The date has been set for the new Societies Act. Now what?

Board: Effective Governance
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Jan 21, 2016 | Blog

It’s official. The new Societies Act comes into force on November 28, 2016. 

The new legislation addresses many of the common complaints of the current BC Society Act and introduces changes to allow societies to operate more effectively while simultaneously protecting public interest. Some of the changes include:

  • Qualifications of Directors
  • Member-Funded Societies
  • Senior Managers
  • Reporting on Remuneration of Directors, Employees and Contractors
  • Unalterable Provisions and Special Resolutions
  • Annual General Meetings
  • Borrowing and Issuance of Securities
  • Electronic Filings

With many of these changes coming into effect in 10 months, what can you do now to prepare yourself, your board, and your organization? 

To get you started, I’ve collected Vantage Point’s (and our friend’s) resources and learning available to BC Societies that can assist you when adapting to the new legislation… all in one place. 

If you have specific questions or are looking for one-on-one support, I encourage you to seek legal counsel. 


Changes to the BC Society Act FAQs
This free resource addresses some frequently asked questions on how the upcoming changes to the BC Society Act will affect the ongoing work of your board and organization. 

BC Registry Services
BC Registry services has added several new information documents regarding the Societies Act including the legislation in its entirety, a table outlining some of the Act’s impact on existing societies, and information on the new electronic filing system.

Bull Housser Charity & Tax Exempt Organizations Alerts
Keep up-to-date with important alerts for not-for-profit organizations regarding the new Societies Act as well as other pertinent issues. 

Law for Nonprofits
Law For Nonprofits is an initiative of the Pacific Legal Education and Outreach Society (PLEO). Law For Nonprofits was founded to enable British Columbia’s nonprofit sector to access better legal information, education and advice


Learning Opportunities

As the transition date nears for the new Societies Act, it’s crucial you understand how the new Act will affect your organization. 

Whether you need an introduction to the legislation or a hands-on workshop to review your bylaws and constitution, Vantage Point has 3 workshops to support you in understanding the changes and transitioning to the new legislation.

Which Societies Workshop is Right For You?
Not sure which learning opportunity will best support you? Use this matrix to assist you in identify the workshop (or workshops) that will help you better understand the new legislation and steps to move forward. 

The New Societies Act: What to Expect & How to Transition l February 18 at 8:30am
Dive into the critical changes being introduced through the new Societies Act. This workshop explains what the new Act will mean to your Society’s current corporate and governance practices, highlight significant changes from the current legislation, and provide tips on how to prepare your board and your organization for the transition to the new Act

The New Societies Act: 2-Part Pre-Recorded Presentation
If you were unable to attend the open-enrollment News Societies Act workshop, this 2-part pre-recorded presentation can support you to prepare for and transition to the new Act. This recording explains what the new Act will mean to your Society’s current corporate and governance practices.

Understanding the Societies Act I: Legal Basics for BC Societies 
Review the key foundations of the Act and how it affects the ongoing work of your board and organization. This Part 1 workshop will focus specifically on key governance and legal compliance issues, such as the role, rights and responsibilities of members and directors, constitution and bylaws, AGMs, board meetings, resolutions, records-keeping, and filings.

Understanding the Societies Act II: Deep Dive into Legal Issues in Governance & Legislative Changes l April 27 at 9:00am or June 16 at 5:00pm
Through group work and case studies, and building on Understanding the Societies Act I, this workshop will introduce and explore more complex legal issues in governance, finance, and regulatory matters and provide a strong focus on changes coming to those areas.


Maria Turnbull

Maria Turnbull brings over 20 years of leadership experience in staff and director roles within the not-for-profit sector, both here in Canada and in the UK. With a BA in International Relations and MBA, Maria is a skilled facilitator and consultant in board governance, organizational development,…

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