Language Rights and Divorce in British Columbia

Did you know that you could divorce in French in British Columbia?

As of March 1, 2021, litigants may use either official language in divorce proceedings. This includes filing pleadings or other documents, giving evidence, or making submissions. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided by the court on request, as will translations of judgments or orders. The litigants also have a right to a judge who speaks the same official language as that party (or both official languages, as the case may be).

According to the 2016 census, there are roughly 55,000 people in British Columbia who speak French as their…

Categories: Family Law

Effect of Marriage on your Will

In British Columbia, it used to be the case that a Will made prior to marriage was automatically revoked on the marriage of the will-maker. However, since the Wills, Estates and Succession Act came into force in 2014, marriage no longer has this effect in our province.

Seven years later, Ontario is following suit. A bill repealing the section of Ontario’s Succession Law Reform Act which set out that a will was revoked by marriage received royal asset on April 19, 2021.

These changes reflect the modern world, where increasing numbers of people in Canada have children from prior relationships…

St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation Future Leaders – PIXEL Moments

Owen Bird is proud to be a donor and supporter of the St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation Future Leaders PIXEL Moments.  This week, the interactive augmented reality art mural came to life in the heart of downtown Vancouver, on the corner of Granville and W. Georgia.

The response we have seen throughout this campaign is a strong reminder that no one is impervious to mental health suffering. Together, the campaign has successfully raised $299,416 for St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation for mental health resources.

Categories: Announcements

OBLC Announces New Chair of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Involvement Committee

We are pleased to announce the appointment of shareholder Jennifer M. Williams as the Chair of our Diversity, Inclusion and Community Involvement Committee.

Jennifer brings a wealth of educational, professional and lived experience and expertise in equity, diversity, and inclusion to the Committee.  With extensive experience in non-profit board leadership and equity work,  Jennifer is passionate about diverse and inclusive workplaces that respect and embrace the unique backgrounds, perspectives, experiences and talents of individuals at all levels of the organization.

“Diversity and Inclusion are good for us, our clients, and our community.   Valuing and enhancing diversity helps us attract, retain and…

Categories: Announcements

Game Winner! Chicken Dinner! Legalization of Single-Event Sports Betting in Canada

On February 17, 2021, the House of Commons overwhelmingly passed the second reading of Bill C-218[1], which seeks to decriminalize sports betting on single events, with 303 votes in favour of the bill and 15 opposed[2]. The current prohibition on single-event sports betting is pursuant to section 207(4)(b) of the Criminal Code of Canada[3], which prevents this type of “lottery scheme”. Bill C-218 is a private member’s bill that was introduced in February 2020 by Kevin Waugh, Conservative Member of Parliament for Saskatoon-Grasswood.

The current sports betting regime only allows Canadian entities to book…

Categories: Business Law

Changes to the Federal Divorce Act

New amendments to the federal Divorce Act, meant to come into force last July but pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have come into force this month.

These are the first substantial changes to the Divorce Act in more than 20 years.

The changes to the Divorce Act include updated provisions addressing family violence and relocation.

The Act defines family violence in a holistic sense. It does not solely cover physical violence. The definition includes harassment or stalking, neglect, psychological abuse, financial abuse, destruction of property, and specific threats. It also includes the direct or indirect exposure of a…

Categories: Family Law

Owen Bird Celebrates International Women’s Day by Giving to the BC Society of Transition Houses

Happy International Women’s Day!

Last year the firm celebrated history-making women in law and highlighted women who inspired us. This year, we wanted to give back and fundraise to support women with experiences of domestic violence, also known as intimate partner violence (“IPV”). IPV has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic[1] and women make up 80% of police-reported IPV victims in Canada[2].

To this end, the Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Involvement Committee raised funds to support the BC Society of Transition Houses (the “Society”). The Society is a “member-based, provincial umbrella organization that, through leadership, support and…

Categories: Announcements

St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation Future Leaders – PIXEL Moments

We are pleased to announce that Owen Bird Law Corporation has donated to the St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation Future Leaders – PIXEL Moments. PIXEL Moments is a large scale augmented reality art mural, to be painted by Andrea Wan, which will be above the London Drugs on Granville and Robson this spring.  It is a micro-donation campaign to raise funds and awareness for mental health programs at St. Paul’s Hospital.   More information on the project can be found at: https://pixelmoments.org/.

Categories: Announcements

The Limitation Period Suspension Ends on March 25, 2021

and Taahaa Patel, Articled Student

The provincial government has announced that suspended limitation periods, or deadlines by which a claimant must commence court proceedings, will resume running on March 25, 2021.

Background

After the provincial government declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it suspended the running of limitation periods, which require that a party take certain steps, such as filing a claim, before a particular deadline.

The Ministerial Orders

Initially, under the Emergency Program Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 111 (the “EPA”), the government issued two Ministerial Orders (the “Orders”):

On March 26, 2020, the government suspended…

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