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Electronic Meetings now Generally Available to BC Companies, Societies and Cooperatives

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Corporate/Commercial Law Bulletin

On April 21, 2020 the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General issued a Ministerial Order for Electronic Attendance at Corporate Meetings (COVID-19) (the “Order”).

The Order allows any person entitled to attend a meeting under the Business Corporations Act, the Cooperative Association Act, the Society Act (collectively the “Acts”) or any regulation, article, memorandum, bylaw, or rule made under these Acts to attend the meeting by telephone or other electronic means. All persons participating in the meeting must be able to communicate with each other.

BC companies, societies and cooperatives may choose to hold hybrid electronic/in-person meetings or entirely electronic meetings. If a hybrid meeting is held, the party responsible for holding the meeting does not have to facilitate the use of any other communications method to attend the meeting.

If a meeting is held entirely by telephone or other electronic means:

  1. The party responsible for holding the meeting must facilitate the use of the chosen communications method for attending the meeting,
  2. Any notice required for the meeting must specify the instructions for attending and participating at the meeting, and
  3. Any person participating at the meeting must be able to communicate with other participants and, if such person is entitled to vote at the meeting, must be able to do so by the chosen communications method.

Any meeting that is held entirely by telephone or other electronic means is not required to have a physical location and is deemed to be held in British Columbia.

This Order applies from April 21, 2020 until the declaration of a state of emergency in British Columbia expires or is cancelled.

If you have any questions or need further assistance with meetings held by your organization, please contact Geoff Pedlow, Kareen Zimmer or Dierk Ullrich.

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