By a vote of 52.7% to 46.1%, the members of the Law Society of British Columbia have voted to make Canadian Bar Association membership fees voluntary for 2005, ending some fifty years of compelled payments. New Brunswick is now the only Canadian jurisdiction that forces lawyers to pay the CBA.

The CBA, a national advocacy group based in Ottawa, had opposed both the holding of the referendum and the concept of voluntary fees. It made $200,000 available from its national and provincial budgets to campaign against voluntariness.

For more information, see the Law Society’s website.