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Emergency Communications Corporations Act

[SBC 1997] CHAPTER 47

Assented to July 30, 1997

Contents
1Definitions
2Designation of emergency communications corporation
3Purposes of emergency communications corporation
4Members and members' agreements
5Special corporate rules
6Corporation must hold transferred radio licences
7Members must pay assessed rates
8Borrowing by corporation
9Access to information
10Immunity from legal action
11Labour relations successorship
12Orders in the public interest
13Conflicts with this Act or a regulation or order under this Act
14Regulation making authority
15–17Spent

Definitions

1  In this Act:

"emergency communications corporation" means a corporation that is

(a) a company within the meaning of the Business Corporations Act, and

(b) designated as an emergency communications corporation under section 2 of this Act;

"emergency services agency" means

(a) the Royal Canadian Mounted Police,

(b) an organization operating a police force or police department providing police services to the public, including a municipal police board under the Police Act,

(c) an organization operating a fire department providing fire protection services to the public,

(d) British Columbia Emergency Health Services under the Emergency Health Services Act, and

(e) any other organization designated by regulation;

"government agency" means an agent of, or a corporation that is wholly owned by, the Provincial government, the federal government, a municipality or a regional district;

"members' agreement" means an agreement in relation to an emergency communications corporation, or a corporation that proposes to become an emergency communications corporation, between parties who are or intend to become members of the corporation or between the corporation and one or more of those parties;

"municipality" includes the City of Vancouver.

Designation of emergency communications corporation

2  The minister may, by order, designate a corporation as an emergency communications corporation if

(a) the purposes of the corporation are those required or permitted under section 3, and

(b) the minister has reviewed and approved the members' agreement for the corporation.

Purposes of emergency communications corporation

3  (1) An emergency communications corporation must have as its primary purpose the provision of emergency communications and related services to its members.

(2) An emergency communications corporation may have as additional purposes

(a) the provision of communications and related services, for public safety and public service, to municipalities, regional districts, the Provincial government, the federal government, government agencies and emergency services agencies, whether or not they are members, and

(b) any other purposes prescribed by regulation under section 14 (2) (b) for the corporation.

Members and members' agreements

4  (1) Without limiting who may be a member of an emergency communications corporation, municipalities, regional districts, emergency services agencies and the Provincial government may enter into agreements for membership in an emergency communications corporation.

(2) As limits on the authority of a municipality or regional district under subsection (1),

(a) the council or board must enter into a members' agreement by bylaw, and

(b) in the case of a regional district, it must have the authority under establishing bylaw or letters patent to provide the service to which its membership relates.

(3) A municipality or regional district may become a member of an emergency communications corporation without the approval of the Inspector of Municipalities or without authorization by regulation, and sections 185 [municipal ownership of corporations] of the Community Charterand 265[regional district ownership] of the Local Government Act do not apply.

(4) The members' agreement of an emergency communications corporation may only be amended with the approval of the minister and in accordance with that agreement.

Special corporate rules

5  (1) Section 154 (2) of the Business Corporations Act do not apply to an emergency communications corporation.

(2) Despite section 136 (1) of the Business Corporations Act, the directors of an emergency communications corporation are responsible for supervising the general management of the business and affairs of the emergency communications corporation.

(3) [Repealed 2003-70-130.]

(4) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation, provide that additional provisions of the Business Corporations Act do not apply to a specified emergency communications corporation, subject to any alternative requirements, restrictions or conditions established by the regulation.

(5) The memorandum, notice of articles and articles of an emergency communications corporation may only be amended with the approval of the minister and in accordance with the Business Corporations Act.

(6) Within 60 days after the annual general meeting of an emergency communications corporation, the corporation must provide to the minister a copy of its annual financial statement under section 198 of the Business Corporations Act and the auditor's report on that financial statement.

Corporation must hold transferred radio licences

6  (1) Subject to the applicable federal legislation, a member of an emergency communications corporation must assign or transfer to the emergency communications corporation all licences and authorities for radio spectra held by the member that are related to the services that the corporation provides to the member.

(2) Subject to the applicable federal legislation, an emergency communications corporation

(a) must acquire and hold the licences or authorities for radio spectra assigned or transferred under subsection (1), and

(b) must manage and allocate the use of those spectra.

Members must pay assessed rates

7  Members of an emergency communications corporation must pay to the corporation all rates for operating expenses and capital expenditures that are assessed by the corporation.

Borrowing by corporation

8  (1) An emergency communications corporation may only borrow money required

(a) for capital purposes related to the purposes of the corporation required or permitted under section 3, or

(b) to meet its current operating expenses before its revenue, from all sources, to pay for those expenses has been received.

(2) The Municipal Finance Authority of British Columbia may provide financing to an emergency communications corporation for borrowing authorized under subsection (1).

(3) For the purposes of financing under subsection (2), the Municipal Finance Authority Act, except section 24, applies to an emergency communications corporation as if it were a regional district, except that no loan authorization bylaw or security issuing bylaw of the corporation is required for the borrowing.

Access to information

9  (1) For the purposes of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the records of an emergency communications corporation relating to any services provided to a member of the corporation are deemed to be the records of that member.

(2) An emergency communications corporation must provide a member with copies of records of the member under subsection (1), in order to allow the member to comply with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

(3) If subsection (2) applies in relation to a record, a person does not have a right of access under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act to the record as being in the custody or under the control of the emergency communications corporation and, despite that Act, the person has that right only through written request to the member to whom the copy is to be provided under subsection (2).

(4) Despite the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, a person does not have a right of access under that Act to a record of, or in the custody or under the control of, an emergency communications corporation that relates to services provided by the corporation to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

(5) A members' agreement for an emergency communications corporation is void to the extent of any conflict between the agreement and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act as it applies under this section.

Immunity from legal action

10  (1) In this section, "protected person" means the following:

(a) an emergency communications corporation;

(b) a current or former member of an emergency communications corporation;

(c) a current or former director, employee or agent of an emergency communications corporation.

(2) No action lies and no proceedings may be brought against a protected person, and a protected person is not liable for any loss or damages suffered by any person, in relation to anything done or omitted to be done by the protected person in relation to the provision of or failure to provide emergency communications services by an emergency communications corporation.

(3) As an exception, the immunity from legal action otherwise provided to a person by subsection (2) does not apply if the person has been guilty of malice or wilful misconduct in relation to the subject matter of the action.

Labour relations successorship

11  (1) The establishment of an emergency communications corporation is to be considered a successorship for the purposes of section 35 of the Labour Relations Code and the Labour Relations Board has the authority provided by that section to determine any matters related to the successorship including, without limiting this, the authority to determine the question of trade union representation.

(2) A representation vote under the Labour Relations Code respecting a matter referred to in subsection (1) must be conducted in a manner that the Labour Relations Board considers fair and reasonable.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2), the Labour Relations Board

(a) may allow all employees that the Board considers will likely be affected within a reasonable time period by the successorship to participate in the vote, whether or not those employees have transferred to the emergency communications corporation by the date of the vote, and

(b) in order to provide alternative bargaining agent choices to the employees entitled to vote, may permit trade unions affected by the successorship to establish a new trade union in order to be placed on the ballot.

Orders in the public interest

12  (1) If the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers this necessary in the public interest, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make any order in relation to an emergency communications corporation that the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers appropriate.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), an order under that subsection may provide that a resolution or other decision of an emergency communications corporation is void to the extent provided in the order, and may make other provisions in place of those declared void.

Conflicts with this Act or a regulation or order under this Act

13  (1) If there is a conflict between this Act or a regulation under this Act and a provision of the Business Corporations Act, this Act or the regulation under this Act prevails.

(2) If there is a conflict between

(a) this Act or a regulation or order under this Act, and

(b) a provision of the memorandum, notice of articles or articles of an emergency communications corporation or a provision of a members' agreement for an emergency communications corporation,

the provision of the memorandum, notice of articles, articles or agreement is deemed to be amended to the extent necessary to comply with this Act or the regulation or order.

Regulation making authority

14  (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations referred to in section 41 of the Interpretation Act.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations as follows:

(a) designating an organization as an emergency services agency for the purposes of section 1;

(b) authorizing an additional purpose for an emergency communications corporation as referred to in section 3 (2) (b);

(c) providing for the transition or transfer of pension rights for persons becoming employees of an emergency communications corporation.

Consequential Amendments

Spent

15–17   [Consequential amendments. Spent. 1997-47-15 to 17.]