BC Legislation

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

Orders in Council are official documents implementing Government decisions regarding day-to-day operation of the the province and go back to 1872.

Where to find them:

Orders in Council - BC Laws

  • Available from 1872 to present 

BC Orders in Council - microform

  • On-site at Courthouse Libraries 
  • 1872 - 2001

British Columbia Gazette, Part I

  • Publishes some Orders in Council.

British Columbia Gazette. Part II

  • Publishes all Orders in Council that act as regulations since 1958.

 

BC Regulations go back to 1958.

Where to find them:

BC Gazette Part II

  • on-site at Courthouse Libraries

BC Laws

  • most current versions 
  • point-in-time consolidations going back to 2003

If you are searching for information regarding regulations made before 1958, read our Our Legal Knowledge Base entry: Where I can find pre-1958 BC Regulations?

BC 1st Reading Bills go back to 1872.

Where to find them:

BC 1st Reading Bills 

  • on-site at Courthouse Libraries
  • goes back to 1956

Legislative Assembly of British Columbia website

  • going back to 1992

Earlier 1st reading bills may be found by contacting the Legislative Library in Victoria. For further information, read Our Legal Knowledge Base entry on Bills – First Reading (BC).

BC Debates (Hansard) go back to 1970.

Where to find them:

Official Report of Debates of the Legislative Assembly

  • on-site at Courthouse Libraries

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. 

Where to find them:

Print versions published by the Queen’s Printer are considered the only official versions of BC legislation. Print versions can be found on-site at Courthouse Libraries.

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.

How can I tell if a regulation is in force?

Unless otherwise stated, a regulation takes effect on the date of deposit.

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