New BC Societies Act

A new Societies Act received royal assent in British Columbia on May 14th, and is expected to  come into force within 18 months. This new Societies Act will replace the existing Society Act, bringing with it several important changes that directors and members of societies in BC should be aware of.

Some of the more notable changes include:

  • a new corporate governance procedures on issues such as proxy voting, proposals from members, classes of membership, and the special resolution threshold;
  • a new distinction between “member-funded” societies and charities or publicly funded societies;
  • new regulatory reporting requirements, which are eased for “member-funded” societies;
  • additional eligibility requirements for directors;
  • implementing a mandatory online filing database for certain corporate records; and
  • an oppression remedy for oppressive conduct or unfair treatment available only to members of the Society.

There are many new changes coming for Societies, and these examples are just a summary of the type of changes soon to be in force.

All existing Societies in British Columbia will need to familiarize themselves with the new Act and understand how the provisions in the new Act affect their Society. Many Societies may wish to amend their Constitution and/or Bylaws to ensure compliance with the new law and to take advantage of some the new provisions.

If you would like to know more about how the new Societies Act affects your Society, please contact me for a consultation.

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