Crowns, Agencies, Boards & 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 Justice is responsible for a number of agencies, boards and commissions that have mandates relating to justice, public safety and regulatory issues.
Ministry of Attorney General
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 Human Rights Tribunal
The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal is responsible for accepting, screening, mediating and adjudicating complaints under the Human Rights Code. It provides parties the opportunity to resolve complaints through mediation; complaints that are not resolved through mediation proceed to a hearing before the tribunal. The tribunal is accountable to the legislature through the Attorney General and functions independently of government on all matters related to adjudication of complaints. Orders of the tribunal are enforceable in the British Columbia Supreme Court.
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.
British Columbia Review Board
The British Columbia Review Board conducts hearings to review and assess the mental condition and level of threat to the public posed by mentally disordered accused persons for the purpose of determining whether they should be absolutely or conditionally discharged, or detained in a designated place of custody.
British Columbia Utilities Commission
The British Columbia Utilities Commission operates under the Utilities Commission Act, regulating utilities to ensure customers receive safe, reliable and non-discriminatory energy services at fair rates, and that shareholders of those utilities are afforded a reasonable opportunity to earn a fair return on their invested capital.
Building Code Appeal Board
Under the Building Act (Part 4, sections 19-21), the Building Code Appeal Board resolves disputes regarding the British Columbia Building Code on whether a matter conforms to a building regulation. The British Columbia Building Code establishes minimum standards for residential and commercial building construction.
Civil Resolution Tribunal
The British Columbia Civil Resolution Tribunal is responsible for providing online, facilitation and adjudication services under the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act. It provides parties with the opportunity to resolve complaints through online self-help information and tools, through facilitation services delivered mainly by tribunal staff, and through adjudications delivered by tribunal members. The tribunal is accountable to the legislature through the Attorney General and functions independently of government on all matters related to adjudication of complaints. Orders of the tribunal are enforceable in British Columbia’s Provincial Court and Supreme Court.
Community Care and Assisted Living Appeal Board
The Community Care and Assisted Living Appeal Board was created under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act to hear and decide appeals of licensing, registration and certification decisions about community care facilities, assisted living residences, and early childhood educators.
Employment Standards Tribunal
The Employment Standards Tribunal was established under the Employment Standards Act with a mandate to conduct appeals of determinations issued by the Director of Employment Standards. The tribunal may also reconsider any order or decision it makes.
Environmental Appeal Board
The Environmental Appeal Board resolves disputes related to decisions made by government officials on environmental issues. These decisions include water licences, contaminated site remediation orders, pesticide permits and the cancellation of hunting licences, among other things. The Environmental Appeal Board plays a role in ensuring the protection and wise use of the environment by providing a quasi-judicial access point for the public and industry to appeal certain government decisions.
Financial Services Tribunal
The Financial Services Tribunal hears appeals from individuals and institutions who want to contest enforcement decisions made by the Insurance Council of British Columbia, Real Estate Council of British Columbia, Superintendent of Real Estate, Superintendent of Pensions, Registrar of Mortgage Brokers and Superintendent of Financial Institutions. It provides an avenue of appeal for those who believe that they have been wrongly limited or denied the ability to work in one of the regulated occupations to which an appeal lies to the tribunal. The Financial Services Tribunal has jurisdiction to hear appeals under the following statutes: Financial Institutions Act, Credit Union Incorporation Act, Mortgage Brokers Act, Real Estate Services Act, Pension Benefits Standards Act and Real Estate Development Marketing Act.
Forest Appeals Commission
The Forest Appeals Commission resolves disputes related to decisions made by government officials on forests and the environment under the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act and continued under the Forest and Range Practices Act.
Health Professions Review Board
The Health Professions Review Board was created under the Health Professions Act to provide an independent review of certain decisions made by the self-governing colleges of designated health professions regarding the registration of their members and the timeliness and disposition of complaints made against their registrants.
Hospital Appeal Board
The Hospital Appeal Board was created under the Hospital Act to provide medical practitioners with an avenue of appeal from hospital boards of management decisions affecting hospital privileges.
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.
Industry Training Appeal Board
The Industry Training Appeal Board hears appeals under section 10 of the Industry Training Authority Act. The board's fundamental purpose is to provide a specialized independent, accessible and cost-effective forum for the hearing of appeals from decisions of the Industry Training Authority regarding trainees and industry training credentials.
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.
Labour Relations Board
The Labour Relations Board has a mandate to mediate and adjudicate employment and labour relations matters related to unionized workplaces. The Labour Relations Code establishes the board and governs all aspects of collective bargaining amongst the provincially-regulated employers and employees. This includes: the acquisition of collective bargaining rights; the process of collective bargaining; the settlement and regulation of disputes in both the public and private sectors; and the regulation of the representation of persons by their bargaining agents.
Legal Services Society
The Legal Services Society 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 society's funding, but the Legal Services Society remains independent of government. The society 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.
Mental Health Review Board
The Mental Health Review Board was created under the Mental Health Act to conduct hearings to review and decide whether persons certified /detained at any mental health facility in B.C. should continue to be certified /detained based on criteria in the Act. The board’s function is to ensure that patients who are certified by physicians and detained involuntarily in provincial mental health facilities have access to an objective and timely review process.
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.
Oil and Gas Appeal Tribunal
The Oil and Gas Appeal Tribunal is an agency tribunal that hears appeals from decisions of the Oil and Gas Commission which include certain orders, declarations, findings of contravention, administrative penalties and permitting decisions in relation to an ‘oil and gas activity’ such as geophysical exploration, the construction or operation of a pipeline, road construction, and the production, gathering, processing, storage or disposal of petroleum, natural gas or both.
Property Assessment Appeal Board
The Property Assessment Appeal Board was established under the Assessment Act and is the second level of appeal following the Property Assessment Review Panels. The most common issues in assessment appeals deal with the property’s market value, fairness compared to the assessments of other similar properties, property classification and exemptions from taxation.
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.
Safety Standards Appeal Board
The Safety Standards Appeal Board was created under section 43 of the Safety Standards Act. The board hears appeals of decisions made under the Safety Standards Act by provincial safety officers and safety managers. The board also hears appeals of decisions made by the Registrar of the Homeowner Protection Office under the Homeowner Protection Act.
Surface Rights Board
The Surface Rights Board was established under the Petroleum and Natural Gas Act (PNGA). Under the PNGA, Mining Right of Way Act, Mineral Tenure Act, Geothermal Resources Act, and Coal Act, the board has jurisdiction to resolve disputes between landowners and companies that require access to private land to explore for, develop, or produce Crown-owned subsurface resources such as oil, gas, coal, minerals and geothermal.
Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
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.
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.