The Attorney General Statutes Amendment Act, 2021, was introduced in the legislative assembly on November 15, 2021. If passed by the legislature, the amendments will affect the COVID-19 Related Measures Act and the Judicial Compensation Act.

Introduction of Attorney General Statutes Bill

Government of BC | Ministry of Attorney General | Monday, November 15, 2021

The Attorney General Statutes Amendment Act, 2021, was introduced in the legislative assembly on Monday, Nov. 15, 2021.

If passed by the legislature, the amendments will affect the following provincial statutes:

COVID-19 Related Measures Act

Amendments to this act will change the current repeal date of Dec. 31, 2021, to Dec. 31, 2022.

Currently, the act provides statutory authority for various COVID-19 related regulations and orders that were introduced to respond to and minimize the impact of the pandemic. These include orders to:

  • allow for remote witnessing of the signing of key legal documents;
  • allow the courts to specify that court proceedings can be conducted remotely; and
  • support orders of the provincial health officer that impose conditions on the number of long-term care facilities staff are permitted to work at in order to help reduce COVID-19 transmission.

Additionally, the act provides for civil liability protection from damages related to exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19 to individuals or businesses that are providing an essential service, operating a business or engaged in an activity that benefits the community, as long as they are following the necessary public health orders.

Judicial Compensation Act

Proposed amendments to this act will streamline the judicial compensation commission process, leading to a timelier and more efficient process for setting and implementing changes to compensation for the provincial court judges and judicial justices in British Columbia.

Currently, a judicial compensation commission, which is a constitutionally required, independent body, is established every three years to make recommendations to government on remuneration, allowances and benefits for provincial court judges and judicial justices. The amendments will increase this interval to every four years, helping to improve efficiency.

Additionally under the proposed amendments, the lieutenant governor in council will be able to accept the commission’s recommendations on government’s behalf when government accepts all of the recommendations. Currently, the act requires the commission’s recommendations to be addressed through the legislative assembly. This amendment will provide an additional option that can simplify the process and improve timelines for implementing the commission’s recommendations.

Finally, the amendments will defer the next commission for a brief period, with its next appointment expected by Sept. 1, 2022, and its report delivered by April 30, 2023.


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Source: BC Government News