2016

Less than two months remain until the long-awaited Societies Act (the “New Act”) comes into force. On November 28, 2016, the New Act comes into force and British Columbia societies will have two years to transition to the New Act.

The New Act will replace the current Society Act that governs the approximately 27,000 societies in British Columbia. The New Act modernizes the legislation governing societies, provides greater flexibility to societies, and fosters greater accountability to members and the public. BC Registry Services will also introduce a new electronic filing system. Existing British Columbia societies will need to transition to the New Act through the electronic filing system before November 28, 2018. Societies that do not transition by November 28, 2018, may be dissolved.

Transitioning to the New Act requires a society, at a minimum to electronically file its constitution and bylaws with certain minor changes required by the New Act. A society, however, can use this transition as an opportunity to clarify, update or rewrite its bylaws. A society can rewrite its bylaws to take advantage of the greater flexibility offered by the New Act in areas such as borrowing or methods of notice, to remove conflicts with new provisions in the New Act, or to bring bylaws in line with the society’s actual practices.

BC Registry Services’ website on the New Act, including Frequently Asked Questions, can be found here. Our presentation on the New Act can be found here.

For more information on the New Act or assistance in transitioning to the New Act, contract De Jager Volkenant & Company.



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