Monday, September 15, 2008

Proposals for a New Society Act

The British Columbia Law Institute has published its "Report on Proposals for a New Society Act." The Society Act governs non-for-profit organizations incorporated in British Columbia. The authors of the report write that new legislation is required for the following reasons:

First, the current Society Act was largely based on the 1973 Company Act, which was the organizational statute for for-profit companies. In 2004, the Company Act was repealed and replaced with the Business Corporations Act, which now provides a streamlined and modern legal framework for companies in this province. As a result of the repeal of the Company Act, not-for-profit societies are now saddled with some rather onerous provisions that no longer apply to the for-profit companies for which they were originally designed. Second, the not-for-profit sector has grown and developed in ways that could not have been foreseen in 1977. New legislation is needed to establish an adequate legal framework for this increasingly important and sophisticated sector. Third, reform initiatives are underway or have recently been completed in other jurisdictions. This development gives British Columbia an opportunity to enact both modern and harmonized legislation.

The report includes draft legislation.

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