Series GR-1504 - Inquiries

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  • textual record
  • microform

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the series.

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  • 1938-1970 (1972) (Creation)
    British Columbia. Dept. of the Attorney-General

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100 reels of microfilm [B04985 - B05084]

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Biographical history

The Attorney-General’s Department was established in 1871 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 Provincial 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.

In 1976, the Dept. of the Attorney-General was renamed the Ministry of the Attorney General (OIC 3199/76).

Custodial history

Scope and content

This series contains inquiries conducted by coroners in British Columbia, except for Vancouver, from 1938 to 1965; and for the entire province, including Vancouver, from 1966-1970 (1972). These are known as file C81-4, which continues from files C49-1 and C159 in GR-1323 (Attorney General correspondence). The inquiry reports are arranged alphabetically by community.

These are known as file C-81-4, which continues from files C-49-1 and C-159 in GR-1323 (Attorney General correspondence). See GR-1323 for an explanation of the filing system and for some of the earlier coroner's records. Please also note that a large number of inquiries for ca.1955 to ca.1965 may be found in GR-1726 (Attorney General Correspondence), including the inquiry and correspondence relating to the December 1956 air crash of a Trans Canada Airlines flight into Mount Slesse. This C81-4 file may be found in GR-1726, Reel B07674.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Transferred from the Office of Chief Coroner in 1985.


On reels B04985, B04986, and B04987 the pages are consecutively numbered; On B04988 through B05026 the pages are consecutively numbered within a district; On B05027 through B05084 the pages are consecutively numbered within a file.

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These records are restricted. Please contact the BC Archives for information about access.

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General note

Accession number(s): 91-4230; G84-164; G85-090

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Physical storage

  • Box: B4985-B5084