We have just been informed through the Federation of Community Social Services of BC that ‘Section 99’ has been removed from the Societies Act bill that will be presented to the BC Legislature.
In August 2014, the Provincial Government released The Societies Act White Paper: Draft Legislation with Annotations, announcing their intention to table a bill making significant changes to the Society Act.
Many non-profits from various sectors responded, including BoardVoice, which signed a letter opposing the changes and urged members to write or meet with government to let them know of their opposition to this clause.
On March 25, 2015 at 1pm, Minister de Jong will table a bill containing the new Societies Act in the Legislature.
The Minister informed several participants in the feedback process, including the Federation, on March 24 details on what the bill would contain:
- Regarding Section 99: The bill will not contain the draft legislation related to Section 99; this was the section that would have allowed people to seek court remedies when it was felt non-profits were not acting in the public interest.
- Regarding age of board members: The bill includes a regulatory power to allow inclusion of people 16 & 17 years old to participate as directors.
- Unalterable Provisions: The bill will allow provisions to be altered, but will also allow the bylaws to set a threshold to alter certain provisions (could make it a requirement that it be unanimous among the members).
- Member Proposals: Concerns about member proposals, and whether a 5% threshold was high enough to have something placed on an agenda at a general meeting. The threshold has not changed, but now the proposal must also have the support of 2 voting members. The directors will have the power to reject the proposal if it is the same one that has been presented over the past 2 years.
Thanks to Rick FitzZaland, Executive Director of The Federation of Community Social Services of BC, for the update.