2000 Legislative Session: 4th Session, 36th Parliament

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


BILL M 211 -- 2000


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


1 In this Act

"association" means the Association of British Columbia Professional Biologists;

"board" means the board of examiners of the association;

"council" means the council of the association;

"other professional organization" means an organization other than the association that has the statutory authority both to licence a person to practice in a profession and to administer disciplinary procedures to its members;

"practice of biology" means, regardless of fee or remuneration, the performance or direction of works, services or undertakings in relation to natural renewable resources that, because of their scope and biological or ecological implications, require specialized knowledge, training and experience equivalent to the requirements for registration as a professional biologist under this Act, and includes the following:

(a) managing species populations, habitats, or ecosystems

(b) analyzing and interpreting technical information species, habitats, or ecosystems;

(c) integrating species population, habitat, or ecosystem values with management of other resources;

(d) monitoring, assessing, evaluating, and reporting on the impact of human activity or natural events and changes, on species populations, habitats, and ecosystems;

(e) planning research regarding management of species populations, habitats, or ecosystems;

(f) designing, specifying or approving methods for, or directing the undertaking of the following in relation to management of species, habitats, or ecosystems:

-- research

-- systematic classification

-- inventory

-- management prescriptions

-- prescriptions for human use

-- impact mitigation or compensation strategies

-- enhancement, restoration or recovery planning

-- habitat creation or species transplants

-- rating status and importance

-- information and analysis input to environmental or land use planning, or impact assessment, processes

-- assessing impacts of human activities, or of natural events and changes

but does not include any such performance or direction which is regulated by any other professional organization in the Province;

"professional biologist" means a person who is registered under this Act or a person who holds a temporary permit under this Act;

"registrar" means the registrar of the association;

"registration" means admission of a person qualifying under this Act, and entering the person's name in the register;

"temporary permit" means a certificate of permission, issued by the association, permitting a person to engage temporarily in the practice of professional biology in British Columbia, and


2 The purpose of this Act is to establish an association which shall uphold the public interest in the practice of biology by

(a) ensuring the competence, independence and integrity of its members, and

(b) ensuring that every person practicing biology is accountable

(i) either to the association or to an other professional organization, and

(ii) to the public.


3 (1) The corporation called the APB Association of Professional Biologists of British Columbia is continued.

(2) The association may acquire and dispose of property, may do anything necessarily incidental to the management, regulation, discipline and well-being of the profession and its members and may pass bylaws for the purpose.


4 The membership of the association is those members in good standing in the APB Association of Professional Biologists of British Columbia under the Society Act immediately prior to the coming into force of this Act and those persons who become members of the association under this Act.


5 (1) An annual general meeting of the association shall be held at the time and place the council determines, at least once in each calendar year and not more than 15 months following the preceding meeting.

(2) Council may on its own motion at any time call an extraordinary general meeting of the association.

(3) Council, on the written request of 25 or more members of the association, shall, within 14 days of receipt of the request, establish a date for an extraordinary general meeting of the association.

(4) Council shall give the membership seven clear days' written notice of the time and place of, and the business to be transacted at, a meeting of the association.


6 (1) There shall be a council of the association consisting of 8 or more councilors, one of whom is the immediate past president. The other members of council shall be elected in the manner provided by the bylaws.

(2) No person is eligible for membership on the council unless the person is a registered member of the association in good standing and a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.

(3) The president and vice-president shall be elected annually by and from the elected councilors.

(4) The other members of the council may appoint a registered member of the association

(a) to fill a vacancy caused by the incapacity, resignation or death of a council member, or

(b) as required to address a new task or responsibility of council, to add interim council members, provided that the term of such interim council members shall not extend beyond the time of the next election as provided in subsection (1).

Power of Council

7 (1) The powers conferred on the association shall be exercised by the council between general meetings.

(2) The council shall govern, control and administer the affairs of the association and shall exercise all rights and powers vested in it by this Act or the bylaws, and may pass resolutions for those purposes.


8 The council may pass bylaws not inconsistent with this Act for

(a) the election of the council;

(b) the governance and discipline of the association members, including a code of ethics binding on members;

(c) regulating the practice of professional biology, including bylaws for setting and maintaining of standards of practice and for conducting review of members' professional practices

(d) the levy, assessment, payment, remission and collection of fees, assessments and charges, including the fixing of annual, admission and other fees;

(e) the establishment and administration of standards of admission and readmission to membership, the enrollment and qualification of candidates for admission and readmission, and the creation of honorary and life membership in the association;

(f) the classification of different grades of membership in the association and the limitation of the rights of the members in each grade;

(g) the conduct of meetings of the association and of council, quorums, voting, balloting and associated matters; and

(h) all other purposes and matters reasonably necessary for the management, regulation and well-being of the association.

Procedure for Bylaw

9 (1) A bylaw shall not come into force unless ratified by 2/3 of the votes cast

(a) by letter ballot of the membership, or

(b) by a vote of the membership at a general meeting.

(2) The registrar shall file with the Provincial Secretary a copy of each bylaw certified under the seal of the association within 10 days after ratification.

(3) A bylaw may be disallowed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council within 30 days after filing under subsection (2).

(4) A bylaw comes into force on expiry of the period fixed by subsection (3), and compliance with the other provisions of this section.


10 The council may pass resolutions not inconsistent with this Act for the administration of the association, including

(a) investing and disbursing association funds and bank and borrow money;

(b) in relation to the subjects of study, the examinations to be passed and the experience in biology required of applicants for membership;

(c) in relation to the resignation and temporary withdrawal of members;

(d) calling meetings of the association and of council;

(e) in relation to the assistance, pecuniary or otherwise, to be given to individuals and organizations when in the opinion of the council the assistance will be of benefit to the public, the association or its members;

(f) promoting good public relations;

(g) creating divisions, committees and regional groups and delegating to them of the powers and authority the council sees fit; and

(h) making rules governing the registrar and certificates of registration to be issued to members.


11 (1) The council shall appoint a registrar who shall hold office during the pleasure of the council.

(2) The registrar shall keep a book, known as the register, in which shall be entered the full name, address and date of registration or issue of temporary permit for each professional biologist.

Registered Members

12 Persons whose names are entered in the register by the registrar constitute the registered members of the association.

Classes of Membership

13 There are 3 classes of membership in the association: professional biologists (registered members), biologists-in-training (enrolled members), and student biologists (enrolled members).


14 (1) The council, upon payment of examination and registration fees, shall admit an applicant to registered membership as a professional biologist and the registrar shall enter the applicant's name in the register on submission by the applicant of evidence satisfactory to the council that the applicant

(a) has graduated from an institute of learning approved by the council, and has passed examinations in the courses approved or specified by the council;

(b) has satisfied the requirements of the council regarding a thesis or professional report;

(c) has had sufficient experience, as determined by the council, in biological work; and

(d) is of good character.

(2) A person who obtains registration under this Act by a false or fraudulent representation, or a person who knowingly assists him or her, commits an offence.

(3) Where a person who is known to have been convicted of an indictable offence applies for registration or enrollment, the council may reject the person's application.

(4) An entry in the register, proved to the council's satisfaction to have been made fraudulently or incorrectly, may be erased from the register by order of the council.


15 (1) The council shall admit an applicant, who satisfies the requirements specified by bylaw, for enrollment as a biologist in training.

(2) The council shall admit an applicant, who satisfies the requirements specified by bylaw, for enrollment as a student biologist.

Board of Examiners

16 (1) The council shall appoint a board of examiners to determine the proficiency of candidates for registration.

(2) The board shall consist of members of the association and shall consist of not less than 5 members. The council shall designate a board member as chairperson.

(3) The board shall conduct examinations and report the results to the registrar.

Temporary Permit

17 (1) The council, in its discretion, may grant a temporary permit to practice biology, for the period and on the terms it approves, to a person who submits evidence satisfactory to the council of his or her qualifications under section 14 (1).

(2) The permit is subject to revocation if the holder violates this Act, the bylaws, resolutions, code of ethics or a term of the permit.

(3) A person who obtains a temporary permit under this Act by false or fraudulent representation, or a person who knowingly assists that person, commits an offence.


18 (1) Each person registered or enrolled shall pay annual fees to the association in advance of the year for which the fees are assessed.

(2) Failure to pay the annual fee may cause removal of the member's name from the register.

Certificate of Registration

19 (1) The registrar, on direction of the council, shall issue a certificate of registration to each registered member of the association, and the certificate shall be prominently displayed by the member in his or her office or other place of business.

(2) A certificate of registration shall be signed by the president and the registrar, shall bear the seal of the association, and constitutes evidence of registration as at the date of issue.

(3) On receipt of the annual fee in each year subsequent to registration, the registrar shall give the member a receipt.

Use of Term "Professional Biologist"

20 (1) On receipt of a certificate of registration or temporary permit, a member or permit holder is entitled to use the title of Professional Biologist or the abbreviation R.P.Bio. or any other designation provided for in the bylaws.

(2) A member or permit holder may procure a seal or stamp, the impression of which shall contain the name of the member or permit holder and the words "Professional Biologist -- British Columbia" or any other designation provided for in the bylaws, with which he or she may seal or stamp all estimates, specifications, reports, documents, plans and other professional papers that he or she in his or her capacity as a professional biologist has prepared or has had prepared under his or her direct supervision.

(3) Only those persons whose names are entered in the registrar are permitted to use the title of Professional Biologist and the abbreviation R.P.Bio.

Improper Use of Title

21 A person who, without being a registered member of the association or a permit holder under this Act, assumes, in any manner, the title of Professional Biologist or advertises, uses or permits to be advertised or used in any manner with the person's name, business or otherwise the title of Professional Biologist or the abbreviation R.P.Bio. or any other designation, descriptive term or statement implying or calculated to lead people to believe that the person is a registered professional biologist or a permit holder under this Act, commits an offence.

Unauthorized Practice

22 (1) Only those persons whose names are entered in the register are qualified to engage in the practice of biology.

(2) Nothing in this Act affects the rights held by a person under another Act or under a registration, licence or certificate under that Act.

(3) This Act shall not be construed to prevent:

(a) the execution of work designed by a professional biologist or the supervision or inspection of the work;

(b) a tradesman, artisan or other skilled technician or worker from engaging in any of the activities normally associated with the practice of that trade, craft or occupation;

(c) the carrying on by a person on the person's own property of work for the sole use of the person and his or her domestic establishment; or

(d) the carrying out of work by a member of any other professional organization, providing that such work is regulated by that organization.


23 In a prosecution under this Act it is sufficient proof of the offence alleged if it is proved that the defendant has done or committed a single act of the kind of offence alleged.


24 Where a person does or attempts to do anything in contravention of this Act or a bylaw, the doing of the thing may be restrained by an injunction granted by a court of competent jurisdiction at the instance of the association.


25 A member of the association or a person appointed for that purpose by the council may be a complainant under this Act for a proceeding under the Offence Act.


26 (1) A person who commits an offence under this Act is liable, on conviction, for a first offence to a fine of not more than $1,000, and for a second or subsequent offence to a fine of not more than $2,000 .

(2) In addition to any other penalty imposed, a court that convicts a person of an offence under this section may increase a fine imposed on the person by an amount equal to the amount of the monetary benefit that is acquired by the person as a result of the commission of the offence.

Public Complaints

27 (1) Any person who believes that a member or former member of the association has been guilty of incompetence or unprofessional conduct may request the registrar to investigate the matter.

(2) A request for an investigation must be made in writing and must include particulars.

(3) The registrar shall, upon receipt of a request for an investigation, acknowledge receipt of the request and inform the council of the request.

(4) Within 30 days after being informed by the registrar under subsection (3), council shall refer the request to the Discipline Committee for investigation.

Discipline Committee

28 (1) Subject to subsection (2), council shall appoint a Discipline Committee of at least 3 registered members to consider the competence or conduct of members or former members.

(2) The Lieutenant Governor in Council shall appoint 2 non-members as lay representatives to the Discipline Committee.

(3) Three members constitute a quorum, provided that at least one third of a Discipline Committee shall consist of lay representatives.

(4) The council may remove any member appointed by it to a Discipline Committee.

(5) The Discipline Committee may, for its duties under this Act, employ at the expense of the association legal or other services it considers necessary.

Discipline Procedures

29 (1) A person who is

(a) registered as a professional biologist, or

(b) enrolled as a biologist in training or student biologist

is, on conviction in the Province or elsewhere for an indictable offence, liable to have the registration or enrollment, as the case may be, cancelled, and by direction of the council the person's name may be erased from the register.

(2) Upon receipt of a written complaint by a member or a request for an investigation under section 27, the Discipline Committee shall consider the competence or conduct of a member or former member and may conduct or authorize any person to conduct an investigation into the competence or conduct of the member or former member.

(3) Where the Discipline Committee believes that a member or former member has not been incompetent or has not committed any unprofessional conduct and proposes to take no further action, it shall

(a) prepare a report in writing describing the information upon which its belief is based and stating the reasons for not proceeding with disciplinary action, and

(b) send a copy of the report to council.

(4) Upon receipt of a report under subsection (3), council shall require the registrar, within 60 days, to report to the complainants the basis for not proceeding with disciplinary action.

(5) Where the Discipline Committee believes that a member or former member may have been incompetent or committed unprofessional conduct, it may order a hearing into the competence or conduct of the member or former member by directing council that a citation be issued against the member or former member.

(6) A person whose conduct is under inquiry may at the person's own expense be represented by counsel.

Discipline Hearings

30 (1) Where a citation has been issued under section 29 (5), the member or former member shall be served with the citation in accordance with the bylaws and the Discipline Committee shall establish a Discipline Panel to conduct a hearing and take action, where appropriate, under section 31.

(2) A Discipline Panel shall consist of members and non-members as the Discipline Committee, in its discretion, may require, except that no member of the council or of the Discipline Committee shall be eligible to be appointed to a Discipline Panel.

(3) A Discipline Panel shall consist of an odd number of persons but may not consist of one person.

(4) A chairperson shall be appointed by the Discipline Committee.

(5) The chairperson of a Discipline Panel appointed under section 30 (4) has the same power for the purposes of an inquiry

(a) a to summon and enforce the attendance of a witness,

(b) to compel a witness to give evidence on oath or in any other manner, and

(c) to compel a witness to produce records and things in the possession or control of the witness

as the Supreme Court has for the trial of civil actions, and the failure or refusal of a person to attend, to take an oath or affirmation, to give evidence, or to produce the records or things in the person's possession or control makes the person, on application to the Supreme Court, liable to be committed for contempt as if in breach of an order or judgement of the Supreme Court.

(6) If a person does not comply promptly with a demand by the Discipline Committee, or a person authorized by the Discipline Committee, under subsection (5) (c), the association may apply to the Supreme Court for an order requiring the person to comply.

(7) The Supreme Court, on holding being satisfied that a member or former member has contravened section 30 (d) (c), may order that member or former member to comply and may impose requirements as to the time and manner of compliance.

(8) On application by the association, the Supreme Court may order that a person produce to an officer or committee of the association or a person designated by the council any record or thing if the court is satisfied that the record or thing is relevant to and reasonably required by the officer, committee or person for:

(a) an investigation of the conduct of a member or former member, or

(b) review of the professional competence of a member.

(9) At least one month before the first meeting of the Discipline Panel to inquire into a respondent's conduct, a written notice of the time and place of the inquiry shall be served on respondent. The notice shall set out particulars of the complaint or matter for inquiry.

(10) The testimony of witnesses shall be taken under oath. Witnesses may be cross-examined and evidence given in defence and reply.

(11) Witnesses required to attend are entitled to the same allowances as witnesses attending in the Supreme Court.

(12) If the respondent fails to attend, on proof of service of notice, the Discipline Panel may proceed with the inquiry in the respondent's absence and make its finding and its determination without further notice to that person.

(13) A Discipline Panel shall decide any matter by a majority and the decision of the majority is the decision of the Panel.

(14) A Discipline Panel shall

(a) conduct a hearing, and

(b) make a determination whether a respondent has been guilty of incompetence or unprofessional conduct.

(15) A copy of the determination shall, despite subsection (9), be served promptly on the respondent and, with written reasons, to the Discipline Committee.

(16) Two or more Discipline Panels may proceed with separate matters at the same time.

Discipline Resolution

31 (1) Where a Discipline Panel has made a determination under section 30, it may make any disposition of the citation that it considers proper and, if the respondent has been guilty of incompetence or unprofessional conduct, it may

(a) reprimand the respondent,

(b) fine the respondent in an amount not exceeding $5,000;

(c) suspend the respondent for a specified period;

(d) erase the name of the member from the register,

(e) order the respondent or complainant to pay to the association the costs of a hearing conducted under section 30;

(f) order the respondent to attend professional training specified by the Panel; or

(g) make any other orders and declarations and impose any conditions that it considers just.

(2) A fine imposed under this section may be recovered as a debt owing to the association and, when collected, it is the property of the association.

(3) The Discipline Panel shall record in writing any action taken under this section.

Review by Council

32 (1) Where, following the hearing of a citation, the Discipline Committee is dissatisfied with any action taken by a Discipline Panel, the Discipline Committee may, within 30 days after the action has been taken, refer the matter to the council which may, after hearing further argument and any evidence that the council may, in its discretion, permit, set aside the action of the Discipline Panel and decrease the severity of the action.

(2) If council takes action under subsection (1), it must

(a) prepare a report in writing summarizing the action taken by the Discipline Panel and stating the reasons for decreasing the severity of the action, and

(b) send a copy of the report to every member of the association.


33 (1) Where the council has refused to admit an applicant under section 14 or a Discipline Panel has taken action under section 31 (1), the applicant or respondent affected may appeal to the Supreme Court within 30 days after the date of service on the applicant or member of the order appealed.

(2) An appeal from the decision of the Supreme Court lies to the Court of Appeal with leave of a justice of the Court of Appeal.


34 In a proceeding or prosecution under this Act in which proof is required that a person is or is not a member of the association, a certificate purporting to be signed by the registrar that the person is or is not a member is, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, proof of the fact so certified.

Protection from Law Suits

35 An action may not be brought against the association, its officers or servants, the council or a member of the association for a proceeding, in good faith, taken, enforced or attempted under this Act, a rule or bylaw.


36 This Act shall come into force upon Royal Assent.

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