The process of selecting Assembly members got under way in
August 2003, with a letter of invitation going to 15,800 British
Columbians whose names were picked at random, by computer, from the
B.C. Voters List.
The names (200 in each of the 79 provincial constituencies) were
split evenly between men and women, and reflected the age
distribution of individuals in the district. The aim was to produce
a pool of names that was representative of people in B.C.
The computerized process of selecting the pools of 200 names was
executed by Elections BC
Letters of invitation
sent to these 15,800 people, with a fact sheet
explaining the role
and responsibilities of the Citizens’ Assembly and
offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of something
The names of those who expressed interest went into a pool for
their constituency. From each of those 79 pools, up to 20 people
were selected by random draw and were sent an invitation
one of the regional selection
. They also received information
There, the potential members sat through a presentation on the
work of the Assembly, the expectations for members, their workload,
their compensation, and the details of schedules and deadlines.
Then each potential member was publicly asked to declare if they
were interested in joining the Assembly, and to confirm publicly
that they were eligible
The names of those who responded "Yes, and Yes" were sealed into
envelopes, and went into a hat. Then two people from
each electoral district pool — one man and one woman
— were selected by random draw for membership on the
Five of the initial 158 members who had been selected later
withdrew for personal reasons, and, sadly, one member
died soon after being selected. Substitutes were then
randomly drawn from the remaining sealed envelopes from the
original members' electoral districts.
On December 10, 2003, the provincial cabinet approved
the selection of two additional members, both Aboriginal, from the
random pool. Thus membership grew to 160. In the fall
of 2004, one member resigned (it was the only resignation), leaving
the membership at 159 plus chair Jack Blaney.