BC Vital Records Bill
- 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
Bill 43 may be accessed at :
Alberta Family Histories Society
712-16th Ave NW.
Calgary, AB, Canada
AFHS Website: http://www.afhs.ab.ca