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B.C. Reg. 192/98
M220/98
Deposited June 5, 1998
This consolidation is current to September 17, 2019.
Link to Point in Time

Local Government Act

Regional Growth Strategies Regulation

[includes amendments up to B.C. Reg. 98/2018, May 17, 2018]

Contents
1Definitions
2Application
Part 1 — General
3Selection of option
4Statement of independence and impartiality
5Appointment of neutrals
6Obligations of neutrals
7Obligations of eligible parties
Part 2 — Peer Panel
8Intent
9Participating parties
10Peer panel
11Meetings
12Procedure
13Facilitating role
14Notice to retire
15Decision
Part 3 — Final Proposal Arbitration
16Intent
17Participating parties
18No meetings
19Identification of disputed issues
20Decisions
Part 4 — Full Arbitration Settlement Process
21Intent
22Participating parties
23Communications
24Objections to process
25Commencement of settlement process
26Change of arbitrator
27Powers of the arbitrator
28Preliminary meeting
29Exchange of statements
30Disclosure
31Hearings and meetings
32Evidence
33Default of parties
34Close of hearings
35Decision
36Amendments and corrections to the award

Definitions

1   In this regulation:

"Act" means the Local Government Act;

"eligible party" means

(a) the proposing board of a regional growth strategy that has not been accepted,

(b) any local government affected by a regional growth strategy that has not been accepted, and

(c) any other party which is entitled by agreement of the participating parties to participate in a settlement process for a regional growth strategy that has not been accepted;

"facilitator" means a facilitator as defined in section 426 of the Act;

"neutral" means a person appointed as a member of a peer panel under section 441 (1) of the Act or as a single arbitrator under section 441 (2) or (3) of the Act;

"participating party" means an eligible party that has given notice under section 9, 17 or 22 in respect of a particular regional growth strategy.

[am. B.C. Reg. 98/2018, Sch. 6, s. 1.]

Application

2   (1) This regulation applies to all settlement processes conducted under section 441 of the Act.

(2) The Commercial Arbitration Act does not apply to a settlement process conducted under section 441 of the Act.

[am. B.C. Reg. 98/2018, Sch. 6, s. 2.]

Part 1 — General

Selection of option

3   (1) The proposing board and the local governments that refused to accept a regional growth strategy must agree on the settlement process option they wish to employ under section 441 of the Act no later than

(a) 84 days after a non-binding resolution process under section 439 of the Act is concluded without acceptance of the regional growth strategy, or

(b) 28 days after the minister gives a direction under section 439 (2) (b) of the Act that the regional growth strategy is to be settled under section 440 of the Act.

(2) Within the applicable time period specified in subsection (1), the board and local governments must, in writing, advise

(a) the facilitator, or if no facilitator has been appointed, the minister, and

(b) all other eligible parties,

of the agreement reached under that subsection.

(3) On request, the minister may extend the applicable time periods in subsection (1) if the minister believes that an extension may facilitate agreement.

[am. B.C. Reg. 98/2018, Sch. 6, s. 3.]

Statement of independence and impartiality

4   (1) Before a person may be selected as a neutral, a signed statement that he or she knows of no circumstances likely to give rise to justifiable doubts as to his or her independence or impartiality in the regional growth strategy under consideration must be provided by the person to

(a) the board,

(b) the local governments that are eligible to select that person under section 441 of the Act, and

(c) the facilitator, or if no facilitator has been appointed, the minister.

(2) If circumstances likely to give rise to justifiable doubts as to his or her independence or impartiality in the regional growth strategy under consideration arise after the selection, a neutral must immediately disclose these circumstances to

(a) the participating parties, and

(b) the facilitator or, if no facilitator has been appointed, the minister.

[am. B.C. Reg. 98/2018, Sch. 6, s. 4.]

Appointment of neutrals

5   (1) No later than 28 days after the settlement process option has been determined, the proposing board and the local governments that refused to accept the regional growth strategy must select, as applicable, from the lists under section 442 (1) of the Act,

(a) the 3 neutrals to act as members of the peer panel, or

(b) the neutral to act as arbitrator.

(2) Within the applicable time period specified in subsection (1), the board and local governments must, in writing, advise the facilitator or, if no facilitator has been appointed, the minister, of the selection made under that subsection.

(3) Once selected, the peer panel or the neutral who will act as an arbitrator must immediately notify all eligible parties of their selection.

(4) On request, the minister may extend the time period in subsection (1) if an extension would facilitate agreement.

(5) On application of a participating party before conclusion of a settlement process, the court may revoke the appointment of a neutral if the court is satisfied that the neutral has, in the discharge of the neutral's obligations under this regulation,

(a) breached section 4, 6, 23 or 31 (1),

(b) behaved in a corrupt or fraudulent manner,

(c) shown bias,

(d) exceeded his or her powers, or

(e) failed to observe the rules of natural justice.

(6) A neutral who resigns, is unable or refuses to act or whose appointment is revoked under subsection (5) must be replaced under this regulation by another neutral.

[am. B.C. Reg. 98/2018, Sch. 6, s. 5.]

Obligations of neutrals

6   (1) A neutral must be and remain at all times wholly independent and impartial and must not act as an advocate in the settlement process for any eligible party.

(2) Except to the extent expressly permitted under this regulation, a neutral must not have any written or oral communications with any eligible party respecting the substantive issues in a settlement process without full communication of this information to all participating parties.

Obligations of eligible parties

7   Except to the extent expressly permitted under this regulation, an eligible party must not have any written or oral communications respecting the substantive issues in a settlement process without full communication of this information to all eligible parties.

Part 2 — Peer Panel

Intent

8   (1) Part 2 applies to all peer panel settlement processes selected by the parties or directed by the minister under section 440 (3) of the Act.

(2) In this Part, "settlement process" means a peer panel settlement process.

[am. B.C. Reg. 98/2018, Sch. 6, s. 6.]

Participating parties

9   (1) An eligible party must, in writing, advise the chair of the peer panel, the proposing board and all affected local governments within 14 days of the date of the selection of the last member of the peer panel

(a) that the eligible party intends to be a participating party in the settlement process,

(b) of the name, address and telephone number of the individual who represents that party, and

(c) of the name, address and telephone number of that individual's alternate.

(2) On request, the peer panel may extend the time for an eligible party to give notice under subsection (1) if that party's participation would assist in the settlement of the regional growth strategy and may be accommodated within the time limits imposed under this Part for making a decision.

Peer panel

10   (1) The members of the peer panel must appoint one of the members to act as chair of the panel.

(2) All final decisions to resolve the disputed issues respecting the regional growth strategy must be made by a majority decision of the panel.

(3) The chair of the peer panel may make rulings not described by subsection (2) respecting the settlement process.

Meetings

11   (1) Subject to any directions of the peer panel, the meetings of the settlement process, excluding any meetings held by and for the members of the peer panel only, are open to the public.

(2) Recordings must not be made of the meetings of the settlement process but handwritten notes may be kept.

(3) The facilitator may attend and observe any part of the settlement process excluding any meetings held by and for the members of the peer panel only.

Procedure

12   (1) The peer panel must convene a preliminary meeting, in person or by conference call, with the participating parties within 21 days of the selection of the last panel member to

(a) identify the disputed issues in the regional growth strategy,

(b) investigate opportunities for reaching agreement,

(c) discuss the role to be played by the peer panel, the procedure to be followed and whether written reasons will be requested, and

(d) set any time periods within which certain actions must be taken.

(2) After consultation with the participating parties, the peer panel must give the parties written directions on the manner of conduct of the proceedings as soon as possible after the preliminary meeting.

(3) If the peer panel decides to hold oral hearings, the hearings must be held on consecutive business days and, if the participating parties agree, on consecutive days other than business days.

(4) If the settlement process includes the presentation of information by experts or other persons to the peer panel, the peer panel may limit the number of persons who may be called to give presentations and may set time limits for the presentations.

(5) After consultation with the participating parties, the peer panel may request the attendance of, and a presentation by, any person who may be of assistance to the panel in making its decision.

(6) The peer panel is not required to apply the legal rules of evidence and must determine the relevance and materiality of the presentations.

Facilitating role

13   (1) Unless the participating parties agree otherwise, if the peer panel is endeavouring to facilitate settlement discussions, the members of the peer panel, separately or together, may hold private meetings with any or all of the participating parties and information provided by the participating parties during those meetings should not be considered confidential.

(2) During its efforts to facilitate settlement discussions, the members of the peer panel may make suggestions to the participating parties for resolution of the disputed issues, but these suggestions are not to be construed as a decision of the peer panel and are for the purpose only of facilitating settlement by agreement of the parties.

(3) If the peer panel's efforts to facilitate an agreement on the disputed issues are unsuccessful within 35 days after the date of the selection of the last panel member, the peer panel must cease such activities and conduct the settlement process in such a manner as to enable it to make a decision on the disputed issues as required by the Act and this regulation.

Notice to retire

14   (1) In order to provide an opportunity to make a request for written reasons as permitted under section 441 of the Act, the peer panel must give the participating parties advance notice of its intent to retire to make its decision.

(2) Any submissions by the participating parties on the allocation of fees, costs and expenses of the settlement process must be received by the peer panel before it retires to make its decision.

[am. B.C. Reg. 98/2018, Sch. 6, s. 7.]

Decision

15   (1) Unless the participating parties agree on a regional growth strategy during the settlement process or the minister extends the time period, the peer panel must settle the disputed issues of the regional growth strategy, including giving any written reasons requested under section 441 of the Act, within 70 days from the date the last peer panel member was selected.

(2) The peer panel must give its decision settling the disputed issues in the regional growth strategy in writing and provide copies of it to all the participating parties and the facilitator or, if no facilitator was appointed by the minister, to the minister.

[am. B.C. Reg. 98/2018, Sch. 6, s. 7.]

Part 3 — Final Proposal Arbitration

Intent

16   (1) Part 3 applies to all final proposal settlement processes selected by the parties or directed by the minister under section 440 (3) of the Act.

(2) In this Part, "settlement process" means the final proposal arbitration process.

[am. B.C. Reg. 98/2018, Sch. 6, s. 8.]

Participating parties

17   (1) An eligible party must, in writing, advise the arbitrator, the proposing board and all affected local governments within 14 days of the date of the selection of the arbitrator

(a) that the eligible party intends to be a participating party in the settlement process,

(b) of the name, address and telephone number of the individual who represents that party, and

(c) of the name, address and telephone number of that individual's alternate.

(2) On request, the arbitrator may extend the time for an eligible party to give notice if that party's participation would assist in the settlement of the regional growth strategy and may be accommodated within the time limits imposed under this Part for making a decision.

No meetings

18   The arbitrator must not meet with or discuss any aspect of the disputed issues with the participating parties or any other person and the arbitrator is restricted solely to consideration of the written submissions and proposals filed by the participating parties.

Identification of disputed issues

19   (1) Within 28 days of the date of selection of the arbitrator, all participating parties must submit to the arbitrator a jointly prepared and agreed to statement which clearly and succinctly identifies the disputed issues in the regional growth strategy.

(2) Within 42 days of selection of the arbitrator, each of the participating parties must make a submission to the arbitrator and to the other participating parties which

(a) addresses all or any of the disputed issues identified in subsection (1) and no other issues,

(b) explains the position the participating party takes on each disputed issue it intends to address,

(c) includes any documents on which it relies,

(d) makes only one specific proposal to finally resolve a disputed issue, which proposal must be presented as specific wording to be included in the regional growth strategy, and

(e) addresses the issue of allocation of fees, costs and expenses of the settlement process, if any submission on this issue is intended.

(3) The participating parties may not revise or amend their submission after it has been presented to the arbitrator nor may they rebut or refute any information contained in any other participating party's submission.

(4) Nothing in subsection (3) must be construed to limit, in any way, any settlement discussions which the participating parties may wish to carry on during the time period in which the arbitrator is considering his or her decision.

Decisions

20   (1) Unless the participating parties agree on a regional growth strategy during the settlement process or the minister extends the time period, the arbitrator must settle the disputed issues of the regional growth strategy within 63 days of the date of his or her selection.

(2) The arbitrator must select, in respect of each disputed issue, one of the final proposals submitted under section 19 and

(a) the selection of a final proposal on a disputed issue submitted by one participating party does not preclude the selection of a final proposal on another disputed issue submitted by another participating party, and

(b) the arbitrator may not alter the terms of a final proposal in selecting the final proposal.

(3) The arbitrator must give the selections under subsection (2) in writing and provide signed and dated copies of them to all participating parties and the facilitator or, if no facilitator was appointed by the minister, to the minister.

Part 4 — Full Arbitration Settlement Process

Intent

21   (1) Part 4 applies to all full arbitration settlement processes selected by the parties or directed by the minister under section 440 (3) of the Act.

(2) In this Part, "settlement process" means the full arbitration settlement process.

[am. B.C. Reg. 98/2018, Sch. 6, s. 8.]

Participating parties

22   (1) An eligible party must, in writing, advise the arbitrator, the proposing board and all affected local governments within 14 days of the date of the selection of the arbitrator

(a) that the eligible party intends to be a participating party in the settlement process,

(b) of the name, address and telephone number of the individual who represents that party, and

(c) of the name, address and telephone number of that individual's alternate.

(2) On request, the arbitrator may extend the time for an eligible party to give notice if that party's participation would assist in the settlement of the regional growth strategy and may be accommodated within the time limits imposed under this Part for making a decision.

Communications

23   (1) A copy of all written communications between the arbitrator and a participating party must be given to the other participating parties at the same time.

(2) There must not be any oral communications between a participating party and the arbitrator with respect to the disputed issues unless it is made in the presence of all participating parties or their legal counsel.

(3) Copies of all documents exchanged between the participating parties as required under this Part must be given to the arbitrator.

Objections to process

24   (1) A participating party must state any objections to any aspect of the settlement process or to the conduct of the other participating parties or the arbitrator at the earliest possible time.

(2) The arbitrator may refuse to consider an objection if a party fails to comply with subsection (1).

Commencement of settlement process

25   For purposes of the calculation of time under this Part, the settlement process is considered to commence on the date the arbitrator is selected.

Change of arbitrator

26   An arbitrator replaced under this regulation by another arbitrator must rehear any matter to be decided respecting the disputed issues that has not been decided by the former arbitrator respecting those issues.

Powers of the arbitrator

27   (1) Subject to any limitations in this Part or any agreement reached by the participating parties, the arbitrator may conduct the settlement process in any manner the arbitrator considers appropriate, but each party must be treated fairly and must be given full opportunity to present its case.

(2) The arbitrator may rule on his or her jurisdiction.

(3) The arbitrator may

(a) adjourn the proceedings from time to time to facilitate settlement discussions between the parties or for any other reasonable purpose,

(b) order inspection of documents, exhibits or other property at any location,

(c) order the recording of any oral hearing or meeting,

(d) limit the number of witnesses in any oral hearing and the manner and method of cross-examination of them, and

(e) if the arbitrator considers it just and appropriate in the circumstances, extend or shorten a period of time

(i) required in this Part, except the period of time specified under section 35 (1), or

(ii) fixed or determined by the arbitrator.

Preliminary meeting

28   (1) The arbitrator must convene a preliminary meeting, in person or by conference call, with the participating parties within 21 days of his or her selection to

(a) identify the disputed issues in the regional growth strategy,

(b) discuss the procedure to be followed, and

(c) set any time periods within which certain actions must be taken.

(2) Subject to any agreements reached by the parties and any mandatory provision of this regulation, the arbitrator must give the parties written directions on the manner of conduct of the proceedings as soon as possible after the preliminary meeting.

(3) If the arbitrator decides to hold oral hearings, the hearings must be held on consecutive business days and, if the participating parties agree, on consecutive days other than business days.

Exchange of statements

29   (1) The participating parties must exchange written statements of their respective positions on the disputed issues in the following manner:

(a) a participating party that refused to accept the regional growth strategy (known as the claiming party) must give a submission outlining the matters in dispute, a discussion of its perspective on the issue and the solution requested, not later than 28 days after the preliminary meeting is held under section 28;

(b) a participating party, other than those referred to in paragraph (a) (known as the responding party) must give a submission outlining its responses to the claiming party's submission, not later than 14 days after receiving the claiming party's submission.

(2) A participating party must attach to its submission under subsection (1) a list of documents

(a) on which the party intends to rely, and

(b) which describes each document by kind, date, author, addressee and subject matter.

(3) At any time, the arbitrator may allow a participating party to amend or add to any submission made under this section, including the list of documents, unless

(a) the amendment or addition goes beyond the terms of the settlement process, or

(b) another participating party would be prejudiced by the delay in making the amendment or addition.

Disclosure

30   (1) The arbitrator may order a participating party to produce, within a specified time, any documents which

(a) have not been listed under section 29,

(b) a participating party has in its care, custody or control, and

(c) the arbitrator considers to be relevant.

(2) A participating party must allow any other participating party the necessary access at reasonable times to inspect and take copies of all documents that the former party has listed in section 29.

(3) Not later than 21 days before any oral hearing commences, each participating party must give the other participating parties and the arbitrator

(a) the name and address of any witness it intends to call and a written summary of the witness's evidence, and

(b) in the case of an expert witness, a written statement or report prepared by the expert witness.

(4) Not later than 14 days before any oral hearing commences, each participating party must give to the other participating parties and the arbitrator an assembly of all documents to be introduced at the hearing.

Hearings and meetings

31   (1) The arbitrator must give the participating parties reasonable written notice of any oral hearings and meetings.

(2) Subject to any directions of the arbitrator, the hearings and meetings of the arbitration are open to the public.

(3) The arbitrator may direct that a record be kept of the settlement process.

(4) The facilitator may attend and observe any part of the settlement process.

Evidence

32   (1) All oral evidence must be taken in the presence of the arbitrator and all the parties unless a participating party is absent by default or has waived the right to be present.

(2) If the arbitrator considers it just and reasonable to do so, the arbitrator may permit a document to be introduced at the oral hearing which was not previously listed under section 29, but the arbitrator may take that failure into account when fixing the costs to be awarded in the settlement process.

(3) If the arbitrator permits the evidence of a witness to be presented as a written statement, the other participating parties may require that witness to be made available for cross examination at the oral hearing.

Default of parties

33   (1) If a responding party fails to provide the statement required in section 29 (1) (b), the arbitrator must

(a) continue the settlement process, and

(b) require the claiming party to present such evidence to support its submission as the arbitrator may require before making a decision.

(2) The arbitrator may continue the settlement process and make a decision based on the evidence presented if a participating party fails to

(a) appear at a scheduled oral hearing, or

(b) produce any evidence.

Close of hearings

34   (1) The arbitrator must close any oral hearings if

(a) the participating parties advise they have no further evidence to give or submissions to make, or

(b) the arbitrator considers further hearings to be unnecessary or inappropriate.

(2) Subject to any time requirements under this Part, if the arbitrator considers it to be just and appropriate to do so, the arbitrator may reopen the oral hearings at any time before making a decision.

Decision

35   (1) Unless the participating parties agree on a regional growth strategy during the settlement process or the minister extends the time, the arbitrator must make a decision as soon as possible and, in any event, not later than 28 days after

(a) any oral hearings have been closed, or

(b) if no oral hearings have been held, the last written submission has been made.

(2) The decision of the arbitrator must be in writing, contain the specific wording of the provisions of the regional growth strategy, state the reasons on which it is based and be signed and dated.

(3) The arbitrator must give a copy of the decision to each participating party and the facilitator or, if no facilitator was appointed by the minister, to the minister.

Amendments and corrections to the award

36   (1) The arbitrator may amend or vary a decision settling the provisions of the regional growth strategy to correct

(a) a clerical or typographical error, or

(b) an accidental error, slip, omission or other similar mistake.

(2) An application by a participating party to the arbitrator to amend or vary a decision under subsection (1) must be made within 7 days after that party receives the decision.

(3) Not later than 7 days after receiving the decision, a participating party may apply to the arbitrator for clarification of the provisions of the settled regional growth strategy, and the arbitrator may amend that part of his or her decision if the arbitrator considers that the amendment will clarify it.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (2) or (3), the arbitrator must not amend or vary the decision, without the consent of all participating parties, more than 14 days after all parties have received it.

(5) Subsection (3) does not apply to the reasons given by the arbitrator in making his or her decision on the provisions of the regional growth strategy.

[Provisions relevant to the enactment of this regulation: Local Government Act, R.S.B.C. 2015, c. 1, s. 442]