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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 1 — Purposes, Principles and Interpretation

Purposes of this Act

1  The purposes of this Act are

(a) to provide a legal framework and foundation for the establishment and continuation of local governments to represent the interests and respond to the needs of their communities,

(b) to provide local governments with the powers, duties and functions necessary for fulfilling their purposes, and

(c) to provide local governments with the flexibility to respond to the different needs and changing circumstances of their communities.

Purposes of regional districts

2  Recognizing that regional districts are an independent, responsible and accountable order of government within their jurisdiction, the purposes of a regional district include

(a) providing good government for its community,

(b) providing the services and other things that the board considers are necessary or desirable for all or part of its community,

(c) providing for stewardship of the public assets of its community, and

(d) fostering the current and future economic, social and environmental well-being of its community.

Principles for governmental relations

3  The relationship between regional districts and the Provincial government in relation to this Act is based on the following principles:

(a) cooperative relations between the Provincial government and regional districts are to be fostered in order to efficiently and effectively meet the needs of the citizens of British Columbia;

(b) regional districts need the powers that allow them to draw on the resources required to fulfill their responsibilities;

(c) notice and consultation is needed for Provincial government actions that directly affect regional district interests;

(d) the Provincial government recognizes that different regional districts and their communities have different needs and circumstances and so may require different approaches;

(e) the independence of regional districts is balanced by the responsibility of the Provincial government to consider the interests of the citizens of British Columbia generally.

Broad interpretation

4  (1) The powers conferred on regional districts and their boards under this Act must be interpreted broadly in accordance with the purposes of this Act and in accordance with regional district purposes.

(2) If

(a) an enactment confers a specific power on a regional district or board in relation to a matter, and

(b) the specific power can be read as coming within a general power conferred under this Act,

the general power must not be interpreted as being limited by that specific power, but that aspect of the general power that encompasses the specific power may only be exercised subject to any conditions and restrictions established in relation to the specific power.

Definitions

5  In this Act:

"alternative approval process" means, in relation to a regional district, approval of the electors obtained in accordance with section 86 [alternative approval process] of the Community Charter as that section applies under section 797.5 [approval of the electors] of this Act;

"approval of the electors" means, in relation to a regional district, approval in accordance with section 797.5 [approval of the electors];

"approving officer" means an approving officer as defined in the Land Title Act;

"assent of the electors" means, in relation to a regional district, assent of the electors in accordance with section 85 [assent of the electors] of the Community Charter as it applies under section 797.5 [approval of the electors] of this Act;

"assessment roll" means, in relation to a tax under Part 23 [Improvement Districts], an assessment roll under Division 3 [Taxes and Cost Recovery] of that Part;

"board" means, in relation to a regional district, the board of directors for the regional district;

"board committee" means

(a) a select committee of a board,

(b) a standing committee of a board, or

(c) any other body established by a board that is composed solely of board members;

"building inspector" means, in relation to a regional district, an individual designated by the board as a building inspector for the regional district;

"chair" means the chair of a board who is elected under section 792 [chair and vice chair of board];

"chief election officer" means the election official appointed under section 41 (1) or under letters patent;

"conservation" includes, in relation to heritage, any activity undertaken to protect, preserve or enhance the heritage value or heritage character of heritage property or an area;

"corporate officer" means,

(a) in relation to a regional district, the regional district officer assigned responsibility under section 198 [corporate administration], and

(b) in relation to the City of Vancouver, the City Clerk under section 220 of the Vancouver Charter;

"designated local government officer" means the designated municipal officer or designated regional district officer, as applicable;

"designated regional district officer" means

(a) the regional district officer assigned responsibility under section 196 [officer positions] in relation to the matter, or

(b) if no assignment referred to in paragraph (a) has been made, the regional district corporate officer;

"director" means, in relation to a regional district, a member of the board, whether as a municipal director under section 784 [municipal directors], a treaty first nation director under section 795.2 [treaty first nation directors] or as an electoral area director under section 785 [electoral area directors];

"district municipality" includes a township;

"election official" means a person appointed under section 41 and a chief election officer and deputy chief election officer appointed under letters patent;

"elector" means a resident elector or non-resident property elector of a municipality or regional district electoral area;

"electoral area" means an electoral area in a regional district as specified by the letters patent for the regional district;

"electoral area director" means a director for an electoral area who is elected or appointed under section 785 [electoral area directors] from an electoral area;

"electoral participating area" means an area that is in a service area and that is all or part of an electoral area;

"establishing bylaw" means an establishing bylaw, under section 800 [establishing bylaws required for most services], for a regional district service;

"financial officer" means

(a) in relation to a regional district, the regional district officer assigned responsibility under section 199 [financial administration], and

(b) in relation to the City of Vancouver, the City Treasurer under section 226 of the Vancouver Charter;

"financial plan" means the current financial plan for a regional district under section 815 [financial plan];

"francophone education authority" means a francophone education authority as defined in the School Act;

"general bylaw" means, in relation to a regional district, a bylaw referred to in section 138 [municipal codes and other general bylaws] of the Community Charter as it applies under section 794 (5) [procedure, bylaws and enforcement] of this Act;

"general local election" means the elections referred to in section 36 (1) [elections for council members and electoral area directors];

"general voting day" means the day referred to in section 36 (2) or set under section 12.2 (1) (a), 37 (5), 38 (1) or (3), 142 (5), 162 (1) or 167 (5) (b);

"greenhouse gas" has the same meaning as in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act;

"heritage character" means the overall effect produced by traits or features which give property or an area a distinctive quality or appearance;

"heritage property" means property that

(a) in the opinion of a body or person authorized to exercise a power under this Act or the Community Charter in relation to the property, has sufficient heritage value or heritage character to justify its conservation, or

(b) is protected heritage property;

"heritage value" means historical, cultural, aesthetic, scientific or educational worth or usefulness of property or an area;

"improvement district" means an improvement district, including a mountain resort improvement district, incorporated under this or any other Act;

"loan authorization bylaw" means, in relation to a regional district, a loan authorization bylaw under section 179 [loan authorization bylaws for long term borrowing] of the Community Charter as it applies under section 819 [application of Community Charter borrowing and liability provisions] of this Act;

"local government" means

(a) the council of a municipality, and

(b) the board of a regional district;

"local government offices" means,

(a) in relation to a municipality, the municipal hall, and

(b) in relation to a regional district, the regional district offices;

"local trust committee" means a local trust committee within the meaning of the Islands Trust Act;

"manage", with respect to land, improvements, personal property or other property, includes conserve, use, develop, construct, improve, operate, administer and maintain, as applicable;

"mountain resort improvement district" means a mountain resort improvement district incorporated under section 732 [incorporation of mountain resort improvement districts];

"mountain resort municipality" means a mountain resort municipality incorporated under section 11 [incorporation of mountain resort municipality];

"municipal director" means a director for a municipality who is appointed under section 784 [municipal directors];

"municipality" means, in relation to a regional district, a municipality in the regional district and, in the case of the Greater Vancouver Regional District, includes the City of Vancouver;

"municipal participating area" means an area that is in a service area and that is all or part of a municipality;

"non-resident property elector" means, in relation to a municipality or regional district electoral area, a person who, at the relevant time, meets the qualifications for registration, in relation to the jurisdiction, as a non-resident property elector under section 51 [non-resident property electors];

"official community plan" means an official community plan adopted under section 876 [authority to adopt by bylaw];

"participant" means,

(a) in relation to a municipal participating area, the council of the municipality,

(a.1) in relation to a treaty first nation participating area, the governing body of the treaty first nation, and

(b) in relation to an electoral participating area, the director of the electoral area;

"participating area" means a municipal participating area, a treaty first nation participating area or an electoral participating area, as applicable;

"partnering agreement" means, in relation to a regional district, an agreement between the regional district and a person or public authority under which the person or public authority agrees to provide a service on behalf of the regional district, other than a service referred to in section 800 (2) (a) and (b) [regional district general and electoral area administrative services];

"protected heritage property" means property that is

(a) protected under section 13 (2) of the Heritage Conservation Act,

(b) included under section 970.1 (3) (b) [designation of heritage conservation areas] in a schedule to an official community plan, or

(c) designated as protected under bylaws made under section 967 [heritage designation protection];

"regional district" means, as applicable,

(a) a regional district incorporated under this Act, or

(b) the geographic area of a regional district corporation referred to in paragraph (a);

"regional district offices" means the location of the regular office of the corporate officer for the regional district;

"regional growth strategy" means a regional growth strategy under Part 25;

"regional park" means a park set aside and dedicated as a park under the Park (Regional) Act and continued under this Act or a park dedicated by a regional district under this Act;

"regional trail" means a footpath, pathway, trail or area of land dedicated as a regional trail under the Park (Regional) Act and continued under this Act or a trail dedicated by a regional district under this Act;

"regulatory service" means, in relation to a regional district, the exercise of a regulatory authority conferred on a regional district under this or another Act, other than the exercise of regulatory authority under Part 15 [Specific Regional District Service Powers], section 796 (4) and (5) [general authority for services] or section 796.2 [general authorities in relation to services];

"requisition" means a requisition under section 795.31 [requisition of funds for treaty lands], 805 [requisition of funds from municipalities] or 806 [requisition of funds for electoral areas];

"reserve fund" means, in relation to a regional district, a reserve fund under Division 4 [Reserve Funds] of Part 6 of the Community Charter as it applies under section 814 [general accounting rules] of this Act;

"resident elector" means, in relation to a municipality or regional district electoral area, a person who, at the relevant time, meets the qualifications for registration, in relation to the jurisdiction, as a resident elector under section 50 [resident electors];

"resort region" means a resort region designated under section 6.8;

"rural land use bylaw" means a bylaw referred to in section 873.1 [rural land use bylaws];

"security issuing bylaw" means a security issuing bylaw under section 825 [security issuing bylaws];

"service" means, in relation to a regional district,

(a) an activity, work or facility undertaken or provided by or on behalf of the regional district and the exercise of regulatory authority under Part 15 [Specific Regional District Service Powers], section 796 (4) and (5) [general authority for services] or section 796.2 [general authorities in relation to services] in relation to such an activity, work or facility, and

(b) a regulatory service;

"service area" means, in relation to a regional district, the area in which a service is provided, being comprised of the participating areas for the service;

"subdivision servicing bylaw" means a bylaw under section 938 [subdivision servicing requirements];

"Surveyor of Taxes" has the same meaning as in the Taxation (Rural Area) Act;

"taxing treaty first nation" has the same meaning as in the Treaty First Nation Taxation Act;

"treaty first nation director" means a director for a treaty first nation who is appointed under section 795.2 [treaty first nation directors];

"treaty first nation participating area" means the area of the treaty lands of a treaty first nation that is in a service area;

"trust council" means the trust council within the meaning of the Islands Trust Act;

"vice chair" means the vice chair of a board who is elected under section 792 [chair and vice chair of board];

"zoning bylaw" means a bylaw under section 903 [zoning bylaws].

Application of Community Charter definitions

5.1  Unless a term is otherwise defined in this Act or a contrary intention appears in this Act, the definitions in the Community Charter apply to this Act.

Not enacted

6  [Not enacted under Part 1; see Part 1.1.]

References to regional district officers

6.1  Words in an enactment referring to a regional district officer, by name of office or otherwise, also apply to

(a) the officer's deputy, and

(b) any person designated by the board to act in the officer's place.

Special rule for Mountain Time Zone

6.2  In those areas of British Columbia in which Mountain Standard Time or Mountain Daylight Time is customarily used, section 25 (7) [calculation of time] of the Interpretation Act does not apply and instead a reference to a specified time of the day is a reference to Mountain Standard Time or Mountain Daylight Time, as applicable.

Not enacted

6.3  [Not enacted under Part 1; see Part 1.1.]

How notices must be published in a newspaper

6.4  If this Act requires that notice be given by publication in a newspaper, the notice must be published in accordance with section 94 (1) (b) [requirements for public notice] of the Community Charter.

Giving notice to regional districts

6.5  If an enactment requires or permits

(a) notice to be given to a board or a regional district,

(b) a document to be served on a board or a regional district,

(c) a document to be filed with a board or a regional district, or

(d) a document to be delivered, sent, submitted or otherwise provided to a board or a regional district,

the notice, service, filing or other provision is effected if the notice or document is, as applicable, given to, served on, filed with or otherwise provided to the regional district corporate officer.

Notice by regional district: obligation satisfied

if reasonable effort made

6.51  If this or another Act requires a regional district, a board or a regional district officer or employee to give notice or to mail, send or deliver a notice, the obligation is satisfied if a reasonable effort was made to mail or otherwise deliver the notice.

Power to make regulations

6.6  (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations referred to in section 41 [powers to make regulations] of the Interpretation Act.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations respecting any matter for which regulations of the Lieutenant Governor in Council are contemplated by this Act.

(3) In addition to any other variation authority that is specifically provided, a regulation that may be made by the Lieutenant Governor in Council or a minister under any provision of this Act, or of the Community Charter as it is made applicable under this Act, may

(a) establish different classes of bylaws, municipalities, regional districts, other bodies governed by this Act, persons, property, circumstances and other matters,

(b) make different provisions, including exceptions, for different classes referred to in paragraph (a), and

(c) make different provisions, including exceptions, for different bylaws, different municipalities, different regional districts, different bodies governed by this Act, different parts of municipalities or regional districts, different areas or different parts of areas of other bodies governed by this Act and different circumstances and other matters.

Not in force

6.7  [Not enacted under Part 1; see Part 1.1]

Designation of resort regions

6.8  (1) Subject to subsection (2), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation, designate an area as a resort region.

(2) An area may be designated as a resort region only if

(a) the area includes a municipality, and

(b) the area does not include a portion of a municipality.

Application of Escheat Act

6.9  Section 4 of the Escheat Act does not apply to land in British Columbia transferred under this Act on dissolution of a municipality, development district, water users' community, improvement district or regional district.

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