BC Legislation

This subject guide gathers links and content to assist in researching BC legislation.

BC Orders in Council go back to 1872. They are available on microfilm in our collection from 1872-2001 and on our public computers on BC Laws. For further information, read our Our Legal Knowledge Base entry on Orders in Council (BC) – Obtaining Copies.

BC Regulations go back to 1958. They are available in our print collection in the BC Gazette Part II. BC Regulations are also available online on our public computers on BC Laws, which also contain point-in-time legislation going back to 2003. The most current versions of BC Regulations are freely available on BC Laws and CanLII. For further information, read our Our Legal Knowledge Base entry on BC Regulations Pre-1958.

BC 1st Reading Bills go back to 1872. Our print collection goes back to 1956. Earlier 1st reading bills may be found by contacting the Legislative Library in Victoria. BC 1st Reading Bills are also freely available online going back to 1992 on the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia website. For further information, read Our Legal Knowledge Base entry on Bills – First Reading (BC).

BC Debates (Hansard) go back to 1970. They are available in our print collection and also freely available on the BC Legislative Assembly website. Pre-1970, the Journals of the Legislative Assembly of BC may briefly mention the debates but as a summary only.

BC Statutes go back to 1872. They are available in our print collection from 1872 onwards. Print versions published by the Queen’s Printer are considered the only official versions of BC legislation. BC Statutes are also available on our public computers on QP Legaleze and contain points-in-time going back to 1991. The most current versions of BC Statutes are freely available on BC Laws and CanLII.

CanLII has point-in-time legislation going back to 2003. BC Laws does not contain historical information.  

BC Tables of Concordance go back to 1979. They are available in our print collection.

An Act Can Come Into Force in a Number of Ways

  • On the date of Royal Assent
  • On a date specified in the commence section of the Act
  • By regulation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.  (These regulations are generally referred to as proclamations.)
  • Some combination of the above.

The Legislature does not have to be sitting in order for a regulation to be issued to proclaim an act or sections of an act into force.

How Does Your Act Come Into Force?

Check the commencement section at the end of the act.  If there is no commencement section the act came into force on Royal Assent.

Is it in Force?

Check the Progress of Bills Table on the Legislative Assembly’s website to determine the Royal Assent Date.


See our Recent BC Proclamations for list of acts that have been brought into force by regulation.