How a bill becomes a law
First Reading: the bill’s sponsor briefly introduces the proposed bill and explains its purpose. Other MLAs do not discuss the bill’s merits at this point, but simply vote on whether to accept it for future debate. If they vote yes, the bill will proceed to Second Reading debate.
Second Reading: all MLAs may debate the bill’s general principles and goals. After the debate, they vote on whether the bill will proceed to Committee Stage.
Committee Stage: each section of the bill is examined in detail by all MLAs in Committee of the Whole House comprising all Members of the House, except the Speaker. MLAs may ask the bill’s sponsor about the meaning and purpose of each section, or propose amendments to certain sections. At the end of Committee Stage, MLAs vote to “report” the bill back to the House so that the bill can proceed to Third Reading.
Third Reading: although MLAs may choose to debate the bill once again at Third Reading, further debate rarely occurs. When the bill passes Third Reading, the Speaker declares it to be an Act of the Legislative Assembly.
Royal Assent: the Lieutenant Governor, or designate, comes to the Chamber to give Royal Assent to the Act. What started out as a bill is now a law of the Province of British Columbia. Unless the Act specifies otherwise, the new law comes into force immediately after receiving Royal Assent.