Canadian Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service
The BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association operates the Lawyer Referral
Service, funded by the Law Foundation of BC. The Service enables members of the
public to consult with a lawyer for up to 30 minutes for a fee of $25. After the
consultation, the fees to be charged are strictly between the lawyer and the
client. The lawyer is not obliged to accept the applicant’s case and the applicant is under no obligation to retain the lawyer.
Courts of British Columbia
There are three levels of court in British Columbia: in ascending order, the Provincial Court, the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court was originally the highest court in the province. In 1909 the Court of Appeal was created. The Court of Appeal for British Columbia is now the highest court in the province.
Financial Institutions Commission
The Financial Institutions Commission (FICOM) is a
regulatory agency of the provincial government
(Ministry of Finance) which is responsible for
administering 10 statutes that regulate the pension,
financial services and real estate sectors in
British Columbia, with a view to ensuring that
institutions and pension plans remain solvent,
market conduct requirements are respected,
unsuitable individuals do not participate in
financial service markets and insuring credit union
deposits and non-equity shares.
Insurance Council of B.C.
The Insurance Council of BC was originally established more than 50 years ago. In 1984, the Council was delegated the authority to license insurance agents, salespersons, and adjusters; and was subsequently given authority to investigate and discipline licensees. In 1990, the Insurance Act established the Council’s make up and defined its responsibilities in regulating insurance licensees. The Council is accountable to the provincial government and reports to the Minister of Finance.
Real Estate Council of B.C.
The Real Estate Council is a regulatory agency established by the provincial government. Its mandate is to protect the public by enforcing the licensing and licensee conduct requirements of the
Real Estate Services Act.
The Council is responsible for licensing real estate representatives, brokers and brokerages, enforcing entry qualifications, investigating complaints against licensees and imposing disciplinary sanctions under the Act.