The new BC Societies Act

The BC government has replaced the 1977 Society Act which governs non-profits in BC with a new Societies Act, effective November 28, 2016. TRAS now has two
years to transition to the new Act. Basically, this means that we need to file an electronic copy of our constitution and by-laws with the provincial government, and our constitution and by-laws need to comply with the new Act.

Information about the new Societies Act.

Under the new Societies Act, TRAS is required to submit an electronic copy of our constitution and by-laws before November 2018. The constitution must only set out the name and purposes of the society, and the purposes must be word-for-word the same as in our existing constitution.

We’ve prepared a draft of our constitution and by-laws, revising them based on the new Act. We’re not anticipating any substantive changes. Summary:

  • Because the rising cost of postage is making it more expensive to send out mailings (like our newsletter), while it’s basically free to send emails, we’d like to distinguish between members and supporters. Members pay annual dues, receive mailings, and can vote at general meetings. Supporters are more of an informal category: they’re people who support TRAS and receive our emails, but are not members.

  • Under the new Act, TRAS is required to maintain a register of voting members, with contact information (email or mailing address). To protect the privacy of our donors, access to the register will be restricted. If a donor would like to remain completely anonymous, they can be a supporter rather than a member, because supporters are not required to be in the register of members.

  • Directors must be voting members.

  • Directors can be removed by board resolution.

  • 2/3 threshold for special resolutions to pass.

  • Notice of the annual general meeting may be by email as well as postal mail, or by posting a notice on the TRAS website at least 21 days before the meeting.

Draft constitution and draft by-laws.

If you have any comments, criticisms, or questions, please contact us at info@tras.ca. We’ll also do a presentation about the new Societies Act and the by-laws at our annual general meeting on Tuesday September 19th, 7 pm, at the TRAS office.

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