1998 Legislative Session: 3rd Session, 36th Parliament
THIRD READING


The following electronic version is for informational purposes only.
The printed version remains the official version.


Certified correct as passed Third Reading on the 23rd day of July, 1998
Ian D. Izard, Law Clerk


HONOURABLE IAN WADDELL
MINISTER OF SMALL BUSINESS,
TOURISM AND CULTURE

 

BILL 43 -- 1998

BUSINESS PAPER REDUCTION ACT

Contents

Section

1  Definitions
2  Purpose
3  Designation
4  A person may choose whether to use this Act unless specifically provided otherwise
5  Simplifying procedures and requirements
6  Electronic and other filings, databases and fees
7  Time or date of electronic filing
8  Effect of electronic information and records
9  Signature
10  Databases
11  Records
12  Representatives may access information
13  Conversion of records
14  Standards
15  Business identifiers
16  Agreements
17  Government immunity
18  Section 5 Offence Act disapplied
19  Regulations, orders in council and records require minister's consent
20  Regulations
21  Commencement

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, enacts as follows:

Definitions

1 In this Act:

"business" means

(a) an individual who, for the purpose of gain or profit, is carrying on a commercial or industrial undertaking of any kind or providing professional, personal or other services, and

(b) a corporation, whether or not operating for the purpose of gain or profit;

"designated Act" means an Act or a portion of an Act designated under section 3;

"file" means to file, register, submit, deposit, apply or otherwise make available;

"minister responsible for a designated Act" means the minister charged with the administration of a designated Act or a person designated by that minister;

"official" means, with respect to a designated Act, a prescribed official;

"record" includes any form, document, map, drawing, photograph, letter, voucher, paper and any other thing by which information is recorded or stored by any means whether graphic, electronic, mechanical or otherwise;

"under this Act" includes something that is done under a regulation made under this Act.

Purpose

2 The purpose of this Act is to facilitate streamlining of the ways that businesses deal with the Provincial and local governments by

(a) simplifying the procedures for businesses to provide information, file reports, make applications and meet other administrative requirements under other Acts,

(b) promoting the co-ordination of licensing and reporting requirements under 2 or more Acts to reduce duplication of effort, inconvenience and delay for businesses, and

(c) allowing businesses to use new technologies to reduce inconvenience and delay in making applications or reports required under other Acts.

Designation

3 (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation, designate an Act or a portion of an Act for the purposes of this Act.

(2) Sections 4 to 20 apply to a designated Act.

A person may choose whether to use this
Act unless specifically provided otherwise

4 (1) If there is a conflict between a provision of this Act or a regulation made under this Act and a provision of a designated Act or a regulation made under a designated Act, a person may choose which provision to follow.

(2) Despite subsection (1), a provision of a regulation made under this Act prevails over a provision of another Act or a regulation made under that Act if it expressly indicates that it prevails.

(3) Despite subsections (1) and (2), a provision of a designated Act or a regulation made under a designated Act prevails over a provision of this Act or a regulation made under this Act if it expressly indicates that it prevails.

Simplifying procedures and requirements

5 (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting the following:

(a) unifying procedures for businesses to file information and records under designated Acts;

(b) unifying financial and statistical reporting requirements and procedures for businesses under designated Acts;

(c) establishing common dates or time periods for businesses to file information or to pay fees or other charges under designated Acts;

(d) establishing methods for allocating a payment made by a business of less than the full amount of its liability under the designated Acts in respect of which the payment was made;

(e) establishing acceptable methods of payments under a designated Act;

(f) changing the start date or duration for licences or permits granted under a designated Act;

(g) changing the frequency of filing or other forms of reporting required under a designated Act;

(h) respecting matters related to procedures provided for under the authority of this Act.

(2) Nothing in this section affects a provision in a designated Act with respect to the maintenance of separate funds or the priority of entitlement to funds under the designated Act.

Electronic and other filings, databases and fees

6 The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) requiring or permitting information, that businesses are permitted or required to file under this Act or a designated Act, to be filed and maintained in an electronic or other format or in a combination of formats,

(b) requiring or permitting information and records, that businesses are permitted or required to file under this Act or a designated Act, to be transmitted, either electronically or by another method, to an electronic or other database,

(c) requiring or permitting records, that businesses are permitted or required to file under this Act or a designated Act, to be signed by an electronic signature or to be identified by a prescribed method, and providing that the electronic signature or other method of identification has the same effect for all purposes as a signature,

(d) requiring or permitting records, that businesses are permitted or required to file under this Act or a designated Act, to be filed without signatures, and providing that each record has the same effect for all purposes as if it had the signatures that would otherwise have been required,

(e) respecting fees or other charges for filing information or records under this Act,

(f) respecting fees or other charges, that replace fees or other charges prescribed under a designated Act, for filing information or records using the procedures set out in the regulations to this Act instead of the procedures set out in a designated Act or regulations to a designated Act,

(g) respecting the requirements that a person must meet to send or receive information or records in electronic or other format for the purposes of this Act or a designated Act,

(h) respecting the correction of errors made in an electronic or other filing,

(i) respecting the verification of information or records filed under this Act,

(j) requiring or permitting information or records to be sent by an official in electronic or other format, and

(k) respecting access to information that is filed or maintained in an electronic or other format.

Time or date of electronic filing

7 The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting the time and date information or records filed under a designated Act by direct electronic transmission or other form of transmission permitted under this Act are considered filed.

Effect of electronic information and records

8 (1) Information or records filed in electronic or other format under a designated Act have the same effect for all purposes as if they had been in paper format if they comply with this Act and the regulations made under this Act.

(2) Information or records filed in electronic or other format that is required or permitted to be provided under a designated Act may be provided in any intelligible format, and have the same effect, for all purposes, as the filed information or records would have had if the filed information or records were in paper format.

Signature

9 (1) A signature purporting to be that of an official on

(a) a record filed under this Act, or

(b) a related record that purports to be issued by an official

may be created, filed, maintained or reproduced by the official by any method that allows the signature to be reproduced in an intelligible format.

(2) A signature that is created, filed, maintained or reproduced under subsection (1) has the same effect for all purposes as the signature of the official.

Databases

10 (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation,

(a) authorize the establishment of databases in electronic or other format for information or records required or permitted to be filed or maintained under this Act or a designated Act, or

(b) provide for the maintenance of, access to, and use of, databases established under this Act or a designated Act.

(2) If a designated Act requires that information or records be filed under that Act, and that information or record is maintained in more than one format, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation, provide that only the information or record in one or more of those formats is the information or record that is required to be filed.

Records

11 (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting forms or other records that have the same effect as forms or other records prescribed or approved or otherwise created under designated Acts by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, minister, board or any other entity.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), in a regulation made under subsection (1) the Lieutenant Governor in Council may prescribe a single form or other record that has the same effect as a number of forms or other records prescribed, approved or otherwise created under one or more designated Acts.

Representatives may access information

12 The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation and with or without restrictions, authorize a person or a class of persons to file or access information that is required or permitted to be filed or accessed under a designated Act.

Conversion of records

13 (1) An official may convert records filed or maintained under a designated Act into an electronic or other format.

(2) An official must correct an error or omission made in converting records under subsection (1), if satisfied that he or she knows the correct information that ought to have been converted.

(3) A person who makes a correction under subsection (2) must note on the database

(a) their name,

(b) the time and date of the correction, and

(c) the changes or corrections that were made.

(4) If a record is converted under this section, a copy of the record that is required or permitted to be provided under the designated Act may be provided, in any intelligible format that is reasonable in the circumstances, by an official or by a class of persons authorized by regulation.

(5) A copy provided under subsection (4) has the same legal effect, for all purposes, as the original record.

Standards

14 The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting standards with which persons are required to comply, in the definition, collection, transmission and presentation of information under this Act.

Business identifiers

15 (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation,

(a) establish a system for assigning numbers or other identifiers for identifying businesses, and

(b) provide for the use, that businesses are permitted or required to make, of the number or other business identifier.

(2) The minister may, with the prior approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, enter into agreements on behalf of the government that provide for the integration of a system of business identifiers established under this section with any system of business identifiers established by the government of Canada.

Agreements

16 The minister responsible for the administration of a designated Act or the minister responsible for the administration of this Act may, with the prior approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, enter into agreements on behalf of the government with

(a) the government of Canada,

(b) a province,

(c) a local government,

(d) any other government in Canada or elsewhere not mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (c), or

(e) an agent of a government referred to in paragraphs (a) to (d),

to adopt common records, or common reporting or filing processes, with that government, to share databases with that government or for any other purpose of this Act.

Government immunity

17 The government is not liable either directly or vicariously for loss or damage suffered by a person because of failure to file, or failure to file correctly, information transmitted by direct electronic transmission under this Act or a designated Act to a database maintained by the government if the person transmitting the information is not an employee or agent of the government.

Section 5 Offence Act disapplied

18 Section 5 of the Offence Act does not apply to this Act or a regulation made under this Act.

Regulations, orders in council and records require minister's consent

19 (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council must not, under this Act, make a regulation that affects the administration of a designated Act except on the recommendation of the minister responsible for the designated Act.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a regulation that brings this Act or a portion of this Act into force.

Regulations

20 (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations referred to in section 41 of the Interpretation Act.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting any matter indicated in this Act as a matter that may be prescribed or dealt with by regulation.

(3) A regulation made under this Act may

(a) provide differently for different persons, places, transactions, enactments or things, and

(b) confer a discretion on a person.

Commencement

21 This Act comes into force by regulation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.


[ Return to: Legislative Assembly Home Page ]

Copyright 1998: Queen's Printer, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada