Qp Date
This Act has "Not in Force" sections. See the Table of Legislative Changes.

Unclaimed Property Act

[SBC 1999] CHAPTER 48

Assented to July 15, 1999

Contents
Part 1 — Interpretation
1Definitions
1.1Application
Part 2 — Unclaimed Money Held by Government
2Unclaimed money held by government
2.1Administration agreement
2.2Strategic plans
2.3Annual reports
2.4Administrator must provide information to minister
2.5Payment of money by the government to the administrator
2.6Liability
3Duty of administrator to make reasonable efforts to locate and notify
4Unclaimed money database
4.1Uses to which unclaimed property may be put
4.2Claims respecting money
4.3Claim that money held by Unclaimed Property Society be paid to Crown
5Payment of claims
5.1Disallowance of claims
6Access to information and retention of records
7Special account
7.1Audit
7.2Retention of records and information
Part 3 — Unclaimed Property Held by Holders
8Application of this Part
9Duty of holders to make reasonable efforts to locate and notify owners
10When property becomes unclaimed
11Duties of holders of unclaimed property
12Voluntary transfer of unclaimed property to the administrator
13After time lapse unclaimed property may be treated as income of holder
14Joint holders
15Administrator may request information
16Offences
Part 4 — General
16.1Rights unaffected by limitation periods
17Power to make regulations
18Review of Act
18.1Court search and copy fees
18.2Unclaimed court funds
19–32Spent
33Commencement

Part 1 — Interpretation

Definitions

1  In this Act:

"administration agreement" means an agreement entered into under section 2.1 (1) and includes any renewal of that agreement;

"administrator" means the person with whom the minister has entered into an agreement referred to in section 2.1 and who is appointed as the administrator under that agreement by the minister;

"charitable purposes" means purposes that, under the administration agreement, are specified as being charitable purposes;

"holder" means

(a) a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, association, society, fraternal or mutual benefit organization or other entity, whether or not operated for profit, that holds property on behalf of an owner, or

(b) an individual who holds property on behalf of an owner and who is one of a prescribed class of individuals,

and includes a government body as defined in the Financial Administration Act, but does not include the government, a court or the Public Guardian and Trustee;

"owner" means,

(a) in relation to money to which Part 2 applies, a person who has a legal or equitable interest in all or part of the money,

(b) in relation to property to which Part 3 applies, other than a money order or similar instrument, a person who has a legal or equitable interest in all or part of the property, and

(c) in relation to a money order or similar instrument to which Part 3 applies, the purchaser of the instrument;

"property" means

(a) money received as a deposit, other than by a savings institution, but only if there is a right to receive a cash refund of the deposit,

(b) an amount paid in respect of a money order or similar instrument, other than a similar instrument issued by a bank or by a company to which the Trust and Loan Companies Act (Canada) applies,

(c) securities and their entitlements and money deposited to make a distribution,

(d) the right to an amount due and payable by an insurer under the terms of an insurance policy, including an annuity and a refund of premiums,

(e) the right to receive an amount distributable from a trust or custodial fund established under

(i)   a plan to provide education, health, welfare, vacation, severance, retirement or death benefits,

(ii)   a share purchase, profit sharing, employee savings or supplemental employment insurance plan, or

(iii)   a similar benefit plan,

(f) the right to an amount distributable under a trust or fiduciary arrangement of any kind not referred to in paragraph (e), or

(g) [Repealed 2003-9-1.]

(h) any other personal property that is not a chattel or a mortgage and is designated by regulation for the purposes of this definition,

but does not include money held by the government or property held in trust by a member of the Law Society of British Columbia;

"public body" has the same meaning as in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act;

"security" has the same meaning as in the Interpretation Act and includes equity shares in a credit union, but only if those shares are listed or posted on an exchange recognized by the British Columbia Securities Commission;

"unclaimed court funds" has the meaning prescribed in the regulations;

"unclaimed money deposit" means money that

(a) has become an unclaimed money deposit under section 2 or 18.2,

(b) has been transferred to the administrator under section 12, or

(c) has been deemed under any other enactment to be an unclaimed money deposit,

but does not include any money provided to the administrator under the administration agreement that is, by that agreement, expressly determined not to constitute an unclaimed money deposit;

"unclaimed property" means property that has become unclaimed under section 10.

Application

1.1  This Act does not apply to money or property in respect of which, under section 14.04 (1) (b) (iv) or 23.1 of the Civil Forfeiture Act, the director under that Act serves notice of forfeiture under Part 3.1 of that Act or notice of intent to commence proceedings, as the case may be, on a public body that has possession of the money or property, unless

(a) that notice is withdrawn under section 14.08 (a) or 23.1 (4) (a) (ii) of that Act, or

(b) in the case of notice of intent to commence proceedings, the 30 day period referred to in section 23.1 (4) (a) of that Act expires and no proceedings are commenced under section 3 of that Act in relation to the money or property.

Part 2 — Unclaimed Money Held by Government

Unclaimed money held by government

2  (1) All money that is held by the government on behalf of an owner becomes an unclaimed money deposit if the owner does not claim the money within the applicable period prescribed for the purposes of this section.

(2) If subsection (1) is inconsistent or in conflict with a provision of another enactment, the provision of the other enactment prevails.

Administration agreement

2.1  (1) The minister may enter into an agreement for the purposes of this Act with a person that the minister is satisfied is a not for profit entity and may, under that agreement, appoint that person as the administrator.

(2) The administrator is not an agent of the government.

(3) An agreement referred to in subsection (1) must

(a) be entered into for a specified term,

(b) require the administrator to establish and to update as required reasonable service standards, including standards relating to the quality of service to be provided by the administrator to the public, the standards of proof of ownership that will be required in relation to claims made against the unclaimed money deposits and the process by which disputes and appeals will be dealt with, and to publish those service standards in a manner that can be reasonably expected to bring the standards to the attention of the public,

(c) set out rights exercisable by the government on any breach of the agreement, and

(d) set out the circumstances and manner in which the administration agreement may be terminated, with or without compensation or penalty, and, subject to subsection (5), provide for the rights and obligations of the parties to the agreement in the event that the agreement is terminated.

(4) Unless the administration agreement is terminated sooner under subsection (3) (d), at the conclusion of the initial term or any renewal term of the agreement, the agreement will be renewed for a further term specified in the agreement unless,

(a) at least 12 months before the conclusion of the term of the agreement, the administrator or the government provides notice to the other party that the agreement is to terminate at the end of that term, or

(b) the parties agree to terminate the agreement at the end of that term or at any other specified date.

(5) Promptly after the agreement expires or is terminated, all of the rights of the administrator under section 4.1 (5) (b) and (c) vest in the government, and the administrator must promptly deliver to the government

(a) all information and records received by the administrator in respect of anything done or received under this Act by the administrator,

(b) all records created under this Act by the administrator,

(c) the total of all of the money received under this Act, another enactment or the administration agreement, less the amount of that money that was properly paid out in accordance with section 4.1 (2) (b), and

(d) unless the government and the administrator agree otherwise in writing, any other thing, or any other right or interest in any thing, that is licensed or otherwise provided to the administrator under this Act or the administration agreement, including, without limiting this, any software that is, or any rights or interests in software that are, licensed or otherwise provided to the administrator.

(6) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation, designate a claim that has been or may be made by an owner in relation to an unclaimed money deposit and, in that event,

(a) the claim may be made to the government and, for that purpose, this Act, as it read before the coming into force of the Unclaimed Property Amendment Act, 2003, applies to the government and the claimant, and

(b) the administrator must not make any payment in respect of that claim.

(7) Money required to be paid by the government under subsection (6) may be paid out of the consolidated revenue fund without any appropriation other than this Act.

Strategic plans

2.2  (1) Within 3 months after entering into an administration agreement, and on or before the first day of each subsequent fiscal year of the administrator that falls in whole or in part within the term of the administration agreement, the administrator must

(a) prepare for that fiscal year a strategic plan that complies with subsection (2), and

(b) publish that strategic plan in a manner that can reasonably be expected to bring the plan to the attention of the public.

(2) The administrator must, in each strategic plan, set out its goals for the fiscal year for which the plan is prepared and for the following 2 fiscal years, including its goals in relation to uniting owners with their unclaimed property. 

Annual reports

2.3  (1) Within 4 months after the end of each fiscal year of the administrator that falls in whole or in part within the term of an administration agreement, the administrator must

(a) prepare an annual report that complies with subsection (2),

(b) prepare financial statements for that fiscal year and have those financial statements audited,

(c) include those audited financial statements in the annual report, and

(d) publish that annual report in a manner that can reasonably be expected to bring the report to the attention of the public.

(2) The administrator must in each annual report referred to in subsection (1) report on

(a) the payments made by the administrator under section 4.1 (2) (b) (iv), and

(b) the goals set by the administrator under section 2.2 (2) and indicate how, if at all, those goals have been met.

Administrator must provide information to minister

2.4  In addition to any other reports and information the administrator is required to provide under this Act, the minister may request information, including, without limiting this, a copy of any audit prepared under section 7.1 (1), respecting the exercise by the administrator of the administrator's rights and duties under this Act and the administrator must promptly provide the requested information to the minister.

Payment of money by the government to the administrator

2.5  (1) Each ministry of the government must report to the administrator on all money within the ministry's possession or control that becomes an unclaimed money deposit after the coming into force of the Unclaimed Property Amendment Act, 2003.

(2) Each report under subsection (1) must

(a) be made for a reporting period of not more than one year,

(b) be made for a reporting period that,

(i)   in the case of the first report to be made under this section, immediately follows the coming into force of the Unclaimed Property Amendment Act, 2003, and

(ii)   in any other case, immediately follows the reporting period for which a previous report was provided under this section,

(c) report on all money within the ministry's possession or control that became an unclaimed money deposit within that reporting period,

(d) set out

(i)   identifying information respecting the owners of those respective unclaimed money deposits,

(ii)   the respective dates on which the amounts became unclaimed money deposits, and

(iii)   any other information the ministry wishes to include,

(e) be provided to the administrator not more than one month after the end of the reporting period in respect of which the report is made, and

(f) include payment to the administrator of the unclaimed money deposits to which the report refers.

Liability

2.6  (1) Payment of unclaimed money deposits or unclaimed property to the administrator under this Act, another enactment or the administration agreement releases the government from any and all liability with respect to that money.

(2) Despite any law to the contrary and despite this or any other enactment, neither the government nor any employee, agent, minister or ministry of the government has

(a) any duty to instruct or supervise the administrator or any person who obtains any money from the administrator, or

(b) any duty of care with respect to any activity in relation to unclaimed money deposits that, after the administration agreement takes effect, is

(i)   done by any person other than the government or any employee, agent, minister or ministry of the government, or

(ii)   omitted to be done.

(3) Without limiting subsections (1) and (2) and despite this or any other enactment and any law to the contrary, no damages or compensation of any kind is payable by the government or by any employee, agent, minister or ministry of the government in respect of, and no legal proceeding for damages lies or may be commenced or maintained against the government or any employee, agent, minister or ministry of the government in respect of, the following:

(a) any payment of money by the government to the administrator under this Act, another enactment or the administration agreement;

(b) anything that is done by any person other than the government or an employee, agent, minister or ministry of the government in connection with money paid or to be paid by the government or any other person to the administrator under this Act, another enactment or the administration agreement, or anything that is omitted to be done in connection with that money, including, without limiting this, any payment of, or any failure to pay, some or all of that money;

(c) the failure by the government or any employee, agent, minister or ministry of the government to take any action against the administrator, including, without limiting this, any action to terminate the administration agreement, if the administrator or any person who obtains any money from the administrator breaches any provision of this Act, the regulations or the administration agreement;

(d) any information or record provided to the administrator by any person, including by the government and any employee, agent, minister or ministry of the government, that is incorrect, incomplete or otherwise unreliable.

(4) Subsections (1) and (3) do not apply in respect of any payment made in bad faith by the government to the administrator, or anything done or omitted to be done in bad faith by the government or any employee, agent, minister or ministry of the government.

Duty of administrator to make reasonable efforts to locate and notify

3  If the amount of an unclaimed money deposit meets or exceeds the amount prescribed for the purposes of this section, the administrator must make reasonable efforts to do the following:

(a) if the unclaimed money deposit is unclaimed court funds that had been held by the court in relation to a proceeding and if there has been no determination in that proceeding as to who is entitled to those funds, locate each of the parties to the proceeding who might have a claim to some or all of the funds and notify those parties about the funds;

(b) in any other case, locate the owner and to notify the owner about the money.

Unclaimed money database

4  (1) The administrator must

(a) maintain a database of unclaimed money deposits,

(b) include in the database

(i)   the prescribed particulars for each unclaimed money deposit that meets or exceeds the prescribed amount, and

(ii)   the prescribed particulars respecting information provided to the administrator under section 11 (2), and

(c) make the database available to the public on an ongoing basis, subject to any restrictions imposed by regulation for the purpose of protecting the privacy of owners.

(2) At least once in every 6 month period following the effective date of the administration agreement, the administrator must publicize the existence of and means of accessing the database in a manner that can be reasonably expected to bring the database to the attention of the public.

(3) The administrator is not liable for any loss, cost or damage suffered by any person as a result of any information included in or omitted from the database unless the inclusion or omission was in bad faith.

Uses to which unclaimed property may be put

4.1  (1) The administrator must prepare and maintain records respecting particulars of the money received by the administrator under this Act, another enactment or the administration agreement and its disposal.

(2) Subject to the administration agreement, the following rules apply to the money received under this Act, another enactment or the administration agreement:

(a) the administrator may invest the money in investments that a prudent investor would make and in no other investments, and any interest or other income earned on or as a result of those investments is deemed to be money received under this Act;

(b) the administrator may use the money for the following purposes:

(i)   subject to section 2.1 (6) (b), payment of any claims or interest on claims payable under section 5 or 5.1 (4);

(ii)   payment of the administrator's reasonable costs and expenses related to the administrator's role under this Act and the administration agreement;

(iii)   payment to the government of any money payable under this Act or the administration agreement;

(iv)   subject to subsection (3), payment for a charitable purpose;

(v)   payment for any other purpose set out in the agreement.

(3) The administrator must not pay any money under subsection (2) (b) (iv) if the total of the following is below, or if that payment would cause the total of the following to fall below, the amount that is determined under the administration agreement for the purposes of this subsection:

(a) the portion of the money received under this Act, another enactment or the administration agreement that is held in cash;

(b) the portion of the money received under this Act, another enactment or the administration agreement that has, under subsection (2) (a), been invested in investments that can be converted to cash within 30 days after a request for that conversion.

(4) Exercise by the administrator of the rights provided to the administrator under subsection (2) (b) does not relieve the administrator from the obligation to provide the amount of an unclaimed money deposit to its owner, and without limiting this, an owner of an unclaimed money deposit may, whether or not the amount of that unclaimed money deposit has been paid out by the administrator, claim that amount from the administrator and sections 4.2 to 5.1 apply to that claim.

(5) Any person who receives money as a result of a payment made under subsection (2) (b) (iv) is deemed to have received that money, and any interest or other income earned by that person on that money, on the following terms:

(a) that money and any interest or other income earned by the person on that money must be used for a charitable purpose;

(b) the person must, promptly after the request of the administrator, return to the administrator any of that money, along with any interest or other income earned by the person on that money, that is not used for a charitable purpose;

(c) the person is liable to account to the administrator for any of that money, and any interest or other income earned by the person on that money, that is not used by the person for a charitable purpose.

Claims respecting money

4.2  (1) Subject to section 2.1 (6), a person who asserts a claim to an unclaimed money deposit may file a claim for that money with the administrator.

(2) A claimant must provide any information respecting the claim that the administrator may reasonably require.

(3) Subject to subsection (4), the administrator must consider the claim within a reasonable period and must, within that period,

(a) allow the claim if it is reasonable to consider the claimant to be the owner of the amount claimed,

(b) allow part of the claim if it is reasonable to consider the claimant to be the owner of that part of the amount claimed, or

(c) otherwise, disallow the claim.

(4) If a claim made under this section relates to unclaimed court funds that had been held by the court in relation to a proceeding, the administrator must

(a) allow the claim if and to the extent that there has been a determination in the proceeding that the claimant is the owner of those funds, or

(b) in any other case, direct the claimant to the court to obtain such a determination.

Claim that money held by Unclaimed Property Society be paid to Crown

4.3  (1) A person may assert a claim that, in accordance with the Wills, Estates and Succession Act, there is no person who has a claim to money deposited with the unclaimed property society by a personal representative of an estate.

(2) A claimant in subsection (1) must provide any information respecting the claim that the administrator may reasonably require.

(3) The administrator must within a reasonable time consider a claim made under subsection (1) and must, within that period, either

(a) pay the money to the minister if the administrator reasonably believes that no person is entitled to the amount claimed, or

(b) disallow the claim.

Payment of claims

5  (1) Promptly after allowing a claim under section 4.2 (3) (a) or a part of a claim under section 4.2 (3) (b), the administrator must pay to the claimant the amount for which the claim was allowed, less any fee charged under subsection (2).

(2) The administrator may charge a claimant whose claim is allowed a fee that is not greater than the prescribed amount.

(3) Subject to section 5.1 (4), no interest or other income earned on money that constitutes an unclaimed money deposit accrues or is payable to an owner in respect of the period after the money became an unclaimed money deposit.

(4) A payment made under this section to a person discharges the administrator from liability to the person in respect of the money that became the unclaimed money deposit, but only to the extent of the payment.

(5) Payment under subsection (4) of an unclaimed money deposit by the administrator to a person who is not the owner does not relieve the administrator from the obligation to provide the amount of that unclaimed money deposit to its owner, and, without limiting this, an owner of an unclaimed money deposit that has been paid out in error by the administrator may claim that amount from the administrator and this section and sections 4.2 and 5.1 apply to that claim.

Disallowance of claims

5.1  (1) If the administrator disallows all or part of a claim filed under section 4.2 (1) or makes no finding in relation to the claim within a reasonable period, the claimant may appeal the disallowance or inaction in accordance with the appeal process established in the standards referred to in section 2.1 (3) (b).

(2) If a claimant is not satisfied with the outcome of the appeal process, the Supreme Court may, on application by the claimant or the administrator, determine the rights of the claimant under this section.

(3) An application to the court under subsection (2) must be brought within the appeal period prescribed by the regulations.

(4) If, under the appeal process or the application to the court, it is determined that the claimant is entitled to an amount, or an additional amount, on his or her claim, the administrator must promptly pay to the claimant that amount plus the interest and other income that was earned by the administrator on that amount from the date that the appeal was commenced to the date of the payment of the amount to which the claimant was found to be entitled.

Access to information and retention of records

6  (1) Subject to any contrary enactment or court order, the administrator has the right to any information that is in the custody or control of a public body if that information can reasonably be expected to assist the administrator in locating an owner, or determining the correct owner, of an unclaimed money deposit for the purposes of this Act.

(2) A public body that has custody or control of information to which the administrator is entitled under subsection (1) must disclose that information to the administrator on request.

(3) Each public body must meet the standards, set by regulation, respecting

(a) the collection and recording of information concerning any money that becomes an unclaimed money deposit, and

(b) the retention of records containing that information.

(4) Subject to subsections (5) and (6), the administrator may, to facilitate uniting persons with property in which they have a legal or beneficial interest, enter into an information-sharing agreement with one or more of the following:

(a) a public body;

(b) the government of Canada or of a province or another jurisdiction in Canada, or an agency of that government;

(c) the government of any other jurisdiction or an agency of that government;

(d) any person who, in any of those jurisdictions, carries out a similar role to that carried out by the administrator in British Columbia.

(5) The administrator may share information under an information-sharing agreement entered into under subsection (4) if the sharing of that information is necessary, in the opinion of the administrator, to facilitate uniting persons with property in which they have a legal or beneficial interest.

(6) An information-sharing agreement entered into under subsection (4) must be expressed to be for the purpose of uniting persons with property in which they have a legal or beneficial interest and must contain express language prohibiting the use of or sharing of any information covered by the agreement for any other purpose.

Special account

7  (1) The government may, in addition to any payments that may be made out of the Unclaimed Property Special Account under section 7 (4) or (5) of this Act as it read before the coming into force of section 6 of the Unclaimed Property Amendment Act, 2003, pay to the administrator, in accordance with the administration agreement, the whole or any portion of that account.

(2) If, at any time, as a result of the payments referred to in subsection (1) or otherwise, the balance in the Unclaimed Property Special Account becomes zero, the account is closed.

Audit

7.1  (1) For the purposes of this Act, the administrator must, at least once in each fiscal year, have its operations audited insofar as they relate to the administrator's compliance with the requirements of this Act.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the minister may, at any time, direct the Comptroller General to examine and report to the minister on the operations of the administrator.

Retention of records and information

7.2  The administrator must retain the prescribed records and information in the prescribed form and for the prescribed period.

Part 3 — Unclaimed Property Held by Holders

Application of this Part

8  (1) This Part, other than sections 12 and 14, applies to a holder of property

(a) if, according to the holder's records, the last known address of the owner is in British Columbia and the prescribed circumstances referred to in section 9 (1) (a) that are applicable to the property occurred after July 1, 2000, or

(b) if the owner's address is unknown and the prescribed circumstances referred to in section 9 (1) (a) that are applicable to the property occurred in British Columbia after July 1, 2000.

(2) Sections 12 and 14 apply to any holder, including a holder referred to in subsection (1).

Duty of holders to make reasonable efforts to locate and notify owners

9  (1) A holder of property must make reasonable efforts to locate the owner and to notify the owner about the property if

(a) the prescribed circumstances exist, and

(b) on the applicable date prescribed by regulation, the value of the property meets or exceeds the prescribed amount.

(2) The reasonable efforts required under subsection (1) must be made within 6 months after the applicable date referred to in subsection (1) of this section.

When property becomes unclaimed

10  (1) If, despite the holder's reasonable efforts, the owner is not located and notified within 12 months after the applicable date referred to in section 9 (1) (b), the property becomes unclaimed.

(2) If the prescribed circumstances exist but the value of property held by a holder does not on the applicable date prescribed by regulation meet or exceed the prescribed amount, the property becomes unclaimed on that date.

Duties of holders of unclaimed property

11  (1) Subject to subsection (2), a holder of unclaimed property must do all of the following:

(a) maintain a database of all unclaimed property held by the holder;

(b) include in the database the prescribed particulars for each item of unclaimed property;

(b.1) make reasonable efforts to ensure that the existence of the database and the means by which it may be accessed are known to the public;

(c) make the database available to the public, subject to any restrictions imposed by regulation for the purpose of protecting the privacy of owners;

(d) meet the standards, set by regulation, respecting

(i)   the collection and recording of information concerning the unclaimed property, and

(ii)   the retention of records containing that information;

(e) meet the standards, set by regulation, respecting

(i)   the processing of claims, and

(ii)   the management or control of the unclaimed property.

(2) A holder is deemed to have met the holder's obligations under subsection (1) (a) to (c) if the holder has provided to the administrator, with the administrator's consent, the particulars referred to in subsection (1) (b) for inclusion in the database referred to in section 4.

Voluntary transfer of unclaimed property to the administrator

12  (1) A holder may transfer property to the administrator if the following conditions are met:

(a) the property is unclaimed property or is property to which sections 9 (1) and 10 would apply but for any reference to July 1, 2000 in the circumstances or applicable date prescribed for the purposes of section 9 (1);

(b) the property is money;

(c) the holder provides the administrator with any information relating to the property that may reasonably be requested by the administrator;

(d) the administrator consents to the transfer.

(2) The administrator's receipt for unclaimed property transferred by a holder under subsection (1) is an effective discharge to the holder for that property.

After time lapse unclaimed property may be treated as income of holder

13  Without limiting the owner's rights, the holder may treat unclaimed property as income of the holder if

(a) that property is money,

(b) the property is not claimed by the owner within the prescribed time period after the date on which under section 10 it became unclaimed property, and

(c) the holder is not prohibited by law from treating the property as income.

Joint holders

14  If property is held jointly by 2 or more holders,

(a) the performance, in relation to the property, by any one of them of a duty imposed under this Act on a holder suffices for all of them, and

(b) the exercise, in relation to the property, by any one of them of an option given under this Act to a holder binds all of them.

Administrator may request information

15  (1) For the purposes of this Act, the administrator may request a person who the administrator reasonably believes is a holder of property to provide to the administrator, within the time or at the intervals specified in the request, information that is not information contained in records destroyed by the holder in accordance with this Act and the regulations.

(2) A holder who receives a request under subsection (1) must comply with the request.

Offences

16  (1) A holder who does any of the following commits an offence:

(a) contravenes section 9 or 15 (2);

(b) fails to maintain a record required under this Act;

(c) in a record required or submitted, or in information provided, under this Act, makes a statement that

(i)   is false or misleading with respect to a material particular, or

(ii)   omits to state a material fact, the omission of which makes the statement false or misleading.

(2) A person is not guilty of an offence under subsection (1) (c) if the person did not know that the statement was false or misleading and, with the exercise of reasonable diligence, could not have known that the statement was false or misleading.

(3) If a corporation commits an offence under this section, an employee, officer, director or agent of the corporation who authorizes, permits or acquiesces in the commission of the offence commits an offence.

(4) Subsection (3) applies whether or not the corporation is prosecuted for the offence.

(5) Section 5 of the Offence Act does not apply to this Act or the regulations.

Part 4 — General

Rights unaffected by limitation periods

16.1  The expiration, before or after the coming into force of the Unclaimed Property Amendment Act, 2003, of a period of limitation in relation to unclaimed property or any person's rights in relation to that property does not

(a) affect the person's rights to claim, receive or recover the property from the administrator or a holder, as the case may be, whether or not those rights are derived from or are specified by contract, statute or court order,

(b) preclude the property from being or becoming unclaimed property, and

(c) affect any duty, arising under this Act, to

(i)   provide any notice,

(ii)   deliver any report,

(iii)   maintain any records,

(iv)   pay any amount, or

(v)   pay or transfer the property.

Power to make regulations

17  (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) prescribing classes of individuals for the purposes of paragraph (b) of the definition of "holder" in section 1;

(b) designating personal property, other than a chattel or a mortgage, for the purposes of paragraph (h) of the definition of "property" in section 1;

(c) prescribing time periods for the purposes of sections 2 (1) and 13 (b);

(c.1) designating a claim for the purposes of section 2.1 (6);

(d) prescribing amounts for the purposes of sections 3, 4 (1) (b) (i), 5 (2) and 9 (1) (b);

(e) governing rules for determining if an amount constitutes one or more unclaimed money deposits for the purposes of sections 3 and 4 and for determining what constitutes one item of property for the purposes of sections 9 and 11;

(f) prescribing the particulars that, under sections 4 (1) (b) (ii) and 11 (1) (b), are to be included in databases, and governing restrictions on access to those databases for the purpose of protecting the privacy of owners;

(f.1) prescribing an appeal period for the purposes of section 5.1 (3);

(g) governing the standards to be met under section 6 (3) by public bodies and under section 11 (1) (d) by holders of unclaimed property;

(g.1) respecting records and information that must be retained under section 7.2;

(h) exempting classes of holders from the application of any or all of the provisions of Part 3 and the regulations, and specifying the conditions of exemption;

(i) prescribing circumstances and dates for the purposes of sections 9 and 10;

(j) defining for the purposes of section 9 what constitutes reasonable efforts to locate and notify owners, and requiring holders to establish and make available to the public written policies, procedures and performance goals with respect to those efforts;

(k) requiring holders to make information respecting unclaimed property available to the public;

(l) [Repealed 2003-9-11.]

(m) governing the standards to be met under section 11 (1) (e) by holders of unclaimed property;

(n) prescribing fees payable to the administrator in respect of transfers of unclaimed property under section 12 (1);

(o) limiting the types and amount of fees that holders of unclaimed property may charge for locating and notifying owners and for processing claims;

(p) defining any word or expression used but not defined in this Act;

(q) respecting the rights and duties of the administrator in relation to unclaimed court funds.

(3) A regulation under this Act may provide differently for different

(a) classes of money deposits or unclaimed money deposits,

(b) classes of property or unclaimed property, or

(c) holders or classes of holders.

(4) The Lieutenant Governor in Council must not make a regulation to prescribe a meaning for "unclaimed court funds", or make a regulation under subsection (2) (q) of this section, unless the Lieutenant Governor in Council has received the recommendation of the Attorney General after the Attorney General has consulted with the following:

(a) the Chief Justice of British Columbia, in relation to regulations affecting the Court of Appeal;

(b) the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, in relation to regulations affecting the Supreme Court;

(c) the Chief Judge of the Provincial Court, in relation to regulations affecting the Provincial Court.

(5) A regulation referred to in subsection (4) may provide differently for the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and the Provincial Court.

Review of Act

18  After January 1 and before July 1 of the fifth year following the year in which this section comes into force, the minister must appoint a committee to review the effectiveness of this Act and the regulations.

Court search and copy fees

18.1  (1) Despite the Supreme Court Rules and despite any other enactment, the administrator may search any file in a court registry that may be searched by the general public, and may take from such a file copies of any records of which the general public may take copies, without payment of any fee other than the applicable fee, if any, prescribed under subsection (2).

(2) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may prescribe fees payable by the administrator for

(a) any search by the administrator of any court file the administrator is entitled to search under subsection (1), and

(b) any copies taken by the administrator of records contained in a court file referred to in paragraph (a).

Unclaimed court funds

18.2  (1) Despite the Supreme Court Rules and despite any other enactment, if money paid into, or deposited in, court becomes unclaimed court funds, any of the following persons may authorize the Minister of Finance or any person designated by that minister to pay the unclaimed court funds to the administrator:

(a) a justice, judge or registrar of the court;

(b) in the case of the Supreme Court, a master.

(2) After receipt of an authorization referred to in subsection (1), the Minister of Finance or the person designated by that minister may pay to the administrator the unclaimed court funds in respect of which the authorization was provided.

(3) Despite Rule 23-4 of the Supreme Court Civil Rules and despite any other enactment, unclaimed court funds paid to the administrator under this section are deemed to be an unclaimed money deposit under this Act and are not trust funds.

(4) Despite any other provision of this Act, the administrator must comply with all court orders and regulations relating to unclaimed court funds paid to the administrator under this section.

Spent

19–32  [Consequential amendments and repeal. Spent. 1999-48-19 to 32.]

Commencement

33  This Act comes into force by regulation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.