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Interesting Facts

How did B.C. Day come to be a holiday? Why are the Parliament Buildings called the Parliament Buildings and not the Legislative Buildings? Please see below for answers.

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1. How did B.C. Day come to be a holiday?

The British Columbia Day Act, R.S.B.C. 1996 c.34 was
first introduced in 1974 as Bill 61 by the
Hon. Ernie Hall, the Provincial Secretary under Premier Dave Barrett. The explanatory notes prefacing the bill states: "The purposes of this Bill is to recognize the pioneers of British Columbia by declaring the first Monday of August in each year to be a public holiday known as British Columbia Day."

From the B.C. Debates, 4th Session, 30th Parliament, May 1, 1974, the Hon. Hall states, "August 1, or the closest working day to it, is a statutory holiday in every other province in Canada. By coincidence, an Act to provide to the Government of British Columbia, which changed us from the Colony of British Columbia, was passed by Parliament in the United Kingdom on August 2, 1858....

"We feel that British Columbia, like every other province could benefit and should have a holiday around August 1. We feel that the holiday should be dedicated to the pioneers who built the colony of British Columbia into the great province it is today..."

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2. Why should the Parliament Buildings be called the Parliament Buildings and not the Legislative Buildings?

Parliament Buildings is the term used in the statutes authorizing the construction of these buildings, e.g., Parliament Buildings Construction Act, 1893 and Parliament Buildings Equipment Act, 1897.

The Parliament Buildings Construction Act authorized the erection of the new buildings for the accommodation of the Legislature and the several departments of the Public Service. The Parliament Buildings Equipment Act authorized the borrowing of monies for the completion, equipping, and furnishing of the buildings directed to be built pursuant to the provisions of the Parliament Buildings Construction Act, 1893.

It is also currently referred to in the Legislative Assembly Management Committee Act (RSBC 1996) Chapter 258, sec. 1 Definitions

1. In this Act:

"Legislative Precinct" means
(a) the Parliament Buildings,

(a.1) the legislative grounds and Confederation Garden Park,

(b) other buildings in Victoria or parts of them that are from time to time occupied and used by members of the Legislative Assembly for the purpose of their parliamentary duties including any premises from time to time occupied by officers and staff of the Legislative Assembly, and

(c) other land or buildings or both, other than constituency offices, designated by minute of the committee;

An 1981 memo kept in the Legislative library reference file, Parliament Buildings (Victoria, B.C.), says in part:
"in Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Saskatchewan, the buildings are described as Legislature Buildings, in Ontario, the term Parliament Buildings and Legislative Buildings are used. In Quebec the term Edifice Parlimentaire; in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, the term "Province House", and in Newfoundland, we find the term "Confederation Building" is used."

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