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Posted: March 26, 2015

Land and Land Title act changes introduced

A Bill was introduced yesterday in Victoria that could allow the provincial government to close certain Crown land areas “as required,” among other changes aimed at streamlining bureaucracy.

The majority of the land mass in B.C. is Crown land.
The majority of the land mass in B.C. is Crown land.

Bill 25, introduced March 25, is intended to make it easier to regulate and manage low-impact community, recreational, industrial and commercial activity on Crown lands, streamline fees for transactions under the Land Title Act and allow non-Canadians to register as land surveyors.

Proposed Land Act changes will streamline application processes and give government authority to identify low-impact activities – like camping, organized events and aggregate testing – that are exempt from the application process. This will result in approximately 125 fewer permits issued each year.

“As well, government will be able to close areas as required and create special application requirements for sensitive or high-use areas,” details a Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations press release.

Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson
Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson

“Over the last 40 years, demand for Crown land use has dramatically increased across the province. The proposed changes to the Land Act will streamline decision-making and provide greater business certainty for clients,” said Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson.

“Also acting on our commitment to streamlining and reducing red tape, we have reduced the fee categories under the Land Title Act, for services provided by the Land Title and Survey Authority, from 25 to 10.”

Other changes include:

* Updates to the public notification guidelines to bring the legislation in line with current practice and better accommodate online technologies.

* New regulations that consolidate the amount for payment of fees, rents and royalties, making it easier for users to pay and government to collect.

Government has not substantially reviewed the Land Act in 40 years, and many of the existing provisions are out-of-date. In updating the act, the province consulted with municipalities and regional districts, First Nations, industry, user groups and conservation organizations.

Proposed changes to the Land Title Act will improve customer services by combining provincial fee categories based on common customer themes and eliminate obsolete categories. The fees are also re-calculated so the highest fees are for the most-complex services, such as those provided by the surveyor general, and the lowest fee is for the least-complex service, such as a title search, the ministry stated.

Financial institutions, notaries public, the Law Society of BC, registry agents, the Union of BC Municipalities, the Association of BC Land Surveyors and the First Nations Summit were consulted on the changes.

Proposed changes to the Land Surveyors Act will allow the Association of British Columbia Land Surveyors to register land surveyors who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents. As with other professions, many land surveyors are approaching retirement age. This change will help the Province avoid labour shortages in the future. The association sets professional standards and certifies professional land surveyors in the province.

To view a copy of the bill, visit:


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