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Local Government Act

[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 323

Part 29 — Inspector of Municipalities

Inspector of municipalities

1019  (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may appoint an inspector of municipalities who, in addition to the powers and duties prescribed under this Act, has the powers and duties that may be assigned to the inspector.

(2) The inspector is to be attached to the office of the minister and is to be under the control of the minister.

Official seal and documents

1020  (1) The inspector is to have an official seal inscribed with the words "Inspector of Municipalities of British Columbia".

(2) Every paper writing or instrument purporting to be issued by the inspector and impressed with the seal of the office is admissible in evidence in all courts of British Columbia without proof of the sealing or of the signature of the inspector, or of the inspector's deputy, to the paper writing or instrument.

(3) The record of a document or instrument forming part of the records of the office of the inspector, or a copy of it, or a copy of a document or instrument kept in the inspector's office, certified to be a true copy by the inspector or the inspector's deputy, is admissible in evidence in all courts of British Columbia as of equal validity with the original document or instrument.

Inquiries into local government matters

1021  (1) With the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, the inspector may hold an inquiry if

(a) the inspector believes it expedient to make an inquiry into or concerning a matter connected with a municipality or the conduct of a part of its business, or

(b) a complaint is made to the inspector about a matter of municipal business, actual or projected.

(2) An inquiry under this section may be held by the inspector, a deputy of the inspector or another person authorized by the inspector and must be open to the public.

(3) For the purposes of an inquiry under this section, the person holding the inquiry has the powers, privileges and protection of a commission under sections 16, 17, 22 (1), 23 (a), (b) and (d) to (f) and 32 of the Public Inquiry Act.

(4) The costs, fees and expenses of the inquiry must be paid by the municipality.

(5) During an inquiry, the person holding the inquiry may do one or more of the following:

(a) direct that no action be taken by council on any or all matters designated by the person holding the inquiry;

(b) direct municipal employees not to proceed with any matter designated by the person holding the inquiry;

(c) suspend a municipal officer or employee where the person holding the inquiry believes the conduct of the officer or employee warrants suspension.

(6) The person holding the inquiry may rescind or amend a direction or suspension under subsection (5).

(7) Subject to rescission or amendment, a direction or suspension under subsection (5) remains in effect until an order is made under subsection (9).

(8) The person holding the inquiry must report to the Lieutenant Governor in Council

(a) on the evidence adduced,

(b) on any direction or suspension under subsection (5), and

(c) on the person's recommendations.

(9) On receipt of the report under subsection (8), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make an order that the Lieutenant Governor in Council believes is in the public interest.

(10) An order under subsection (9) is binding on the municipality, the council and every elected or appointed official, officer and employee of the municipality in the same way as if it were a regulation made by the Lieutenant Governor in Council under this Act.

Certificate of approval for money bylaws

1022  (1) A local government that adopts

(a) a loan authorization bylaw or security issuing bylaw, or

(b) a bylaw imposing a special assessment or a special rate under any Act,

may apply to the inspector for a certificate approving the bylaw.

(2) The inspector must not grant a certificate

(a) until after the time limit for giving notice of intention to make application to quash the bylaw, or

(b) while a proceeding that

(i)   calls the validity of the bylaw into question, or

(ii)   seeks to quash the bylaw

is pending.

(3) Despite subsection (2), if the time limit for giving notice of intention to make application to quash a bylaw has passed before the application to approve is made under subsection (1), the inspector may, in the inspector's discretion,

(a) disregard any proceeding in which the validity of the bylaw is in question that was commenced after the application for approval was made, and

(b) proceed to give the certificate of approval without reference to the proceeding.

(4) A certificate given under subsection (3) has the same effect as if the action or proceeding had not been commenced.

(5) If a bylaw has been approved, the inspector may also approve the debentures or other securities issued in conformity with it.

(6) A certificate issued under subsection (5) may bear the actual or lithographed signature of the inspector.

Inquiry into application for certificate

1023  (1) The inspector may direct and hold inquiry into an application for a certificate under this Part, and may hear and determine protests.

(2) An inquiry under this section may be held by the inspector, a deputy of the inspector or another person authorized by the inspector.

(3) The inspector's decision on granting, withholding or refusing a certificate is not subject to a proceeding, mandamus, certiorari or prohibition in any court of British Columbia.

(4) Section 1021 (3) and (4) applies to an inquiry under this section.

Appeal from inspector's decisions in relation to borrowing

1024  (1) An appeal lies to the minister from every decision of the inspector

(a) refusing to approve a loan authorization bylaw, or

(b) withholding or refusing a certificate applied for under this Part.

(2) On an appeal under subsection (1), the minister must hear and determine the matter, and may confirm, vary or rescind the decision of the inspector.

(3) The determination on the appeal is conclusive and binding on all parties, including the inspector.

Certificate conclusive of validity

1025  (1) The production of a certificate issued under this Part or of the certified copy of a certificate is, in all courts and places and for all purposes, conclusive evidence that

(a) the bylaw, debenture or other security described in or covered by the certificate has been validly made and issued, and

(b) all statutory and other requirements have been complied with.

(2) The validity of a bylaw, debenture or other security referred to in subsection (1) must not be attacked, questioned or adjudicated on in any proceeding in any court of British Columbia.

(3) A certificate under this Part may be in the following form:

Under the authority of the Local Government Act, I certify that this [bylaw has been lawfully and validly made and enacted] [or debenture or other security has been lawfully made and issued, as the case may be] and that its validity is not open to question on any ground in any court of British Columbia.

Dated ................................ [month, day, year].

...........................................................................

Inspector of Municipalities of British Columbia

Appeal to minister if unable to reach agreement on construction of drains

1025.1  (1) A person may appeal to the minister if,

(a) in order to provide an outlet for a surface drain, the person must continue the drain into an adjoining parcel of land or across or along a highway, and

(b) the owner of an adjoining parcel or the council refuses to enter into an agreement under which the drain may be continued.

(2) On an appeal under subsection (1), the minister may direct the municipality or regional district, as applicable, to provide the necessary works and may determine by whom the cost of the works must be borne.

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