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This Act is current to September 13, 2017
See the Tables of Legislative Changes for this Act’s legislative history, including any changes not in force.

Local Government Act

[RSBC 2015] CHAPTER 1

Deposited with Clerk of the Legislative Assembly on December 16, 2015

Part 2 — Incorporation of Municipalities and Regional Districts

Division 1 — Municipal Incorporation Process

Incorporation of new municipality

3  (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 as follows:

(a) in the case of an area, other than an area referred to in paragraph (c), for which a vote was taken under section 4 (4) (a), if more than 50% of the votes counted as valid favour the proposed incorporation;

(b) in the case of an area, other than an area referred to in paragraph (c), for which a vote was taken under section 4 (4) (b), if

(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;

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

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

Vote required for incorporation of new municipality

4  (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.

(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) 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.

(4) 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.

(5) A vote under subsection (4) (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.

(6) 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 (5) (b) must be in a form that a voter may indicate a preference.

(7) 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 established under section 243 [local community commissions] until 5 years after the later of the following:

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

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

Procedure and costs for vote on incorporation

5  (1) Part 4 [Assent Voting] applies to a vote under Divisions 1 to 5 of this Part so far as reasonably possible and, for these purposes, the minister may make orders in relation to any matters dealt with under Part 4 or under the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act as it applies in relation to that Part.

(2) The costs of a vote referred to in subsection (1) must be paid as follows:

(a) if a municipality is incorporated under section 3 [incorporation of new municipality] 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 4 (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 island municipality in Islands Trust area

6  (1) As an exception to section 10 (1) [classification of municipalities], 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 municipality in conjunction with resource development

7  (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 Division 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) 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.

(3) If a municipality is 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 as 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.

(4) After the survey required by subsection (3), the municipality is responsible for the protection and maintenance of the coordinate control monuments.

Incorporation of mountain resort municipality

8  (1) If a vote under section 4 [vote required for incorporation of new municipality] is in favour of incorporation, the minister may recommend to the Lieutenant Governor in Council incorporation of a municipality as a mountain resort municipality.

(2) 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.

(3) Despite section 4, 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 for the improvement district.

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

(5) Despite section 4, 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.

(6) On the recommendation of the minister under subsection (5), 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.

(7) For certainty, and unless the letters patent for a mountain resort municipality incorporated under subsection (6) provide otherwise,

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

(8) Section 10 [classification of municipalities] applies with respect to the incorporation of a mountain resort municipality under this section.

Incorporation of reserve residents as village

9  (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,

(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

(c) more than 50% of those entitled to vote have voted and, of those voting, more than 60% have voted in the affirmative.

Division 2 — Classification of Municipalities

Classification of municipalities

10  (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

11  (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 10 (1).

(2) On request of the council, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by letters patent, change the classification of the municipality to another classification provided for in this Act, if the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers it to be in the public interest to do so.

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

(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.

Division 3 — Municipal Boundary Changes

Extension of municipal area

12  (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) 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.

(3) 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 5 [procedure and costs for vote on incorporation] applies.

(4) Letters patent under this section may specify 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.

Reduction of municipal area

13  (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 signed statement, of the designated municipal officer, verifying that the required public notice has been given;

(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) a signed statement, of the designated municipal officer, verifying the number of electors entitled to sign under paragraph (e);

(g) a signed statement, of one or more persons, verifying 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 signed statement of 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 9 [incorporation of reserve residents as village].

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

Reduction of municipal area in relation to final agreement respecting treaty lands

14  (1) Despite section 13, 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 for the municipality are deemed amended as contemplated by the final agreement.

Redefinition of adjoining municipalities

15  (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 12 [extension of municipal area] applies to the municipality whose area is extended and section 13 [reduction of municipal area] applies to the municipality whose area is reduced.

Other redefinition of boundaries

16  (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.

Division 4 — Specific Powers in Relation to Municipal Letters Patent

What must be included in letters patent incorporating a municipality

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

First election for municipality

18  (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 330 [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 applies, subject to the letters patent, as if the municipality were incorporated.

First council and neighbourhood constituencies

19  (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 53 (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 53 (1) to (4), 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

20  (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) [planning period for financial plan] 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.

Letters patent incorporating a municipality: other general powers

21  Letters patent incorporating a municipality may do one or more of the following:

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

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

(c) 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.

Additional powers where former municipality dissolved when new municipality incorporated

22  (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 for island municipality: additional powers

23  Letters patent incorporating an island municipality under section 6 [incorporation of island municipality in Islands Trust area] 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

(i) a resolution continued under paragraph (f) or (g),

(ii) a bylaw continued under paragraph (f), or

(iii) a bylaw continued under section 34 (2) [bylaws extend to additional area];

(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.

Letters patent for resource development municipality: additional powers

24  (1) Letters patent incorporating a municipality under section 7 [incorporation of municipality in conjunction with resource development] 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.

(2) On the recommendation of the minister, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by letters patent, provide for further exceptions and conditions for a municipality incorporated under section 7.

Letters patent for mountain resort municipality: additional powers

25  (1) Letters patent incorporating a mountain resort municipality under section 8 [incorporation of 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

(i) for the appointment by the minister of one councillor to the municipal council, despite sections 52, 53 and 54 (1) (a) and (c) to (e) [local government election rules],

(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;

(c) despite any provision in Part 14 [Planning and Land Use Management],

(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 that Part may be adopted, amended or repealed only with the approval of the minister until the municipality has adopted an official community plan;

(d) provide that Division 19 [Development Costs Recovery] of Part 14 applies to the municipality as if the municipality were in a resort region;

(e) provide that sections 488 (1) (i) [development permit area — objectives for the form and character] and 491 (7) [development permits: specific authorities] 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.

(2) Letters patent incorporating a mountain resort municipality under section 8 (6) 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 52 [general local elections], 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) On the recommendation of the minister, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by letters patent, provide for further exceptions, conditions and appointments for a mountain resort municipality incorporated under section 8 (6).

(4) Appointments may be made under subsection (2) (d) or (3) until the general voting day for the first election of members to the municipal council.

Letters patent for reserve village: additional powers

26  (1) Letters patent incorporating a village under section 9 (1) [incorporation of reserve residents as village] 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.

(2) The letters patent or agreement referred to in section 9 (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.

Authority for variation of proposed boundaries

27  In letters patent, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may vary the boundaries of a municipality or proposed municipality from those set out in the applicable request under this Part or from those specified by the minister,

(a) to make them regular or conform with the boundaries of neighbouring municipalities, or

(b) to exclude or include an area.

Appointment of additional councillors if boundary extended

28  (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 53 (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.

Establishment of property tax rate limits

29  (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) of this section.

(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

30  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

31  (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 area for the service.

(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 for municipality

32  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.

Letters patent for municipality: additional powers

33  (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 for a municipality or an order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council under this Part, other than an order under Division 6 [Regional District Incorporation and Related Matters] of 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.

Division 5 — Municipal Incorporation or Boundary Changes: Related Matters

Bylaws that apply to new municipality or extend to additional area

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

(2) Despite subsection (1) but subject to section 44 (6) [continuation of regional district jurisdiction] and the letters patent, if a municipality is incorporated or the area of a municipality is extended, a provision of

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

(b) a bylaw 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.

Interim corporate officer

35  (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.

Collection of taxes in relation to municipal boundary changes

36  (1) This section applies if land is included in a municipality under any of the following:

(a) section 12 [extension of municipal area];

(b) section 16 [other redefinition of boundaries];

(c) section 27 [authority for variation of proposed boundaries].

(2) All unpaid taxes previously imposed by the Provincial government or by another municipality on the 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.

(3) For unpaid taxes previously imposed by the Provincial government, the municipality in which the land is included 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.

(4) For unpaid taxes previously imposed by another municipality, the municipality in which the land is included

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

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

(5) If land shown on the records of a land title office as a single parcel of land

(a) lies partly inside and partly outside the municipality, and

(b) is, under a provision referred to in subsection (1), wholly included in the municipality,

the taxes then unpaid on any part of the land are a charge as unpaid taxes on the whole land.

Transfer of Provincial property tax money if rural land included in municipality

37  (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 [Taxation of Land and Improvements] 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 provided under subsection (1) may include taxes levied on the land and improvements under any Act and due to the Provincial government.

(3) 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.

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

Dissolution of municipality

38  (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 provision has been made for the payment and discharge of all debts and obligations of the municipality.

(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) If a municipality 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.

Rights and liabilities not affected by reissue of letters patent

39  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

40  (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

(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.

Division 6 — Regional District Incorporation and Related Matters

Incorporation of new regional district

41  (1) On the recommendation of the minister, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by letters patent, incorporate the residents of an area into a regional district for the purpose of exercising powers conferred on the regional district under this Act or under any other enactment.

(2) Letters patent incorporating a regional district must specify the following:

(a) the name and boundaries of the regional district;

(b) the municipalities and electoral areas that comprise the regional district;

(c) the boundaries of each electoral area in the regional district;

(d) the voting unit for the regional district, by specifying the number of persons used to calculate the number of votes referred to in section 196 (2) [voting rights];

(e) the last date for appointment of municipal directors to the first board;

(f) the time and manner of the first election of electoral area directors;

(g) the chief election officer and the voting places for the first election under paragraph (f);

(h) the date, time and place of the board's first meeting;

(i) the amounts that may be borrowed to meet the current lawful expenditures of the regional district in the year of incorporation and, if considered necessary, for the next year;

(j) the dates that may be observed initially, and once only, in place of statutory dates.

(3) No part of an electoral area may be in a municipality.

(4) On the recommendation of the minister, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by letters patent, do one or more of the following:

(a) specify the divisor used to calculate the number of directors referred to in section 197 (1) [municipal directors];

(b) change the name of a regional district;

(c) amend the voting unit referred to in subsection (2) (d);

(d) redefine the boundaries of an electoral area, establish a further electoral area or eliminate an existing electoral area.

Extension of regional district boundaries

42  (1) On the recommendation of the minister, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by letters patent, alter the boundaries of a regional district to include an area not in a regional district.

(2) Before making a recommendation under subsection (1), the minister must

(a) consult with the minister who administers the Hospital District Act for the purpose of ensuring that any boundary alteration will, if possible, maintain coextensive regional district and hospital district boundaries, and

(b) notify the regional district that will be affected by the proposed recommendation.

Regional district amalgamation, division and reorganization

43  (1) On the recommendation of the minister, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may

(a) amalgamate 2 or more regional districts by

(i) revoking, by order, their letters patent, and

(ii) incorporating the new regional district under section 41,

(b) divide a regional district into 2 or more regional districts by

(i) revoking, by order, their letters patent, and

(ii) incorporating the new regional districts under section 41, or

(c) by letters patent, alter the boundaries of 2 or more adjoining regional districts by reducing the area of one and increasing the area of another by the inclusion of the area withdrawn into the district that is increased.

(2) Before making a recommendation under subsection (1), the minister must

(a) consult with the minister who administers the Hospital District Act for the purpose of ensuring that any boundary alteration will, if possible, maintain coextensive regional district and hospital district boundaries, and

(b) notify all regional districts that will be affected by the proposed recommendation.

(3) Letters patent under subsection (1) may not be issued for 6 months after notice has been given under subsection (2) (b).

(4) In a recommendation under subsection (1), the minister must specify a proposed allocation or division of the rights, property, assets and obligations of the districts affected.

(5) In letters patent incorporating a regional district as referred to in subsection (1) (a) or (b) or in letters patent referred to in subsection (1) (c), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may do one or more of the following:

(a) transfer to and vest in a regional district any of the rights, property and assets of another regional district;

(b) transfer to and declare as assumed by a regional district any of the obligations of another regional district;

(c) provide that a bylaw or resolution of the board having jurisdiction before the amalgamation, alteration or division does not remain in force under subsection (6);

(d) require the board of the regional district to amend or repeal by a specified date a bylaw or resolution that remains in force under subsection (6);

(e) deem a reference to the regional district in any commercial paper, lease, licence, permit or other contract, instrument or document to be a reference to another regional district.

(6) Subject to the letters patent, the bylaws and resolutions of boards that had jurisdiction before the amalgamation, alteration or division remain in force until they are amended or repealed by the board having jurisdiction following the amalgamation, alteration or division.

(7) Sections 39 [rights and liabilities not affected by reissue of letters patent] and 40 [existing licences preserved] apply in respect of regional districts referred to in this section.

Creation or restructure of municipality in regional district

44  (1) If letters patent incorporate an area in the regional district as a new municipality, the new municipality becomes a member of the regional district on the date of incorporation, with representation determined in accordance with section 197 [municipal directors: number of directors and assignment of votes].

(2) If letters patent incorporate a new municipality or extend the boundaries of an existing municipality, and all or part of a service area is in the new municipality or the extension of the existing municipality, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by letters patent for the regional district, do one or more of the following:

(a) transfer from the regional district to the municipality the jurisdiction for the service in respect of all or a specified part of the service area;

(b) require the regional district to administer on behalf of the municipality the service transferred under paragraph (a) until a specified date after the effective date of the transfer;

(c) require the municipality to pay to the regional district an amount for administering the service on behalf of the municipality;

(d) specify an amount or establish formulas, rules or ratios for determining an amount payable under paragraph (c).

(3) The municipality and the regional district may enter into an agreement that modifies

(a) a requirement under subsection (2) (b) or (c), or

(b) an amount specified or a formula, rule or ratio established under subsection (2) (d).

(4) Letters patent under subsection (2) may do one or more of the following:

(a) transfer to and vest in the municipality any of the regional district's rights, property and assets that relate to the transferred service;

(b) transfer to and declare as assumed by the municipality any of the regional district's obligations that relate to the transferred service;

(c) provide that a bylaw of the regional district does not continue in force under section 34 (2) [bylaws that continue to apply to new municipality or extend to additional area];

(d) continue in force any resolutions of the regional district as resolutions of the municipality applicable to the area of the municipality to which they applied as resolutions of the regional district until those resolutions are amended or repealed by the council of the municipality;

(e) require the council of the municipality to amend or repeal by a specified date a bylaw continued under section 34 (2) or a resolution continued under paragraph (d) of this subsection;

(f) deem a reference to the regional district in any commercial paper, lease, licence, permit or other contract, instrument or document to be a reference to the municipality.

(5) If jurisdiction for a service is transferred to the municipality by letters patent under subsection (2), the effective date of the transfer is the date of the letters patent unless an order under subsection (6) applies.

(6) The minister may, by order, specify a later date on which the transfer is effective and, if such an order is made, the jurisdiction of the regional district governing the service continues in force until that later date.

(7) On the effective date of the transfer under subsection (2) (a) of jurisdiction for a service in respect of a specified part of the service area, the service area for the service provided by the regional district is deemed to be reduced to exclude the specified part of the service area for which jurisdiction was transferred.

(8) If letters patent incorporate a new municipality and only a part of a service area is in the new municipality, the service is continued under the jurisdiction of the regional district unless it is transferred under subsection (2) (a).

(9) If letters patent are issued extending or reducing the boundaries of a municipality, the voting power of the municipality under section 196 [composition and voting rights] must be adjusted effective January 1 in the year following the date of issue.

(10) Subsection (11) applies if, as a consequence of the incorporation of a new municipality or the alteration of boundaries of an existing municipality, the council and the board are unable to resolve a difference that may arise between them on

(a) the question of administration of matters in their respective jurisdictions,

(b) the allocation of resources or costs, or

(c) any other matter that, in the opinion of the minister, requires solution.

(11) In the circumstances referred to in subsection (10), after considering the representations of the parties, the minister may make an order, not inconsistent with this Act or letters patent for the municipality or regional district, directing the council and the board, or either, to act in a manner consistent with the terms of settlement set out in the order.

(12) The council and the board must comply with the terms of an order under subsection (11) according to its intent.

Dissolution of community planning area or improvement district in regional district

45  (1) In this section, "community planning area" means an area of the Provincial Community Planning Local Area under the Local Services Act that is designated as a community planning area under that Act.

(2) If a community planning area is dissolved and the area of land comprising the community planning area is in a regional district, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by order, do one or more of the following:

(a) provide that all or part of the community planning area be a service area of the regional district;

(b) continue in force any regulations made by the minister relating to the community planning area as bylaws of the regional district applicable to the area of the regional district to which they applied as regulations until those bylaws are amended or repealed by the board;

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

(3) If an improvement district is dissolved or the letters patent for an improvement district are amended to modify or repeal an object of the improvement district and the area of land comprising the improvement district is in a regional district, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by order, do one or both of the following:

(a) provide for the continuation of a service of the improvement district as a service of the regional district by

(i) describing the service, and

(ii) defining the boundaries of the service area;

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

(4) If provision is made for a service area under subsection (2) or (3), the board must adopt a bylaw in respect of the service that

(a) meets the requirements of section 339 [required content for establishing bylaws] for an establishing bylaw,

(b) is consistent with the order under subsection (2) or (3) of this section, as applicable, and

(c) is adopted in accordance with section 349 [amendment or repeal of establishing bylaw] as if it were a bylaw amending an establishing bylaw.

(5) A bylaw under subsection (4) is deemed to be an establishing bylaw for the service in respect of which it is adopted.

(6) A bylaw under subsection (4) must be adopted

(a) on or before the date specified by order under subsection (2) (c) or (3) (b), as applicable, or

(b) if no date is specified, within a reasonable period after that order comes into effect.

(7) If no date is specified by order under subsection (2) (c) or (3) (b), as applicable, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may in a later order specify a date and, if this is done, a bylaw under subsection (4) must be adopted on or before the date specified.

Regional district letters patent and orders: additional powers

46  (1) Despite this or any other Act, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by letters patent or by order, do one or more of the following in relation to the incorporation of a regional district, the establishment or elimination of an electoral area, the redefinition of the boundaries of an electoral area or the alteration of the boundaries of a regional district:

(a) impose requirements on the regional district;

(b) restrict the powers of the regional district;

(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 or order 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 for a regional district or an order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council under this Division or section 252 [regional district letters patent and treaty lands] 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.

Contents | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17 | Part 18 | Part 19 | Schedule | Revision Schedule