British Columbia Royal and Special Commissions: 1872 - 1980

Royal commissions commenced in British Columbia in 1872, under the authority of the Public Inquiries Act. Chaired by one or more highly-respected persons (usually retired judges), royal commissions are legally autonomous from government.

There are generally two types of royal commissions: policy commissions struck to investigate matters of great societal importance; or investigative commissions set up to investigate individual or institutional misconduct. The results are usually published in large reports detailing the commissions’ findings and recommendations for legislative and policy changes.

In 1979 the former Public Inquiries Act and  Ministerial Inquiries Act were consolidated into the Inquiry Act. On June 21, 2007, the British Columbia Legislature passed a new Public Inquiry Act (S.B.C. 2007, c. 9) with revised parameters for conducting royal commissions in British Columbia.

This portal includes over two hundred B.C. Royal and Special Commissions reports published between 1872 and 1980.

Number of documents


Publication date(s)

1872 to 1980



Geographic coverage

British Columbia

Document types included

Commissions of Inquiry Reports



Corporate author(s)

Various Commissioners


Full public access to search and view documents in the collection

File formats

  • Pdf

Digitizing institution

Legislative Library of British Columbia

Institution type

Government library (Provincial)

Documents preserved long-term?


Publication source

Legislative Library of British Columbia

Project status

In progress

Project dates

2011/02/1 to 2012/12/31

Digitization in-house or outsourced

Digitization was outsourced

Digitization was completed by an outside vendor.

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