The proposed amendments contained in Bill 21 would bring significant change to the class proceedings regime in British Columbia. While these changes would have a number of effects, the most notable of these is that British Columbia would likely be viewed as a more attractive forum for multi-jurisdictional class proceedings especially in light of the fact that it remains to be a “no cost” regime. As a result, the number and size of class proceedings in British Columbia can be expected to increase.
The LCO’s Class Actions Project will invite significant commentary from plaintiffs, defendants, consumers and industry organizations as well as interested counsel and academics. The result of the consultation remains to be seen, but the consultation represents the first opportunity in a generation to objectively examine the impact of class proceeding legislation from an empirical perspective, and could profoundly affect the future of collective relief in Ontario.
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