In British Columbia, before a law is enacted, it begins as a bill. A bill introduced by a minister in the legislature is known as a government or public bill. Other types of bills include private bills and members bills.
Private bills are introduced by a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for the benefit of a particular person or special interest group, and members' bills are introduced by a member of the opposition or government backbencher.
After a bill has been introduced into the Legislature, it is received, printed, and disseminated. Bills are not debated at their first reading.
The bill is debated by Members of the Legislative Assembly. At the end of the debate, a vote is taken to determine whether the bill will proceed to the committee stage or die.
The Committee of the Whole House debates the bill clause by clause. Amendments to the bill may be proposed at this stage.
The Committee reports the bill as complete, with or without amendments.
The Legislature passes the bill as it has been reported by the committee. The bill is then printed in its final, 3rd reading form, including any amendments. This copy is what usually becomes law.
Royal Assent completes the enactment of a bill into law.
Courthouse Libraries | B.C. (2010). How a bill becomes law in B.C. Retrieved March 12, 2010 from
Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. (2009). How a bill becomes law. Retrieved March 14, 2010 from
Instituted in 1970, BC's Hansard is the official record of the debates in the provincial legislature. It also includes the transcripts of speeches and votes, and more recently, has begun to include webcasts. Prior to 1970, the official record of motions and debates in the B.C. legislature was recorded in the Journals of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia.