From One State of Emergency to Another

Just three weeks after the state of emergency ended for the COVID-19 pandemic, the B.C. government declared a provincial state of emergency to support the provincewide response to the ongoing wildfire situation. The declaration became effective on July 21, 2021. Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, made the declaration based upon the recommendation from the BC Wildfire Service and Emergency Management BC.

The state of emergency was initially in effect for 14 days. It has now been extended twice. At the time of writing this post, the Government of British Columbia has extended the state of emergency through the end of the day on Aug. 31, 2021.

The state of emergency applies to the whole province. As such, Strata Property Regulation 17.23 is triggered. This regulation helps strata corporations by allowing extra time to hold general meetings when a provincial or local state of emergency is declared for disruptive incidents, such as a pandemic, floods, or forest fires.

Strata corporations have an additional two months to hold an annual general meeting or special general meeting if the strata is located in an area where a local or provincial state of emergency is in effect at any time during the month before the statutory deadline for holding the meeting.

For example, if a strata corporation must hold a special general meeting by September 7 to comply with the Strata Property Act, and a state of emergency ends on August 31, the date when the strata must hold a meeting is extended to November 7. (Section 25.3 of the Interpretation Act helps clarify when the two-month extension ends.)

The BC Government Strata Housing website contains information about operating a strata during COVID-19 or another state of emergency.

As of the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 17, 263 wildfires were burning in B.C., with 86 evacuation orders affecting approximately 8,262 properties, and 125 evacuation alerts affecting approximately 22,729 properties.

For information on wildfire evacuation orders and alerts, visit Emergency Info BC.

Learn how you can help people affected by wildfire.

Update: BC’s provincial state of emergency, enacted to support provincial wildfire response, expired at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021.


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