Last week the BC Attorney General announced the final round of consultations on limitations legislation reform with the issuance of a white paper inviting public comments. The current BC Limitation Act has not been changed substantially since its enactment in 1975, whereas other jurisdictions – Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and, most recently, New Brunswick all have reformed their limitation legislation since 1999.
The press release summarizes some of the key changes recommended in the white paper:
- Moving from a variety of basic limitation periods, based on the type of legal action, to a single two-year basic limitation period for all civil claims.
- Moving from a general 30-year ultimate limitation period to a single ultimate limitation period of either 10 or 15 years. Reforms include making the legislation more certain as to when the ultimate limitation period starts to run.
- Eliminating the six-year ultimate limitation period for negligence claims against doctors, hospitals and hospital employees. All lawsuits will be governed by a single ultimate limitation period of either 10 or 15 years.
Reports by the former B.C. Law Reform Commission and its successor, the B.C. Law Institute, along with the model limitation law adopted by the Uniform Law Conference of Canada were considered in developing the white paper, as was the case with some of the amendments in the other jurisdictions mentioned.
Final comments on the white paper and draft legislation, are invited and are due by November 15. The press release states that feedback will be considered in finalizing the new limitation law.