BURNABY, B.C. – The B.C. Building Code is now available online free of charge and the provincial government is issuing refunds to those who purchased the code on or after Sept. 5, 2018.
The governments of Canada and British Columbia are refunding $2.5 million in total, with $1.875 million coming from the federal government and the provincial government refunding $625,000. Cheques will be mailed over the next four to six weeks.
As of April 1, 2019 electronic versions of the National Building Code of Canada were made available at no cost, which eliminated royalties paid to the federal government by B.C. for the national codes. The refunds are the result of an agreement between the governments of Canada and B.C. to pass the savings to British Columbians.
“Today’s announcement is a win-win,” federal minister of innovation, science and economic development Navdeep Singh Bains said on August 14 at an event held at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. “Not only are we returning money to the hard-working students and firms of B.C.’s construction sector and making national building codes free from now on, we are also celebrating the Province’s role in setting the stage for better harmonization under one national standard.”
The B.C. government is refunding the full purchase amount to those who bought an online subscription to the codes and a “substantial” refund to those purchased the printed version, a government release stated. Printed copies going forward will be offered at a reduced rate and online version will be freely available.
“Our government is working hard to make sure programs and services are affordable and accessible for all British Columbians. Today, we’re giving $2.5 million back to British Columbians and making it easier for students, contractors, businesses and local governments to access these important codes for their studies and work – work that helps grow local economies and create good-paying jobs,” provincial minister of citizens’ services Jinny Sims said.
“Our government is committed to addressing affordability for all students. We are lowering financial barriers for students at the 15 institutions across B.C. where knowledge of building codes is an essential requirement of their training and education. When classes start next month, students will save close to 70 per cent on printed copies of the codes, while digital access will be cost-free,” provincial minister of advanced education, skills and training Melanie Mark added.
The BC Building Code 2018 as published in Sept. 2018 and took effect in Dec. 2018. The code is based on the federal government’s National Building Code 2015.