The Queen’s Printer of British Columbia has announced that, in order to increase access to legislative material, the content currently accessible by subscription on QP LegalEze will be made available on the free BC Laws website.
On April 2nd the following content will become available on BC Laws:
- current and historical Orders-in-Council
- Tables of Legislative Change
- Point in Time tables
The announcement states that:
The new BC Laws will provide upgraded features such as search capability, and the ability to create apps that can pull legislative data directly from BC Laws website.
There is additional content on QP LegalEze that will gradually be transitioned over to BC Laws, such as the Gazette Parts I and II. Once the transition is complete, QP LegalEze will be discontinued.
This is great news for anyone wanting to research British Columbia legislation. In particular, the removal in the 1996 revision of legislative history information from the legislation itself – into tables available only by subscription or through libraries – has resulted in many lawyers and students not taking the extra step to consult those tables. This information is necessary for any kind of historical legislative research, and for finding judicial consideration of earlier versions of the legislation. Starting on April 2nd, it will be freely available on BC Laws.
Congratulations to the provincial Government and the Queen’s Printer for taking this significant step in recognition of the importance of open government.
Now for some other items on my wish-list for BC legislation:
- access to a full version of the larger statutes, rather than access only in parts
- official version status for legislation on BC Laws.
In an additional email sent March 26, 2014 to subscribers, QP LegalEze Customer Service communicated that:
QP LegalEze will remain operational until all content from QP LegalEze is transitioned to the new and improved BC Laws.
The email states that content will be transitioned over the next several months, and that it will be duplicated on both sites during the transition period. Enhanced search functionality will be available on BC Laws starting April 2. Once all content has been moved to BC Laws, users of QP LegalEze will be notified of the specific date on which QP LegalEze will cease operating.