On November 6, 2013 the Government of Alberta introduced new legislation that, if passed, will repeal 24 acts and portions of legislation no longer relevant to Albertans.
The Statutes Repeal Act would repeal legislation deemed obsolete in our modern and ever-changing province. It also enacts a mechanism for the automatic review and repeal of legislation that has been unproclaimed for five years or longer.
The Act would help reduce red tape, duplication and unneeded legislation. An example is the Road Building Equipment and Machinery Act that was introduced to deal with wartime parts shortages and is not needed.
If approved, the Bill would repeal:
- Alberta Corporate Tax Amendment Act (RSA 2000 c3 (Supp));
- Alberta Personal Income Tax (Tools Credit) Amendment Act, 2001 (2001 c18);
- Alberta Wheat and Barley Test Market Act (2002 cA-37.5);
- Crop Liens Priorities Act (RSA 1980 cC-34);
- s.43 of the Financial Sector Statutes Amendment Act, 2003 (2003 c19);
- s.1 of the Gas Utilities Statutes Amendment Act, 2003 (2003 c5);
- Sched clauses (f) and (n) of the Health Disciplines Act (RSA 2000 cH-2);
- Health Facilities Review Committee Act (RSA 2000 cH-3);
- Hospitals Amendment Act (RSA 2000 c14 (Supp));
- s.2(b) of the Landlord’s Rights on Bankruptcy Act (RSA 2000 cL-5);
- Masters and Servants Act (RSA 2000 cM-7);
- ss.3(b), (d), 7, 10, 15 to 18, 24 to 27, 34 and 43 of the Metis Settlements Amendment Act, 2004; (2004 c25)
- s.2 of the Municipal Government Amendment Act (RSA 2000 c21 (Supp));
- ss.10, 11, 13, 16, 17 and 20 of the Municipal Government Amendment Act, 2002 (2002 c19);
- Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Act (RSA 2000 c23);
- Partnership Amendment Act (RSA 2000 c25 (Supp));
- Pension Fund Act (RSA 2000 cP-4);
- Road Building Machinery Equipment Act (RSA 2000 cR-18);
- ss.37 and 40 of the Securities Amendment Act (2006 c30);
- Social Care Facilities Licensing Act (RSA 2000 cS-10);
- ss.7(b) and 17(a) of the Stray Animals Amendment Act, 2005 (2005 c19);
- Wheat Board Money Trust Act (RSA 2000 cW-6);
- s.117 of the Wills and Succession Act (2010 cW-12.2); and,
- Workers’ Compensation Amendment Act (RSA 2000 c35).
Here is some further information about the legislation this Bill would repeal if passed:
Alberta Corporate Tax Amendment Act – the Alberta Corporate Tax Amendment Act would have introduced requirements for electronic filing of insurance premiums, tax returns, and capital tax returns by financial institutions. Some of these proposed amendments are no longer necessary, and others need to be reconsidered in light of subsequent changes to Alberta’s corporate tax legislation.
Alberta Personal Income Tax (Tools Credit) Amendment Act, 2001 – this unproclaimed legislation is redundant. Tradespeople already have a tool deduction from the federal government which was introduced shortly after Alberta’s bill was passed. The federal deduction automatically reduces provincial income tax payable, making the proposed provincial credit redundant.
The Wheat Board Money Trust Act – establishes a Board of Trustees to oversee the administration of a $112,000 trust created from monies received from the Government of Canada in the 1920s from surplus Canadian Wheat Board funds. The trust remains at about $120,000 and is used to provide total annual scholarships of about $5,000. The funds will be transferred to the Alberta Heritage Scholarship Fund to continue to be used to provide scholarships for students enrolled in post-secondary agriculture programs.
The Crop Liens Priorities Act – has one remaining provision which establishes a crop lien in favour of the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) as the priority recipient of any claims, liens, etc. on any amount payable to them for crop insurance. This provision is a duplication of an existing provision in the Agriculture Financial Services Act, and is not required.
Financial Sector Statutes Amendment Act, 2003 s 43 – the Act would have ensured that contribution rates for public sector pension plans were calculated without regard to solvency deficiencies, but is no longer required because it was never used.
Gas Utilities Amendment Act, 2003 s 1 – the remaining provisions in the Gas Utilities Amendment Act have remained unproclaimed since 2003 and would establish a process whereby rural gas co-operative associations could resolve to introduce a choice of providers within their service area. The length of time that has passed since this process was contemplated makes it obsolete.
Should the rural gas co-ops or government want to explore a similar option, it would be appropriate to reengage stakeholders to establish a new policy and appropriate policy tool.
Schedule clauses (f) and (n) of the Health Disciplines Act – clauses (f) and (n) in the Schedule of the Health Disciplines Act, which relate to the regulation of rehabilitation practitioners orothotists and prosthetists, have been identified for repeal. There is no longer support within the government or the professions to transfer to the self-governance model or to regulate.
Health Facilities Review Committee Act – Budget 2013 announced the disbanding of the Health Facilities Review Committee. As a result, the Health Facilities Review Committee (HFRC) Act is to be repealed to support that announcement. The committee was established under the HFRC Act in 1978 to provide an independent, external and unbiased perspective of the quality of care, treatment and standards of accommodation in health care facilities throughout Alberta. At the time the government did not have licensing, audit and inspectors monitoring compliance with health standards in health facilities across the province. Since then the Ministry of Health (and the former Ministry of Seniors) have developed compliance monitoring and licensing teams. These teams have the clinical expertise and sound knowledge to inspect, monitor and educate healthcare workers to perform best practices that align with and comply with health standards. The committee’s responsibilities now duplicate the existing process within government.
Hospitals Amendment Act – this was assented in 1996 but never proclaimed, and originally identified for repeal in 2007. However, the Act that would have repealed it was never proclaimed into force.
Landlord’s Rights on Bankruptcy Act s.2(b) – this deals with a subsection found to be under federal jurisdiction, and is being repealed to avoid confusion.
Masters and Servants Act – serves no purpose in the modern legal environment, as it has essentially been replaced by the Employment Standards Code.
Metis Settlements Amendment Act, 2004 – these sections included expanding the jurisdiction of the Metis Settlements Appeal Tribunal (MSAT) to include election disputes, accepting reports from the now defunct Metis Settlements Ombudsman, and establishing a Selection and Review Committee for the appointment of MSAT members. They also included allowing MSAT to make rules regarding its procedures and member conduct. They are being repealed as part of a comprehensive accountability review, the result of recent amendments to the Metis Settlements Act, and conditions in the long-term arrangement agreement with the Metis settlements.
s.2 of the Municipal Government Amendment Act – this provision, if proclaimed, would have repealed section 19 of the Municipal Government Act (MGA). However, it has been determined that section 19 is still required, as confirmed by Alberta Transportation as they continue to have the mandate for the control and management of roads within the Rocky Mountains Forest Reserve constituted under the Forest Reserves Act.
ss.10, 11, 13, 16, 17 and 20 of the Municipal Government Amendment Act, 2002 – these provisions, if proclaimed, would have amended various sections of division five “equalized assessments” of the Municipal Government Act (MGA). After internal and external review, these amendments are not required because they are not necessary, or dependent amendments have been repealed.
Section 10 This provision, if proclaimed, would have amended section 317 of the MGA. The amendment is no longer required.
Section 11 This provision, if proclaimed, would have amended the dates set out in sections 318, 319 and 320 of the MGA. The amendments are no longer required, as both the province and municipal practitioners support the dates as currently established in the MGA.
Section 13 This provision is no longer required, as both the advance of time and the changes made to the assessment complaints and appeals system under Bill 23 in 2009 rendered it unnecessary.
Section 16 This provision is no longer required as the changes were dependent on the aforementioned changes being made to Sections 317, 318, 319, and 320.
Section 17 This provision is no longer required as the changes were dependent on the aforementioned changes being made to Sections 317, 318, 319, and 320.
Section 20 This provision is no longer required as the changes were dependent on the aforementioned changes being made to Sections 317, 318, 319, and 320.
Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Act – this established requirements for qualification of mine or quarry workers and these amendments will not be proclaimed due to a change in regulatory direction.
Pension Fund Act – the Act was established in 1981 to receive and invest contributions made to the public sector pension plans, including the Members of the Legislative Assembly Pension Plan. It is being repealed because it no longer serves a purpose, as the pension fund ceased operations 10 years ago.
Partnership Amendment Act – was created in 1977 to amend the Partnership Act but never proclaimed. It was intended to authorize the collection of information about general and limited partners as it relates to regulations implemented under the Agriculture and Recreational Land Ownership Act and the Citizenship Act. As an existing provision under the Foreign Ownership of Land Regulations provides authorization to request the information contained in the Partnership Amendment Act, it is not needed.
Road Building Machinery Equipment Act – enacted during World War II to deal with wartime parts shortages, this Act is now obsolete.
Securities Amendment Act, 2006 ss 37 and 40 – since this was introduced, the provincial securities regulators, including the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC), have determined these sections should be repealed. ASC also supports this repeal in order to ensure harmonization across Canada.
Social Care Facilities Licensing Act – this Act has become obsolete over the 35 years in which it has been in force. A license is required to operate a social care facility. The definition of a “social care facility” is currently limited to “a hostel or other establishment operated to provide accommodation and maintenance for unemployed or indigent persons.” All other facilities have been removed from the definition over the years and there are no regulations under the Act.
Stray Animals Amendment Act, 2005 – the remaining two provisions in the Stray Animals Amendment Act would enable regulations prescribing the form and manner of publication of information contained in a notice when livestock have been impounded. Livestock Identification Services (LIS) who administer this program have a comprehensive set of forms and processes to notify animal owners. There is no need for this to be further regulated.
The Alberta Wheat and Barley Test Market Act – this was introduced as a Private Member’s Bill in 2001. The intent was to break the monopsony of the Canadian Wheat Board. The monopoly was ended in August 2012 by Bill C-18.
Wills and Succession Act s.117 – some Albertans and family law and estate lawyers have expressed concerns about the impact section 117 could have on matrimonial property division upon death. One issue was the need for many Albertans to redo their wills to try to comply with the law while still ensuring their wishes for the distribution of their property after death are carried out. Repealing this section will help address these individual concerns.
The Workers’ Compensation Amendment Act – this Act intended to establish deemed trusts for assessment contributions and unpaid penalties under the Act. After the Act was passed, a Supreme Court of Canada decision deemed that statutory provincial trusts do not have priority in bankruptcies. Consequently there is little benefit in proclaiming the amendment.