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Legislation: BC

TRU Library resources guide for students researching bills, statutes and other information about legislation and the legislative process in the Province of British Columbia.


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Mary Hemmings
Faculty of Law
OM 3661
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How a Bill Becomes an Act

How a Bill Becomes an Act

How a Bill Becomes an Act

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.

1st Reading:

After a bill has been introduced into the Legislature, it is received, printed, and disseminated.  Bills are not debated at their first reading.

2nd 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.

Committee Stage:

The Committee of the Whole House debates the bill clause by clause.  Amendments to the bill may be proposed at this stage.

Report Stage:

The Committee reports the bill as complete, with or without amendments.

3rd Reading:

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:

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

Find Hansards, Bills, Committee Reports, Statutes

Find Hansards, Bills, Committee Reports, Statutes

Hansard (Debates)

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.

    1970 - Current
    Debates of the Legislative Assembly
    Archived Journals of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia

Legislative Assembly Documents and Proceedings  

Statutes and Regulations of BC​

Online Resources

Online Resources