On February 16, 2017, Bill M-205 (Property Law and Land Title Amendment Act, 2017) passed first reading which, amongst other things, proposes to make amendments to the Property Law Act (British Columbia). Notably, Bill M-205 would restrict ownership of land within the Agricultural Land Reserve (the “ALR”) by foreign nationals or foreign corporations to a maximum of five acres. The ALR is a collection of approximately 11 million acres of land in British Columbia that has been designated for farming purposes. The proposed amendments would permit foreign nationals and foreign corporations to hold land within the ALR in excess of this amount with the permission of the Lieutenant Governor in Council. For a concise discussion of what constitutes a “foreign national” or a “foreign corporation”, see Ed Wilson, Peter Tolensky, and Stephanie Redding’s blog post here.
Although Bill M-205 has not yet become law, this Bill will be one to watch as it moves through the legislature.