Entries by Del Elgersma

Competition, Customers and Confidential Information

Employee mobility is at an all time high. As employees look for better opportunities they are moving between jobs and employers more than ever. Many employers are concerned about losing customers and confidential information when employees leave. It is now common for employers to require new employees to sign non-competition agreements (also called restrictive covenants) […]

Employment Contracts – Are They Worth It?

With increasing payroll taxes and new human rights and employment standards regulations, it’s not easy being an employer these days. Making matters worse, whenever there is a dismissal, there is a risk that the former employee will sue. Recent court awards indicate that employers can be liable for substantial damages. In one recent BC case, […]

Legal Non-Conformity

Under the Municipal Act (since renamed the Local Government Act), municipalities may pass zoning bylaws to regulate the use and density of land and the use and location of buildings. Often the existing use of land or buildings will not conform to the requirements of these new zoning bylaws. Section 911 of the Municipal Act (formerly section 970) […]

Bank Liable for Using Unwitnessed Power of Attorney

A recent decision of the B.C. Supreme Court required a bank to pay more than $120,000 after a bank employee allowed a customer to use an improperly witnessed power of attorney to strip the bank account of an elderly woman with dementia. The case means banks have a duty to make inquiries when faced with […]

New Probate Fee Act Becomes Law

The B.C. government has passed the Probate Fee Act in response to last year’s Supreme Court of Canada decision that Ontario’s probate fees were unconstitutional. The court declared that Ontario’s probate fees were actually a tax. A tax can only be imposed by an act of the legislature, not by cabinet regulation. The Probate Fee Act retroactively confirms all […]

Homeowner Protection Act – Rules for Builders

In response to the leaky condo crisis, the B.C. government passed a new law called the Homeowner Protection Act. The Homeowner Protection Act creates the Homeowner Protection Office, and requires compulsory licensing for builders and mandatory warranty coverage on new homes. (In addition, recent regulations under the Act introduced licensing and warranty requirements for building […]

Income Splitting – New Rules

In the last federal budget, the government announced plans for a special tax to discourage income splitting with minor children. Presently, dividends paid on shares owned by minor children are taxed at the child’s marginal tax rate. The new rules introduced in the budget will impose tax at the top marginal rate on certain types […]

FAQs About B.C.’s Builders Lien Act

B.C.’s Builders Lien Act came into force on February 1, 1998. It updated and in some cases significantly changed the law under the former Builders Lien Act. In this article we answer questions about the Act from the perspective of a landlord, an owner building a house, a purchaser, a contractor and a lender: Q. […]

Buyer Must Pay GST on Real Estate

A buyer must pay the GST on any taxable purchase, even if the parties did not think that any GST was payable, according to a recent decision of the B.C. Supreme Court. Under the GST legislation, when GST is payable, the buyer is generally responsible to pay it, while the seller is responsible to collect […]