Crowns, agencies, boards and commissions

Agencies, boards and commissions are essential to the governance of the province. The functions of these organizations and the services they provide to citizens are broad and varied.

The Ministry of Attorney General and the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General are responsible for a number of agencies, boards and commissions that have mandates relating to justice, public safety and regulatory issues.

To learn about tribunals in British Columbia, please visit the B.C. Tribunal Sector website.

Ministry of Attorney General agencies, boards and commissions

Attorney General’s BC Supreme Court Rules Committee

The Attorney General’s BC Supreme Court Rules Committee assists the Attorney General in making recommendations to the Lieutenant Governor in Council respecting changes to the written rules governing the conduct of litigation in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. The committee actively pursues opportunities to simplify the language and procedures in the rules to make them more accessible to the public while seeking opportunity to enhance access to justice through the rules.

British Columbia Ferry Commission

The BC Ferry Commission is a quasi-judicial regulatory agency operating under the Coastal Ferry Act. The commission regulates the ferry operator, British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. (BC Ferries) on 25 saltwater routes and is independent of the government and BC Ferries. The primary responsibility of the commissioner is to regulate ferry fares. The commissioner sets a price cap on the average level of fares which BC Ferries can charge, the goal of which is to balance the interests of ferry users with the interests of taxpayers while protecting the financial sustainability of the ferry operator. Other key tasks include: monitoring adherence to the terms of the Coastal Ferry Services Contract; approval of major capital expenditures; regulating unfair competitive advantage; and the approval and monitoring of BC Ferries’ customer complaints process.

BC Lottery Corporation

The BC Lottery Corporation (BCLC) is a crown corporation governed by the Gaming Control Act. Its mandate is to conduct, manage and operate lottery, casino, commercial bingo and internet gambling in a socially responsible way for the benefit of British Columbians. BCLC is regulated by the Gaming Policy Enforcement Branch, which is responsible for regulating all gaming in the province, including horse racing and charitable gaming. BCLC also adheres to the federal financial regulator, FINTRAC, in its anti-money laundering practices.

Independent Investigations Office of BC

The Independent Investigations Office was established to conduct civilian-based investigations of police officer involved incidents of death or serious harm. The office is under the direction of the Chief Civilian Director, a position for which one cannot have ever served as a police officer.

Insurance Corporation of British Columbia

The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) is a provincial Crown corporation mandated by the Insurance Corporation Act, Insurance (Vehicle) Act and Motor Vehicle Act to provide universal compulsory auto insurance (basic insurance) to drivers in B.C., with rates regulated by the British Columbia Utilities Commission. Similar to other vehicle owners across Canada, motorists in B.C. are required by law to purchase a minimum level of Basic vehicle insurance. In addition to providing basic vehicle insurance, ICBC offers various optional vehicle insurance coverages, including extended third-party liability, collision, and comprehensive and vehicle storage.

Investigation and Standards Office

The Investigation and Standards Office is an independent body of the Ministry of Attorney General. Its responsibilities include: investigating complaints made by inmates at provincial correctional centres and probationers supervised in the community; reviewing inmate disciplinary appeals; inspecting facilities and processes used by court services; and participating in critical incident reviews conducted by BC Corrections, or as determined by the director.

Judicial Council of the Province of BC

The Provincial Court Act of B.C. establishes the Judicial Council, a body of nine people with responsibility for improving the quality of services provided by the judicial officers of the Provincial Court. Its main functions are to advise the government on the appointment of Provincial Court judges and judicial justices and, when necessary, to undertake inquiries into their conduct. Its duties under the Provincial Court Act include: screening candidates applying for appointment as judges and judicial justices, and retired judges' applications for reappointment; conducting inquiries regarding the conduct of judges and judicial justices; considering proposals for improving the Court’s judicial services; continuing the education of judicial officers; preparing and revising, in consultation with the judicial officers, a Code of Ethics for the judiciary; and reporting to the Attorney General on matters which the Attorney General considers necessary.

Legal Aid BC

The Legal Aid BC provides legal aid in British Columbia as set out in the Legal Services Society Act. Services include legal information and advice to, and representation of, people with low incomes. The provincial government provides most of the Legal Aid BC funding, but it remains independent of government. Legal Aid BC reports its activities to government through the Attorney General and determines the range of services it will provide within the framework of a memorandum of understanding negotiated with the Attorney General every three years.

Liquor Distribution Branch

The Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) is one of two branches of government responsible for B.C.’s beverage alcohol industry. The Liquor Distribution Act gives the LDB the sole right to purchase beverage alcohol both within B.C. and from outside the province, in accordance with the federal Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act. As the sole buyer and re-seller of liquor in the province’s mixed public-private model, the LDB is one of the largest liquor purchasers in the world.

Notaries Public Board of Examiners

BC Notaries provide non-contentious legal services to the public. The purpose of the Notaries Public Board of Examiners is to conduct and mark the statutory examinations of all applicants for enrolment as members of the Society of Notaries Public of British Columbia.

Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia

The Public Guardian and Trustee is a corporation sole established under the Public Guardian and Trustee Act with a unique statutory role to protect the interests of British Columbians who lack legal capacity to protect their own interests. The mandate of the Public Guardian and Trustee is to: protect the legal and financial interests of children under the age of 19 years; protect the legal, financial, personal and health care interests of adults who require assistance in decision making; and administer the estates of deceased and missing persons.

Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General agencies, boards and commissions

Consumer Protection BC

Consumer Protection BC was established in 2004 under the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Authority Act and, as delegated by the provincial government, is responsible for administering British Columbia’s consumer protection laws – namely the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act, the Cremation, Interment and Funeral Services Act, and the Motion Picture Act – along with a variety of associated consumer protection regulations. It is a not-for-profit corporation that protects consumers and encourages a fair marketplace in the province.

Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia

The Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia is an administrative authority delegated by the provincial government to administer and enforce the Motor Dealer Act and its regulations, as well as the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act as it relates to the sale of motor vehicles. Founded in 2004 and formerly named the Motor Dealer Council of BC, the agency became one of the first examples of government's new approach for administering public policy through a delegated administrative authority.

Police Boards

Under the Police Act in British Columbia, municipal police departments are overseen by an appointed police board consisting of civilian members of the community. Police Boards act as the conduit between the community and the police. They set the priorities, goals and objectives for the department and are responsible for developing the annual department budget.

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