2017 Legislative Session: 2nd Session, 41st Parliament
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2017 Legislative Session: 2nd Session, 41st Parliament

Last updated: December 4, 2017

Following the May 2017 election, the fall session began on September 8, 2017 and ended on Thursday, November 30. A total of 17 government bills and 11 private members’ bills were introduced during the session. The next session is expected to begin in early February 2018.

The following bills relate to real estate and/or impact REALTORS®. For the complete list of legislation introduced during this session, visit the Progress of Bills page on the website of the Legislative Assembly of BC.

Government Bills

Bill 2: Budget Measures Implementation Act, 2017
Royal Assent: Nov. 2

Amends the following statutes of interest to BCREA:

 Home Owner Grant Act

  • Prohibits a ministry person from using or disclosing shared information collected as a result of a disclosure under the Income Tax Act if that use or disclosure is

    (a)  for the purposes of administering or enforcing the Land Tax Deferment Act, or

    (b)  in court proceedings related to that Act.

  • This amendment came into effect on November 2.  

Property Transfer Tax Act

  • Amends the definition of “qualifying value” of a property, in relation to the first time home buyers’ program, from $475,000 to $500,000.
  • This amendment came into effect on November 2. 

Bill 3: Election Amendment Act, 2017
Royal Assent: Nov. 30

Amends election financing rules, including the following measures:

  • Only British Columbians (permanent residents or citizens) are allowed to donate to provincial political campaigns, up to an annual limit of $1,200. This limit also applies for third-party election advertisers.
  • Donations from corporations and unions are banned.
  • The expense limit for elections for both parties and candidates is reduced by about 25%.
  • Canvassing voters (either in person or by phone) and mailing material that contains advertising messages are considered election advertising.
  • Financial reporting requirements are strengthened.
  • The Chief Electoral Officer has greater discretion to impose monetary penalties for contraventions of the Act.

The effective date for implementation is the date of Royal Assent, with a few exceptions. 

The bill also contains several transitional provisions, including restrictions on the use of contributions received before the bill comes into force.

Bill 8: Lobbyists Registry Amendment Act, 2017
Royal Assent: Nov. 30

Expands the definition of “former public office holder” to include:

  • Former members of the Executive Council,
  • Former staff members of the former member’s former office, other than administrative staff.
  • A former parliamentary secretary,
  • A former Deputy Minister, Chief Executive Officer or other senior executive position in a ministry, or
  • A former Assistant Deputy Minister, Associate Deputy Minister, or position of comparable rank in a ministry.

The bill includes ban on public officer holders from lobbying elected officials in BC for a period of 2 years.

Bill 16: Tenancy Statutes Amendment Act, 2017
Royal Assent: Nov. 30

Amends the Residential Tenancy Act to:

  • Restrict a landlord's ability to use a vacate clause in fixed-term tenancy agreements to certain circumstances only; and
  • Limit rent increases between fixed-term tenancy agreements with the same tenant to the maximum annual allowable amount (currently 2% plus inflation).

Members' Bills

Bill M202: Property Law Amendment Act, 2017
First Reading: Oct. 5

Proposes amending the Agricultural Land Commission Act to restrict foreign nationals and corporations from holding more than five acres of land within the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Bill M205: Heritage Conservation (First Nations Protection) Amendment Act, 2017
First Reading: October 26

Proposes amending the Heritage Conservation Act to:

  • Require persons to report First Nations heritage objects or remains to the Minister.
  • Allow the Minister to issue temporary emergency protection orders to protect the object or site from immediate threats.
  • Establish the First Nations Heritage Protection Program, which would provide funding to local governments to protect sacred sites.

The bill defines “First Nations heritage site” broadly as “land, whether designated or not, that has heritage value to a First Nation,” and therefore may have implications for private property.

Bill M208: Endangered Species Act, 2017
First Reading: Nov. 6

Proposes a new statute, the Endangered Species Act, intended to:

  • protect species from becoming endangered, threatened, at risk, extirpated, or extinct,
  • rehabilitate native species with dwindling populations,
  • protect wildlife habitat and
  • safeguard complete ecosystems so they can remain balanced and self-regulated.

This bill was introduced in the previous legislative session as well.