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Local Government Act

[RSBC 2015] CHAPTER 1

Part 8 — Regional Districts: General Powers and Responsibilities

Division 1 — General Powers

Corporate powers

263  (1) Subject to the specific limitations and conditions established under this or another Act, the corporate powers of a board include the following:

(a) to make agreements respecting

(i)   the regional district's services, including agreements respecting the undertaking, provision and operation of those services, other than the exercise of the board's regulatory authority,

(ii)   operation and enforcement in relation to the board's exercise of its regulatory authority, and

(iii)   the management of property or an interest in property held by the regional district;

(b) to make agreements with a public authority respecting

(i)   activities, works or services within the powers of a party to the agreement, other than the exercise of regulatory authority, including agreements respecting the undertaking, provision and operation of activities, works and services,

(ii)   operation and enforcement in relation to the exercise of regulatory authority within the powers of a party to the agreement, and

(iii)   the management of property or an interest in property held by a party to the agreement;

(c) to provide assistance for the purpose of benefiting the community or any aspect of the community;

(d) to acquire, hold, manage and dispose of land, improvements, personal property or other property, and any interest or right in or with respect to that property;

(e) to delegate its powers, duties and functions, in accordance with Division 7 [Delegation of Board Authority] of Part 6 [Regional Districts: Governance and Procedures];

(f) to engage in commercial, industrial and business undertakings and incorporate a corporation or acquire shares in a corporation for that purpose;

(g) to establish commissions to

(i)   operate regional district services,

(ii)   undertake operation and enforcement in relation to the board's exercise of its regulatory authority, and

(iii)   manage property or an interest in property held by the regional district.

(2) In exercising its powers under subsection (1), a board may establish any terms and conditions it considers appropriate.

(3) The powers of a board under subsection (1) may be exercised outside the boundaries of the regional district.

Minister approval required for certain out-of-Province or out-of-country agreements

264  (1) An agreement between a board and a public authority in another province respecting the provision and operation of works and services has no effect unless it is approved by the minister.

(2) An agreement between a board and a public authority in another country respecting the provision and operation of works and services has no effect unless it is approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Inspector approval required for incorporation or acquisition of corporations

265  (1) A regional district may only

(a) incorporate a corporation other than a society, or

(b) acquire shares in a corporation

with the approval of the inspector or as authorized by regulation.

(2) An incorporation or acquisition under subsection (1) applies as an exception to the restriction under section 183 [investment of municipal funds] of the Community Charter as that section applies under section 377 [financial management] of this Act.

Division 2 — Public Access to Records

Public access to regional district records

266  (1) In addition to the public access provided by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, a board may, by bylaw, provide for public access to its records and establish procedures respecting that access.

(2) If an enactment requires that a regional district record be available for public inspection, that obligation is met by having the record available for public inspection at the regional district offices during regular office hours.

(3) If a regional district record is available for public inspection, a person may have a copy made of all or part of the record on payment of any applicable fee the board establishes under section 397 [imposition of fees and charges].

(4) A person inspecting a record of a regional district must not, without authorization, remove the record from the place where it has been provided for inspection.

Disclosure of information relating to agreements that require elector approval or assent

267  (1) If an agreement is proposed or made in relation to a matter that requires approval of the electors or assent of the electors,

(a) the agreement, and

(b) all records relating to the agreement that are in the custody or under the control of the regional district

must be available for public inspection at the regional district offices during the time when the approval or assent process is underway.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to records that must not be disclosed under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

(3) Notices under the following in relation to an agreement referred to in subsection (1) must state that the agreement and the records relating to it are available for public inspection in the regional district offices during their regular office hours:

(a) section 176 [notice of assent voting] of this Act;

(b) section 86 (2) [notice of alternative approval process] of the Community Charter.

Other public access requirements: application of Community Charter

268  (1) Section 97 [other records to which public access must be provided] of the Community Charter applies to regional districts.

(2) An obligation under this section to provide public access to a regional district record does not apply to records that must not be disclosed under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Division 3 — Approval of the Electors

Processes for obtaining approval of the electors

269  If approval of the electors is required under this Act or the Community Charter in relation to a proposed regional district bylaw, agreement or other matter, that approval may be obtained by either

(a) assent of the electors, or

(b) approval of the electors by alternative elector approval process.

Approval of the electors: application of Community Charter

270  The following provisions apply for the purposes of this Division:

(a) Division 1 [General] of Part 4 [Assent Voting];

(b) section 282 (2) (d) [regulations in relation to elector response forms] of the Community Charter.

Division 4 — Providing Assistance

Definition of "assistance"

271  For the purposes of section 263 (1) (c) [assistance for community benefit] and this Division, "assistance" means providing a grant, benefit, advantage or other form of assistance, including

(a) any form of assistance referred to in section 272 (1), and

(b) an exemption from a tax, fee or charge.

Publication of intention to provide certain kinds of assistance

272  (1) A board must publish in a newspaper its intention to provide any of the following assistance:

(a) disposing of land or improvements, or any interest or right in or with respect to them, for less than market value;

(b) lending money;

(c) guaranteeing repayment of borrowing or providing security for borrowing;

(d) assistance under a partnering agreement.

(2) The notice must be published before the assistance is provided and must include

(a) the intended recipient of the assistance, and

(b) the nature, term and extent of the proposed assistance.

General prohibition against assistance to business

273  As a limitation on section 263 (1) (c) [assistance for community benefit], a board must not provide assistance to an industrial, commercial or business undertaking.

Exception for assistance under partnering agreements

274  Despite section 273 and in addition to the power under section 263 (1) (c) [assistance for community benefit], a board may provide assistance under a partnering agreement.

Exception for assistance in relation to utilities or mountain resorts

275  Despite section 273, a regional district may operate the service of

(a) providing capital financing for services provided by a telephone, natural gas or electric power utility, or

(b) the giving of grants to an applicant for a business promotion scheme under section 215 [business improvement areas] of the Community Charter in relation to a mountain resort.

Exception for heritage conservation purposes

276  (1) A board may provide assistance for one or more of the purposes referred to in section 25 (2) [heritage assistance] of the Community Charter.

(2) A board may, by an affirmative vote of at least 2/3 of the votes cast, provide assistance for the conservation of property referred to in section 25 (3) [heritage property assistance to business] of the Community Charter.

(3) The powers under this section are in addition to the power under section 263 (1) (c) [assistance for community benefit] and apply despite section 273 [general prohibition against assistance to business].

Limitation on assistance by means of tax exemption

277  As a limitation on sections 263 (1) (c) [assistance for community benefit] and 274 [exception for assistance under partnering agreements], a board may provide a property tax exemption only in accordance with Division 4 [Tax Rates and Exemptions] of Part 11 [Regional Districts: Financial Management].

Division 5 — General Property Powers

Reservation and dedication of land for public purpose: application of Community Charter

278  Section 30 [reservation and dedication of municipal property] of the Community Charter applies to regional districts.

Control of Crown land parks dedicated by subdivision

279  (1) If land outside a municipality is dedicated to the public for the purpose of a park or a public square by a subdivision plan deposited in the land title office, by which title is vested in the Crown, the regional district in which it is located is entitled to possession and control of the land for that purpose.

(2) If land referred to in subsection (1) was dedicated as referred to in that subsection before July 1, 1957, being the date on which the Municipal Act, S.B.C. 1957, c. 42, came into force, the regional district is deemed to have had possession and control of it for that purpose from the date it was dedicated, and continues to have that possession and control.

Disposition of regional parks and trails

280  (1) A regional district may, by bylaw adopted with the approval of the electors,

(a) sell a regional park or regional trail, or

(b) exchange a regional park or regional trail for other land to be used for park purposes.

(2) The regional district must place the proceeds of a sale under subsection (1) (a) to the credit of a reserve fund established for the purpose of acquiring regional parks or regional trails.

(3) All land taken in exchange under subsection (1) (b) is dedicated for the purpose of a park and title to that land vests in the regional district.

(4) Transfers of land under this section have effect free of any dedication to the public for the purpose of a park.

Exchange of park land: application of Community Charter

281  (1) Section 27 [exchange or other disposal of park land] of the Community Charter applies to land

(a) referred to in section 279 [Crown land parks dedicated by subdivision] of this Act,

(b) vested in a regional district under section 510 (13) [park land in relation to subdivision] of this Act, or

(c) vested in a regional district under section 567 (5) (a) [park land in place of development cost charges] of this Act.

(2) All land taken in exchange under this section is dedicated for the purpose of a park or public square, and title to that land vests as follows:

(a) in the case of land referred to in subsection (1) (a), in the Crown with right of possession and control in the regional district;

(b) in the case of land referred to in subsection (1) (b) or (c), in the regional district.

(3) A transfer under this section of land referred to in subsection (1) (a) has effect as a Crown grant.

Power to accept property on trust

282  (1) Without limiting section 263 [corporate powers], a board may accept any property devised, bequeathed, conveyed or otherwise transferred to the regional district, subject to any trusts on which the property is transferred.

(2) If the sale of property is necessary to carry out the terms of a trust under which it was transferred, a board may sell the property despite any limitations or restrictions in this Act.

(3) All money held by a regional district subject to a trust must, until required for the purposes of the trust, be invested in accordance with section 183 [investment of municipal funds] of the Community Charter as that section applies under section 377 (1) [general accounting rules] of this Act.

(4) If, in the opinion of a board, the terms or trusts imposed by a donor, settlor, transferor or will-maker are no longer in the best interests of the regional district, the board may apply to the Supreme Court for an order under subsection (5).

(5) On an application under subsection (4), the Supreme Court may vary, by order, the terms or trusts that the court considers will better further both the intent of the donor, settlor, transferor or will-maker and the best interests of the regional district.

(6) Section 87 [discharge of trustee's duty] of the Trustee Act applies to an order under subsection (5).

Plans respecting use of local government right of way

283  A board may require a person using a local government right of way other than a highway to provide the regional district, if reasonably possible, with accurate plans and profiles of any of the person's works and facilities using the right of way.

Authority to enter on or into property: application of Community Charter

284  (1) Section 16 (1) to (5) [authority to enter on or into property] of the Community Charter applies in relation to an authority under this or another Act for a regional district to enter on property, except that a reference to section 16 (6) (a) of that Act is to be read as a reference to section 419 [inspections to determine whether bylaws are being followed] of this Act.

(2) Without limiting the matters to which this section applies, a regional district may enter on property for the purpose of taking action authorized under section 418 [authority to fulfill requirements at defaulter's expense].

Division 6 — Disposing of Land and Improvements

Disposition of land and improvements

285  (1) Subject to subsection (2), if a board intends to dispose of land or improvements, it must make the land or improvements available to the public for acquisition.

(2) The requirement under subsection (1) does not apply if the disposition is

(a) to a not-for-profit corporation,

(b) to a public authority,

(c) to a person who, as part of the consideration for the disposition, will exchange land or an improvement with the regional district,

(d) to a person under a partnering agreement that has been the subject of a process involving the solicitation of competitive proposals, or

(e) a disposition of land to an owner of adjoining land for the purpose of consolidating the lands.

Notice of proposed disposition

286  (1) A board intending to dispose of land or improvements must publish notice of its intention in a newspaper in accordance with subsection (2) or (3), as applicable.

(2) If the disposition is a disposition referred to in section 285 (2), the notice must include

(a) a description of the land or improvements,

(b) the person or public authority who is to acquire the property under the proposed disposition,

(c) the nature and, if applicable, the term of the proposed disposition, and

(d) the consideration to be received by the regional district for the disposition.

(3) For all other dispositions, the notice must include

(a) a description of the land or improvements,

(b) the nature and, if applicable, the term of the proposed disposition, and

(c) the process by which the land or improvements may be acquired.

Use of money from sale of land or improvements

287  (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), all money received by a regional district from the sale of land or improvements must be placed to the credit of a reserve fund.

(2) If, after money is received under subsection (1), a debt incurred by the regional district for the purchase or management of the land or improvements remains, there must be set aside all or part of the proceeds of the disposition, as required to repay the debt as it matures together with interest.

(3) Except as required by subsection (2), in the case of a sale of park land, a regional park or a regional trail, the proceeds of the disposition must be placed to the credit of a reserve fund established for the purpose of acquiring park lands.

Disposal of water systems, sewer systems and utilities

288  (1) As a limitation on section 263 (1) (d) [corporate powers in relation to property], the following works may be disposed of only in accordance with this section:

(a) works for the supply, treatment, conveyance, storage and distribution of water;

(b) works for the collection, conveyance, treatment and disposal of sewage;

(c) works for the supply and distribution of gas or electrical energy;

(d) works for a transportation system, telephone system, closed circuit television system or television rebroadcasting system.

(2) The works may be disposed of only if at least one of the following applies:

(a) the works are no longer required for the purpose described;

(b) the works are disposed of to a municipality in the regional district;

(c) in the case of works referred to in subsection (1) (a) or (b) that are used by the regional district to provide a water or sewer service,

(i)   before the disposition occurs, there is in effect an agreement under which the water or sewer service will continue for a period specified in the agreement, and

(ii)   the intended disposition receives the assent of the electors;

(d) in the case of works not referred to in paragraph (c), the board has obtained the approval of the electors in relation to the proposed disposition.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2) (c) (ii),

(a) the notice under section 176 [notice of assent voting] must include a description of the agreement referred to in subsection (2) (c) (i), and

(b) section 267 [disclosure of information relating to agreements] applies to that agreement.

Division 7 — Expropriation and Compensation

Expropriation power

289  (1) For the purpose of exercising or performing its powers, duties and functions, a regional district may expropriate real property or works, or an interest in them, in accordance with the Expropriation Act.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), in addition to the rights conferred on licensees under sections 32 and 33 of the Water Sustainability Act, a regional district may expropriate

(a) a licence authorizing the diversion of water from a stream or an aquifer that is suitable for a water supply for the regional district, and

(b) any work constructed or used under the authority of the licence.

(3) The powers under subsections (1) and (2) also apply to property outside the regional district for the purposes of

(a) a service provided by the regional district to an area outside the regional district, or

(b) establishing and managing quarries, sand pits or gravel pits to acquire material for regional district works.

(3) In this section:

"aquifer" has the same meaning as in the Water Sustainability Act;

"stream" has the same meaning as in the Water Sustainability Act.

Authority in relation to services

290  (1) Without limiting section 289, a regional district may, for the purposes of one or more of its services, enter on, break up, alter, take or enter into possession of and use real property.

(2) If a regional district exercises an authority to provide a service outside the regional district, the power under subsection (1) applies to property outside the regional district in relation to that service.

(3) The authority under this section may be exercised without the consent of the owner of the property, subject to the restrictions established by section 16 [authority to enter on or into property] of the Community Charter, as that section applies under section 284 [authority to enter on or into property] of this Act.

Entry on land to mitigate damage

291  (1) If a board considers that real property may be injuriously affected by the exercise of a board power, the regional district may enter on real property and undertake works of construction, maintenance or repair in mitigation of injury done or anticipated, or in reduction of compensation.

(2) The authority under this section may be exercised without the consent of the owner of the property, subject to the restrictions established by section 16 [authority to enter on or into property] of the Community Charter, as that section applies under section 284 [authority to enter on or into property] of this Act.

Compensation for expropriation and other actions

292  (1) Unless expressly provided otherwise, if a regional district expropriates real property or works under this or any other enactment, compensation is payable to the owners, occupiers or other persons interested in the property for any damages necessarily resulting from the exercise of those powers beyond any benefit that the person claiming the compensation may derive from the work resulting from the expropriation.

(2) If a regional district

(a) exercises a power to enter on, break up, alter, take or enter into possession of and use any property, or injuriously affects property by the exercise of any of its powers, and

(b) exercises a power referred to in paragraph (a) that does not constitute an expropriation within the meaning of the Expropriation Act,

compensation is payable for any loss or damages caused by the exercise of the power.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2), compensation must be paid as soon as practicable in an amount set

(a) by agreement between the person claiming the compensation and the regional district, or

(b) if no agreement is reached, by the Supreme Court.

Division 8 — Other Powers

Board may seek regional district opinion

293  (1) Without limiting section 336 [referendums regarding services], a board may seek the opinion of the electors of the regional district on a question that the board considers affects the regional district, by voting or another process the board considers appropriate.

(2) If a board seeks an opinion under this section, the board must seek the opinion of the electors of the entire regional district.

(3) The results of a process under this section are not binding on the board.

(4) The board is responsible for conducting the voting or other process under this section.

(5) The seeking of an opinion under this section is general administration within the meaning of section 338 (2) (a) [general administration service].

Incidental powers

294  A board has all necessary power to do anything incidental or conducive to the exercise or performance of any power, duty or function conferred on a board or regional district by this or any other enactment.

Emergency powers

295  If the powers conferred on a board are inadequate to deal with an emergency that is not an emergency within the meaning of the Emergency Program Act, the board may, by bylaw adopted by at least 2/3 of the votes cast, declare that an emergency exists and exercise powers necessary to deal effectively with the emergency.

Additional powers and exceptions provided by regulation

296  (1) Despite this or any other Act, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation, do one or more of the following in relation to a specified regional district or a described class of regional districts:

(a) provide a power, including a power to regulate, prohibit and impose requirements;

(b) provide that a power conferred under paragraph (a) may be exercised only as a regulatory service;

(c) provide an exception to or a modification of a requirement or condition established by an enactment;

(d) establish any terms and conditions the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers appropriate regarding a power, modification or exception under this section;

(e) authorize a minister to establish any terms and conditions the minister considers appropriate regarding a power, modification or exception under this section.

(2) As restrictions, a regulation under this section may not do any of the following:

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

(b) confer an authority to impose a new tax;

(c) confer an authority to grant a new tax exemption;

(d) eliminate a requirement for obtaining the assent of the electors, unless that requirement is modified by replacing it with a requirement for obtaining 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