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Tag Archives: British Columbia

Stringent Non-Compliance Penalties under B.C.’s new Property Transfer Tax Regime

Posted in Policy, Residential

On Monday, July 25, 2016, the government of British Columbia announced that foreigners who buy residential property in the Vancouver area will have to pay an extra 15% on top of the current property transfer tax. This additional tax will apply to all buyers who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents, including corporations that are not registered in Canada or are controlled by foreigners.  The tax is expected to come into effect on Tuesday, August 2, 2016.… Continue Reading

Building up BC – Building Act

Posted in Construction, Municipal

The British Columbia Government has started to bring into force some of the key provisions of its new Building Act.

The Act, which was passed by the legislature in the early half of 2015, is intended to provide greater consistency in the building and construction industry, and to modernize and streamline the building regulatory system.… Continue Reading

Property Transfer Tax Fairness?

Posted in Commercial, Policy

In our previous post of February 29 (co-authored by Conrad Rego and Patrick Beechinor) we discussed the implications of the increase in B.C. property transfer tax from 2% to 3% on that portion of a property’s value which exceeds $2 million. We also noted that effective in the Spring, the names and addresses of all beneficiaries of bare trustees are to be disclosed by the transferee upon transfer to any bare trustee.  Though no reason was given by the Province for the requirement for beneficiary disclosure, industry participants have surmised that the disclosure may be a precursor for collecting property … Continue Reading

B.C. Budget: Commercial Real Estate Implications

Posted in Commercial, Policy

On February 16, 2016, B.C. Finance Minister Mike De Jong delivered the B.C. budget for the 2016/2017 fiscal year starting April 1.

Many commentators have surmised that Premier Christy Clark responded to intense public pressure to address the perception that Metro Vancouver has a housing affordability crisis, with a budget that offers a tax break on the acquisition of new homes and the commitment to start collecting data on foreign buyers. However, little has been written on the implications of the budget on commercial real estate transactions in B.C.… Continue Reading

Breaking the Mould – BC Introduces New Building Act

Posted in Construction, Policy

The Province of British Columbia recently introduced the new Building Act (Bill 3 – 2015) on February 12, 2015, which according to the Province’s newsroom, aims at modernizing the building regulatory system in British Columbia.

The proposed act seeks to:

  1. give the Province overriding authority to define standards regarding building activities such as the construction, repair and demolition of buildings to ensure that building requirements are consistent across British Columbia. By centralizing the regulation of building activities under the Province’s direction, the goal is to streamline the regulatory process to reduce costs and improve efficiency in British Columbia’s
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Thinking about “Space-Sharing”? Here are Some Legal Considerations

Posted in Residential, Zoning

As the busy holiday tourist season approaches in British Columbia, visitors looking for  alternatives to expensive hotel accommodations are increasingly seeking out “space-sharing” services such as Airbnb, Homeaway and VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner). Airbnb’s online platform allows home or condo owners to advertise their homes for rent to travelers or tourists on a short term basis. Airbnb also offers an online payment system which collects payment from the traveller and releases the funds to the host 24 hours after check-in.

A quick search online shows that there is no shortage of Airbnb listings in British Columbia, particularly in the … Continue Reading

The National Energy Board Saga between Trans Mountain and Burnaby Continues…

Posted in Federal National Energy Board

The following post on the Canadian Energy Perspectives blog written by Paul Cassidy, Kimberly Howard, Gordon Nettleton and Monika Sawicka on October 10, 2014, may be of interest to readers of this blog:

The National Energy Board Saga between Trans Mountain and Burnaby Continues…

On October 9, 2014, the National Energy Board (the “NEB”) heard oral argument for a motion by Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC (“Trans Mountain”) seeking an order pursuant to sections 12, 13, and 73(a) of the National Energy Board Act (the “Act”).  Submissions were made by Trans Mountain and … Continue Reading

Federal Government Announces New Measures to Strengthen Regulations For Pipeline Safety

Posted in Federal National Energy Board

The following post on the Canadian Energy Perspectives blog may be of interest to readers of this blog: Federal Government Announces New  Measures to Strengthen Regulations  For Pipeline Safety.

On May 14, 2014, the federal Minister of Natural Resources, Minister of Transport, and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario announced new measures designed to strengthen Canada’s pipeline safety system. These new measures reinforce the polluter pays principle and give the National Energy Board (“NEB”) greater regulatory control over Canada’s pipeline system, and include the following:

  1.  Introducing absolute liability for all NEB-regulated pipelines, meaning that companies will
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Consulted First Nation as Purchaser – The Willingdon Lands Story

Posted in Municipal

In recent years, there has been significant media attention and court consideration of the Crown’s duty to consult with First Nations in respect of, among other things, decisions relating to Crown land.  In British Columbia, the consultation process often injects time, uncertainty and cost into private entities’ dealings with the Province.  However, the recent sale of the Willingdon lands in Burnaby illustrates another possibility: a consulted First Nation simply may take the opportunity for itself.

The Willingdon lands are a 40 acre parcel of Crown land on the corner of Willingdon Avenue and Canada Way in Burnaby.  The Province concluded … Continue Reading

Strata Property Act Amendment Offers Remedy for Deadlocks on Special Levies

Posted in Commercial, Litigation

On December 12, 2013, amendments to section 173 of B.C.’s Strata Property Act, SBC 1998, c 43, came into force that allow strata corporations with majority support to apply to the BC Supreme Court to require strata owners to pay for certain repairs.

Prior to the amendment, strata corporations required a ¾ vote in favour to impose a special levy to raise money for needed repairs to common property. This could result in deadlock and delay when owner opinion was divided, exacerbating damage and unsafe conditions.

On application by a strata corporation within 90 days of it receiving at least … Continue Reading

Timber! Potential Pitfalls When Purchasing Private Managed Forest Land in British Columbia

Posted in Land Use, Policy

Prospective purchasers of private managed forest land in British Columbia (land classified as “Class 7 Private Managed Forest Land”) should be aware that:

  • future property assessments for the land may be higher than the purchaser is expecting on account of timber previously harvested on the land; and
  • the purchaser may incur exit fees if the purchaser removes the property from the Private Managed Forest Land class.

BC Assessment values private managed forest land based on the land’s bare land value, but also on the added value of the timber situated on the land. Importantly for a prospective purchaser, the timber … Continue Reading

10 Things You Should Know About British Columbia’s New “Limitation Act”

Posted in Litigation

On October 2, 2012, the Government of British Columbia announced that province’s new Limitation Act (Bill 34) (New Act) will come into force on June 1, 2013.[1] The New Act will bring about important changes to the calculation of limitation periods in the province. Here are 10 things you should know.

1.  The basic limitation period for most claims will be shortened to two years

The New Act shortens the basic limitation period to two years for most claims, including claims against hospitals. Under the current Limitation Act (Current Act), the basic limitation period for most claims ranges from … Continue Reading