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2753BC Vital Records Bill

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  • Gordon Lane
    May 30, 2004
      This was sent to me by Terry Bunce
      Pending Bill May Restrict Vital Records in British Columbia
      Legislation which will further restrict access to historical
      birth/death/marriage certificates & registrations in British Columbia has
      reached the provincial house. Hopefully many B.C. residents will become
      informed and call or write their M.L.A.'s and Ministers in the government
      about this issue.
      Bill 43, the vital statistics amendment act, proposes increased restrictions
      on who may access Vital Statistics records of Birth, Marriage and Death.
      Parents with children over 19 will have a difficult time accessing a birth
      certificate for their own children. The bill distinguishes between certified
      vital documents and 'registrations' of same. It specifies in the
      legislation time frames before such 'registrations' might be accessible by
      the public. In most cases those seeking information on ancestors would be
      more interested in the registrations of BMDs than in obtaining certified
      documents for them.
      The current Vital Statistics Act of BC does not codify time frames, nor does
      the Regulations for the Vital Statistics Act. Through the BC Archives,
      registrations of Birth have been available after 100 years, Marriages after
      75 years, and Deaths after 20 years.
      Bill 43 codifies the time frames for access to registrations of Birth to 20
      years after death or 120 years after Birth -- an extension of twenty years
      over what has been allowed up to now. For registrations of Marriage the
      period remains as 75 years after the event, but adds the provision that both
      parties must be deceased for more than 20 years. Access to registrations of
      Death remains at after 20 years.
      All genealogists concerned with research in British Columbia should be
      concerned not only about the speed with which the B.C. government has pushed
      this Bill through but also with the extended time frames and restrictions as
      to whom might access these records. This affects our access not only to
      records of the future, but to those records we have been able to access up
      to today. All concerned B.C. residents should contact their local MLA.
      To find out who the MLAs for British Columbians are go to
      www.legis.gov.bc.ca./index.htm <http://www.legis.gov.bc.ca/index.htm> .
      Click on "Members" and the resulting page will allow you to search by Postal
      Code to find out who your MLA is. The MLA's page gives their biography and
      contact information.
      Bill 43 may be accessed at :
      <http://www.leg.bc.ca/37th5th/1st_read/gov43-1.htm> .



      Gordon Lane
      Alberta Family Histories Society
      712-16th Ave NW.
      Calgary, AB, Canada
      T2M 0J8

      AFHS Webster
      Editor Chinook

      AFHS Website: http://www.afhs.ab.ca

      Family website