Society Act Reform

On March 25, 2015 the British Columbia government introduced Bill 24 in the provincial legislature, to update and modernize the governance of non-profit entities in British Columbia. The Societies Act will repeal the existing Society Act and replace it with a more modern governance regime.

This Bill is the end result of a variety of stakeholder consultations which have occurred over the past several years. It follows on extensive feedback received after the release of a draft bill and White Paper commentary in the summer of 2014. Bill 24 appears to be modelled on the approach taken in the 2014 White Paper.

The government has indicated an intention to arrange to have the new legislation finalized and passed in this spring sitting of the legislature, which will conclude in May, 2015. After that, the in-force date of the new act will need to be coordinated with the finalization of necessary supporting regulations, and an awareness and educational program to assist British Columbia’s 27,000 existing societies in transitioning into the new governance regime.

By and large, the modernization of this legislation is being met with approval by the sector, although some stakeholders still have reservations on a number of issues. Lawyers at our firm have been extensively involved in dialogue with the provincial government over the past few years as this project has evolved. We have also provided a variety of written materials on the issues identified in the consultation process. Over the next few weeks Alexander Holburn Beaudin + Lang LLP will be providing further detail on the particulars of the form of the Bill as introduced, and progress reports on its path through the legislature.

A copy of the text of Bill 24 can be found on the B.C. legislature’s website here.

For assistance in understanding Bill 24, please contact Robert Pakrul at 604-484-1720 or