2016 Legislative Session: 5th Session, 40th Parliament
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2016 Legislative Session: 5th Session, 40th Parliament

Last updated: October 11, 2016

The summer session began on July 25, 2016 and adjourned on July 28, 2016. The spring session began on February 9, 2016 and adjourned on May 20, 2016. 

28 government bills, 38 members' bills and 1 private bill were introduced. The following relate to real estate and/or impact REALTORS®. For the complete list of legislation introduced during this session, visit the Progress of Bills page on the website of the Legislative Assembly of BC.

Government Bills

Bill 10: Budget Measures Implementation Act, 2016
Royal Assent: March 10, 2016

Amends the following statutes of interest to BCREA:

Emergency Program Act (s. 2-3)

  • Provides for the minister to make payments and grants to other persons or organizations for the purposes of assisting in emergency prevention, preparedness and response, in addition to local authorities
  • This provision came into force upon Royal Assent (March 10)

Income Tax Act (s. 40-42)

  • Effective for the 2016 tax year, expands the BC seniors’ home renovation tax credit to persons with disabilities who are eligible to claim the federal disability tax credit
  • The refundable personal income tax credit assists with the cost of certain permanent home renovations to improve accessibility or to help an individual be more functional or mobile at home, up to $1,000 annually; more information
  • This provision came into force on February 17, 2016

Property Transfer Tax Act (s. 45-62)

  • Adds a third tier to the PTT, taxing fair market value above $2 million at a rate of 3% (s. 46); more information
  • Introduces a financial penalty for people who make false declarations when applying for the First-Time Home Buyers' Program (s. 53)
  • Exempts newly-constructed homes that are principal residences, up to a fair market value of $750,000 (with a partial exemption for homes valued up to $800,000); among other requirements, a buyer must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada to qualify (s. 54); more information
  • The above provisions came into force on February 17, 2016
  • Another amendment will require the disclosure of citizenship/residency status (s. 56), and that provision will take effect by regulation
Bill 21: Environmental Management Amendment Act, 2016
Royal Assent: May 19, 2016

Adds extensive provisions for spill preparedness, response and recovery. The changes delineate roles for government and others, and clearly place the financial burden of spills on responsible persons (defined as people who have “possession, charge or control of a substance or thing when a spill of the substance or thing occurs or is at imminent risk of occurring”). These changes take effect by regulation.

News release.

Bill 25: Miscellaneous Statutes (General) Amendment Act, 2016
Royal Assent: May 19, 2016

Amends the following statutes of interest to BCREA:

Agricultural Land Commission Act (s. 1-3)

  • Provides that land can’t be excluded from the ALR unless each owner consents, in writing and in accordance with any regulations
  • Confirms that the requirement for owner consent to an exclusion doesn’t apply to any terms the ALC may impose in respect of the exclusion
  • Gives the ALC the authority to impose limits or conditions regarding land use for different circumstances, by regulation
  • These provisions came into force upon Royal Assent (May 19)

Assessment Act (s. 4)

  • Authorizes regulations to determine, for the purposes of assessment, the actual value of restricted-use property
  • This provision came into force on Royal Assent (May 19)

Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing Act (s. 20-22)

  • Expands on the purposes and functions of the ministry responsible for housing to include land development related to housing
  • Expands the mandate of BC Housing to include social and other services related to housing
  • These changes come into force by regulation
Bill 28: Miscellaneous Statutes (Housing Priority Initiatives) Amendment Act, 2016
Royal Assent: July 28, 2016

Amends the following statutes of interest to BCREA:

Property Transfer Tax Act (s. 2-17)

  • Foreign entities buying residential property in the Greater Vancouver Regional District (except for Tsawwassen First Nations lands) are subject to an additional 15% PTT on the taxable amount
  • Canadian citizens will have to provide their social insurance numbers on PTT returns
  • Failure to pay the additional tax could result in penalties of the unpaid tax plus interest and a fine of up to $200,000 for corporations or $100,000 for individuals
  • Related Tax Information Sheet
  • These amendments took effect on August 2, 2016

Real Estate Services Act (s. 18-42)

  • Restricts certain people (partners, directors, officers, shareholders and sole proprietors) from training or supervising managing brokers, associate brokers and representatives
  • Increases the maximum amount of the discipline penalties ($500,000 for brokerage; $250,000 for other licensees), and provides for the power to impose a discipline penalty for each contravention
  • Increases the maximum amount of penalties for unlicensed activity (same as above)
  • Requires the person to pay an additional penalty in the amount of the remuneration accepted
  • Require licensees and unlicensed individuals to give up the remuneration they received for activities that resulted in penalties
  • Authorizes the Superintendent to levy administrative penalties (up to a maximum of $50,000) for contraventions of rules
  • Establishes that the Council will consist of 16 individuals appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council; the Chair and Vice Chair will also be appointed
  • Establishes the Superintendent as the rule-making authority, instead of the Real Estate Council That authority is broad, and includes matters of licensing, continuing education, code of ethics, brokers supervising salespeople, etc.
  • Significantly increases the penalties for committing offences under s. 118 (from the current $50,000 maximum to: first conviction: $1.25 million; second conviction: $2.5 million)
  • Paves the way for the Superintendent and Council to share information as a purpose under privacy legislation
  • Provides for the Lieutenant Governor in Council to prescribe how penalties received by the Council or Superintendent are used, and the making and giving notice of Superintendent rules
  • There are also several transition provisions that will guide the period after the above provisions take effect
  • All of these amendments took effect on September 30, 2016

Special Accounts Appropriation and Control Act (s. 43)

  • Creates the Housing Priority Initiatives Fund, with an initial balance of $75 million
  • The Treasury Board has the authority to direct PTT revenue to the Housing Priority Initiatives Fund
  • The uses for the fund include acquiring, constructing, maintaining or renovating housing, supporting housing programs, making loans for housing and related purposes
  • These provisions took effect upon Royal Assent (July 28), but details about the new fund have not yet been announced
News release.

Members' Bills

Bill M 201: Land Title Amendment Act, 2016
1st Reading: February 11, 2016

MLA Andrew Weaver introduced this bill to address the “affordability-in-housing crisis affecting Metro Vancouver and emerging here in the Capital Regional District.” Proposes amending the Land Title Act to require people and corporations applying to register ownership of or interest in land to state their citizenship.

Bill M 209: Speculator Tracking and Housing Affordability Fund Act, 2016
1st Reading: March 17, 2016

Proposes a housing affordability fund paid for by individuals who purchase and hold properties vacant as investments, rather than renting them or permitting people who live and work in the community to purchase them. The mechanism of revenue generation for this fund could also be used to track the extent of speculation in the real estate market of the Lower Mainland, and would impose an additional levy on speculators.

Bill M 210: Property Transfer Tax Fairness Act, 2016
1st Reading: March 17, 2016

Proposes two clarifications:

  • that the PTT is required to be paid each time an agreement for sale is assigned, even if the assignment is not registered in the Land Registry, and
  • that transferring a beneficial interest of a trust is a taxable transaction.