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  • Asked and Answered: What is the BC Building Act?

    by Megan Smiley | Sep 23, 2016

    The Building Act, SBC 2015, c.2 is the first act to deal solely with construction and building in the province of BC. It was given royal assent on March 25, 2015 and will have effect throughout the province with the exception of the city of Vancouver, federal lands and on reserve.

    The act will come into force over a multi-year transition period. Some sections came into force in 2015, others in 2016, and still others yet to come. The transition period is meant to give local governments time to amend their bylaws to be in keeping with the provincial standards set out in the act, and to give building officials the time they need to meet the new qualifications requirements.

    The act will directly affect local governments or other local authorities able to enforce the BC Building Code, building officials that work for those authorities, and people working in the construction sector. Indirectly it will affect the rest of us who work and live in BC and therefore occupy the built environment. 

    Key areas of change

    Consistency – Local government bylaws will cease to have legal force in December of 2017 after the two year transition period has come to an end. After that point, the province will have sole authority in establishing technical requirements that govern building construction as well as repair, alteration and demolition.

    Competency – New qualification requirements for officials have been introduced in the interest of ensuring competence, professionalism and consistent interpretation of the BC Building Code. Requirements will take effect over the course of a 4 year transition period beginning in late 2016.

    Innovation – Innovative building design will be supported by providing a formal process for review and evaluation of proposals.

    Sections in force

    The fundamental sections of the act (SBC 2015, c. 2, ss. 1 - 4, 6, 14 - 18, 19 (1), (2), and (3)(a), 20, 21, 39 - 42, 45, 46, 48, 50 - 55, and 58 – 62) came into force on September 18, 2015.

    The consistency sections (ss. 5, 7, 9 and 43) came into force on December 15, 2015 and sections 31-34 came into force on June 10, 2016.

    Consult the What’s Effective Now section of the province’s BC Building Act webpage for a regularly updated chronological list of sections in force.

    You can also consult BC Laws for a current version of the act. Text in green denotes sections that have only recently come into force.

    Sections not in force

    Sections 8, 10-13, 22-30, 35-38, and 44 have not yet come into force. Primarily these are the competency related sections dealing with qualifications for building officials, administrative and monetary penalties for contraventions of the act, and applications to the appeal board. These sections will come into force by regulation over the course of the next 4 years.


    BC Building Act webpage - http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/construction-industry/building-codes-standards/building-act
    BC Laws - http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/content/complete/statreg/1944036832/15002_a/?xsl=/templates/browse.xsl
    Bill 3 - 2015: Building Act - https://www.leg.bc.ca/parliamentary-business/legislation-debates-proceedings/40th-parliament/4th-session/bills/third-reading/gov03-3
    Building Act, SBC 2015, c.2 - http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/15002 

  • Exploring Electronic Resources: British Columbia Court Forms

    by Lesley Dobin | Sep 22, 2016

    This is the weekly look at one of the many valuable online legal information resources available when you visit the Courthouse Libraries of BC.  

    Available on QuicklawBritish Columbia Court Forms is a comprehensive service containing forms and precedents relating to the practice of civil litigation in British Columbia.  Commentary accompanies the forms describing their utilization along with analysis of relevant case law.

    Researchers in a hurry may also perform full text searches, but if you enjoy browsing, the forms are arranged chronologically, as they would typically be used during the course of a proceeding. From preliminary matters to disposition without trial; from pleadings and discovery, to appeals and proceedings in an appellate court, this source gives you access to a collection of litigation-related forms. 
    Topics include:

    • Affidavits
    • Petitions
    • Service, delivery and appearance
    • Motions
    • Orders
    • Authority to act
    • Pleadings
    • Interpleader
    • Admissions, amendments and striking out
    • Discovery
    • Compromise and settlement
    • Disposition without trial
    • Fast track litigation
    • Trial
    • Appeals to Court of Appeal
    • Appeals to Supreme Court of Canada
    • Foreclosure and related proceedings
    • Builders lien proceedings
    • Estate litigation
    • Family law proceedings
    • Practice directions and notices to the profession

    When you are next in the library performing research or borrowing material, don’t forget to explore the resources online and check back here every week, to learn more about the electronic resources available on-site at any location of Courthouse Libraries BC.

  • Recently Updated!

    by Lesley Dobin | Sep 21, 2016

    British Columbia Annual Practice (AKA The White Book)
    Updated to 2017

    Relied on by lawyers and judges for nearly 30 years, British Columbia Annual Practice provides comprehensive, accurate and highly credible expert insight on the Supreme Court Civil Rules.

    Practice tools contained in volume one include:

    • The Supreme Court Civil Rules and Supreme Court Family Rules, fully annotated with thousands of authors' personally selected cases (both reported and unreported)
    • Court of Appeal Rules, Supreme Court Act and Court of Appeal Act also fully annotated with thousands of authors' personally selected cases (both reported and unreported)    
    • Practice Directions/Directives and Notices to the Profession
    • An in-depth procedural guide explaining the procedures associated with the Civil Rules
    • Two way tables of concordance of the old and new Civil Rules and Family Rules
    • Regulations regarding Notices to Mediate and more.

    The Forms and Small Claims Volume contains:

    • Forms that relate to Supreme Court Civil Rules, Supreme Court Family Rules Court of Appeal Rules, and Notice to Mediate Regulations.
    • Small Claims Act, Small Claims Rules and Practice Directions
    • The full text of 24 key statutes

    New in this Edition

    Legislation has been updated to B.C. Reg. 88/2016 (April 5, 2016) and to Can. Gaz. 150:10 (May 18, 2016).

    A wealth of new annotations and expanded commentary on cases personally selected and summarized by the authors.

    The British Columbia court rules included in this book have been updated as follows:

    • Supreme Court Civil Rules updated to B.C. Reg. 87/2016;
    • Court of Appeal Rules updated to B.C. Reg. 6/2016;
    • Supreme Court Family Rules updated to B.C. Reg. 4/2016; and
    • Small Claims Rules updated to B.C. Reg. 5/2016.


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