A convention of thirty-three representative men was held in the autumn of 1864 at which the delegates agreed to a federal union.
British Columbia, which took no part in the convention, came into the federation 1871. For many years the mainland was separate from Vancouver Island. That island was held in 1843 by the fur-trading corporation, known as the Hudson's Bay Company, and nominally made a crown colony in 1849, or a colony without representative institutions, in which the whole power rests in a governor and appointed officials. The official authority continued practically in the hands of the trading company for some years later. In 1856 an assembly was called, despite the very small population of the island. The island was united with British Columbia in1866, and the latter name given to the united colonies.

The mainland, known as New Caledonia and British Columbia previously to 1866, was also long a domain of the Hudson's Bay Company, and it was not until 1858 that it became a crown colony. In 1863 a legislative council was at first organized by the crown and was partly appointed by the governor, and partly elected by the people. By the act of 1866, uniting the island of Vancouver to the government of British Columbia, the authority of the executive government and legislature of the latter colony extended over both colonies.

Until 1871, when the province of British Columbia entered the federal union of Canada, it was governed by a lieutenant governor, appointed by the sovereign, and a legislative council, composed of heads of public departments and several elected members. Responsible government was not introduced into the province until after 1871.

Take from: How Canada was Governed. Published 1895.
By: Dr. J.G Bourinot, C.M.G., LL.D, D.C.L, D.L.
Clerk of the Canadian House of Commons, Author of a Manual of Constitutional History, Parliamentary Practice and Procedure in Canada, and other works on the Government and Constitutions of the Dominion.

  1. Taken from "How Canada was governed   1895 By: Dr. J.G Bourinot, C.M.G., LL.D, D.C.L, D.L.