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This Act has "Not in Force" sections. See the Table of Legislative Changes.

Local Government Act

[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 323

Part 2 — Incorporation of Municipalities

Incorporation of a new municipality

7  (1) On the recommendation of the minister under subsection (2), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by letters patent, incorporate the residents of an area into a new municipality.

(2) The minister may recommend incorporation of a new municipality to the Lieutenant Governor in Council if,

(a) in the case of an area for which a vote was taken under section 8 (3) (a), more than 50% of the votes counted as valid favour the proposed incorporation,

(a.1) in the case of an area to which section 279 [no forced amalgamations] of the Community Charter applies, the requirements of that section have been met, or

(b) in the case of an area for which a vote was taken under section 8 (3) (b),

(i)   more than 50% of the votes counted as valid favour a change in local government, and

(ii)   more than 50% of the votes counted as valid favour the proposed incorporation if a change in local government were made.

(3) If an existing municipality is located inside a new municipality incorporated under subsection (1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council must dissolve the existing municipality by revoking, by order, its letters patent.

Vote required for the incorporation of a new municipality

8  (1) The minister must not recommend the incorporation of a new municipality to the Lieutenant Governor in Council unless a vote of the persons proposed to be incorporated has been taken under this section.

(1.1) If section 279 [no forced amalgamations] of the Community Charter applies, the vote under this section must be conducted separately in each of the existing municipalities.

(2) In any of the following circumstances, the minister may direct that a vote be taken of persons in an area specified by the minister respecting the proposed incorporation of those persons into a new municipality:

(a) on the request of the council of a municipality all or part of which is in the area;

(b) on the request of the board of trustees of an improvement district all or part of which is in the area;

(c) on the request of 2 or more residents of any part of the area that is not in a municipality;

(d) on the minister's own initiative, if the minister is of the opinion that those persons should, in the public interest,

(i)   be incorporated into a new municipality, or

(ii)   either be incorporated into a new municipality or be included in an existing municipality.

(3) A vote under this section must determine the opinion of the eligible voters

(a) as to whether they favour the proposed new incorporation, or

(b) as to

(i)   whether they favour a change in local government for the area, either by the proposed new incorporation or by inclusion in a specified existing municipality, and

(ii)   if a change in local government were made, whether they would favour the proposed new incorporation or inclusion in a specified existing municipality.

(4) A vote under subsection (3) (b) must be by 2 questions as follows:

(a) the first question must ask whether the voter favours a change in local government for the area, either by the proposed new incorporation or by inclusion in a specified existing municipality;

(b) the second question must ask whether the voter favours, if a change in local government were made, the proposed new incorporation or inclusion in the specified existing municipality.

(5) As an exception to the requirement that the question to be voted on be in a form that a voter may indicate assent or dissent, a question under subsection (4) (b) must be in a form that a voter may indicate a preference.

(6) As a limit on the authority of the minister under this section, a vote under this section must not be held in a local community under section 838 until 5 years after the later of the following:

(a) the date that the local community was established;

(b) the date that the latest vote under this section was taken in the local community.

Procedure and costs for vote on incorporation

9  (1) Part 4 applies to a vote under this Part so far as reasonably possible and, for these purposes, the minister may make orders in relation to any matters dealt with in that Part.

(2) The costs of a vote under this Part must be paid as follows:

(a) if a new municipality is incorporated under section 7 following the vote, the costs of the vote are to be paid by the new municipality;

(b) if a new municipality is not incorporated and the vote was requested under section 8 (2) (a) by an existing municipality, the costs of the vote are to be paid by that municipality;

(c) in other cases, the costs of the vote are to be paid by the Minister of Finance out of the consolidated revenue fund.

Incorporation of municipality in conjunction with resource development

10  (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by letters patent, incorporate the residents of a rural area into a municipality without holding a vote under this Part if the Lieutenant Governor in Council is of the opinion that it is in the public interest to establish the municipality in conjunction with the development of a natural resource.

(2) Letters patent under this section may

(a) include exceptions from statutory provisions,

(b) specify the effective period or time for an exception, and

(c) provide for restriction, modification or cancellation by the Lieutenant Governor in Council of an exception or its effective period.

(3) For a municipality incorporated under this section, on the recommendation of the minister, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by letters patent, provide for further exceptions and conditions.

(4) [Repealed 1999-37-7.]

(5) The council of a municipality incorporated under this section may provide housing for employees of the municipality and may incur liabilities for it, subject to the limit that an obligation incurred for this purpose must not have a term of more than 5 years.

(6) If a municipality is or has been established under this section, the Surveyor General must,

(a) as soon as practicable, establish sufficient coordinate control monuments to enable the area, or a portion of it, to be constituted an integrated survey area under the Land Survey Act, and

(b) on completion of the required survey, constitute the area or portion as an integrated survey area under the Land Survey Act.

(7) After the survey required by subsection (6), the municipality is responsible for the protection and maintenance of the coordinate control monuments.

Incorporation of a mountain resort municipality

11  (1) If a vote under section 8 is in favour of incorporation, the minister may recommend to the Lieutenant Governor in Council incorporation of a municipality as a mountain resort municipality.

(1.1) The minister may not recommend incorporation of a mountain resort municipality under subsection (1) unless the minister is satisfied that

(a) alpine ski lift operations, year-round recreational facilities and commercial overnight accommodation are offered within the area of the proposed municipality, or

(b) a person has entered into an agreement with the government with respect to developing alpine ski lift operations, year-round recreational facilities and commercial overnight accommodation within the area of the proposed municipality.

(2) Despite section 8, in the case of an area that is a mountain resort improvement district, the minister may recommend incorporation of a new mountain resort municipality to the Lieutenant Governor in Council, in accordance with the letters patent of the improvement district.

(2.1) Despite section 8, in the case of an area that is not a mountain resort improvement district, the minister may recommend to the Lieutenant Governor in Council incorporation of a new mountain resort municipality for the area, whether or not there are residents in the area at the time of the recommendation, if the minister is satisfied that a person has entered into an agreement with the government with respect to developing alpine ski lift operations, year-round recreational facilities and commercial overnight accommodation within the area.

(3) On the recommendation of the minister under subsection (1) or (2), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by letters patent, incorporate the residents of an area into a mountain resort municipality.

(3.01) On the recommendation of the minister under subsection (2.1), and whether or not there are residents in the area at the time of incorporation, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by letters patent, incorporate a new mountain resort municipality for the area, consisting of the members of the municipal council and the residents of the area, if any.

(3.02) For certainty, and unless the letters patent for a mountain resort municipality incorporated under subsection (3.01) provide otherwise,

(a) a mountain resort municipality incorporated under subsection (3.01) is a municipality and any provision of this Act or regulation under this Act or any other Act or regulation that applies to municipalities applies to the mountain resort municipality, and

(b) the council of a mountain resort municipality incorporated under subsection (3.01) is a council and any provision of this Act or regulation under this Act or any other Act or regulation that applies to municipal councils applies to the council of the mountain resort municipality.

(3.1) Letters patent under subsection (3.01) that, on the recommendation of the minister under subsection (2.1), incorporate a mountain resort municipality may do one or more of the following:

(a) include exceptions from statutory provisions;

(b) specify the effective period or time for an exception;

(c) provide for restriction, modification or cancellation by the Lieutenant Governor in Council of an exception or its effective period;

(d) appoint or provide for the appointment of one or more individuals to be the members of the municipal council of the municipality and appoint or provide for the appointment of a mayor from among the appointed members of the municipal council;

(e) despite section 36, provide that the minister may set the general voting day for the first election of members to the municipal council for any date the minister considers appropriate, including a date that is 3 or more years after the incorporation of the mountain resort municipality.

(3.2) For a mountain resort municipality incorporated under subsection (3) on the recommendation of the minister under subsection (2.1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of the minister and by letters patent, provide for further exceptions, conditions and appointments.

(3.3) Appointments may be made under subsection (3.1) (d) or (3.2) until the general voting day for the first election of members to the municipal council.

(4) [Repealed 2008-42-37.]

(5) Section 17 applies with respect to the incorporation of a mountain resort municipality under this section.

Incorporation of island municipality in Islands Trust area

11.1  (1) As an exception to section 17 (1), if the area for a new municipality is entirely within the trust area under the Islands Trust Act, the municipality must be incorporated as an island municipality under the name of the "Island Municipality of ..........." or the "............. Island Municipality".

(2) An island municipality has all the powers and duties of a district municipality, and is subject to all the requirements and limitations of a district municipality, as these are established under this or any other Act.

Incorporation of reserve residents as village

12  (1) On the recommendation of the minister, in order to implement an agreement between the Lieutenant Governor in Council and a band council with the approval of the Governor in Council, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by letters patent, incorporate as a village the residents of an area of land inside a reserve as defined in the Indian Act (Canada).

(2) Letters patent under this section may not be issued until

(a) the agreement of the Governor in Council and the band council is obtained, and

(b) the question of incorporation has been submitted to those members of the Indian band who are entitled to vote at the election of the band council and more than 50% of those entitled to vote have voted and of those voting more than 60% have voted in the affirmative.

(3) Letters patent under this section may

(a) include exceptions from statutory provisions,

(b) specify the effective period or time for an exception, and

(c) provide for restriction, modification or cancellation by the Lieutenant Governor in Council of an exception or its effective period.

(4) The letters patent or agreement referred to in subsection (1) may exempt the municipality or owners or residents from a provision of this or another Act and may include a provision considered desirable whether or not it is consistent with any Act.

(5) [Repealed 2004-14-27.]

What must be included in letters patent

12.1  Letters patent incorporating a municipality must specify the municipality's name, boundaries, area and class.

First election for municipality

12.2  (1) Letters patent incorporating a municipality may do one or more of the following:

(a) set the general voting day for the first election or authorize a person to do this;

(b) appoint the chief election officer and deputy chief election officer for the first election or authorize a person or body to do this;

(c) apply to the first election for the municipality all or part of one or more of the following bylaws of another local government:

(i)   a bylaw under Part 3 [Electors and Elections];

(ii)   a bylaw under section 551 [regulation of signs and advertising];

(iii)   a bylaw under section 8 (4) [fundamental powers — signs and advertising] of the Community Charter;

(d) make, to a bylaw applied under paragraph (c), any modifications the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable in order to apply the bylaw to the first election for the municipality.

(2) The general voting day set under subsection (1) (a)

(a) must be on a Saturday, and

(b) may be before the date the municipality is incorporated.

(3) If the general voting day set under subsection (1) (a) is before the date the municipality is incorporated, Part 3 [Electors and Elections] applies, subject to the letters patent, as if the municipality were incorporated.

First council and neighbourhood constituencies

12.3  (1) Letters patent incorporating a municipality may do one or more of the following:

(a) set the terms of office for first council members, if these are to be different from the terms otherwise established by the Community Charter;

(b) appoint or provide for the appointment of an interim council, which must consist of a mayor and an even number of councillors;

(c) if the letters patent appoint or provide for the appointment of an interim council, despite section 36.1 (1) to (4) [bylaw providing for neighbourhood constituencies], provide that all or some of the councillors be appointed on a neighbourhood constituency basis until the next general local election;

(d) despite section 36.1 (1) to (4) [bylaw providing for neighbourhood constituencies], provide that all or some of the councillors be elected on a neighbourhood constituency basis until the general local election specified in the letters patent;

(e) for the purposes of paragraph (c) or (d), establish the areas that are to be neighbourhood constituencies for the municipality;

(f) for the purposes of paragraph (d), make provisions the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers appropriate for an election on the basis of neighbourhood constituencies for the municipality.

(2) Section 118 (3) [size of council] of the Community Charter does not apply to an interim council.

First regular council meeting

12.4  (1) Letters patent incorporating a municipality may do one or more of the following:

(a) despite section 125 (1) [council meetings] of the Community Charter, set the date for the first regular council meeting and authorize a person to set the time and place for that meeting;

(b) require the council to adopt a procedure bylaw at the first regular council meeting;

(c) require the council to adopt a financial plan at the first regular council meeting;

(d) if a requirement is imposed under paragraph (c), require a person to prepare a proposed financial plan for the first regular council meeting;

(e) if a requirement is imposed under paragraph (c), establish, for the financial plan to be adopted at the first regular council meeting, a planning period that is different than the planning period established by section 165 (3) of the Community Charter;

(f) if a requirement is imposed under paragraph (c), provide that section 166 [public process for development of financial plan] of the Community Charter does not apply in respect of the proposed financial plan that the council must adopt at the first regular council meeting.

(2) Section 135 (3) [requirements for passing bylaws] of the Community Charter does not apply to a procedure bylaw or a bylaw adopting a financial plan that the council is required to adopt at the first regular council meeting following the incorporation of the municipality.

(3) Section 165 (3.1) [objectives and policies set out in financial plan] of the Community Charter does not apply to the financial plan that the council is required to adopt at the first regular council meeting following the incorporation of the municipality.

Transfer of assets and obligations and continuation of bylaws

12.5  (1) In this section:

"dissolved municipality" means a municipality dissolved on the incorporation of a new municipality;

"new municipality" means the municipality incorporated by the letters patent referred to in subsection (2).

(2) Letters patent incorporating a municipality may do one or more of the following:

(a) transfer to and vest in the new municipality any of the dissolved municipality's rights, property and assets;

(b) transfer to and declare as assumed by the new municipality any of the dissolved municipality's obligations;

(c) continue in force any bylaws or resolutions of the dissolved municipality as bylaws or resolutions of the new municipality applicable to the area of the new municipality to which they applied as bylaws or resolutions of the dissolved municipality until those bylaws or resolutions are amended or repealed by the council of the new municipality;

(d) require the council of the new municipality to amend or repeal by a specified date a bylaw or resolution continued under paragraph (c);

(e) deem a reference to the dissolved municipality in any commercial paper, lease, licence, permit or other contract, instrument or document to be a reference to the new municipality.

Letters patent incorporating a municipality — other matters

13  (1) [Repealed 2008-42-40.]

(2) Letters patent incorporating a municipality may do one or more of the following:

(a) to (d) [Repealed 2008-42-40.]

(e) set the sum of money which may be borrowed for the municipality's current expenditure in its first year and, if considered expedient, for the next year;

(f) set dates which may be observed initially, and once only, in place of statutory dates;

(g) and (h) [Repealed 2008-42-40.]

(i) provide that, for the purpose of preparing, completing, returning, confirming and authenticating the assessment roll of land and improvements in the municipality, the land and improvements are deemed, for a specified period before or following incorporation, or both, to be included in or excluded from the municipality.

(j) [Repealed 2008-42-40.]

(3) Letters patent incorporating a mountain resort municipality may do one or more of the following:

(a) provide that section 211 (1) (a) to (c) [requirements for establishing a local area service] of the Community Charter does not apply, but that the inspector may direct that the approval of the electors or the assent of the electors be obtained in relation to the proposed bylaw;

(b) provide that Division 10 of Part 26 [Development Costs Recovery] applies to the municipality as if the municipality were in a resort region;

(c) provide

(i)   for the appointment by the minister of one councillor to the municipal council, despite sections 36, 36.1 and 37 (1) (a) and (c) to (e),

(ii)   for the minister to make orders relating to any other matters respecting the appointment of the councillor including, without limitation, providing an exception to or modification of a requirement or condition established by this Act or the regulations,

(iii)   that the municipal council or the municipal corporate officer must promptly inform the minister if the councillor appointed by the minister resigns his or her office, and

(iv)   that section 118 (3) and (6) [size of council] of the Community Charter does not apply;

(d) despite any provision in Part 26,

(i)   require the municipality to adopt an official community plan for the municipality within a specified period,

(ii)   require that an official community plan may be adopted, amended or repealed only with the approval of the minister, and

(iii)   require that all bylaws that may be adopted, amended or repealed under Part 26 may be adopted, amended or repealed only with the approval of the minister until the municipality has adopted an official community plan;

(e) provide that sections 919.1 (1) (g) and 920 (8) apply to the municipality as if the municipality were in a resort region;

(f) require the municipality to

(i)   do one of the following:

(A)  establish, with the approval of the inspector, a resort advisory committee to provide advice and make recommendations to the municipal council;

(B)  designate, with the approval of the inspector, an entity as the resort advisory committee to provide advice and make recommendations to the municipal council, and

(ii)   consult with the resort advisory committee on matters specified in the letters patent.

(3.1) Letters patent incorporating an island municipality may do one or more of the following:

(a) vary the term of office for a municipal trustee on the trust council from that established by section 7 of the Islands Trust Act;

(b) establish the process that the council of an island municipality must follow in selecting and appointing municipal trustees to the trust council under section 7 of the Islands Trust Act;

(c) establish the process that the council of an island municipality must follow in submitting bylaws for approval under section 38 of the Islands Trust Act;

(d) transfer to and vest in the island municipality any rights, property or assets of the local trust committee or trust council;

(e) transfer to and declare as assumed by the island municipality any obligations of the local trust committee or trust council;

(f) continue in force any bylaws or resolutions of the trust council as bylaws or resolutions of the island municipality applicable to the area of the island municipality to which they applied as bylaws or resolutions of the trust council until those bylaws or resolutions are amended or repealed by the council of the island municipality;

(g) continue in force any resolutions of the local trust committee as resolutions of the island municipality applicable to the area of the island municipality to which they applied as resolutions of the local trust committee until those resolutions are amended or repealed by the council of the island municipality;

(h) require the council of the island municipality to amend or repeal by a specified date a bylaw continued under section 24 (2) or paragraph (f) of this subsection or a resolution continued under paragraph (f) or (g) of this subsection;

(i) deem a reference to the local trust committee or trust council in any commercial paper, lease, licence, permit or other contract, instrument or document to be a reference to the island municipality.

(4) [Repealed 2007-6-17.]

(5) In letters patent, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may vary the boundaries of the municipality or proposed municipality from those set out in the request, or from those designated by the minister, to make them regular or conform with the boundaries of neighbouring municipalities, or to exclude or include an area.

(6) [Repealed 2008-42-40.]

(7) [Repealed 2003-52-166.]

(8) [Repealed 2008-42-40.]

Interim corporate officer

13.1  (1) If letters patent incorporating a municipality are issued, the minister may appoint a person as the interim corporate officer of the municipality.

(2) An interim corporate officer's term ends when a corporate officer is appointed for the municipality.

(3) Words in an enactment, other than this section, referring to a corporate officer, by name or otherwise, also apply to an interim corporate officer.

Appointment of additional councillors if boundary extended

13.2  (1) Letters patent extending the area of a municipality may do one or more of the following:

(a) provide for the election or appointment of an even number of additional councillors for the municipality until the general local election specified in the letters patent;

(b) despite section 36.1 (1) to (4) [bylaw providing for neighbourhood constituencies], provide that the additional councillors be elected or appointed on a neighbourhood constituency basis until the general local election specified in the letters patent;

(c) for the purposes of paragraph (b), establish the areas that are to be neighbourhood constituencies for the municipality until the general local election specified in the letters patent;

(d) for the purposes of paragraph (b), make provisions the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers appropriate for an election on the basis of neighbourhood constituencies for the municipality.

(2) If letters patent under this section are issued for a municipality, section 118 (3) [size of council] of the Community Charter ceases to apply in relation to the council until January 1 in the year of the general local election specified in the letters patent.

Tax rate limits

14  (1) Letters patent incorporating a municipality or extending the area of a municipality may do the following:

(a) designate an area that is

(i)   in the case of an incorporation of a municipality, all or part of the municipality, or

(ii)   in the case of an extension of the area of a municipality, all or part of the area that forms the extension of the municipality;

(b) establish a limit on the tax rate under section 197 (1) (a) [municipal property taxes] of the Community Charter that may be established for a property class by an annual property tax bylaw and imposed on land and improvements in the area designated under paragraph (a) of this subsection.

(2) A tax rate limit established under subsection (1) (b) may be established by doing one or more of the following:

(a) specifying a limit on the tax rate;

(b) specifying a limit on the relationship between tax rates;

(c) establishing formulas for calculating the limit referred to in paragraph (a) of this subsection or the limit on the relationship referred to in paragraph (b) of this subsection;

(d) adopting as the tax rate limit a tax rate set by another authority having taxing powers in respect of land or land and improvements.

(3) Different tax rate limits may be established under subsection (1) (b) for different taxation years.

(4) Section 197 (3) [establishment of tax rates] of the Community Charter does not apply in relation to the tax rate

(a) applicable to an area designated under subsection (1) (a) of this section, and

(b) established for a property class in accordance with a limit established under subsection (1) (b).

(5) If there is a conflict between a tax rate limit established under subsection (1) (b) and a regulation under section 199 [property tax rates regulations] of the Community Charter, the regulation prevails.

(6) If a tax rate limit is established under subsection (1) (b) for property class 1 or 6, the Lieutenant Governor in Council must, by letters patent, specify the time period during which the tax rate limit applies.

(7) The time period specified under subsection (6) may not be more than 20 taxation years.

Municipal revenue sharing

14.1  Letters patent incorporating a municipality or extending the area of a municipality may do one or more of the following:

(a) for the purposes of paragraph (b), designate one or more of the following:

(i)   a revenue source of the municipality;

(ii)   property in the municipality;

(iii)   an area that is all or part of the municipality;

(b) require the municipality to share revenue with another municipality or with a regional district

(i)   from a designated revenue source, or

(ii)   from a designated revenue source and from the designated property or designated area;

(c) establish ratios or formulas for calculating the amount of revenue to be shared or designate the amount of revenue to be shared;

(d) specify the period for which the revenue is to be shared.

Establishment of local area service

14.2  (1) Letters patent incorporating a municipality or extending the area of a municipality may provide for the establishment of a local area service by

(a) describing the service, and

(b) defining the boundaries of the local service area.

(2) In addition, letters patent under subsection (1) may do one or both of the following:

(a) require the council of the municipality, by a specified date, to

(i)   establish a reserve fund for a specified purpose for the local area service, and

(ii)   credit an amount of money to the reserve fund in respect of money transferred to the municipality from a reserve fund of a regional district, improvement district or another municipality established for a similar purpose;

(b) specify a date for the purposes of subsection (6).

(3) If letters patent provide for the establishment of a local area service, the council of the municipality must adopt a bylaw to establish the local area service.

(4) The bylaw establishing the local area service must

(a) subject to subsection (5), meet the requirements of Division 5 [Local Service Taxes] of Part 7 of the Community Charter, and

(b) be consistent with the letters patent.

(5) Sections 210 (2) [services that may be provided as local area services] and 211 (1) [requirement to adopt local area service bylaw] of the Community Charter do not apply to the initial adoption of a bylaw under subsection (3) of this section.

(6) A bylaw under subsection (3) must be adopted on or before the date specified under subsection (2) (b) or, if no date is specified, within a reasonable period after the letters patent come into effect.

(7) If no date is specified under subsection (2) (b), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by order, specify a date and, if this is done, a bylaw under subsection (3) must be adopted on or before the date specified.

Advisory body

14.3  Letters patent incorporating a municipality or extending the area of a municipality may do one or more of the following:

(a) require the council to establish an advisory body for the municipality;

(b) specify the role of the advisory body;

(c) require the council to consult with the advisory body on specified matters;

(d) provide for the composition of and the manner of appointing members to the advisory body;

(e) specify a date before which the council may not dissolve the advisory body.

Additional powers

14.4  (1) Despite this or any other Act, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by letters patent, do one or more of the following in relation to the incorporation of a municipality or the extension or reduction of the area of a municipality:

(a) impose requirements on the municipality;

(b) restrict the powers of the municipality;

(c) make provisions the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers appropriate for the purpose of preventing, minimizing or otherwise addressing any transitional difficulties;

(d) in respect of a provision included in the letters patent under paragraphs (a) to (c), provide an exception to or a modification of a requirement or condition established by an enactment.

(2) Despite this or any other Act, letters patent of a municipality or an order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council under this Part may establish any terms and conditions the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers appropriate in respect of any matter related to the letters patent or order.

(3) As restrictions, in exercising a power under this section, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may not do the following:

(a) override an absolute prohibition contained in an enactment;

(b) eliminate a requirement for obtaining the assent of the electors, unless that requirement is modified by replacing it with a requirement for obtaining the approval of the electors by alternative approval process.

Publication of letters patent

15  (1) On the issue of letters patent under this Act,

(a) the minister must publish a notice in the Gazette in the form prescribed under subsection (2), and

(b) the municipal council, regional district board or improvement district trustees, as applicable, must publish in a newspaper

(i)   a copy of the letters patent, or

(ii)   a synopsis that states where the letters patent may be examined and, if a boundary description is set out in the synopsis, where a map of the boundary description may be viewed.

(2) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations prescribing the form of notice under subsection (1) (a).

(3) Letters patent issued for the purpose of giving effect to a final agreement may exempt a municipality or regional district from the requirements under subsection (1) (b).

Repealed

16  [Repealed 1998-34-5.]

Classification of municipalities

17  (1) A municipality must be incorporated as follows:

(a) as a village, if the population is not greater than 2 500;

(b) as a town, if the population is greater than 2 500 but not greater than 5 000;

(c) as a city, if the population is greater than 5 000;

(d) despite paragraphs (a) to (c), as a district municipality if the area to be incorporated is greater than 800 hectares and has an average population density of less than 5 persons per hectare.

(2) For the purpose of calculating the average population density, land continually covered by water must not be taken into account.

(3) Despite subsection (1), if the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers it to be in the public interest to do so, a municipality may be incorporated in another classification provided for in this Act.

Change of municipal classification

18  (1) On request of the council, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by letters patent, change the classification of the municipality in accordance with section 17 (1) [classification of municipalities].

(2) A council may make a request under subsection (1) only after it has obtained the approval of the electors in relation to the proposed change in classification.

(3) [Repealed 2008-42-45.]

(4) If the minister is satisfied that, since the last census, the population of a municipality has changed sufficiently to allow a change of classification, the minister may determine what the population of the municipality is deemed to be for the purposes of determining its classification.

Repealed

19  [Repealed 2003-52-170.]

Extension of municipal area

20  (1) On the recommendation of the minister, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by letters patent, extend the area of a municipality to include land not in a municipality.

(2) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may specify in the letters patent that, for the purpose of preparing, completing, returning, confirming and authenticating the assessment roll of land and improvements in the extended municipality, the land and improvements included by the extension are deemed, for a specified period before or after the extension, or both, to be included in or excluded from the municipality.

(3) Before the minister makes a recommendation referred to in subsection (1),

(a) the minister must

(i)   notify the council of the proposed recommendation, or

(ii)   have received from the council a request for the extension,

(b) the council must give public notice of the proposed extension once in the Gazette, and

(c) the council must obtain the approval of the electors of the municipality in relation to the proposed extension.

(4) and (5) [Repealed 2008-42-46.]

(6) The minister may direct that a vote on the question of including an area in a municipality under this section be taken in that area in the form specified by the minister and, for these purposes, section 9 applies.

Redefinition of boundaries

21  (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by letters patent, redefine or alter the boundaries of a municipality if it appears to the satisfaction of the Lieutenant Governor in Council that any of the following circumstances apply:

(a) the boundaries are uncertain;

(b) the boundaries do not follow legal property boundaries;

(c) the boundaries do not conform to those of an adjacent municipality;

(d) the whole or part of a highway on or adjacent to the boundary should be included or excluded;

(e) the whole or part of adjoining foreshore and any area below low water mark should be included or excluded;

(f) the whole or part of the adjoining foreshore along a river, stream or lake, or the foreshore and land covered by water, should be included or excluded;

(g) land adjacent to and owned by the municipality should be included.

(2) Before exercising the powers of subsection (1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may direct that a notice of intention to redefine or alter the boundaries of a municipality be given at municipal expense once in the Gazette and once in a newspaper.

Collection of taxes

22  (1) If land is included in a municipality under section 13 (5), 20 or 21, all unpaid taxes previously imposed by the Provincial government or by another municipality on that land are taxes of the municipality in which the land is included, and that municipality may exercise all remedies under this Act and the Community Charter for the collection of those taxes.

(2) The municipality in which the land referred to in subsection (1) is included,

(a) for unpaid taxes previously imposed by the Provincial government, must pay the amount of those taxes to the Surveyor of Taxes by January 1 in the year following the year in which the land is included in the municipality, and

(b) for unpaid taxes previously imposed by another municipality,

(i)   may pay the amount of those taxes to the other municipality before they are collected, or

(ii)   if the amount of those taxes is not paid under subparagraph (i), must pay that amount to the other municipality as they are collected.

(3) If land shown on the records of a land title office as a single parcel of land lies partly inside and partly outside a municipality and is, under section 13 (5), 20 or 21, wholly included in a municipality, the taxes then unpaid on any part of the land are a charge as unpaid taxes on the whole land.

Transfer of Provincial tax money if rural land included in municipality

23  (1) If land subject to assessment and taxation under the Taxation (Rural Area) Act is included in a municipality, either by incorporation of the municipality or by the extension or redefinition of its boundaries, the Minister of Finance may pay from the consolidated revenue fund to the municipality an amount equal to

(a) the current year's taxes levied under Part 2 of the Taxation (Rural Area) Act, if the date of the letters patent defining or redefining the municipal boundaries is effective before July 1, or

(b) one half of that amount, if that date is after June 30 in any year.

(2) The amount may include taxes levied on the land and improvements under any Act and due to the Provincial government.

(3) The taxes when collected by the municipality are municipal revenue.

(4) An amount to be paid under this section must be paid in January following the year in which the taxes are levied or at another time considered appropriate by the Minister of Finance.

Bylaws extend to additional area

24  (1) The bylaws and resolutions of the municipality to which an addition is made extend to the additional area, and continue in force until altered or repealed by the council.

(2) Despite subsection (1) but subject to section 782 (4.1) and letters patent, if a municipality is incorporated or the area of a municipality is extended, a provision of a bylaw

(a) other than an establishing bylaw, adopted by a regional district, or

(b) adopted by a local trust committee under the Islands Trust Act

that applies to the area continues in force as if it were a bylaw of the municipality until it is amended or repealed by the council.

Repealed

25  [Repealed 2003-52-172.]

Reduction of municipal area

26  (1) On the request of the council made in accordance with this section, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by letters patent, reduce the area of a municipality.

(2) Before making a request for reduction, a council must

(a) give public notice of its proposed request in at least 2 consecutive issues of a newspaper and once in the Gazette,

(b) obtain the consent in writing of at least 60% of the electors of the area proposed to be excluded, and

(c) receive the assent of the electors, unless this requirement is waived under subsection (4).

(3) A request for reduction must include the following:

(a) a description of the area proposed to be excluded;

(b) a description of the municipality's new boundaries;

(c) a reasonable estimate of the number of electors in the area to be excluded;

(d) a statement indicating that the required public notice has been given and an affidavit of the designated municipal officer attesting to that publication;

(e) the name, address, signature of consent and date of signature of at least 60% of the electors of the area proposed to be excluded;

(f) an affidavit of the designated municipal officer attesting to the number of electors entitled to sign under paragraph (e);

(g) an affidavit of one or more persons attesting to the authenticity of the electors' signatures under paragraph (e);

(h) the result of the vote required by subsection (2) (c), unless this requirement is waived under subsection (4);

(i) the assessed value for municipal purposes of the taxable land and improvements in the proposed reduced municipality;

(j) evidence satisfactory to the Lieutenant Governor in Council that all creditors of the municipality consent to the proposed reduction or that provision has been made to discharge the debt owing to the creditors whose consent is not obtained;

(k) a statement under oath by the mayor, jointly with the corporate officer and the financial officer, showing the existing liabilities of the municipality and any other information the Lieutenant Governor in Council may require;

(l) other matters that the Lieutenant Governor in Council may prescribe by regulation.

(4) The minister may waive the requirements of subsections (2) (c) and (3) (h).

(5) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by letters patent, reduce the area of a municipality without a request from the council if the area excluded is included in a municipality incorporated under section 12.

(6) When an area is excluded from a municipality under this section, the excluded area becomes a rural area.

Municipal letters patent and treaty lands

26.1  (1) Despite section 26 [reduction of municipal area], if municipal boundaries are affected by a final agreement, the Lieutenant Governor in Council, by letters patent, may reduce the area of the municipality.

(2) If under a final agreement, on a specified date or on the occurrence of a specified event, land within a municipality becomes treaty lands of a treaty first nation or is otherwise excluded from the municipality and letters patent have not been issued under subsection (1) in respect of that municipality, the letters patent of the municipality are deemed amended as contemplated by the final agreement.

Redefinition of adjoining municipalities

27  (1) After receiving a request from the council of each of 2 adjoining municipalities, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by letters patent, reduce the area of one municipality and extend the area of the other by the area withdrawn.

(2) Section 20 applies to the municipality whose area is extended and section 26 applies to the municipality whose area is reduced.

Repealed

28  [Repealed 2008-42-48.]

Dissolution of a municipality

29  (1) On receiving a request signed by a majority of the electors of the municipality, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by order, revoke the letters patent incorporating the municipality.

(2) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may not exercise the power under subsection (1) until the Lieutenant Governor in Council is satisfied that payment and discharge of all debts and obligations of the municipality is provided for.

(3) On the revocation under subsection (1) of the letters patent,

(a) the municipality is dissolved,

(b) all of the municipality's property vests in the Provincial government, and

(c) all taxes imposed by the municipality that remain unpaid are taxes imposed under the Taxation (Rural Area) Act as of the date of the imposition.

(4) In the case of a municipality that is dissolved under this section at a date before taxes are imposed for the calendar year in which the dissolution takes effect, all property inside the boundaries of the dissolved municipality is liable to assessment, taxation, levy and collection of taxes for all purposes in that year under the Taxation (Rural Area) Act and the School Act, as if the property were liable to assessment in the preceding year.

Repealed

30  [Repealed 2008-42-50.]

Rights and liabilities not affected by revocation and reissue of letters patent

31  If letters patent that incorporate a municipality are revoked and others issued,

(a) the revocation or issue does not bar or discharge a right, claim or demand of or against the municipality, or a pending action or proceeding, and the municipality remains as liable and has the same rights and interest as if the letters patent revoked were valid and not revoked,

(b) the municipality is deemed to have been a corporation from the date of the letters patent originally incorporating it, and

(c) a registration in a land title office in the name of the municipality is a registration in the name of the municipality under the new letters patent.

Existing licences preserved

32  (1) A Provincial or municipal licence that

(a) was issued in any locality that has been

(i)   incorporated or dissolved as a municipality, or

(ii)   added to or excluded from an existing municipality, and

(iii)   [Repealed 2008-42-52.]

(b) was in force immediately before the change

is valid until its expiration, subject to the provisions of any Act or a bylaw or regulation of the municipality affected.

(2) On expiration, the reissue or renewal of a licence is governed by the statutory provisions or the appropriate municipal bylaw and regulation.

Contents  |  1  |  1.1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  5.1  |  5.2  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  10.1  |  11  |  12  |  13  |  14  |  15  |  16  |  17  |  18  |  19  |  20  |  21  |  22  |  23  |  24  |  25  |  26  |  27  |  28  |  29  |  30