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Limitation Act

On April 16, 2012, Bill 34: the Limitation Act, was introduced by the BC government. It passed all three readings and received Royal Assent on May 14, 2012.  

The new Limitation Act makes the law easier to understand and bring BC’s law more in line with other provinces, such as Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick.

 

SO WHAT DOES IT DO?

The new Limitation Act repeals and replaces the previous Limitation Act, RSBC 1996, c. 266.

Consequential and related amendments are made to 13 other acts.

It also amends itself.  Sections 45 and 46 make changes to sections 1 and 3.

The Act:

- sets out a single, two-year limitation period for most civil claims, such as those that involve personal injury. Exceptions to this are civil claims that enforce a monetary judgment, exempted claims and actions that have limitation periods set by other statutes. 

- implements an ultimate limitation period for legal matters that may not be discovered right away, in which case people will have up to 15 years to file most civil lawsuits.

- changes the commencement model of the ultimate limitation period from an 'accrual' model to a model that starts the clock running in the ultimate limitation period based on an 'act or omission' and 

- implements transition rules.

The new Act is the result of extensive research and consultation, which began in 2007. The ministry received feedback from the public, consumer groups and business, legal and health care representatives.


IS IT IN FORCE?

Yes.  Sections 1 to 35, 37 to 40, 43, 44, 45 (b) and 46 of the new Limitation Act came into force on June 1, 2013, by BC Reg #290/2012, as amended by BC Reg #80/2013.

Sections 41 and 42 were repealed, effective July 1, 2013, by BC Reg #291/2012.

HOW CAN I CITE IT?

Limitation Act, SBC 2012, c. 13

DO YOU HAVE THE BACKGROUND REPORTS?


Reforming British Columbia’s Limitation Act: Green Paper (2007), Ministry of the Attorney General, Justice Services Branch, Civil Policy and Legislation Office.


White Paper on Limitation Act Reform: Finding the Balance (2010), Ministry of the Attorney General, Justice Services Branch, Civil Policy and Legislation Office.


Erratum: White Paper on Limitation Act Reform: Finding the Balance (2010), Ministry of the Attorney General, Justice Services Branch, Civil Policy and Legislation Office.


OTHER RESOURCES

Fact sheet from the Ministry of Justice


Limitation Act - Legislation and Policy - Ministry of Justice

 

The New Limitation Act Explained by the Ministry of Justice

 

posted October 29 2012

updated April 3, 2014

Want a refresher on the legislative process?

Check out How a Bill Becomes Law in BC

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