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Legislative Council of British Columbia

The Legislative Council of British Columbia was an advisory body created in 1867 to the governor of the "new" Colony of British Columbia, which had been created from the merger of the old Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia (a.k.a. the Mainland Colony, or the Gold Colony). The new colony, like its predecessors, did not have responsible government, and while its debates and resolutions carried considerable weight, executive power remained in the hands of the governor, who at the time of the council's founding was Frederick Seymour.

Legislative Council of the United Colony of British Columbia
Founded 1867 (1867)
Disbanded 1871 (1871)
Preceded by Legislative Assembly of Vancouver Island
Colonial Assembly of British Columbia
Succeeded by Legislative Assembly of British Columbia
A group of members of the Legislative Council, circa 1867

There were three groups of members: five senior officials of the colony, who also constituted its executive council, nine magistrates (some of whom, being popular in their districts, had been elevated to that post so as to please Whitehall's intent that there be a more democratic presence in the council), and nine elected members. The electoral members represented two seats in Victoria, one in Greater Victoria ("Victoria District"), New Westminster, Columbia River and Kootenay, Nanaimo, Yale and Lytton, Lillooet, Cariboo.

Initial compositionEdit

At the time of the council's creation, its members were:

Executive council
Elected members

Elected members were actually appointed by the governor and not mandated by their election, but appointed "in deference to the wishes of the people". George Wallace, the representative for Yale and Lytton, resigned his seat before the first session and a by-election was held which selected F.J. Barnard as his replacement. All members, including elected ones, had the right to use "the Honourable" before their name.

Other members included:

The council was abolished in 1871 when British Columbia became a province.

See alsoEdit


  • British Columbia Chronicle 1847-1871: Gold and Colonists by G.P.V. Akrigg and Helen B. Akrigg, Discovery Press, Vancouver, 1977 (pp. 340–341)