1 In this Act:
court means the Supreme Court;
director means a director of the society;
foundation means the Notary Foundation established under section 50;
limited liability partnership means a partnership registered as a limited liability partnership under Part 6 of the Partnership Act;
member means a member of the society;
notary corporation means a corporation for which a permit has been issued; “permit” means a permit issued under section 58 and includes a renewal of that permit; “registrar” means the registrar of the court;
secretary means the secretary or acting secretary appointed by the directors;
society means the Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia;
suspension means temporary disqualification from the practice of a notary public under this Act but does not include the resignation by a member of membership in the society;
termination means permanent disqualification from the practice of a notary public under this Act but does not include the resignation by a member of membership in the society.
(2) The Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia is continued.
Approval of bylaws by Attorney General
3 (1) Bylaws of the society must be submitted to and approved by the Attorney General and no bylaw has force or effect until approved.
(2) The Societies Act does not apply to the bylaws of the society.
Application for enrolment
5 (1) A Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada may, on payment of the prescribed fee, apply to the court under the Supreme Court Civil Rules for enrolment as a member.
(2) An application for enrolment as a member must be filed in the Vancouver registry and heard at Vancouver.
(3) At least 30 days before the hearing of an application for enrolment as a member a copy of the application must be served on the secretary of the society and on the executive director of the Law Society of British Columbia.
(4) At least 30 days before the hearing of an application for enrolment as a member, a notice of the application and the date of the hearing must be published in a manner determined by the society.
(5) A person may oppose the application at the hearing, if the person serves notice of the person’s opposition on the applicant and files a copy of the notice with the registrar.
6 (1) If the court is satisfied that an applicant is a fit person for enrolment as a member, it may order that the applicant be examined in the duties of a notary public and, if found qualified on the examination, be enrolled as a member.
(2) [Repealed 2008-39-59.]
Substitution for absent notary
9 (1) A member may conduct another member’s practice for a period not longer than 4 months if the other member
(a) cannot conduct the practice because of illness or vacation, and
(b) obtains the prior consent of the directors to this substitution.
(2) The directors may extend the period referred to in subsection (1) for a further period not longer than 4 months.
Board of examiners
10 The Attorney General must appoint a board of examiners consisting of 3 persons to conduct the examinations of applicants for enrolment.
Enrolment after examination
11 If an applicant files proof with the registrar that the applicant has satisfactorily passed the required examination and has taken an oath of office in the prescribed form before a judge of the court, and pays the prescribed fee, the registrar must enrol the applicant as a member.
Resignation must be approved by the directors
12 (1) A member may not resign from membership in the society without the consent of the directors.
The directors may attach conditions to the granting of their consent to a resignation.
Duties of registrar
13 (1) The registrar must keep a roll called the Roll of Notaries Public.
(2) If the court orders or if the registrar is notified by the secretary of the termination of membership of a member, the registrar must strike the member from the roll.
(3) If a member is struck off the roll, the vacancy may be filled by a person enrolled under section 6.
(4) On request and on payment of the prescribed fee, the registrar must issue to a person empowered to act as a notary public by this Act a commission in the prescribed form.
Authentication and certificate of good standing
14 (1) On the request of a person and on payment of the fee set by the directors the secretary must authenticate the signature and seal of a member if satisfied that it is proper.
(2) On the request of a member and if the secretary is satisfied that the member is in good standing, the secretary must issue a certificate of good standing.
Appointments by Lieutenant Governor in Council
15 (1) On payment of the prescribed fee and, if required by the Attorney General, after the person provides security by way of a bond or by way of deposit of cash or securities in an amount determined by the Attorney General, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by commission under the Great Seal of British Columbia, appoint to be a notary public during pleasure
(a) any person if there is a need in a place for performance of the functions described in subsection (2),
(b) a permanent employee of the government of British Columbia or of the government of Canada, or
(c) a registrar, or person performing the functions of registrar, of a university under the Thompson Rivers University Act or the University Act.
(2) An appointment and commission under this section confers on the person named in the commission power only to administer oaths, to take affidavits, declarations and acknowledgements, to attest instruments by the person’s seal and to give notarial certificates of the person’s acts.
(3) An appointment and commission under this section may define and limit the geographic area in which the person appointed may practise and may contain directions as to the limits within which the person may exercise the person’s functions as a notary public.
(4) A person appointed under this section is not a member of the society.
Use of title “Notary Public”
16 (1) A person who is a member of the society may use the style and title of Notary Public in and for the Province of British Columbia and is a notary public.
(2) A person appointed under section 15 may use the style and title of Notary Public in and for the Province of British Columbia.
(3) This section does not apply to a notary corporation.
Persons to be considered to act as a notary public
17 (1) A person acts as a notary public if the person, for or in expectation of a fee, gain or reward, direct or indirect,
(a) draws, prepares, issues or revises a document that is intended, permitted or required to be registered, recorded or filed in a registry or other public office or that is a will or testamentary instrument, or
(b) holds himself or herself out as qualified to draw, prepare, issue or revise a document referred to in paragraph (a).
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply
(a) if, by the provisions of a statute, the document in question is required or permitted to be drawn, prepared, issued or revised by that person or the class of persons or profession of which the person is a member, or
(b) if the person is an employee acting in the course of the person’s employment, and the employer may lawfully do the act.
Rights and powers of members
18 A member enrolled and in good standing may do the following:
(a) draw instruments relating to property which are intended, permitted or required to be registered, recorded or filed in a registry or other public office, contracts, charter parties and other mercantile instruments in British Columbia;
(b) draw and supervise the execution of wills
(i) by which the will-maker directs the will-maker’s estate to be distributed immediately on death,
(ii) that provide that if the beneficiaries named in the will predecease the will-maker, there is a gift over to alternative beneficiaries vesting immediately on the death of the will-maker, or
(iii) that provide for the assets of the deceased to vest in the beneficiary or beneficiaries as members of a class not later than the date when the beneficiary or beneficiaries or the youngest of the class attains majority;
(c) attest or protest all commercial or other instruments brought before the member for attestation or public protestation;
(d) draw affidavits, affirmations or statutory declarations that may or are required to be administered, sworn, affirmed or made by the law of British Columbia, another province of Canada, Canada or another country;
(e) administer oaths;
(e.1) draw instruments for the purposes of the Representation Agreement Act;
(e.2) draw instruments relating to health care for the purposes of making advance directives, as defined in the Health Care (Consent) and Care Facility (Admission) Act;
(e.3) draw instruments for the purposes of the Power of Attorney Act;
Member not in good standing
19 A member who is not in good standing must not
(a) act or hold himself or herself out as entitled to act as a notary public, or
(b) act in any other capacity that derives from the member’s status as a notary public.
20 (1) The directors must continue the special fund for the purpose of reimbursing, in the cases and to the extent in each case, as they think advisable, of pecuniary losses sustained by a person because of the misappropriation or wrongful conversion by a member or former member of money or other property that was entrusted to or received by that person in the person’s capacity as a member.
(2) If the special fund falls below the prescribed amount, every member, on receipt of notice in writing from the secretary, must pay to the special fund in each practice year a sum set by the directors and the payments must be continued for each practice year until and including the practice year in which the special fund again reaches the prescribed amount.
(3) An amount set by the directors under subsection (2) may be increased by members of the society at a meeting of the society if written notice of the proposed increase has been given to all members.
(4) The special fund is the property of the society and must be kept in a special account apart from the other funds or property of the society.
(5) The special fund is not subject to any process of seizure or attachment by any creditor of the society.
(6) The directors may invest or cause the special fund and the proceeds of it to be invested in the securities and in the manner they think fit.
(7) If the special fund exceeds the prescribed amount, the directors may invest and use the excess for the purposes of the society.
(8) The special fund is not subject to a trust in favour of a person claiming compensation under subsections (9) and (10).
(9) If a complaint in writing is made to the society, alleging that a person has sustained pecuniary loss for the reasons described in subsection (1), the directors may cause an inquiry to be made into the complaint.
(10) If as a result of an inquiry the directors are satisfied that the person has sustained the pecuniary loss because of the action of a member or former member, they may
(a) with or without terms, pay out of the special fund to the person entitled the whole or a part of the loss, or
(b) decide that in the circumstances no payment is to be made.
(c ) Nothing in this section affects or impairs the powers of the directors or a committee of them under the disciplinary provisions of this Act.
(d) A person appointed under section 15 is excluded from participation in or contribution to the special fund.
(e) The special fund does not apply to a complaint respecting the action of a person who was appointed a notary public under section 19 (1) of the Notaries Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c. 299, or under a former Act and who, until August 21, 1981, was required to be a member of the society.
Liability insurance fees held in trust
22 Money paid to the society consisting of the professional liability insurance fees
(a) must be accounted for separately from other funds, and
(b) is not subject to any process of seizure or attachment by any creditor of the society.
23 (1) In connection with a member’s practice, the member must keep up to date records showing and readily distinguishing
(a) all money received and paid for or on behalf of others and the amount of money held on behalf of each other person, and
(b) money received and paid on the member’s own behalf.
(2) Money received for or on behalf of a client
(a) is trust money,
(b) must be deposited in a savings institution in a trust account, and
(c) must be identified as a trust account in the records of the member and of the savings institution.
(3) Money must not be drawn from a trust account unless it is
(a) money paid to or on behalf of a client from funds that have been deposited in a trust account to the client’s credit,
(b) money required for payment to the notary public for or on account of services rendered to or disbursements made on behalf of a client from money belonging to a client, or
(c) money paid into the trust account by mistake.
24 (1) The directors may at any time order and provide for the audit of the books and accounts of a member or former member.
(2) If the audit shows that the books and accounts are not in proper order and not kept up to date, the directors may require that the cost of the audit be paid to the society by the member or former member.
25 If an audit discloses that there has been a contravention of this Act or the regulations or rules relating to accounts, the directors may immediately suspend the member from practising and direct an inquiry under section 28.
Powers of discipline committee in relation to an inquiry
26 (1) The directors must appoint from among their number a discipline committee whose quorum is not less than 3.
(2) In the case of a vacancy, the committee may appoint a director to fill the vacancy until the directors do so.
Inquiry by discipline committee
27 (1) A panel of 3 or more members of the discipline committee may inquire into the conduct of members or former members.
(1.1) For the purposes of an inquiry under this section, sections 34 (3) and (4), 48 and 49 of the Administrative Tribunals Act apply to the panel.
(1.2) If a member of a panel is unable for any reason to complete the member’s duties, the remaining members of that panel, with the consent of the discipline committee, may continue the inquiry, and
(a) the vacancy does not invalidate the inquiry, and
(b) the provisions of this section concerning the panel apply to the remaining panel members.
(2) The committee or the panel may provide for preliminary inquiries by a member of the committee or by the secretary.
(3) The committee may order the suspension of the member until the consideration of its report by the directors.
(4) The committee or the panel may, at any time after a decision to inquire into the conduct of a member has been made, suspend the member until the conclusion of the hearing.
(5) Notice of a suspension under subsection (4) must be served on the member promptly.
28 (1) At the request of the directors or on the application of a person, or of its own motion, the discipline committee may, whether a complaint is made or not, inquire whether a member or former member has been guilty of any of the following:
(a) misappropriation or wrongful conversion by the person of money or other property entrusted to or received by the person in the person’s capacity as a member of the society;
(c) other professional misconduct;
(d) a breach of a provision of this Act or a regulation or rule made under it, or of a bylaw of the society.
(2) In the same manner as in subsection (1), the discipline committee may inquire whether a member or former member has engaged in conduct that in the opinion of the committee, ought to be reviewed by the directors to determine if it is conduct that in the opinion of the directors, is contrary to the best interest of the public or the notarial profession or tends to harm the standing of the notarial profession.
Notice of inquiry by discipline committee
29 (1) At least 7 days before an inquiry under section 27 is held, notice of the inquiry must be served on the member or former member in person or by registered mail sent to the last address shown on the records of the society.
(2) The notice must set out the time and place of the inquiry and give particulars of the complaint or of the matters to be inquired into.
(3) A notice sent by registered mail is conclusively deemed to have been given by the committee and to have been received by the member or former member on the 14th day after deposit of the notice in the Canada Post Office at any place in Canada.
Appearance before discipline committee
30 A member or former member may appear personally or with counsel before the discipline committee, and before the directors, on an inquiry or hearing into the person’s conduct or competence and may cross examine witnesses and present evidence.
31 If the member or former member fails to appear and on proof of service of notice, the discipline committee may proceed with the inquiry without further notice to the member or former member and may make a report of its findings, with or without a recommendation of action to be taken, or take other action it is authorized to take under this Act.
Legal assistance to discipline committee
32 The discipline committee or the directors may, for an inquiry or hearing, employ legal or other assistance they think necessary.
Report of discipline committee
33 The discipline committee must submit a written report of its findings to the directors.
Action by directors on report of discipline committee
34 On receipt of the report and on giving reasonable notice to the member or former member, the directors may
(a) accept and adopt a finding of fact reported by the discipline committee,
(b) review the proceedings and evidence taken by the committee,
(c) hear further evidence, and may make further findings of fact on the evidence, or
(d) refer the matter to the committee for further inquiry as to the whole or a specific part of it, in which case the provisions of section 29 apply.
Decision by directors
35 (1) On the conclusion of the inquiry the directors must decide whether or not the member or former member
(a) has committed any of the infractions which may be inquired into under section 28 (1), or
(b) engaged in conduct that in the opinion of the directors, is contrary to the best interests of the public or the notarial profession or tends to harm the standing of the notarial profession.
(2) By resolution passed by a majority of the directors present, the directors may
(a) if they decide that a member or former member has not committed any of those infractions or engaged in that conduct, exonerate the member or former member and dismiss the complaint,
(b) if they find that a member has committed any of those infractions or engaged in that conduct,
(i) reprimand the member and, in addition, fine the member an amount of not more than $5 000,
(ii) suspend the member for the period and subject to the conditions of practice they think fit and, in addition, fine the member an amount of not more than $5 000, or
(iii) order that the membership of the member be terminated, or
(c) if they find that a former member has committed any of those infractions or engaged in that conduct, fine the former member an amount of not more than $5 000.
(3) In any case, the directors may impose costs and set the amount of costs.
Participation by member of discipline committee
36 A director who is a member of the discipline committee may participate as a director on the consideration of the committee’s report.
Action on conviction of indictable offences
37 On proof that a member of the society has been convicted of an indictable offence, the directors may, without following the procedure in sections 26 to 36, summarily order the suspension or termination of the person’s membership.
Discipline by court
38 (1) On petition by the Attorney General, the society or a person aggrieved, the court may inquire into alleged breaches of this Act or the regulations or rules by a member or into the professional conduct or alleged incompetence, negligence or fraud of a member.
2 On the conclusion of an inquiry under subsection (1), the court may order that
(a) the member be suspended from practising for a period named in the order, or
(b) the member’s membership be terminated.
Status of suspended member
39 A member of the society who is suspended must pay the membership dues, but no other fees or assessments, and the member is not in good standing.
Action by secretary
40 In every case of suspension or termination of membership, the secretary must
(a) publish notice of the suspension or termination of membership at the earliest reasonable opportunity, in the manner set out in the regulations, and
(b) notify all the following persons of the action taken:
(i) the Attorney General;
(ii) the registrar;
(iii) the district registrars of the Supreme Court;
(iv) the registrars of the land title offices;
(v) the members of the society.
41 (1) If it is alleged by a member or former member that the directors have erred in a disciplinary action taken against the person, an appeal lies to the court.
(2) The member or former member must, within 14 days after the decision or order complained of, give written notice of the appeal to the directors.
(3) The appeal is a new hearing and the member or former member and the directors or their respective counsel are entitled to appear, present evidence and be heard.
(4) The court may affirm the decision or order and dismiss the appeal or make another order, as may seem just.
42 In sections 43 to 45:
member includes a former member of the society;
property or “property of a member” means anything, wherever located, kept by, acquired by or given to a member by or for a client or other person if the property in any way relates to the member’s practice or former practice as a notary public or to the business or affairs of the member’s clients or former clients, and whether or not the property was kept, acquired or given before or after the member ceased to practise as a notary public, and includes ledgers, records, securities, trust money in cash or on deposit and chattels.
Custodianship of member’s property
43 (1) The court may, on application by the society either without notice to anyone or on notice that the court requires, or, if the court has made an order under section 38, without such an application,
appoint a person to be custodian of the property of a member and to manage, to arrange for the conduct of or to wind up the notarial practice of the member if
(a) the membership of the member is terminated,
(b) the member has been suspended,
(c) the member has died,
(d) because of physical or mental illness or for any other reason, the member is unable to practise as a notary public,
(e) the member has absconded or is otherwise improperly absent from the member’s place of business,
(f) the member’s practice has been neglected for an unduly extended period,
(g) there is reason to believe that trust money held by the member is not sufficient to meet the member’s trust liabilities, or
(h) other sufficient grounds exist.
(2) An order under subsection (1) may
(a) direct the sheriff to seize and place in the custody of the custodian all property of the member, and
(b) authorize the sheriff to enter on the premises or open a safety deposit box or other receptacle where, at any of those places, the court considers there are grounds to believe that property of the member may be found.
(3) Unless otherwise directed by the court, the order must be served on the member.
(4) Subject to subsection (2), if a person receives notice that an order has been made under this section, the person must retain all property of a member that is in the person’s possession or control until directed otherwise by the custodian or by order of the court.
(5) The court may, in an order under subsection (1) or on any later application by the custodian, the executor of a deceased member or any other interested person, either without notice to anyone or on notice the court requires,
(a) direct a person who holds the member’s property on deposit to deal with, hold, pay over or dispose of the property to the custodian, or otherwise as directed by the court,
(b) remove any custodian appointed by the order and appoint another custodian,
(c) give directions to the custodian respecting the disposition of property in the custodian’s hands or any part of it, and
(d) give directions or make orders that the nature of the situation requires.
Notice of liens
44 (1) If property of a member has been placed in the custody of a custodian, the secretary or other persons designated by the discipline committee must examine the property for the purposes of subsection (2).
(2) After the examination under subsection (1), the custodian must, by notice the custodian thinks proper, inform clients of the member and other persons the custodian considers necessary
(a) that the property of the member is in the custody of the custodian and that an examination of it indicates that the client or other person appears to have an interest in it, and
(b) that the client or other person may apply to the custodian, subject to any notary’s lien of the member on the property,
(i) for the delivery to that person of the property in which the person appears to have an interest, or
(ii) for leave to make copies of documents and papers among the property that the person may require in respect of the transactions or dealings the person had with the member.
(3) If the custodian is satisfied that a person is entitled to property in the custodian’s custody and that no notary’s lien exists or appears to exist, the custodian may deliver the property to the person claiming it.
(4) If a member whose property has been placed in the custody of a custodian under section 43 claims to be entitled to a notary’s lien on the property or any part of it, the member may, within 30 days from the service of the order on the member, file notice of the member’s claim for lien with the custodian giving full particulars of it.
(5) On receiving notice under subsection (4), the custodian must immediately give notice of the claim for lien to the apparent owner of the property on which a lien is claimed, and the rights of the parties must then be determined according to law.
(6) If a member fails to file a claim for lien under this section within the 30 day period referred to in subsection (4), a lien that the member might otherwise be entitled to is extinguished, and the custodian is entitled to deliver the property to the claimant if otherwise satisfied that it is proper to do so.
(7) The court may summarily determine the validity of a claim to a notary’s lien.
Dispensation and protection
45 (1) Despite anything in section 43 or 44, the court may at any time extend or shorten the time within which anything is required to be done or dispense with any of the requirements of those sections.
(2) The provisions of section 46 apply to the protection of the custodian, society and any person designated by the discipline committee, or acting for any of them, in respect of a proceeding taken under section 43 or 44.
(3) The court may set and award the costs and fees allowed and paid by the member or other person, in respect of a proceeding under this section or section 43 or 44, including the costs and fees payable to a custodian, but no costs are to be awarded against the society, its officers, the directors or anyone designated by the directors in respect of a proceeding under this section and taken in good faith.
(4) Proceedings under this section or section 43 or 44 must be commenced by petition.
(5) A sheriff and any sheriff’s officer executing an order under section 43 have the same powers as in the execution of a writ of seizure and sale.
46 No action lies against a director or a member of the discipline committee or other committee appointed by the directors, or the secretary or an official or employee of the society, for anything done by the person in good faith while acting or purporting to act under this Act.
Validity of certain Acts
47 (1) An act done by a notary public must not be considered invalid or ineffectual only because it is done outside the geographic area to which the notary’s practice is limited, or is done contrary to a limitation or condition to which the person’s enrolment or commission is subject.
48 (1) A person must not
(a) act as a notary public without being authorized to do so under this Act,
(b) hold himself or herself out as authorized to act as a notary public without being authorized to do so under this Act, or
(c) if the person is a notary public, practise outside the geographic area to which the person’s practice is limited or practise in any way contrary to a limitation or condition to which the person’s enrolment or commission is subject.
(2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence, and is liable on conviction to a fine of not more than $2 000.
Cost and fines
49 Costs and fines imposed under section 35 or under the rules may be recovered as a debt owing to the society.
50 (1) The Notary Foundation is established as a corporation consisting of the members of the board of governors under section 51 (1).
(2) The foundation may acquire, dispose of and otherwise deal with its property for the purposes of the foundation.
(3) The foundation must be operated without purpose of gain for its members and any right or other accretions to the foundation must be used for the purposes for which the foundation is established.
Board of governors
51 (1) The foundation must be administered by a board of governors consisting of 11 members as follows:
(a) the Attorney General or the appointee of the Attorney General;
(b) 2 persons, not members of the society, appointed to the board of governors by the Attorney General;
(c) 8 persons appointed by the directors from among themselves.
(2) Members of the board of governors, other than the Attorney General, hold office for a term of 3 years or until their successors are appointed, and they may be reappointed.
(3) The Attorney General or the directors may revoke the appointment of a member of the board of governors whom they appointed during that member’s term of office.
(4) The members of the board of governors must elect one of their members to be chair of the board of governors.
(5) If a vacancy occurs, the Attorney General or the directors, as the case may be, may appoint a person eligible to be appointed to that office, and the person appointed holds office for the balance of the term for which the person is appointed, or until the person’s successor is appointed.
(6) The continuing members of the board of governors may act even if there is a vacancy in the board of governors.
(7) An act of the board of governors is not invalid by reason only of a defect that is later discovered in the appointment of one or more of its members.
(8) An appointed member of the board of governors may resign from office on giving to the board of governors one month’s notice in writing of the member’s intention to do so, and the resignation takes effect on the expiration of the notice or on its earlier acceptance by the board of governors.
(9) A member of the board of governors ceases to hold office if
(a) the member ceases to hold the qualifications necessary for appointment,
(b) the member becomes a mentally disordered person,
(c) the member becomes bankrupt, or
(d) the member contravenes a provision of this Act or the rules made under this Act and a majority of the other members of the board of governors consider that the contravention is sufficiently serious to justify the member’s removal from the board of governors.
(10) A quorum of the board of governors is 5 members.
Application of fund
52 (1) The purpose of the foundation is to establish and maintain a fund to be used for the following purposes:
(a) legal education;
(b) legal research;
(c) legal aid;
(d) education and continuing education for notaries and applicants for enrolment as notaries;
(e) establishing, operating and maintaining law libraries in British Columbia;
(f) contributions to the special fund established under this Act.
(2) The foundation may employ members of the society in order to advance the purposes of the foundation.
(3) The funds of the foundation consist of
(a) all money remitted to the foundation by or on behalf of members under section 54 (3),
(b) interest accruing from investment of the funds of the foundation, and
(c) other money received by the foundation.
(4) The board of governors may pay out of the funds of the foundation the costs, charges and expenses
(a) involved in the administration of the foundation, or
(b) incurred by the board of governors in carrying out the purposes of the foundation.
(5) Until invested or applied in accordance with this section, all money of the foundation must be paid into a savings institution referred to in section 23 (2) and must be used for the purposes of the foundation.
(6) Any money that is not immediately required for the purposes of the foundation may be invested in the name of the foundation by the board of governors in any manner in which trustees are authorized to invest trust funds.
(7) The accounts of the foundation must be audited annually by a person appointed for that purpose by the directors who is
(a) a member of a provincial organization of chartered professional accountants within Canada, authorized by that organization to perform an audit,
(b) a professional accounting corporation as defined in the Chartered Professional Accountants Act, authorized by the CPABC as defined in that Act to perform an audit, or
(c) a registered firm as defined in the Chartered Professional Accountants Act, authorized by the CPABC as defined in that Act to perform an audit.
8 Money received by the foundation under subsection (3) (a) and (b) must be disbursed as follows:
(a) 55% to be paid to the Legal Services Society for legal aid; (b) [Repealed RS1996-334-56.]
(c) 10% to be used for legal education, legal research and the establishing, operating and maintaining of law libraries in British Columbia;
(d) 35% to be used for
(i) salary and administrative expenses, and
(ii) education and continuing education for notaries and applicants for enrolment as notaries.
(9) Money received by the foundation under subsection (3) (c) must be disbursed for one or more of the purposes specified in subsection (1) as directed in writing by the person from whom the money was received or, if there is no direction, in the same manner as money received under subsection (3) (a) and (b).
(10) [Repealed RS1996-334-56.]
53 The board of governors may make bylaws for purposes relating to the affairs, business, property and objects of the foundation, including bylaws respecting one or more of the following: (a) the number and designation of officers of the foundation;
(b) the appointment and terms of office of officers of the foundation and all matters relating to their offices;
(c) the establishment of an executive committee and the delegation of powers to it;
(d) the resignation or removal from office of officers of the foundation;
(e) the number and designations of employees of the foundation, other than officers, and their conditions of employment;
(f) the remuneration, if any, of officers of the foundation;
(g) the operation of the notary foundation account.
Interest on trust accounts
54 (1) A member must deposit money received from or held for or on behalf of the member’s clients generally in an interest bearing trust account at a savings institution referred to in section 23 (2).
(2) A member is not liable, because of the trust relationship between the notary as trustee and the beneficiary of the trust, to account to a client or beneficiary for interest received by the member on money received or held in an account established under subsection (1).
(3) A member who is credited by a savings institution with interest on money received or held on behalf of clients generally, holds the interest in trust for the foundation, and must remit the interest to the foundation in accordance with the rules of the society.
(4) Nothing in this section or in the rules made under this section applies to money deposited in a separate account for a client, and interest paid on money in a separate account is the property of the client.
Power to make regulations — Lieutenant Governor in Council
54.1 (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations referred to in section 41 of the
2 Without limiting subsection (1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations as follows:
(a) for the purposes of section 40 (a), setting out the manner of publication;
(b) prescribing an amount for the purposes of section 20 (2) and (7);
(c) for the purposes of section 15 (1) (a), setting out considerations or circumstances that may be taken into account by the Lieutenant Governor in Council in determining whether there is a need for performance of the functions described in section 15 (2).
Power to make regulations — directors
55 (1) The directors may make regulations referred to in section 41 of the Interpretation Act.
(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the directors may make regulations as follows:
(a) setting fees including fees for applications, examinations and enrolment and directing to whom they must be paid;
(b) respecting examinations of candidates for enrolment;
(c) prescribing forms of oaths;
(d) prescribing forms, including forms of commissions;
(e) authorizing members and notary corporations to carry on the business of providing notary services to the public through limited liability partnerships;
(f) establishing prerequisites, conditions, limitations and requirements for members and notary corporations to carry on the business of providing notary services to the public through limited liability partnerships.
(3) A regulation made under subsection (1) or (2) does not come into force until it is approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
(4) The directors may make rules as follows:
(a) specifying the books, accounts and records to be kept by members, and providing for their inspection by the directors or their representatives and for their audit;
(b) specifying assessments and setting dues and fees to be paid to the society;
(c) providing for the filing with the society of auditors’ certificates in the form specified by the directors respecting the books and accounts of members;
(d) providing for the imposition of fines on, and the suspension or termination of membership of a member for nonpayment of dues, fees, assessments or other money payable under this Act.
56 [Amendments to section 52. Spent. RS1996-334-56.]
Right to practise through a corporation
(57) Subject to this Act, the regulations and the bylaws, a notary corporation may carry on the business of providing notary services to the public through one or more persons each of whom is
(a) a member of the society in good standing, or
(b) an employee of the notary corporation under the direct supervision of a member of the society in good standing.
58 (1) The secretary must issue a notary corporation permit to a company within the meaning of the
Business Corporations Act that is in good standing under that Act if the secretary is satisfied that
(a) the name of the corporation includes the words “notary” or “notaries”,
(b) all the voting shares are legally and beneficially owned by a member or members in good standing,
(c) all the non-voting shares are legally and beneficially owned by
(ii) the spouse of a member who is a shareholder,
(iii) [Repealed 2000-24-27.]
(iv) a child, as defined in the Family Law Act, of a member who is a shareholder, or
(v) any other relative of a share holding member if the relative resides with that member,
(d) all the directors of the corporation are members in good standing, and
(e) all the persons who will be practising as notaries public on behalf of the corporation are members in good standing or are under the direct supervision of a member in good standing.
(1.1) In subsection (1), “spouse” means a person who
(a) is married to another person, or
(b) is living with another person in a marriage-like relationship, and has been living in that relationship for a period of at least 2 years.
2 The secretary may refuse to issue a permit under subsection (1) if
(a) the notary corporation has previously had its permit revoked, or
(b) a shareholder of the notary corporation was a shareholder of a notary corporation that previously had its permit revoked.
Prohibition against carrying on business
59 (1) A corporation that has the words “notary public” or “notaries public” as part of its name must not carry on any business unless it holds a permit or a permit under section 82 of the Legal Profession Act.
(2) A notary corporation that holds a permit must not carry on any activities that would, for the purposes of the Income Tax Act (Canada), give rise to income from business, except the provision of notary services or services that are directly associated with the provision of notary services.
(3) Subsection (2) does not prohibit a notary corporation from investing its funds in real estate, personal property, mortgages, stocks, bonds, insurance or any other type of investments.
(4) No act of a notary corporation, including a transfer of property to or by the corporation, is invalid only because the corporation contravenes subsection (1) or (2).
Voting agreements prohibited
60 A shareholder of a notary corporation must not enter into a voting trust agreement, proxy or any other type of agreement that vests in another person who is not a member of the society in good standing the authority to exercise the voting rights attached to any or all the shares.
Responsibility of members
61 (1) The liability for professional negligence of a member carrying on the notarial practice is not affected by the fact that the member is carrying on that practice
(a) as an employee of a notary corporation, or
(b) through a limited liability partnership.
2 The application of the provisions of this Act, the regulations and the bylaws to a member is not affected by the member’s relationship to
(a) a notary corporation as a shareholder, director, officer or employee, or
(b) a limited liability partnership as a partner or employee.
(3) Nothing in this Act affects, modifies or limits any law applicable to the fiduciary, confidential or ethical relationships between a member and a person receiving the professional services of that member.
(4) The relationship between a notary corporation carrying on business as permitted under this Act and a person receiving notary services provided by the corporation is subject to all applicable law relating to the fiduciary, confidential and ethical relationships that exist between a member and the member’s client.
(5) All rights and obligations pertaining to professional communications made to or information received by a member, or in respect of any advice given by a member, apply to a notary corporation and its shareholders, directors, officers, employees and contractors.
(6) An undertaking given by or on behalf of a notary corporation that would constitute a notary’s undertaking if given by a member is deemed to be given by the member who gives, signs or authorizes the undertaking.
Revocation of permits
62 (1) The directors may, after a hearing, revoke the permit issued to a notary corporation if
(a) in the course of providing notary services the corporation does anything that, if done by a member, would be professional misconduct or conduct unbecoming a member,
(b) the corporation contravenes section 59, or
(c) the corporation ceases to comply with a condition of qualification for a permit referred to in section 58 or a condition under section 63 (1) (c) or (2).
(2) The directors may, rather than revoking a permit under subsection (1),
(a) reprimand one or more of the shareholders of the notary corporation, or
(b) impose a fine on the notary corporation in an amount of not more than $10 000.
(3) If a permit is revoked under this section, the secretary must inform the Registrar of Companies.
(4) All shareholders, directors, officers and employees of a notary corporation may be
(a) compelled to give evidence at a proceeding under this Act, or
(b) required to produce all files and records that are in their possession or power and that are relevant to matters raised in the proceeding referred to in paragraph (a).
63 (1) The directors may make rules that they consider necessary or advisable for the purposes of sections 57 to 62 including rules (a) respecting the issue and renewal of permits, including
(i) the establishment of a procedure to obtain a permit and a renewal of a permit, and
(ii) setting fees for obtain a permit or a renewal of a permit,
(b) respecting procedures for revocation of permits, including the adaptation, in a manner that the directors consider necessary or advisable, of rules respecting proceedings before the directors,
(c) setting conditions that may be attached to permits that are issued or renewed under this Act,
(d) respecting names and the approval of names including the types of names by which a notary corporation may be known, and
(e) respecting the disposition of shares of a shareholder of a notary corporation who
(i) ceases to be a member, or
(ii) remains a member but is not qualified to practise as a notary public.
(2) The directors may, as a condition of issuing or renewing a permit, set an amount of insurance that the holder of the permit must carry, or must provide to each of its employees, for the purpose of providing indemnity against professional liability claims.
(3) The rules under subsection (1) or the amount set under subsection (2) may be different for different permit holders, at the discretion of the directors.
Bylaws apply to corporations
64 The rules under section 55 (4) and bylaws made under this Act respecting members and former members apply to notary corporations and the directors may exercise the powers given under this Act to enforce those rules and bylaws.
Appeals and other matters
65 Section 41 applies to a notary corporation as though it was a member.
[Schedule repealed 2008-39-59.]
Copyright (c) Queen’s Printer, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
(e.4) perform the duties authorized by an Act.