Series GR-3733 - Correspondence and diaries of the Deputy Attorney General

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Correspondence and diaries of the Deputy Attorney General

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  • textual record

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  • 1985-1990 (Creation)

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90 cm textual records

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Biographical history

The Ministry of Attorney General was established in 1871 under its first name, the Attorney-General’s Department of the Province of British Columbia, by authority of the Constitution Act of 1871 (SBC 1871, c. 147). Prior to that, from 1863 to 1866, the origins of the ministry were in the offices of the Attorney-General for the Colony of Vancouver Island and for the Colony of British Columbia. In 1866, the colonies united to form one colony, with one Attorney-General, who remained in place until British Columbia became a province of the Dominion of Canada in 1871.

The Attorney-General was the official legal advisor of the Lieutenant-Governor and of the Executive Council. He was responsible for the settlement and approval of all documents issued under the public seal of the province and for the supervision of magistrates, police, and the constabulary. In 1899, the department was reconstituted by the Attorney-General’s Act (SBC 1899, c. 5), which expanded the duties and powers of the Attorney-General to include: management and direction of correctional institutions, the British Columbia Police, and the administration of public affairs; provision of legislative and legal advice to the representative of the Crown and the heads of government departments; administration of justice within the Province; and regulation of all litigation for and against the Crown and public departments within the jurisdiction of the Legislature. At various times several different agencies have been under the direction of the Attorney-General, such as the Industrial Schools for Boys and for Girls, Factories Inspection Branch, Electrical Energy Inspection Branch, Mothers’ Pension Board, Municipal Branch, Provincial Board of Health, Prohibition Commission, Public Utilities Commission, and Superintendent of Neglected Children. In most instances these agencies have later been placed under the management of other departments, absorbed into new organizations, or abolished altogether.

On Oct. 28 1976, the Dept. of the Attorney-General was renamed Ministry of the Attorney-General (OIC 3199/76 and CNAF). The name changed again in 1979 to Ministry of Attorney General (SBC, 1979, c. 23).

In 2001, the Ministry was renamed The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General and a new Ministry of Attorney General was created (OIC 565/2001). The mandate in 2001 continued with the Attorney General as the chief law officer for the province and official legal advisor to Cabinet. The ministry is responsible for the administration and delivery of justice services, except for youth corrections. Its programs are divided into five areas: criminal, civil/family, administrative, human rights, and regulatory.

Between 2012 and 2017 the Ministry was renamed the Ministry of Justice. After 2017 the name returned to Ministry of Attorney General.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The series consists of copies of outgoing correspondence and several yearly office diaries of Deputy Attorney General Edward N. “Ted” Hughes. Records in this series were created between 1985 and 1990 and provide evidence of the day-to-day functioning of the office of the Deputy Attorney General. Correspondence is grouped by month, and is arranged in chronological order. Correspondence in this series is addressed to private individuals, organizations, and others in government regarding a variety of issues, including ongoing court cases, complaints, questions, and personnel matters. Incoming correspondence has not been included. The series also consists of several mail logs, which note the date of incoming correspondence, the sender’s name or affiliated organization, the subject of the letter, the number under which the correspondence was filed in the Deputy Attorney General’s office, and whether or not it was referred to third party elsewhere in government. The series also consists of several desk-top planner-style diaries, which note appointments and meetings. Many of the diary pages are blank, and those that are completed generally contain short notes and initials.

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The records were transferred to the Archives from the Deputy Attorney General and Deputy Minister of Justice in October 2016.


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These records are subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act or other acts and access may be restricted. Please contact the BC Archives to determine the access status of these records

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General note

Accession number(s) : 91-4742


Correspondence was originally received at the Archives in cerlox-bound collections based on month. For preservation purposes, the cerlox binding has been removed and the records have been placed in folders.

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