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British Columbia. Ministry of Attorney General
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Orders in Council

  • GR-0113
  • Series
  • 1872-2009

The series consists of Orders in Council (OIC) created between 1872 and 2009, arranged numerically by year and then by OIC number. The series also includes some maps and text attachments which were transferred in 1974 from the Dept. of the Provincial Secretary. An Order in Council is a directive issued by the Lieutenant Governor on the advice of Cabinet authorizing certain actions, including creating simple legislation and granting political appointments.

Containers 941119-0002, 941119-0004, and 941119-0006 contain proclamations. These ledgers include a copy of the Order in Council relating to the proclamation and a copy of the proclamation. Each book contains an index listing both the OIC number and the subject of the proclamation.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Attorney-General

Oversize attachments for Orders in Council

  • GR-1664
  • Series
  • 1874-1994

Series consists of oversize attachments to Orders in Council (OIC) that were removed from GR-0113. Some oversized maps and plans from 1896-1979 were microfilmed and are available on reels B07080 to B07085. Other items, which were too large to be microfilmed or were created after 1979, are only available as originals. These are listed in the attached finding aid. Additional oversize items may also be found in GR-0113 (1872-2009) and 91-0472-740 to 91-0472-751 (1993-1994). See the end of the attached finding aid.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Attorney-General

Indexes to Orders in Council

  • GR-1955
  • Series
  • 1872-1984

The series consists of volumes of indexes to Orders in Council (OIC) created between 1872 and 1984. The indexes relate to GR-0113 Orders in Council. The oversize volumes were maintained by the Provincial Secretary's office prior to the introduction of an automated indexing system in 1985 and digitization of the records, now available on the BC Laws website: In most instances, OICs are indexed under the name of the statutes to which they relate. The series also includes ledgers recording documents issued under the Great Seal. The ledgers are arranged by Act name and list the relevant OIC as well as the name and address of the appointee mentioned in the OIC.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Attorney-General

Ministry of Attorney General videotapes

  • GR-3360
  • Series
  • 1982-1990

The series consists of videotapes created by the Ministry of Attorney General between 1983 and 1990. The videos were created to provide public information on a variety of topics including Justice and Court services, alcohol and youth issues and disaster response.

British Columbia. Ministry of Attorney General

Justice information systems in BC slide shows

  • GR-3391
  • Series
  • Jul- Sep 1977

The series consists of five slide shows created in 1977 by the Ministry of Attorney General. These slide shows are concerned with the information system aspects of the Justice system's responsibilities including administration, courts, police and corrections and the use of geographic base files. The series also includes scripts for the slide shows.

British Columbia. Ministry of Attorney General

Miscellaneous files relating to freedom of information

  • GR-3458
  • Series
  • 1994-2006

Series consists of miscellaneous files created by the Information and Privacy unit of the Ministry of Attorney General. Although most of the files relate to the Ministry of Attorney General, the unit also provided services to the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General and there are files that reflect this.

Records consist of policy and procedures files, correspondence, reports, training material, meeting files, reference material and copies of investigation reports. The investigation reports document privacy investigations by the ministry, or the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner. Some of these investigation files relate to other government bodies and were kept for reference purposes.

Files are arranged by the classification number taken from the Administrative Records Classification System (ARCS).

British Columbia. Ministry of Attorney General

Communications branch records

  • GR-3510
  • Series
  • 1974-1997

The series consists of the records of the Communications branch of the Attorney General’s office. The records were created between 1974 and 1997 and include communication plans, briefing notes, cabinet submissions, recommendations, executive correspondence, reports, ombudsman’s investigations, and details of various initiatives and public outreach programs. The records document both the internal workings of the Communications branch and its external relationships with associations, societies, and the general public. The series includes records pertaining to brochures, guides, and related publications that were created for the public by the Ministry of the Attorney General. This includes outreach programs to schools and colouring books designed to teach children about their role within the judicial process. The series includes working drafts, final copies, and correspondence regarding communication plans, which were often issued in response to news stories and significant events.

The series is divided into four subseries : Communication plans and Correspondence, Ombudsman’s Investigations, Acts and Legislation, and Reports.

The Communications subseries (accessions 93-4037, 93-6313, 93-7040 and 93-8578) includes all records classified by the Attorney-General as communication plans, ministerial or executive correspondence, records pertaining to associations and societies, and Government Information Systems. This subseries includes communication plans, correspondence, and position papers.

The Ombudsman’s Investigations subseries (93-4037) consists of reports, correspondence, and news clippings relating to various investigations. These include the sale of Richmond’s Fantasy Gardens, investigations into Jericho School, and the resignation of former Attorney General Bud Smith.

The Acts and Legislation subseries (93-4037 and 93-7040) consists of proposals for legislation, such as amendments to electoral boundaries.

The Reports subseries (93-4037 and 93-7040) consists of annual reports and reports on a variety issues. The reports were written between 1974 and 1997.

The series is covered by ARCS 105-05, 155-20, 160-20, 255-20, 280-30, 295-03 440-20 and 442-20.

British Columbia. Ministry of Attorney General

Executive briefing notes

  • GR-3555
  • Series
  • 1995 - 2006

The records consist of briefing notes prepared for the executive of the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, and the Ministry of Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Treaty Negotiations. As such, the records consist primarily of summarized information on issues and recommendations for decisions related to treaty negotiation and other Aboriginal issues in British Columbia. Some files contain supplementary information on issues, such as: interoffice communications; correspondence (with law offices, First Nations groups, businesses, and other provincial bodies); relevant legislation; newspaper clippings; and reports. Although treaty negotiation and land claim issues are the primary subjects of the briefing notes, the notes also cover a variety of issues including cost-sharing initiatives between the federal and provincial governments and areas of responsibility, gaming and gambling, environmental issues, protests and blockades, and funding initiatives. Additionally, many of the records cover the McLeod Lake Indian Band, Nisga’a Nation, the Sechelt Indian Band [shíshálh Nation], the Skeetchestn Indian Band, and Treaty 8.

The majority of the records were created by the Ministry of Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Treaty Negotiations Office. The duties, powers and functions of the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs respecting negotiations, negotiations support and treaty settlement and implementation costs were transferred to the Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Treaty Negotiation in 2001 (OIC 0565-2001), at the same time that the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs was disestablished. The Treaty Negotiations Office (TNO) reported to the Minister Responsible for Treaty Negotiations and was responsible for land claims negotiations, and interim measures, including treaty-related measures. The TNO is comprised of the same treaty teams as existed previously, as well as the Aboriginal Relations Branch, which has responsibility for non-treaty issues and works with First Nations outside of the treaty process. The TNO shares some corporate services with the Ministry for the Attorney General but is a separate agency. Some files also contain information on the Treaty Negotiations Office, including its mandate and primary functions. Geoff Plant served as Minister Responsible for Treaty Negotiations Office between 2001-2005 and Philip Steenkamp served as Deputy Minister.

Briefing notes created prior to June 2001 were created for the executive of the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs. Additional executive briefing notes related to Aboriginal issues can be found in GR-3538.

Files are comprised of briefing books or briefing binders. Generally, these files are arranged chronologically. Within each file or binder, records are arranged either chronologically or alphabetically. Most files contain an index of records.

Records correspond to ARCS 280-20: Executive briefing notes.

British Columbia. Ministry of Attorney General

Asbestos litigation records

  • GR-3648
  • Series
  • 1987-1996

The series consists of briefing notes, correspondence, notes, settlement agreements, and collections of news articles pertaining to asbestos litigation carried out in British Columbia between 1987 and 1996. The records were maintained by the Deputy Attorney General and provide evidence of activities surrounding litigation in the province. The records also show that lawyers looked to prior litigation that had taken place in the United States, and this is reflected in the records. Many of the legal cases involved suing manufacturers of asbestos products for recovery of the costs related to asbestos abatement in buildings and vessels. The series also consists of correspondence from different ministries is response to a letter requesting responsive records for court cases.

The series is covered by Executive Records schedule 102906.

British Columbia. Ministry of Attorney General

Records of Assistant Deputy Minister, A.L. Pearson

  • GR-3727
  • Series
  • 1929-1980

The records were created by Alexander Lloyd Pearson during his tenure as the Assistant Deputy Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General. The records provide evidence of the workings of the Courts system and the Ministry of Attorney General, as well as the process by which legislation was amended and revised. Records in this series are both administrative and operational in nature. Administrative records reflect the day-to-day workings of the Ministry, and include blanks and drafts of forms, transcripts of how court proceedings should be held, budgetary records, organizational charts, salary information, and general circulars and memos. Operational records include correspondence regarding judicial appointments, judges’ personnel files, minutes from the Board of Arbitration (Residence and Responsibility Act), and a subset of records related to the amendment of the Coroner’s Act.

Pearson appears to have been copied on much of the Ministry’s correspondence and its circulars, and many records that do not relate directly to him can be found in the series. As such, the records provide a good overview of the operations of the Ministry of Attorney General and provide evidence of the influence and oversight responsibilities that Pearson held. Pearson also appears to have maintained a number of records relating to estate administration and the probating of wills. It is not clear why these were filed with Pearson’s records, and their relation to the surrounding records is often unclear. Pearson may have intervened with particularly difficult cases, or he may have simply kept copies of the records as examples for his own personal reference. Individuals whose records are included in Pearson’s files include John Hyland (will dated 1903), Robert Hyland (will dated 1930) Enoch Sage (d. 1945), and Hannah Maria Gibson (d. 1946)

The series also consists of a subseries of records relating to the 1975 Keenleyside report, a comprehensive review of the Fire Marshal’s office. The Keenleyside records in this series were created between 1973 and 1975 and include limited correspondence, sample circulars, and material gathered during his research.

Containers 870019-0003 and 870019-0004 contain the remains of alpha files. For the sake of preservation, the records have been rehoused into acid-free holders, but they appear to have originally been housed in a drawer with alphabetical dividers. The alphabetical classification appears to have been based on a number of criteria, including subject term or the names of individuals included in the records. In many cases, records appear to have been misfiled, but as the filing system appears to have been somewhat loose, this may not be the case. Folders have been labelled with the original alpha heading from the divider, and suggestions have been made in square brackets when appropriate.

Four files included in in container 870019-0006 were sent off-site with a note prior to being transferred to the Archives. They were found amongst the papers of another Ministry employee and were arbitrarily placed in the last box of the accession as records management staff could no longer determine where they belonged. The file code written on the file folders may not have been the original one assigned by the Ministry of Attorney General.

British Columbia. Ministry of Attorney General

Correspondence and diaries of the Deputy Attorney General

  • GR-3733
  • Series
  • 1985-1990

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.

British Columbia. Ministry of Attorney General

Records of the Attorney General

  • GR-3944
  • Series
  • 1945-1972, 1974-2001

This series consists of subject files, correspondence and other records from the Office of the Attorney General from 1945-1972, 1974-2001. The records document all aspects of the Attorney General's role, including: advice to Cabinet; political oversight of the ministry; and involvement in inter-ministerial and inter-governmental initiatives. Files relate to all branches and functions of the Ministry of Attorney General and many include an overview of the work conducted by various branches of the ministry.

The majority of records are annual subject or correspondence files documenting the Attorney General’s liaison with government ministries and other government bodies, such as BC Ferries and BC Hydro. For earlier records, this includes annual correspondence files with Members of the Legislative Assembly, Ministers, and a few members of the public such as concerned citizens, and representatives of various organizations or companies. These files may contain correspondence in and out, alongside related reference material. In later series outgoing correspondence may be filed separately as flimsies (outgoing correspondence sent by the Attorney General). Some of the flimsies reply to correspondence written by members of the public and subsequently forwarded to the Attorney General from various officials for a response.

In addition, many records are copies requiring review or approval by the Attorney General, such as requests for legislation, and orders in council (OICs) and related background information.

Other types of records vary over the years and may include: Police Board records, including minutes; settlement offers with First Nations; Police Services complaints commission records; Human Rights Tribunal records, including reasons for decision; annual reports; legal opinions; press releases; newspaper clippings; staff personnel records; newsletters; correspondence; statistics; reports; budgets; audits; Freedom of Information requests; Treasury Board submissions; newspaper clippings; court records; files related to sessions of parliament including Bills, notes and responses to questions; daily journals or agendas (these are the only records in the series covering the years 1945-1951); briefs submitted to Cabinet from interested third parties. Many records appear to be informational to keep the Attorney General informed about various issues or the progress of programs and projects.

The subjects included in these records are extremely diverse, as the Attorney General interacted with all branches of government. A few prominent subjects include: liquor control, Doukhobors, Policing, allegations of corruption and abuse of authority by government officials or police, horse racing, conferences, Royal Commissions, Bank of British Columbia, Columbia River Treaty and power development project, and Dominion Provincial Conferences.

The records include a VHS videotape providing an overview of Thomas R. Berger’s report addressing claims of sexual abuse at Jericho Hill School for the Deaf. The videotape also contains the Attorney General at the time, the Honorable Colin Gablemann’s ministerial statement tabling Berger’s report to the Legislature on June 28th, 1995.

Names and dates of Attorney Generals covering these records are:
Robert Bonner (1952–1968)
Leslie Peterson (1968–1972)
Alex MacDonald (1972–1975)
Brian Smith (1983-1988)
Bud Smith (1988-1990)
Russell Fraser (1990-1991)
Colin Gabelmann (1991-1995)
Ujjal Dosanjh (1995–2000)
Andrew Petter (2000)
Graeme Bowbrick (2000–2001)
Geoff Plant (2001–2005)

These records are covered under Executive Records schedule 102906. Accession 86-0270 is covered under onetime schedule number 860140.

British Columbia. Dept. of the Attorney-General

Records of the Director of Land Titles

  • GR-3952
  • Series
  • 1992-1999

This series consists of records of Malcolm McAvity, Director of Land Titles. Record dates range from 1992 to 1999. Files relate to legislation impacting Land Titles, such as Crown Liens, Escheat Act and Hastings Park Renewal Act. Other records are from committees the Director sat on, some are related to projects and work of the entire Ministry of Attorney General, such as implementing the use of email. Records include minute, correspondence, reports, reference material, and requests for legislation.

For the period in which these records were created, Land Titles functions were part of the Ministry of Attorney General.

Covered under Executive Records schedule 102906.

British Columbia. Ministry of Attorney General

Liquor control and licensing illegal activities case files

  • GR-4047
  • Series
  • 1981 - 2010

The series consists of illegal activities case files created by the Liquor Control and Licensing branch, Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. The records document the investigation of illegal activities in the distribution and sale of alcohol in the Province. Records relate to conducting enforcement investigations and inquiries into illegal activities taking place in a licensed premises or by manufacturers or their agents, pertaining to the illegal manufacture, sale, purchase or smuggling of illicit liquor in the province. Enforcement actions (e.g., liquor seizures) may be carried out by the Branch or other law enforcement agencies on behalf of the Branch in accordance with the Liquor Control and Licensing Act (RSBC 1996, c. 267) and Regulations (BC Reg. 244/2002), the Judicial Review Procedure Act (RSBC 1996, c.242), and subsequent legislation governing the operational responsibilities and functions of the creating agency.
Illicit liquor includes liquor that has been smuggled from other provinces, the United States or other international locations; liquor that has not been purchased, sold or kept in compliance with the Liquor Control and Licensing Act and Regulations as well as the terms and conditions of the licence; adulterated or watered down liquor; sale of personal use or illegally manufactured liquor including sale of U-brew, U-vin products, home distilled or home fermented liquor; and use of medicinal, confectionary, culinary, or other concoctions containing alcohol but not intended for consumption (e.g., Chinese cooking wines, mouthwashes and aftershave lotions).

A few of the records document the research and evaluation of current issues that affect the sale or production of liquor products such as rural agency stores, unlicensed motor vessels, fishing lodges and aboriginal affairs. Records may also contain information pertaining to alcohol-related incidents of special significance or importance to liquor control and licensing (e.g., death as a result of alcohol consumption) which may have influence over policy. Additionally, a few files relate to licensed manufacturers of beer, wine and spirits pursuant to the Liquor Control and Licensing Act (RSBC 1996, c.267, ss. 12, 15, 55, 56, 57 and 58). Manufacturers must be licensed to produce distilled spirits, wine, beer or cider. The records were created between 1981 and 2010 in British Columbia.

The records are arranged by the name of the establishment under investigation for illegal activities. They include correspondence, memoranda, reports, news clippings and legal documents, copies of coroner’s inquiries and coroner’s reports, policy reviews, research materials, licences, applications, renewal forms, and reports. The records are classified as illegal activities case files (71800-20) under the Liquor Control and Licensing ORCS (schedule 111801), published in 2006. Some records are classified as issues and topics of interest (70100-20) and policy and procedures files (73400-00).

British Columbia. Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General

Records of the Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Treaty Negotiations

  • GR-4050
  • Series
  • 1975 - 2006

The series consists of records, predominantly from the 1990s and 2000s, created by the Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) Treaty Negotiations. The records in this series reflect the ADM’s role in providing executive leadership to the Treaty Negotiations' Office prior to and during the 2000s; from 2001-2005, the Treaty Negotiations Office resided with the Ministry of Attorney General and was renamed the Ministry of Attorney General Treaty Negotiations Office. In 2005 the Treaty Negotiations office became part of the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation (2005-2017). Records in this series document the government’s evolving relationship with Indigenous groups. Some of these records capture the province’s negotiations with Indigenous groups to achieve reconciliation and legal certainty over the ownership and use of Crown land and resources in the province. The records also focus on some of the Treaty Negotiations Office core business areas such as intergovernmental agreements and negotiation preparation, individual First Nations negotiations, and final agreement implementation. Some of the indigenous groups referenced in this series include the Nisga’a, Shíshálh, the Métis, Dene, Snuneymuxw, and the Squamish.

Many of the records document the different types of agreements between Indigenous groups and the provincial government; for example, interim measures, agreements in principle, resource management agreements/ plans, treaty related measures, land and cash offers, and self-government agreements. Some records document the activities of the regional negotiating teams. The records also include information on the Nisga’a final agreement; the first agreement in BC to provide constitutional certainty of an Indigenous peoples’ right to self-government. Ratified in 1999, this agreement came into effect in 2000. The series also includes records reflecting the BC Treaty Commission (BCTC) six stage approach to negotiating treaties with Indigenous groups: Stage 1 – Statement of Intent; Stage 2 – Preparation for Negotiations; Stage 3 – Negotiation of a Framework Agreement; Stage 4 – Negotiation of an Agreement in Principle (AIP); Stage 5 – Negotiation to Finalize a Treaty; and Stage 6 – Implementation of a Treaty. The province’s controversial BC treaty referendum in 2002 is also captured in this series. Some administrative records are interspersed among files in this series.

The records are arranged by topic. They include correspondence, presentations, copies of briefing notes, transition binders, manuals, reports, estimates and other financial records, drafts, meeting materials, agreements, business continuity plans, and other records. These records are classified under the Executive Records schedule (102906). They also include some ORCS (Operational Classification System) codes from the approved/draft Aboriginal Affairs ORCS (schedule 880711), 1992, and ARCS (Administrative Records Classification System) codes.

British Columbia. Ministry of Attorney General