2017 Report from the Executive Director: “New Societies Act provides the Partnership with clarity regarding our identity as a government-funded entity,” stated Kim Stephens

The New Societies Act and What It Means

“In November 2016, the new Societies Act came into effect in British Columbia,” wrote Kim Stephens in his 2017 Annual Report of the Partnership for Water Sustainability of BC. “There is a 2-year transition period for implementation. A significant outcome of the new Act is the resulting clarity regarding distinctively different classifications of societies. This clarity helps the Partnership define its identity.

“On transition, each pre-existing society has been asked whether it wishes to designate itself as a “member-funded society” by including a statement to that effect in its constitution. A member-funded society is a society that is funded primarily by its members to carry on activities for the benefit of its members.

“A society cannot be a member-funded society if it receives government funding above a certain threshold. Hence, the choice was made for us. The Partnership is not and cannot be a member-funded society. The Partnership is funded exclusively by government and provides services to government.

“The Partnership’s Constitution is now aligned with the new Societies Act. This means that only Directors are ‘Members’ and have voting rights. Any and all categories of membership that may be established by Board policy would be non-voting.

“Now that the Societies Act has provided the Partnership with clarity regarding our identify, it allows the Board of Directors to focus on the Partnership mission  – which is to serve as the hub for a ‘convening for action’ network in the local government setting, and to deliver the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia through partnerships and collaboration.”