NEWSLETTER Social services tax on legal services opposed by Provincial Council OF THE CANADIAN BAF Th A 'I 11 1992 P . . I ASSOCIATION, e pn ~ rovmcia 8 C BRANCH Council Meeting focused on a 路 路 lengthy discussion and debate on the proposed social services tax on legal services. B.C. Branch Executive and Council members expressed vigorous opposition to the tax and the burden it places APRIL/MAY 1992 upon consumers of legal services. Provincial Council approved three resolutions urging the government to reverse their decision VOLUME4 to introduce the tax; to retain NUMBER4 counsel to advise the CBA with respect to a potential constitutional challenge to the tax and to Parker MacCarthy (centre), B.C. Branch Secretary-Treasurer introduces Bill Ruskin communicate the Branch's posi(right), Chair of the Taxation Section and Hunter Gordon (left) of the Attorney General's Ministry. Ruskin outlined many ofthe implementation problems associated tion through advertising or mewith the proposed tax to Council members. dia presentations; and to urge
Fight to reverse tax will continue, says Baker
MEMBER PROFILE: MARITIME SECTION/2
A cynical person once said that the only things certain in life are death and taxes but at least death doesn't get any worse.
SECTIONTALK/3 LEGISLATIVE UPDATE/5 LOSS PREVENTION SEMINAR/11 CAREER SATISFACTION/11 LAW DAY/13
Elaine Dixon, Chair of the Family Law Section (Kamloops) comments to Provincial Council on the impact of the social services tax on clients in her area.
the Minister of Finance to defer introduction until consultation occurs and alternate means of raising tax funds are considered. CBA members have received information regarding the Branch's concerns with implementation problems regarding the tax. The implementation date has been delayed to June 1. D
The legal profession and consumers of legal services in British Columbia were taken entirely by surprise on March 26 of this year when the Minister of Finance announced in his budget the imposition of Provincial Social Services Tax on legal services, effective May 1, 1992. Although the MinisterofFinanceclaimed thatthere had been more consultation with respect to the 1992 budget than any budget in history, there had been absolutely no consultation with the profession or its organized representatives, the Law Society of British Columbia and the B.C. Branch of the Canadian Bar Association prior to the introduction of the tax. In fact, I first learned about it when a reporter
from the Victoria Times-Colonist called me for a comment. Since March 26 the CBA together with the Law Society have been making every effort to convince the Minister of Finance, the Attorney General, and the government of the inherent inequities and unfairness of this tax. Although we were successful in persuading the government to defer introduction of the tax to June 1, 1992, at thetimeofwritingthisarticle, the bill had received third reading and the government seems adamant about proceeding. Shortly after introduction of the tax, members of the Executive of the B.C. Branch and the Benchers of the Law Society hosted a reception with members of the government caucus in Victoria and both individually and collectively told the NDP caucus about our
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CBA members making a difference: Maritime Law Section B.C. Branch Maritime Law Section members bravely faced a "Dunk a Marine Lawyer" event that raised over $5,500 for the B.C. Children's Hospital Foundation on May 1, 1992 outside the Old Bailiff Restaurant. Organizer Shelley Chapelski of Ray Connell reports that 14 Section members and their clients
volunteered to be the "dunkees" and after spirited bidding, nine persons received bids of more than $500 to ensure their place in the dunk tank. Ultimately braving the waters of the dunk tank were David McEwen, McEwan, Schmitt & Co.; Barry Oland, A .B. Oland; Michael Bird, Owen Bird; Harry
Gourlay nominated president-elect the University of Toronto and was called to the Bar in 1975. He began his career in B.C. as Crown Counsel from 1975 to 1980, was an associate with Schrum Liddle & Hebenton from 1982 to 1985 and a partner with Gourlay & Spencer from 1980 to 82 and from 1985 to the present. He practices in the areas of criminal law, commercial and personal injury litigation.
Robert Gourlay unanimously was declared Provincial Council nominee for the position of President of the B.C. Branch for 1992/93. As no other nominations were received by the deadline, Gourlay becomes President-Elect for the corning year. Gourlay received his L.L.B. from
GourlaywasPresidentofthe B.C. Crown Counsel Association in 1980-81, has been a member of Provincial and National Council from 1987 to 1992, a member of the B.C. Branch Executive Committee from 1988 to 1992 serving as Branch Secretary Treasurer in 1990-91 and Vice-President in 1991-92. Gourlay has also served on the Board of Directors of the Con tinuing Legal Education Society of B.C. from 1987 to 1991. D
Free admission to lawyer's day at the races Admission to The Track at Exhibition Park in Vancouver is free for all B.C. lawyers and articled students on June 13 when the Law Society of B.C. hosts Lawyer's Day at the Races. For the best view and meals, you can reserve tables in the Clubhouse Terrace by calling 254-1631 between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00p.m.
A Trackhandicappingsession will be held by the paddock at 12:30 p.m. or in the grandstand as weather permits. Parade to the post is at 1:15 p.m. and B.C. law firms are sponsoring eight of the day's races and will present blankets to the winners.D
Lipetz, Ray Connell; Nils Daugulis, Bull, Hausser & Tupper; Gary Wharton, Campney &Murphy; Brad Shant, Reid Stenhouse Ltd., and Chris Harvey, Russell &DuMoulin. Patrick Murray of Murray Underwriting Ltd. was master of ceremoniesfortheeventand was also chosen to be dunked by "write in" ballots which raised over $850 of the total. The event was organized under the auspices of the transportation sector of the B.C. Children's Hospital Foundation. Other Section members who escaped a cold wet fate were John Bromley, Ray Connell; Gordon Bisaro, Bisaro & Company; John Hargrave, Hobbs Harvey Hargrave; Glenn Morgan, Davis & Company. Hats off to these CBA members who donated their time and their "maritime" expertise in the dunk tank to support the B.C. Children's Hospital Foundation! D
Members making a difference; you can assist in selection! We want you to help us identify the "unsung heroes" of the profession who we can profile in this column. "Unsung" is a broad term but we're looking for individuals who are making a difference through their service within the profession or in community organizations. Call Larry Hnetka, Assistant Director (Communications) at the B.C Branch office (687-3404) for a nomination form. Nominations are reviewed and members to be profiled are selected by the BarTalk editorial committee.
Dates to note: June 12, 1992 Annual Meetings B.C. Branch, CBA and Law Society of B.C., Robson Square Conference Centre, Vancouver August 23 to 27, 1992 National CBA Annual Meeting, Halifax
6. Technology will become more compatible. 7. The communications industry will grow. 8. Technology will change more quickly.
Future trends in the practice of law Louis Eisen, a consultant at Usher & Associates, addressed Computer Law Section members on the technological trends that will affect the practice of law. Eisen began his presentation with a creative example of the kinds of the skills necessary to make effective use of technology in today's world. Wayne Gretzky typically notes that when asked: ''What is the secret to your success?" he replies, "most hockey players play the game by skating to where the puck is. I skate to where I think the puck will be." Similarly, to make effective use of technology, it is important to look ahead rather than merely to consider technology that is available today. Eisen identified eight general technological trends that will affect legal practice. 1. Computer systems will become more powerful. 2. Computer systems will become more reliable. 3. Storage requirements will increase. 4. Hardware costs will decrease. 5. Technology will become easier to use.
These general trends will cause a major shift in the labour force in law firms. Eisen feels that the face of labour, generally, is changing due to the advance of technology. To some degree technology is replacing people but more frequently technology is restructuring the work load. It takes away dreary repetitive tasks and frees people for more creative purposes. It is hard to assess what the
penetration of computers is in the legal market. Estimates indicate that about 50 per cent of lawyers in the U.S.A. "use" a computer in their work; approximately 25 to 30 per cent in Ontario and even less in B.C. In the U.S., law firms have reached a 3 to I lawyer/secretary ratio. Now students and paralegals are counted as lawyers. This is evidence of how the structure of jobs in the legal field is changing. At I.B.M. Headquarters in Canada there are not "secretaries". Jobs have been redefined. Another change in the legal field will be in the use of databases. Databases are becoming the repositories of the accumulated knowledge of the firm. Firms now have databases on clients, research, conflicts, and marketing, to name a few. They are becoming important parts of the firm property and will become important in attracting new people to the firm. The ease of document production is making lawyers redefine the way they look at their jobs. Lawyers will move away from charging for producing documents to charging for their legal expertise. Computers also will
become more important in regulating the flow of a lawyer's work. Computers will move from being back-desk tools to front-desk tools as they become able to run a lawyer's day. Most important, law firms will pay more attention to their purchases and will purchase technology for the right reason. It is important for a firm to decide what it wants from its technology and purchase technology to achieve that position. Without strategic planning it becomes a constant job to patch the system up.
Courts have misinter路 preted dependent's relief legislation Leopold Amighetti, Q.C., spoke to Wills and Trusts (Vancouver) Section members recently on how the courts have misinterpreted the dependant's relief legislation. He said that this is partly because the courts have not taken the time to find out why the legislation was introduced and partly because counsel does not take the trouble to educate the courts on the purpose of the legislation. Testamentary freedom has been enjoyed under Anglo-Saxon law only for a relatively short time. The English system recognizes that the testator has a better ability than the state to determine how to distribute his or her estate. English law anticipates that testators will first think of their kin. Without that expectation, testamentary freedom would not have been given. To a certain extent this worked in medieval England because of other confining factors such marriage settlements, strict so-
SectionTalk (continued) cietal nonns and the fact that real estate was the primary asset passed on and there were strict rules regarding its devolution. These underlying factors did not carry over to the colonies. New Zealand was the first jurisdiction where the concept of dependants' relieflegislationarose. Husbands were dying and not leaving their assets to their wives and children. The wives and children became wards of the state. There is little recorded history about why the legislation was introduced in B.C. The social conditions were fairly similar to those inNew Zealand in the 1880s when the legislation was introduced th~re. One clue is that following umversal suffrage in 1916,a mass of legislation to benefit women and children was introduced for example widow's pensions.' 路 The early cases all indicated that the legislation was remedial and there was not intent to give beyond remedial maintenance. The B.C. courts relied on the New Zealand Allardice case. The 1930 Supreme Court of Canada case of Walker v. McDermott was the cause of the current uncertainty in the law. The use of the phrase "adequate, just and equitable" by J?uff, J. created an arguable position that a transmittal of a portion of the estate could be obtained under the legislation. In this case, an adult daughter who was not in need was successful in obtaining about 20 per cent of the estate. This opened the floodgate for possible claims. In the aftermath of Walker v. McDermott, two streams of thought have developed. One is that "need" is required to found a claim and the other is that the courts may take an "equitable" approach. This has resulted in a lack of certainty. Judges have been allowed to legislate their own morals.
From a social point of view, the currentsystemisunpalatable. The options should be either forced heirship with specific parameters or testamentary freedom with certain restrictions regarding maintenance. The B.C. Law Reform Commission proposal for reform in this area recommended that "need" not be required to be shown for a set class and that there be an expansion of potential claimants to include others who could show dependency. One of the Commissioners wrote a strong dissent and recommended that there be a limited class of applicants and that "need" be a prerequisite to making a claim.
Child support guidelines developed. Both levels of government have set up a committee of representatives fron:' across the country for consult~tion on policy in family law. Thts comnuttee meets twice a year. In June 1991, the committee circulated a "Child Support Public Discussion Paper." In a recent meeting of the Vancouver. Family ~aw Section, Derek Fmall of the Legal Services Branch of the Ministry of the Attorney General, Province of B.C. and Alison MacLennan, Q.C. discussed t~e work being done on these chtld support guidelines. The present system of decision making around the levels of child support payable has been criticized in three main respects: The ~evels of sl!pport are inadequate m companson to the real costs of raising a child; there is a wide divergence and inconsistency in amounts awarded for families of similar needs and means路 and it is costly to have the level ~f chlld support determined. All studies on the implementation of the Divorce Act, 1985 have found that the poverty level of women and children is inordi-
nately high after divorce. Twothirds of single parent families fall below the poverty line. Conversely, only 18 per cent of men following divorce, fall below th~ poverty line. The National Committee has reviewed the area and has found a ~eat dea~ of complexity in the Issue, callmg for public consultation. The Comrni ttee' s objectives are to yield adequate levels of child support payable, using an objective method that is also flexible, but is inexpensive to administer, and understandable to the lay person. The Cornrni ttee has identified three options for the determination of child support levels; 1) the status quo method (It is felt that the advantage of the current system is its flexibility and responsiveness to individual circumstances.) 2) the status quo with courts having data regarding the real cost of raising a child made available to them. 3) providing guidelines for the support of children with a numeric formula (This option for determining child support levels is used throughout the U.S., Australia and Sweden.) Some policy issues that must be addressed in these guidelines are: Should therealwaysbeanaward, even if it is nominal, simply to reserve rights? To what extent should the payor's individual expenses be a factor in the determination? In calculating the income of parents, what should be included / excluded as "income"? Should assets be liquidated to provide funds for child support? In the circumstance of multiple families should all children involved be considered equally? C?n the iss_ue '?f the implementation of gmdehnes, the major policy question is whether they are to be advisory in nature, presumptive in force and effect, or mandatory.D
You will see a reference to the number of the Bill (First Reading Bill Number) when it was introduced into the House. This number may be different from the chapter number of the new Act which is quoted after the title of the Act and which is the proper citation for the Act. The First Reading Bill Number has been given to you to make it easier for you to note up the Bills you may have in your library. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided to you in this article but the information should not be relied upon. Lawyers should refer to the specific legislative or regulatory provision.
ACTS IN FORCE Forest Amendment Act, 1991, S.B.C. 1991, c.ll, First Reading Bill Number 13, inter alia excludes woodlot licences from the "major licence" category and allows different treatment under the regulations. section 1 to 3 of the Act in force March 27, 1992
Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act, 1990, S.B.C. 1990, c.57, amends the Dyke Maintenance Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c.99, adding to the definition of "dyking authority" in s.1, a public authority designated by the minister as having any responsibility for maintenance of a dyke other than a private dyke. section 7 of the Act in force April 9, 1992
International Sale of Goods Act, S.B.C. 1990, c.20, requires the Attorney General to request the government of Canada to declare that the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, except Article 1(1)(b), extend to British Columbia. The Convention governs contracts for the international sale of goods between parties whose places of business are in different Contracting States and provides rules for formation of a contract and obligations of buyers and sellers. (Note: Bill 37, the Attorney General Statutes Amendment Act, 1992 would amend the Act to delete the reservation of Article 1(1)(b), so that the Convention would also apply where the rules of private international law lead to the application of the law of the contracting state.) in force May 1, 1992; Convention in force in British Columbia May 1, 1992
Justice Reform Statutes Amendment Act, 1989, S.B.C. 1989, c.30 amends s.10 of the Evidence Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c.l16, by adding s.10(1.1), providing that the rules in s.lO and 11 of the Act dealing with evidence of experts and testimony of experts do not apply to a tribunal, commission,
board or other similar body which enacts its own rules in this regard and where there is a conflict between any such rules and s.10 or 11 of the Act, those rules apply. section 10(b) of the Act in force June 1, 1992
At the time of writing this column, the following bills had received third reading in the legislature, but had not yet received royal assent. These bills will come into force on royal assent, and be effective as of the dates indicated. Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology Statutes Amendment Act, 1992, First Reading Bill Number 2, amends the (a) Accountants (Management) Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c.3, changing the designation used by members of the society from Registered Industrial Accountant (R.I.A.) to Certified Management Accountant or Comptable en Management Accredite (C.M.A. ), (b) Apprenticeship Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c.l7, allowing the board to impose a fee when a person is granted an exemption from the regulations under s.23(2), (c) College and Institute Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c.53, s.66, deleting the requirement that each college or institute report to the minister every 5 years and substituting a require ment to maintain ongoing planning and evaluation processes and report to the minister on request, and (d) University Foundations Act, S.B.C. 1987, c.SO, adding s.1(2.1), providing that the council appointed under the University of Northern British Columbia Act is included in the term "board of governors" under the Act; and repeals the British Columbia Association of Colleges Incorporation Act, S.B.C. 1976, c.57,
Legislative Update (continued) and transfers the assets, liabilities and responsibilities of the Association to the Advanced Education Council of British Columbia. in force on royal assent
Taxpayer Protection Repeal Act, First Reading Bill Number 3, repeals the Taxpayer Protection Act, S.B.C. 1991, c.6, which froze tax rates under certain specified acts from January 30, 1991 to March 31, 1994 and prohibited the introduction of new taxes during that period.
(i) Tobacco Tax Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c.404, changing the indexed formulas for taxes on cigarettes and tobacco products other than cigarettes and cigars to a flat rate tax; and
repeals the Low Interest Loan Assistance Revolving Fund Act, S.B.C. 1985, c.44, the Privatization Benefits Fund Act, S.B.C. 1988, c.23 and the Transportation Capital Funding Act, S.B.C. 1990. c.73. sections 1, 3, 4, 6, 7-15, 19-21 of the Act in force end of March, 1992; sections 2, 16-18 of the Act in force March 27, 1992; section 5 of the Act in force Apri11, 1992
in force December 31, 1991
Budget Measures Implementation Act, 1992, First Reading Bill Number 4, discontinues certain special accounts, amends the (a) British Columbia Transit Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c.421, allowing the Vancouver Regional Transit Commission to make a regulation for a period shorter than its 1992/93 fiscal year and extend the existing regulation if necessary, (b)
Industrial Development Incentive Act,
S.B.C. 1985, c.43, repealing s.4 and 6(2)(b) which allowed the minister to make loans for the construction or expansion of tourist facilities, (c) Insurance for Crops Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c.202, repealing s.S, which allowed for payments from the consolidated revenue fund for crop insurance schemes, (d) Insurance Premium Tax Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c.205, increasing the tax on premiums payable by an insurer other than a taxable insurer pursuant to s.3.1 from 5% to 7%, (e) Land Title Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c.219, repealing Part 19, consequential to the discontinuance of the Land Titles Survey special account, (f) Lottery Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c.249 and Lottery Corporation Act,路S.B.C. 1985, c.SO, consequential to the discontinuance of the Lottery Fund special account,
Special Accounts Appropriation and Control Act, S.B.C. 1988, c.26 and Special Appropriations Act, S.B.C. 1982, c.40, consequential to (g)
the discontinuance of the special accounts, (h) Sustainable Environment Fund Act, S.B.C. 1990, c.27, deleting references in the Act to Ministry of Forests programs and allowing the Lieutenant Governor in Council to prescribe additional revenue for the fund, and
Income Tax Amendment Act, 1992, First Reading Bill Number 5, amends the Income Tax Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c.190 (a) as to s.3, increasing the individual income tax rate to 52% for 1992 and 52.5% for 1993 and subsequent years, (b) adding s.3.4, enacting a surtax on income earners earning above a certain level for 1992 and subsequent years, (c) repealing s.4.1 and 65, which allowed for a dividend credit, and which was never in force, (d) as to s.4.2, deferring the phase out of the renter's credit until1993, (e) as to s.S, raising the corporate income tax rate to 16%, (f) as to s.7, raising the small business income tax rate to 10%,
(g) repealing s.7.2, providing for the small business employment tax deduction and s.8.2, providing for the B.C. housing and employment development bond tax credit, and (h) adding s.8.72, providing for calculations of tax payable by corporations whose taxation years straddle January 1, 1992. Act in force January 1,1992 except section 5(b), which will be in force effective january 1, 1991
Motor Fuel Tax Amendment Act, 1992, First Reading Bill Number 8, amends the Motor Fuel Tax Act, S.B.C. 1985, c.76, replacing the current indexed formula for calculation of tax on various types of motor fuel with fixed rates and increasing the annual maximum of the tax rebate to handicapped persons from $200 to $300. in force April1, 1992
Legislative Update (continued) Barbers and Hairdressers Statutes Amendment Act, 1992, First Reading Bill Number 22, amends the (a) Barbers Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c.25, removing the requirement that a person applying as a member of the association produce a medical certificate stating that the person is free from inJectious and contagious diseases and changing the requirement that the applicant submit evidence that he is of "good moral character" to "good character", and (b) Hairdressers Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c.159 in the same manner as the Barbers Act.
Land Title Act, B.C. Reg 334/79, the Land Title Act Regulation is amended as to s.2(1) and 2(3), adding a surcharge of $1 on computer assisted title searches from April 15, 1992 to March 31, 1994. B.C. Reg 81/92 effective April15, 1992
Company Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c.59, the Second Schedule is amended effective April 14, 1992 by deleting Form 2A, a form of memorand urn for an insurance company and the Third Schedule is amended effective May 1, 1992 to increase fees for (a) change of name from $75 to $100,
in force on royal assent
(b) certificate of true copy or extract from $20 to $25, and
REGULATIONS TO NOTE Hospital Act, B.C. Reg 289/73, the Hospital Act Regulations, Hospital Insurance Act, B.C. Reg 25/61, the Hospital Insurance Act Regulations and Medical Service Act, B.C. Reg 144/68, the Medical Service Act Regulations, are amended to ensure that hospitals listed in Schedule A to the Hospital Insurance Act Regulations provide access to abortion services to qualified persons and to confirm that an abortion is an insured service. B.C. Reg 69/92, 70/92 and 71/92 effective March 20, 1992
Health Act, B.C. Reg 142/59, the Sanitary Regulations is amended as to s.37, deleting the procedure to be followed by a tenant who believes the water supplied to leased premises is unwholesome and substituting a provision prohibiting a landlord from renting a dwelling which is not connected to a waterworks system unless he can provide the tenant with a supply of safe and potable water for domestic purposes. B.C. Reg 79/92 effective April1, 1992
Offence Act, B.C. Reg 422/90, the Offence Act Forms Regulation is amended, prescribing new Forms A, A.1, A.2, A.3 and A.4 for violation tickets. B.C. Reg 116/92 effective April 2, 1992
Please note, the Violation Ticket Administration Regulation B.C. Reg 423/90 and the Violation Ticket Fines Regulation B.C. Reg 434/90 were amended, however space does not allow a description of the amendments. See B.C. Regs 88/92, 89/92, 90/92 effective March 27, 1992 and 140/92, 141/92, 142/92, 150/ 92 and 151/92 effective April15, 1992.
(c) searches conducted by government personnel from $8 to $10, and deleting references to mortgage registration. B.C. Reg 138/92 effective April14, 1992 and B.C. Reg 96/92 effective May 1, 1992
Personal Property Security Act, B.C. Reg 279/90, the Personal Property Security Regulation, Schedule 5, is amended to (a) increase processing fees from $3 to $5, (b) increase the fee for a search by government personnel from $8 to $10, and (c) increase the fee for certification of a document from $20 to $25. B.C. Reg 118/92 effective May 1, 1992
Cooperative Association Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c.66, Schedule E, Partnership Act, B.C. Reg 524/78, the Partnership Regulation and Society Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c.390, Schedule C, are amended to increase fees for certain registry services. B.C. Reg 97/92, 117/92 and 120/92 effective May 1, 1992
INTRODUCTORY BILLS TO NOTE At the time of writing this column, the following bills had been introduced in the legislature, but had not yet progressed beyond first reading. This report is a selection of Introductory Bills that may be of interest to practitioners, and does not include all Introductory Bills. Corporation Capital Tax Act, First Reading Bill Number 6, repeals the Corporation Capital Tax Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c.69, and provides for a capital tax payable by all corporations which have a per-
Legislative Update (continued) manent establishment in British Columbia and which have a paid up capital of $1 million or greater or are part of a group of associated companies with aggregate total paid up capital of $1 million or greater. A few limited exceptions apply. The Act will be effective April1, 1992 upon royal assent. Home Owner Grant Amendment Act, 1992, First Reading Bill Number 7, amends the Home Owner Grant Act, S.B.C. 1980, c.18, eliminating the supplemental grant and increasing the basic home owner grant. The Act will be effective January 1, 1992 upon royal assent. Social Service Tax Amendment Act, 1992, First Reading Bill Number 9, amends the Social Service Tax Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c.388, by extending the Act to cover telecommunication and cable television services, extending the tax on aircraft used in commercial carriage of passengers and goods to aircraft used for any commercial purpose, and providing for the payment of a 6% tax on the purchase price of legal services, including the following provisions
(a) s.1(1) of the Act is amended to add a definition of "legal services", which includes services coming within the meaning of the practice of law under the Legal Profession Act, services described in s.15 of the Notaries Act and services prescribed as legal services by regulation, but does not include services provided by a person to that person's employer in the course of employment, (b) s.2.01 is added to impose a 6% tax on legal services payable by the purchaser where the purchaser or recipient resides, ordinarily resides or carries on business in British Columbia, whether the services are provided inside or outside the province, unless the legal services have no connection to British Columbia other than the fact that the purchaser or recipient resides, ordinarily resides or carries on business there or that the legal services are provided there or both. The tax is also payable if neither the purchaser nor the recipient resides, ordinarily resides or carries on business in the province, if those services relate to one or more of the following: (i) real property situated in British Columbia, tangible personal property, as defined, that is ordinarily situated or is to be delivered to British Columbia, (ii)
(iii) a court or administrative proceeding in British Columbia, (iv) an incorporation or registration as an extraprovincial company or society under the Company Act or the Society Act, or (v) another matter substantially connected to British Columbia that is prescribed as being included. The tax does not apply to legal aid services. (c) s.23 of the Act is amended to allow court injunctions to be obtained to prevent a person who is not registered as a vendor from providing taxable legal services, (d) s.37(2) of the Act is amended to allow the Lieutenant Governor in Council to make regulations prescribing legally related services as legal services, excluding some fees and charges from the purchase price of legal services, prescribing specified disbursements to be included in the purchase price, prescribing matters that have a substantial connection to British Columbia in relation to which tax will be payable, exempting certain legal services and exempting certain classes of persons from the tax, and (e) a transitional provision is made relating to legal services in progress on April30, 1992. Upon royal assent, sections 1, 3-5, and 7-9 of the Act will be effective April1, 1992, section 15 of the Act will be effective May 5, 1983 andrepealed March 31, 1992 and sections 2, 6, 10-14 and 16 of the Act (legal services) will be effective June 1, 1992. Enforcement of Canadian Judgments Act, First Reading Bill Number 21, provides a new mechanism for enforcing judgments from other provinces or territories of Canada. The Bill implements recommendations made by the Law Reform Commission of British Columbia in its Report on the Uniform Enforcement of Canadian Judgments Act (LRC 122, January 1992). The Uniform Law Conference of Canada prepared draft legislation which embodied the notion of "full faith and credit" in the enforcement of judgments between the provinces and territories of Canada. This legislation provided that as a rule, a creditor seeking to enforce a judgment from a province or territory could register the judgment in the province where he or she was seeking enforcement and would not meet with any procedural barriers except those which govern the enforcement of
Legislative Update (continued) judgments in the local courts. The judgment would be registerable whether or not the province in which judgment was granted had enacted similar enforcement legislation. Bill 21 enacts, with some minor changes, this legislation, the Uniform Enforcement of Judgments Act. The Bill provides (a) "Canadian judgments" are registerable. These are defined to mean a judgment or order made in a civil proceeding by a court of another Canadian province or territory. It also includes certain kinds of deemed judgments (those made by tribunals in the exercise of judicial functions that are enforceable as judgments in the province or territory from which they originated), and also orders made in the course of a criminal proceeding in favour of victims of crime (Criminal Code s.725 and 726), (b) a Canadian judgment may be registered for the purpose of enforcing the payment of money provided that the judgment is not interim or provisional, for the payment of a sum which is in the monetary jurisdiction of the Provincial Court under the Small Claims Act, for maintenance and support or a penalty or fine for committing an offence, (c) a Canadian judgment which also provides for matters other than payment of money may be registered, but the registration is only effective in respect of the pay ment of money provisions of the judgment, (d) when a Canadian judgment has been registered, it may be enforced as if it were a judgment of the British Columbia Supreme Court, with the same remedies and limitations on enforcement. The limitation period for registration is the earlier of 10 years from the date of judgment or the limitation period for enforcement in the originating jurisdiction. The Supreme Court may make an order staying or limiting enforcement for specific and limited reasons for example where the debtor is taking steps to obtain relief in the originating jurisdiction. The Bill specifically abrogates the common law rules, so that the B.C. court cannot stay or limit enforcement on the grounds that the originating court lacked jurisdiction, that a B.C. court would have come to a different decision based on the facts or law or exercise of discretion or that there was a defect in the process. The debtor must seek relief in the place where the judgment was made. There is provision however for compensation in
the event of enforcement proceedings resulting from wrongful registration. The Bill contains other provisions to ensure its fairness and workability and provides consequential amendments to the Court Order Enforcement Act, the Court Rules Act, and the Limitation Act. It will apply to a Canadian judgment made in a proceeding commenced after the Act comes into force or commenced before the Act comes into force if the judgment debtor took part in the proceeding. The Act will be brought into force by regulation.
Property Purchase Tax Amendment Act, 1992, First Reading Bill Number 25, amends the Property Purchase Tax Act, S.B.C. 1987, c.15, changing the name of the Act to the Property Transfer Tax Act and (a) as to s.1(1), amending the definition of "fair market value" to provide for property interests that are transferred when companies are amalgamated and amending the definition of "taxable transaction" to add a transfer of a charge as a taxable transfer when companies are amalgamated, and (b) as to s.3.1, amending the definition of "eligible transferee" to clarify that the indiVidual who applies for a tax credit under this section must be a person to whom land is transferred under a taxable transaction, providing that the tax credit is available in relation to a parcel of land on which there is more than one principal residence if the specified requirements are met and allowing purchasers to change their financing without having to repay the tax credit; and making consequential amendments to the British Columbia Railway Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c.38, Hydro and Power Authority Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c.188, Land Title Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c.219 and Municipal Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c.290. The Act will be brought into force by regulation.
Attorney General Statutes Amendment Act, 1992, First Reading Bill Number 37, amends the (a) Commercial Arbitration Act, S.B.C. 1986, c.3 as to s.31.1, by adding the provision that no court shall intervene in matters governed by the Act except as provided in the Act, (b) Court of Appeal Act, S.B.C. 1982, c.7, making a housekeeping amendment, consolidating and clarifying the provisions dealing with leave to appeal,
Legislative Update (continued) (c) Evidence Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c.116, permitting constables who hold the rank of corporal or higher or who occupy the position of detachment commander to be commissioners for taking affidavits in British Columbia, (d) Expropriation Act, S.B.C. 1987, c.23, clarifying the provisions of s.47 dealing with advance payment of costs and providing for the appointment of a vice-chair of the Expropriation Compensation Board, (e) International Commercial Arbitration Act, S.B.C. 1986, c.14, making a housekeeping amendment to s.S(b),
(f) International Sale of Goods Act, S.B.C. 1990, c.20, deleting the reservation of Article 1(1)(b), so that the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods applies where the rules of private international law lead to the application of
the law of the contracting state, (g) Offence Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c.305, making some clarifying amendments to s.14 and 14.1 dealing with violation tickets and providing that the Provincial Court has jurisdiction to try, determine and adjudge proceedings relating to violation tickets, (h) Parole Act, S.B.C. 1989, c.76, providing that the executive director of the Board of Parole shall be the vice-chair and a full-time member of the board, and (i) Sheriff Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c.386, clarifying that a bailiff appointed under s.2.1(1) may not execute orders for the arrest of individuals.
Section 1-13 and 17-19 of the Act will be brought into force by regulation. Section 14-16 of the Act (Offence Act) will be in force on royal assent.
More on post-judgment interest provisions In the March issue of BarTalk, we reported that the calculation of post-judgment interest is now governed by the provisions of the Court Order Interest Amendment Act 1982, which provides for an annual rate of interest equal to the prime lending rate of the government's banker. Interest during the first
six months of the year is calculated at the rate as of January 1 and during the last six months at the rate as at July 1. TheCanadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is currently the government's banker, and its prime rate on January 1 of this year was eight per cent. Accordingly, the post-judgment interest
rate until June 30 this year will be eight per cent. We have been advised that thereafter, the appropriate rate will be communicated by a government representative to the Master Registrar and that the rate will be available from the registrar of each court.D
Risk management workshops: avoiding claims and complaints in conveyancing A pilot project in avoiding claims and complaints in conveyencing has been developed by the Law Society, PLI, and the Continuing Legal Education Society to address risk management in specific practice areas. Concern about claims and complaints isn't new to lawyers who do conveyancing. In fact, most of us who have done this kind of work are tired of hearing the same old gloom and doom story. When the Law Society, PLI, and CLE started looking at the issue, they found that most of the prob~ lems weren't related to sophisticated legal problems or complex
transactions. The problems were simple and easy to correct. What has to be done is to identify the problems, put them all together in a list, and tell lawyers what they are and how to correct them. that is what the course is about. For example, do you advise your clients to obtain a survey certificate? And if they refuse, do you have proof? This is one of the problems, and it's surprising how often this little problem has resulted in claims. At the course you will receive a list of the problems in a form that you can take back to your office and distribute to your staff so
you're not the only one informed. You also will look at some complex problems that don't arise that often, but when they do, they're expensive. In addition, you will rook at how you can improve your customer service. The course is designed to be delivered to groups of 20 with an experienced conveyancing lawyer to facilitate. The first offering will take place in Vancouver on June 17. The program will be offered "live" around the province during the summer and fall. To register, contact CLE at 6693544 or 1-800-663-0437. D
1Oth loss prevention seminar set for June 11 The 1Oth Annual Loss Prevention Seminarisabsolutely built around the B.C. experience creating a current and relevant seminar, says Mike Mangan, Law Society Practice Standards Ad visor and coordinator of the seminar. "We've incorporated feedback received from previous seminars
and focused on a tightly packaged and punchy program that will be only two hours long. B.C. counsel will talk about the most common claims against B.C. lawyers and defence counsel will offer simple, practical tips for avoiding typical claims and complaints," adds Mangan.
The Loss Prevention Seminar, which is offered at no costto members and includes a $100 credit toward 1993insurancepremiums, is an opportunity to meet other lawyers and to talk about claims issues in specific practice areas. The two-hour session won't eat up an entire day and will allow members to learn about claims without having to spend most of their day away from their practice. Two sessions are scheduled for member's convenience. On June 11, the 9:00 a.m. session will be held at the Hotel Vancouver. The 2:00 p.m. session will be held in Surrey at theSheraton Inn Guildford.
The 4th Annual Barry Sullivan Law Cup Public Speaking Competition was held at the Vancouver Law Courts Open House on Apri/26, 1992. Entrants from around the province competed. Brandee Venne (second from left) of Clilremont Secondary in Victoria was chosen as the best speaker. First runner-up was Shayleen Dedora (right) from Mount Baker Secondary in Cranbrook, Second runner-up was SamZirnhelt(second from right) from Columnetza Secondary in Williams Lake, and Third runner-up was Jonathan Gray (left) from Britannia Secondary in Vancouver.
Reports Available Report
Environmental Action Plan for British Columbia
Ministry of Environment (1-800-665-7120)
Reforming Environmental Assessment in British Columbia
Ministry of Environment (1-800-665-7120)
New Approaches to Environmental Protection in B.C.
Ministry of Environment (1-800-665-7120)
Ensuring Clean Air: Developing a Clean Air Strategy for British Columbia
B.C. Environment- Air Resources Branch (387-9933)
Report of the Task Force on Public Order
Ministry of Attorney General -Communications and Public Affairs (Darleen Snider 387-5818)
The Five-year Forest and Range Resource Program 19921997 :
Ministry of Forests Public Affairs Branch (387-5255).
"Another new feature initiated at member's request will bean edited video repeat of the program that will travel with a 'live body' to 14 different locations throughout the province," says Mangan. The edited videotape will be no more than an hour in length and Mangan or a PLI staff member will be onhand totalktolawyersviewing the videotape and to answer specific questions regarding claims in their area. The program will open with Sue Forbes, senior counsel with PLI Claims Management Inc., briefly describing how to identify and report claims and potential claims and how to avoid coverage problems. PLI counsel will then focus on four "hot claims topics" including limitations for litigators and solicitors, real estate, wills and estates and corporate work. They will tell you about the kinds of things giving rise to claims in these areas and provide practice advice and tips to avoid claims. CameronMowattofPLiwillidentify common "client communication" problemsresultinginclaims. Mangan will end the session with advice on what to do if you're the subject of a complaint to the Law Society. Completeinformationregarding the seminar is detailed in the Loss Prevention brochure prepared with the assistance of the Continuing Legal Education Society and distributed to all members. D
Variety of factors influence career satisfaction hours and firm politics cause stress on many lawyers. He noted that in his opinion lawyers in larger firms may be feeling a "loss of control" in that the practice of law may be perceived as more of a business rather than a profession. He noted that some of these people are moving to smaller firms in order to gain a sense of control in their practice. After group discussions, the following ideas were forwarded for consideration to improve career satisfaction: Fiona Hunter, John Waddell and Doug Robinson discuss career satisfaction issues at the recent Provincial Council Meeting. Also on the panel was Ron Usher.
John Waddell introduced panelists Doug Robinson, Fiona Hunter and Ron Usher to Provincial Council members on April 11. They discussed career satisfaction in the profession. Doug Robinson, whose firm, Lawson Lundell, had recently held a retreat on the subject, pointed out the client loyalty has eroded and that the speed of processing information via FAX etc., continues to create stress and malaise in larger firms. However, he believes that the practice of law is more exciting today. Fiona Hunter brought the viewpoint of a small firm where in fact her partner is her spouse as well. She stated that they try to balance law practice and family commitments to ensure a hal-
La Liberte nominated to National Executive Terry La Liberte was acclaimed as the B.C. branch nominee for the third B.C. position on National Executive, the other two positions being held by J.J. Camp and the 1992/ 93 Secretary-Treasurer of the B.C. Branch to be elected in June 1992. D
ance in their professional and personal lives. Hunter said that they each spend three days a week at the office and the rest of the week is devoted to family and home. She says that they work harder when at the office as they are more focused on the problems at hand. She recognizes that scheduling appointments and other legal business can be a problem and estimates that their earnings are about 80 per cent of a full-time commitment. She also said that while "lawyers want to help people", learning to say "no" has assisted in managing her workload. Ron Usher added his comments that in his consulting work he has found many lawyers who are satisfied with the practice of law. He recognizes that long
• support those lawyers who are experimenting with alternate practice; • provide more training for administrative matters; • encourage collegiality and discourage adversarial pressure from clients to perform and 11
• publicize options available in administrative and practice areas; • publicize noteworthy contributions of the Bar to the advancement of the profession and the public; • provide more support to sole practitioners who often feel isolated; • discourage immediate problem solving and don't respond to FAX messages demanding instantaneous solutions; and • B.C. Branch to focus on assisting lawyers to maintain a healthy image of themselves and a pride in the profession. D
Employment Registry offers free service The B.C. Branch maintains a free employment registry file. Law firms seeking staff can register their requirements and lawyers looking for work may also register -- free of charge. The Employment Registry can be perused at the Branch office. Students seek-
ing articles have found the Registry to be a valuable source of information. If you have a position for an articled student or are seeking an articled student, contact the B.C. Branch office at 687, 3404forfurtherinformationabout the Employment Registry. D
Public benefits from wide variety of provincial Law Day activities
People's Law School celebrates 20th anniversary Vancouver's People's Law School, the first public legal education group in Canada, continues at the forefront of Canadian public legal education as it celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Tony Palmer, chairman of the school which serves as a resource of legal information for people throughout B.C., says the People's Law School had "very humble" beginnings. "During the time I have been involved, I have seen the school gain a lot of respect and recognition for the wonderful work it does and I am very pleased to be chairman of this anniversary year." Palmer points out that the school does more than hold classes in the traditional sense. ''We give people from throughout the province access to informational pamphlets or videotapes on a wide variety of subjects." Gordon Hardy, executive director of the People's Law School, says the school has expanded its role over the years. "For example, we're very interested in emerging topics of legal concern like elder abuse and family violence in the multicultural community." Serving B.C.'s growing immigrant community has become increasingly important. "These people, as part of their adaptation, need information as to what is expected of them as law abiding citizens," Hardy says. As many as 500 lawyers throughout the province volunteer their time to help teach one-night classes on popular legal topics. Mortgages and buying a home, starting a small business, and preparing a will are among topics in demand. Don Rosenbloom is one lawyer who has been giving classes for
Please turn to page 16
Law Day activities in British Columbia were celebrated throughout April and May and focused on The Charter- Ten Years After. Highlights of some of the programs in more than 25 communities throughout B.C. include:
R. v. JOrdan Westerland, a mock trial based on an actual "date rape" trial was written by Judge Barnett and Law 12 teacher Sandra Hawkins in Williams Lake. Williams Lake continues to provide a leadership role in mock trials that are timely and of particular interest to senior students. Enderby also produced the same mocktri~.
Prince George saw "Marie An to- ~ ~-:t;_..;_......,:..:......_ _ _.....,........,_ ___,~ inette" brought to justice in an Law Day Chair Lynn McBride (second authentic tumbrel built by infrom left ), of Harper Grey Easton, mates of the minimum security welcomes student visitors and an RCMP prison. Nazko Reserve featured a native blessing and discussion on the justice system before mounting the "Three Little Pigs" mock trial. Kelowna featured mock trials and legal services to local community services agencies. Lawyers in the a.rea were actors in the production "Twelve Angry Jurors." Kamloops reported some 1,200 open house visitors who saw police dog demonstrations, mock trials, and the Kamloops Bar featured in a fairy tale mock trial. Maple Ridge, Chilliwack, and Prince Rupert hosted inaugural open houses in their respective court houses. Events at these locations included tours, mock trials and justice-related displays. Nelson opened its court house doors to the public again this year. Fort St. John's North Peace River Secondary School mounted a mock trial with justice-related displays in the high school lobby. Local lawyers served free hot dogs and refreshments to the public. Victoria'sopenhouseatthecourts featured mock trials, dispute resolution presententations, mock
officer to the 10th Annual Law Day activities in Vancouver. Special thank you is extended to the hard working Law Day committee members and volunteers throughout the province who organized open houses and programs for Law Day '92!
sentencing, and a variety of displays. Vancouver's Open Houses at the Vancouver Law Courts and Provincial Court were well attended. The new feature of "free legal advice" provided 15-minute consultations to the public regarding their legal question. Presentations on rental discrimination, sexual harassment, gender equality and immigration were well received. The Peter Pan mock trial performed in English and French to standing roomonly crowds . A wide variety of justice-related organizations provided the public with information and brochures on their activities and programs. The 4th Annual Barry Sullivan Law Cup Pub lieS peaking Competition featured finalists from the entire province and was a highlight of the Vancouver Law Courts open house.D
Registry questions answered by Joanne Puwer Manager Registrar Program
Q Under Rule 60(22) who can search matrimonial files? A Under Rule 60(22), the categories of persons who may search a matrimonial file has been expanded to include a solicitor, a party or a person authorized by a party. The solicitor need not be representative of either party, simply a member of the Law Society. Where persons other than solicitors are authorized by a party to the proceeding, they must satisfy the registry staff that they are duly authorized. Rule 60(24) limits the individuals who may search a separation agreement filed under section 74.1 of the Family Relations Act to the parties or their solicitors. Separation agreements filed under Section 74.1 of the Family Relations Act should be placed in an appropriately marked envelope within the Court file.
Q Would you allow a full day on items 16 and 17 in Appendix B if the matter was adjourned from 10:00 to 2:00p.m. as no judge was available?
A Half a day or one day, maximum. Preamble in Appendix B4(4). Consider how close to the date of trial it was adjourned, settled, etc, length of trial, and time expended on preparation. Q Does the affidavit of service in a divorce action have to attach a photocopy of the petition as an exhibit?
A Yes. See Rule 60(38) and refer to forin 102.
Q Will the tariff be amended to provide for G.S.T. on the items? A A proposal is being considered by the Rules Revision Committee. Q What is meant by the amendment under item #1, in increasing the maximum to 20?
A Same principles apply as before, only the maximum has changed. (This was the most frequently asked question under the amendment by members of the legal profession.) Q What is being allowed for fax charges and photocopies as disbursements on an assessment?
A 16- Preparation allow a half day. 17- Attendance allow one day. (The Registrar may inquire if down time was put to good use, then allow accordingly.)
Q When appearances are received by fax, what is the procedure to follow?
The Maritime Section of the B.C. Branch is concerned about the confusing state of the law relating to the prescribed forms for registrations of Bills of Sale and Mortgagers with the federal Registries of Shipping.
A Receive fax, date stamp and place in the file. The confirmation for the party sending will be their transmission report. If counsel require a filed copy they will have to make a specific request and pay the appropriate photvcopy fees. Q If a trial does not proceed what would you allow under item 24?
corning or outgoing for fax; fifteen cents per page for photocopies.
Q Has the Post-Judgment rate been changed? A Effective Aprill, 1992, the rate for post-Judgment interest has been amended by the repeal of certain provisions of the Interest Act (Canada). Interest will now run at an annual interest rate equal to the prime lending rate of the banker to the government. Interest for the first six months of the year is calculated as at January 1; for the last six months of the year interest is calculated as at July 1st. It is important that you remember this in order to avoid confusing Post-Judgment interest with Pre-Judgment interest, which is set every three (3) months. You will note the current effective rate for Post-Judgment interest is 8%; the current allowable rate for Pre-Judgment interest is 6%. Judgments pronounced prior to Aprill, 1992, will attract interest at the previously set Post-Judgment rate of 5% up to Aprill, 1992. After this the current Post-Judgement rate of 8% will apply until June 30,1992.0
Twenty cents per page in-
New ship's registration forms prescribed last November
In November 1991, the federal cabinet made Order.in Council P.C. 1991-2343 dates November 28, 1991, and registered as Regulation SOR/91-689, which prescribed new ship's registration forms for registration, sale and mortgaging of ships and for 路
transfer of the registry of ships. The new forms are still not available in the registries, and solicitors, many of whom have been unaware of the change, have been using the old forms which were replaced by the November regulation. The Maritime Section has passed a resolution requesting the federal government to enact legislation which will retroactively validate the us.e of the old.forms until the new forms are available for use. 0
CLE implements reorganizational plan submitted by Tnuli L. Brown, Q.C., Chair CLE Board and William J. Duncan, CLE Acting Executive Director
We informed you several times of CLE's financial difficulty. Due mainly to the recession, but also to a variety of factors such as increased competition, more in-house training, saturation of the market, etc., CLE found itself in a great deal of financial difficulty. Sales were down generally and, in particular, course registrations had dropped by about 30 per cent. To correct this situation, we came up with a plan to reorganize CLE. Unfortunately, part of this plan involved some staff layoffs. As well, the plan involved tightening up on expenses, reviewing contracts with major suppliers and making price adjustments. Although we feel the plan will not have.a great impact on this fiscal year's deficit, we believe our organization will start to make a profit again in the next fiscal year. This was only one-half of our problem however.
The other half of our problem was cash flow. Eighteen months of deficit had left us with a very low cash position.
then CLE will come through this difficult financial situation and continue to serve the profession.
While we felt our organization would produce a positive cash flow inthe future, this could not be done quickly enough to satisfy our present cash needs. Accordingly, we approached the Law Foundation of B.C. for financial assistance and we are pleased to report that they have come through for us.
On a positive note, our difficulties have caused us to look more closely at customer service. We received many suggestions about our products and will try to respond to those suggestions.
Through a combination of early advancement of existing grants (PLTC and the Plain Language Project) and a loan on favourable terms, the Law Foundation has made enough cash available to us to bridge the situation. Without the Law Foundation's contribution we would have been in a great deal of difficulty. This does not mean that our problems are completely solved. We will have to monitor the situation very closely. However, provided our projections are reasonably accurate,
We intend to try out some different types of courses. We received good reviews on our Legal Wake Up series and will be putting on one-hour noon time, bring-your-own-lunch sessions on the new Land Title Amendments Act on May 12 in Vancouver and May 15 in Victoria. With respect to books, we are going to try to develop some different types of products besides the practice manuals. An example of this was our new Annual Review of Law & Practice. We want to respond to your needs. Thank you for your support and please let us know how we can serve your needs in the future . D
Accredited court interpreter policy begins June 1 The Ministry of the Attorney General, Court Services Branch, provides interpreters upon court order in any court and upon request in all Provincial and Supreme Court criminal and youth cases, and in all Provincial Court (Family Division) cases. A new policy, effective June 1, 1992, establishes professional standards for court interpreters, as well as a more competitive fee schedule. Court registries will retain accredited court interpreters and accredited sign language interpreters wherever possible.
The Ministry will recognize as accredited those interpreters who have
ing Association of Visual Language Interpreters of Canada (AVLIC).
a) graduated from the Court Interpreting Certificate Program of Vancouver Community College;
Each registry will maintain a list of local interpreters. Accredited interpreters will be paid more than non-accredited interpreters. In addition, (l twohour minimum payment and a cancellation fee will be in effect.
b) been certified by the Society of Translators and Interpreters of B.C. (STIBC) or a society belonging to the Canadian Translators and Interpreters Council (CITC); c) been certified as a sign language interpreter by: the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID), or the National Interpret-
The new policy responds to 1989 and 1991 resolutions of the B.C. Branch of the Canadian Bar Association. D
Fight to reverse tax
(President's Message continued from page 1)
concerns about this tax and the effect it will have on access to justice. The President and Vice-President of the B.C. Branch and the Treasurer and Deputy-Treasurer of the Law Society met with Finance MinisterOarkin Victoria on April 14 to persuade him to change his mind about this tax. Media releases were issued by both the B.C. Branch of the Canadian Bar Assoc~ation and the Law Society and direct contact made with indi'vidual journalists and reporters resulting in some media coverage in the Province, Times-Colonist and the Vancouver Sun as well as radio coverage. An information bulletin was circulated with the last BarTalk including a letter for clients to protest the tax. Leaflets about the tax were distributed by CBA members at court house open houses throughout the province on Law Day. Directly and by letter, we have contacted the leadership of many other professional, consumer and business groups to invite th~m to join with us in protesting this tax. The level of receptivity has been excellent and we have been receiving support from such groups.
A hard working committee of the Law Society and CBA have been meeting with officials of the Ministry of Finance pointing out to them problems in the imposition and administration of the tax and seeking information to assist our members to understand the application of the tax. At the direction of Provincial Council, a legal opinion was obtained from a leading constitutional lawyer in British Columbia outlining grounds for possible constitutional challenges to the tax. The Executive and Council of the Branch will decide whether to launch such a challenge by June 12. It appears that if the tax comes
into effect, there will be many problems with the interpretation
and application of the legislation. Although I am not suggesting non-compliance, I do encourage you to collect the tax only in respect of those legal services to which it clearly applies. Where there is a valid argument to be made that the tax does not apply, you should advise your client about the situation and, if necessary, consider the appropriate appeals to the Minister of Finance and totheSupremeCourtofBritish Columbia which may follow any doubtful assessment. The prospect of handling hundreds of apfeals filed by lawyers on behal of their clients may persuade even this government that this was an ill-advised tax. Besides the obvious unfairness of
this tax, the lack of consultation prior to introduction of the tax suggests that lawyers and other professions may anticipate a difficult relationship with our government over their term of office. While no amount of consultation could have made this tax on our clients acceptable to us, a less high-handled and arbitrary approach to such a serious matter would have been reassuring. To those of you who took steps to protest this tax, thanks. To those of you who wrote or called with your suggestions, thanks. Our fight to reverse this tax will continue. Wendy Baker, Q.C. President, B.C. Branch, CBA
People's Law School (continued from page 13) the entire 20 years and has seen the school grow into what it is today. "I think the People's Law School is an important community service," he says. "Ignorance of the law is no excuse in our society yet, until the school was formed, the general public had no way to learn about t':l.e law."
The People's Law School, with a staff of 12, is funded by the Law Foundation of B.C. and provincial, federal and city governments. 0
Product of the Month
Lawyers have often been criticized for failing to communicate clearly. Rosenbloom believes the legal profession has a responsibility to convey legal information to the public and points out that the school serves as an excellent platform.
Medical, life, disability, or travel/ medical insurance is available exclusively to you through the Canadian Bar Insurance Association. Created by lawyers for lawyers, you can get your quote from your CBIA agent Leo Donahue. The brochure in this issue of BarTalkprovides additional information or you can call Leo Donahueat688-8790fordetails.O
"Over the years I have found that my students are often already involved in litigation. They come in order to better understand their position and tobeabletocommunicate more effectively with their lawyers," he says.
BarTalk is published by the British Columbia Branch of the Canadian Bar Association, 504-1148 Hornby Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6Z 2C3 Telephone: (604) 687-3404 FAX: 669-9601
"Teaching at the People's Law School is very satisfying. I also teach classes at the UBC law school and have found the questions at the People's Law School are often as sop his tica ted as those at UBC."
Alistair Eagle Photography (688-8867) is the CBA (B.C. Branch) official photographer. ÂŠ Copyright the British Columbia Branch of the Canadian Bar Association-1992.