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This Act is current to November 1, 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 10 — Regional Districts: Service Structure and Establishing Bylaws

Division 1 — General Service Powers

General authority for services

332  (1) Subject to the specific limitations and conditions established under this or another Act, a regional district may operate any service that the board considers necessary or desirable for all or part of the regional district.

(2) The authority under subsection (1) includes the authority to operate a service in an area outside the regional district as well as in the regional district itself.

(3) A regional district service may be operated directly by the regional district or through another public authority, person or organization.

(4) If a regional district has established works or facilities outside the regional district for the purposes of a regional district service, the board may, by bylaw, regulate and prohibit the use of the works and facilities.

(5) If a board enters into a mutual aid agreement respecting the use of equipment and personnel, those uses may be undertaken inside or outside the service area.

Consent required for services outside regional district

333  (1) Before establishing a service referred to in section 332 (2) [services outside regional district], the board must

(a) obtain the consent of the other affected local government in accordance with subsection (2) of this section, and

(b) after receiving that consent, obtain the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

(2) For the consent required by subsection (1) (a),

(a) if the area is in a municipality, the consent of the municipal council is required, and

(b) if the area is not in a municipality, the consent of the regional district board for the area is required.

(3) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, in an approval referred to in subsection (1) (b), establish restrictions and conditions on the establishment and operation of a service in a participating area that is outside the regional district.

(4) Subject to an approval under subsection (3), if a service referred to in subsection (1) is established,

(a) the area outside the regional district must be identified as a separate participating area for the service,

(b) the powers, duties and functions of the regional district extend to the participating area as if it were located in the regional district, and

(c) the provisions of this Part and other former Part 24 provisions apply with respect to the participating area as if it were located in the regional district.

Services to public authorities

334  (1) If a regional district makes an agreement with a public authority to provide services to or for the public authority that are within the powers of the public authority, the entire cost of providing the service under the agreement is a debt owed to the regional district by the public authority.

(2) A service provided under an agreement referred to in subsection (1) may be provided inside the boundaries of another regional district if that other regional district consents.

Authorities in relation to services other than regulatory services

335  (1) A bylaw in relation to a regional district service, other than a regulatory service, may

(a) make different provisions for different areas, times, conditions or circumstances as described by bylaw,

(b) establish different classes of persons, places, activities, property or things, and

(c) make different provisions, including exceptions, for different classes established under paragraph (b).

(2) A board may, by bylaw, regulate and prohibit in relation to a regional district service other than a regulatory service.

(3) Without limiting subsection (2), a bylaw under that subsection may provide for a system of licences, permits or approvals in relation to a regional district service, including by doing one or more of the following:

(a) prohibiting any activity or thing until a licence, permit or approval has been granted;

(b) providing for the granting and refusal of licences, permits and approvals;

(c) providing for the effective periods of licences, permits and approvals;

(d) establishing

(i) terms and conditions of, or

(ii) terms and conditions that must be met for obtaining, continuing to hold or renewing

a licence, permit or approval, or providing that such terms and conditions may be imposed, the nature of the terms and conditions and who may impose them;

(e) providing for the suspension or cancellation of licences, permits and approvals for

(i) failure to comply with a term or condition of a licence, permit or approval, or

(ii) failure to comply with the bylaw;

(f) providing for reconsideration or appeals of decisions made with respect to the granting, refusal, suspension or cancellation of licences, permits and approvals.

Division 2 — Referendums and Petitions for Services

Referendums regarding services

336  (1) A board may, by bylaw, provide for a referendum in the whole or a part of one or more municipalities or electoral areas to obtain the opinion of the electors on a question regarding a service that is or that may be operated by the regional district.

(2) Section 344 [approval by assent of the electors] applies to a referendum under this section as if the areas in which the referendum is to be conducted were proposed participating areas.

Petitions for electoral area services

337  (1) The owners of parcels in an electoral area may sign and submit to the regional district a petition for a service in all or part of that electoral area.

(2) Each page of a petition referred to in subsection (1) must do the following:

(a) describe in general terms the service that is proposed;

(b) define the boundaries of the proposed service area;

(c) indicate in general terms the proposed method for recovering annual costs;

(d) contain other information that the board may require.

(3) In order for a petition to be certified as sufficient and valid for the purposes of this section,

(a) the petition must be signed by the owners of at least 50% of the parcels liable to be charged for the proposed service, and

(b) the persons signing must be the owners of parcels that in total represent 50% of the net taxable value of all land and improvements within the proposed service area.

(4) Section 212 (4) to (6) [rules in relation to petition for local area service] of the Community Charter applies to a petition under this section.

Division 3 — Establishing Bylaws for Services

Establishing bylaws required for most services

338  (1) Subject to this section, in order to operate a service, the board must first adopt an establishing bylaw for the service in accordance with this Division.

(2) As exceptions, a bylaw under this section is not required to establish the following:

(a) general administration, other than electoral area administration;

(b) electoral area administration;

(c) the undertaking of feasibility studies in relation to proposed services;

(d) a service under section 4 (1) [regional district declared regional hospital district] of the Hospital District Act;

(e) the undertaking of a referendum under section 336 [referendums regarding services];

(f) a local community commission under section 243;

(g) a service that

(i) is a service for which authority is expressly provided by a provision of this Act that is not a former Part 24 provision, and

(ii) is not a regulatory service;

(h) 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;

(i) if the regional district board is authorized to appoint an approving officer under section 77.1 [appointment of regional district and islands trust approving officers] of the Land Title Act, services related to the approving officer.

Required content for establishing bylaws

339  (1) An establishing bylaw for a service must do the following:

(a) describe the service;

(b) define the boundaries of the service area;

(c) identify all municipalities and electoral areas that include participating areas for the service;

(d) indicate the method of cost recovery for the service, in accordance with section 378 [options for cost recovery];

(e) set the maximum amount that may be requisitioned for the service by

(i) specifying a maximum amount,

(ii) specifying a property value tax rate that, when applied to the net taxable value of land and improvements in the service area, will yield the maximum amount, or

(iii) specifying both a maximum amount and a property value tax rate as referred to in subparagraphs (i) and (ii), in which case the maximum amount is whichever is greater at the applicable time.

(2) As exceptions, the requirement of subsection (1) (e) does not apply to an establishing bylaw for the following:

(a) a regulatory service;

(b) coordination, research and analytical services relating to the development of the regional district;

(c) social planning services;

(d) the promotion of economic development;

(e) programs in preparation for emergencies;

(f) emergency communication systems;

(g) regional parks and regional trails;

(h) services related to heritage conservation;

(i) participation in a regional library district under Part 3 [Regional Library Districts] of the Library Act;

(j) a service referred to in section 338 (2) (a) to (d) [general administration, electoral area administration, feasibility studies and regional hospital district services].

(3) If an establishing bylaw covers more than one service, it must separately indicate the matters under subsection (1) for each service.

(4) If the board adopts an establishing bylaw for a service referred to in section 338 (2) (a) [general administration], the establishing bylaw must identify all municipalities and all electoral areas in the regional district as participating areas for the service, and the service area is the entire regional district.

Special options for establishing bylaws

340  (1) An establishing bylaw for a service may do one or more of the following:

(a) set out the method of apportionment of costs among the participating areas, if this is to be different from the method established by section 380 (2) (a) [general apportionment rule];

(b) in relation to resolutions and bylaws respecting the administration and operation of the service, establish the method for determining the number of votes to which a director is entitled if this is to be different from that otherwise established by section 209 (1) (b) [number of votes per director in respect of administration and operation of services];

(c) if the administration and operation of the service is to be delegated to a body established by the board, provide for appointments to the body and establish voting rules for the body in relation to the service;

(d) provide a time period for the purposes of section 357 (1) (a) [minimum participation time before service review can be initiated] that is less than the period established by that provision;

(e) provide an alternative review process that is different than the service review process established by Division 6 [Dispute Resolution in Relation to Services];

(f) establish terms and conditions for withdrawal from the service;

(g) include any other provisions respecting the establishment and operation of the service that the board considers appropriate.

(2) As a restriction on subsection (1) (b), each director for a participating area must be entitled to at least one vote.

(3) If a proposed establishing bylaw includes provisions referred to in subsection (1) (f), each participant must consent to the provisions before the bylaw is submitted for participating area approval under section 342.

Special rules in relation to continuation of older services

341  (1) In this section:

"continued service" means a service provided by a regional district immediately before the transition date;

"previous continuation authority" means the authority to provide services under section 775 (3) to (8) of the Local Government Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 323, as that section read immediately before the transition date;

"transition date" means August 30, 2000, being the date on which section 774.2 of the Local Government Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 323, came into force.

(2) Subject to this section, a regional district continues to have the power to provide a continued service as follows:

(a) if, immediately before the transition date,

(i) the service is one that was authorized under the previous continuation authority, and

(ii) no bylaw that was deemed under the previous continuation authority to be an establishing bylaw has been adopted in relation to the service,

the service may be continued in accordance with the previous continuation authority and, for these purposes, that authority is deemed not to have been repealed;

(b) if the service

(i) is one referred to in section 339 (2) (b) or (c) [development services and social planning services], or

(ii) is another service for which an establishing bylaw was not required before the transition date,

the service may be continued without an establishing bylaw.

(3) If a board exercises a power to provide a continued service under subsection (2), it may

(a) adopt a bylaw in accordance with subsection (5) to convert the service to one exercised under the authority of an establishing bylaw, and

(b) by the same bylaw, amend the power to the extent that it could if the power were in fact exercised under the authority of an establishing bylaw.

(4) A board must adopt a bylaw under subsection (3) in relation to a continued service if changes are made to any of the following:

(a) the service area;

(b) the municipalities, electoral areas or treaty first nations participating in the service;

(c) the method of cost recovery;

(d) the apportionment of costs in relation to the service.

(5) A bylaw under subsection (3) must

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

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

(6) A bylaw under subsection (3) is deemed to be an establishing bylaw for the service in respect of which it is adopted.

Division 4 — Approval of Establishing Bylaws

Approval of establishing bylaws

342  (1) An establishing bylaw has no effect unless, before its adoption, it receives

(a) the approval of the inspector, and

(b) participating area approval in accordance with this section.

(2) Participating area approval under this section may be obtained as follows:

(a) in any case, by assent of the electors in accordance with section 344 [approval by voting];

(b) if permitted under section 345 (1) [approval by alternative approval process], approval given in accordance with that section;

(c) if permitted under section 346 [consent on behalf of municipal participating area] for a proposed municipal participating area, consent given in accordance with that section;

(d) if permitted under section 347 (1) [consent on behalf of electoral area] for a proposed electoral participating area, consent given in accordance with that section.

(3) Unless authorized under subsection (4), participating area approval must be obtained separately for each participating area in the proposed service area.

(4) If approval is to be obtained under subsection (2) (a) or (b), the board may, by resolution adopted by at least 2/3 of the votes cast, provide that the participating area approval is to be obtained for the entire proposed service area.

(5) As an exception, subsections (1) to (4) do not apply to an establishing bylaw for a service referred to in section 338 (2) (a), (b) or (d) [services for which establishing bylaw not required — general administration, electoral area administration and regional hospital district services] and, instead, section 349 [amendment or repeal of establishing bylaws] applies to the bylaw as if it were a bylaw amending an establishing bylaw.

Responsibility for obtaining approval

343  (1) If participating area approval is to be obtained for the entire service area,

(a) the board may choose the method,

(b) in the case of approval by alternative approval process, the board is responsible for obtaining the approval, and

(c) in the case of approval by assent of the electors, at the option of the board,

(i) the board is responsible for conducting the voting throughout the proposed service area, or

(ii) the board and councils are responsible for conducting the voting in the same manner as under subsection (2), with the results of the voting in these areas added together.

(2) If participating area approval is to be obtained separately for each participating area,

(a) subject to subsection (3), for a municipal participating area, the council may choose the method and is responsible for obtaining the approval, and

(b) for an electoral participating area, the board may choose the method and is responsible for obtaining the approval.

(3) If, within 30 days after third reading of the establishing bylaw, a council

(a) has notified the regional district that it is refusing to seek participating area approval, or

(b) fails to give any notice to the regional district with respect to how participating area approval is to be obtained,

the board may adopt a resolution under section 342 (4) to have participating area approval obtained for the entire service area.

(4) Despite section 57 (1) [costs of elections], if a council is authorized to give consent on behalf of the electors in accordance with section 346 [consent on behalf of municipal participating area] but does not exercise this authority, the municipality is responsible for the costs of obtaining the participating area approval.

Approval by assent of the electors

344  (1) Participating area approval through assent of the electors under Part 4 [Assent Voting] is obtained if,

(a) in the case of approval under section 342 (3) [each participating area separately], for each proposed participating area, a majority of the votes counted as valid is in favour of the bylaw, or

(b) in the case of approval under section 342 (4) [entire service area], a majority of votes counted as valid is in favour of the bylaw.

(2) In the case of approval under section 342 (4), for the purposes of determining who is entitled to vote under section 172, the voting area is deemed to be all the proposed participating areas.

Approval by alternative approval process

345  (1) Participating area approval may be obtained by alternative approval process if any of the following apply:

(a) the maximum amount that may be requisitioned for the service is the amount equivalent to 50¢ for each $1 000 of net taxable value of land and improvements included in the service area;

(b) the bylaw relates to a service for

(i) the collection, conveyance, treatment or disposal of sewage,

(ii) the supply, treatment, conveyance, storage or distribution of water, or

(iii) the collection, removal or disposal of solid waste or recyclable material.

(2) In addition to the information required by section 86 (2) [notice of process] of the Community Charter, the notice of an alternative approval process under this section must include

(a) a copy of the bylaw, or

(b) a synopsis of the bylaw that

(i) describes in general terms the intent of the bylaw,

(ii) describes the proposed service area, and

(iii) indicates the date, time and place for public inspection of copies of the bylaw.

Consent on behalf of municipal participating area

346  If a proposed participating area is all of a municipality, the council may give participating area approval by

(a) consenting on behalf of the electors to adoption of the proposed bylaw, and

(b) notifying the board of its consent.

Consent on behalf of electoral participating area

347  (1) For a proposed electoral participating area, the board may authorize participating area approval to be given under this section

(a) if the board receives a sufficient petition under section 337 [petitions for electoral area services], or

(b) in the case of an establishing bylaw for a service referred to in section 339 (2) [no requisition limit required], if

(i) the participating area includes all of the electoral area, and

(ii) the service can be established without borrowing.

(2) Participating area approval under this section may be given by the electoral area director consenting in writing to adoption of the bylaw.

(3) If a director refuses to give consent under subsection (2), the board may, by a resolution adopted by at least 2/3 of the votes cast, dispense with the consent of the electoral area director and give participating area approval by consenting to adoption of the bylaw on behalf of the electors in the proposed participating area.

(4) If a board consents under subsection (3), the director for the participating area may, within 14 days after the resolution, appeal to the minister for a review, and the minister may, after that review, order

(a) that the consent of the board under subsection (3) stands,

(b) that participating area approval must be obtained under section 344 [approval by assent of the electors], or

(c) that participating area approval must be obtained under section 345 [approval by alternative approval process].

Other procedural rules

348  (1) If a board proposes to borrow money for the start of a service, the establishing bylaw and the loan authorization bylaw must, for the purposes of obtaining participating area approval, be dealt with as if they were one bylaw.

(2) The regional district corporate officer must file with the inspector a copy of each establishing bylaw after it has been adopted.

Division 5 — Changes to Establishing Bylaws

Amendment or repeal of establishing bylaws

349  (1) Subject to an order under subsection (4) or (5), an establishing bylaw may be amended or repealed, at the option of the board,

(a) in accordance with the requirements applicable to the adoption of the bylaw that it amends or repeals, or

(b) with the consent of at least 2/3 of the participants.

(2) Sections 346 [consent on behalf of municipal participating area] and 347 (2) to (4) [consent on behalf of electoral participating area] apply to consent under subsection (1) (b) of this section.

(3) A bylaw amending or repealing an establishing bylaw has no effect unless it is approved by the inspector.

(4) The minister may order that a bylaw amending or repealing an establishing bylaw may be adopted only in accordance with the requirements applicable to the adoption of the bylaw that it repeals or amends.

(5) In addition to the requirement under subsection (1) or (4), as applicable, the minister may order that, before the bylaw is adopted, it must receive the approval of the electors

(a) in one or more specified participating areas, or in specified parts of one or more participating areas, or

(b) in the entire service area,

obtained in accordance with section 344 [approval by assent of the electors] or 345 [approval by alternative approval process], as specified by the minister.

(6) Section 137 (2) [minister may waive requirement for elector assent or approval] of the Community Charter does not apply to a bylaw amending or repealing an establishing bylaw.

(7) The regional district corporate officer must file with the inspector a bylaw amending or repealing an establishing bylaw after it has been adopted.

Changes to participating and service areas

350  (1) A bylaw amending an establishing bylaw may provide for changes to the boundaries of a service area, including merging 2 or more service areas.

(2) If a bylaw amending an establishing bylaw extends an existing service to a new participating area, the proposed participating area must be included as a participating area and the participant for the proposed participating area must be included as a participant for the purposes of section 349.

Amending bylaws that are needed for authority to borrow

351  (1) This section applies if either of the following is required in order to borrow money for a service:

(a) a bylaw amending an establishing bylaw;

(b) a conversion bylaw under section 341 (3) [conversion of pre-2000 service to establishing bylaw service].

(2) Subject to an order under subsection (3), the amending or conversion bylaw referred to in subsection (1) and the loan authorization bylaw may, for the purposes of obtaining participating area approval under Division 4 [Approval of Establishing Bylaws], be dealt with as if they were one bylaw.

(3) The minister may order that participating area approval of the amending or conversion bylaw referred to in subsection (1) must be obtained separately from the approval of the loan authorization bylaw.

Special provisions respecting service withdrawal

352  (1) If a bylaw adds, amends or repeals provisions of an establishing bylaw referred to in section 340 (3) [terms and conditions for service withdrawal], each participant must consent to the changes before the bylaw is submitted for approval in accordance with the requirements of section 349 [amendment or repeal of establishing bylaws].

(2) If a bylaw repealing an establishing bylaw is submitted to the inspector for approval and the inspector is not satisfied that all participants in a service have reached agreement respecting the termination of a service, the inspector must refer the matter to the minister, who must

(a) direct the participants and the board to undertake negotiations on the matters related to terminating the service, or

(b) if the minister is satisfied that agreement under paragraph (a) is unlikely, direct that the parties proceed to mediation or arbitration.

(3) The minister may specify the length of time that negotiations under subsection (2) (a) must continue and may extend this time period before or after it has expired.

(4) The participants and board must conduct negotiations under subsection (2) (a) in good faith, making reasonable efforts to reach an agreement that will permit resolution of the matters.

(5) If the parties have not reached agreement by the end of the time period for negotiations under subsection (2) (a), the minister must direct that the parties proceed to mediation or arbitration.

(6) For the purposes of subsections (2) (b) and (5), subject to any regulations under subsection (7),

(a) sections 362 to 372 [service withdrawal] apply as if this were a service withdrawal under Division 6 [Dispute Resolution in Relation to Services] of this Part, and

(b) section 356 [costs of process] applies as if this were a service review process under that Division.

(7) The minister may make regulations respecting mediation and arbitration under this section, including regulations providing exceptions to or modifications of a provision referred to in subsection (6) or a regulation under section 372 [regulations respecting arbitrations].

Division 6 — Dispute Resolution in Relation to Services

Definitions in relation to this Division

353  For the purposes of this Division:

"final resolution" means the establishment of the terms and conditions for withdrawal from a service by an arbitrator's decision under

(a) section 366 [arbitration in relation to service withdrawal], or

(b) section 368 [direction to further arbitration in certain cases];

"initiating participant" means a participant who gave notice under

(a) section 357 [initiating a service review], or

(b) section 361 [initiating service withdrawal],

as applicable;

"notice of withdrawal" means notice under section 367 (1) (d) (i) [initiating participant decision to proceed with withdrawal];

"service review" means a review of participation in one or more services in accordance with the process under sections 357 to 360;

"service withdrawal" means proposed withdrawal from participation in one or more services in accordance with the process under sections 361 to 372.

Minister may appoint facilitators

354  (1) The minister may appoint facilitators for the purposes of this Division, whose responsibilities are to monitor service reviews and service withdrawals, and to assist the parties in reaching agreement in those processes, by

(a) facilitating negotiations,

(b) facilitating resolution of issues, and

(c) assisting in setting up and using mediation or other non-binding resolution processes.

(2) On receiving a notice under section 357 [initiating a service review] or 361 [initiating service withdrawal], the minister may designate a person appointed under subsection (1) as the facilitator responsible to assist the parties in relation to the matter.

(3) Subject to subsection (4), at any time during a service review or service withdrawal, the facilitator designated under subsection (2) is to provide the assistance described in subsection (1) if requested to do so by a party.

(4) The authority for the facilitator to provide assistance in relation to a service withdrawal ends at the time an arbitration referred to in section 366 begins.

(5) Once a facilitator becomes involved under this section, the parties must provide information as requested by the facilitator and must otherwise cooperate with the facilitator in fulfilling his or her responsibilities.

Parties to a service review or service withdrawal

355  (1) The parties to a service review or service withdrawal are

(a) the initiating participant,

(b) any other participant in the service, and

(c) the board.

(2) The representatives for the parties to a service review or service withdrawal are the following:

(a) in the case of a municipal participating area,

(i) a council member appointed by the council, or

(ii) if no appointment is made, the mayor;

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

(c) in the case of the board,

(i) a director appointed by the board, or

(ii) if no appointment is made, the chair.

(3) The board and any municipal participant may make an appointment referred to in subsection (2) and, if this is done, must notify the other parties as to the person who is to be their representative in the service review or service withdrawal.

Costs of service review or service withdrawal

356  (1) Costs incurred by a party in respect of their own participation in a service review or service withdrawal may be recovered only as follows:

(a) in the case of costs incurred by a municipal participant, the costs must be recovered from the municipal participating area on the same basis as other costs of the service are recovered from that participating area;

(b) in the case of costs incurred by an electoral area participant, the costs are deemed to be costs of the service and must be recovered from the participating area on the same basis as other costs of the service are recovered from that participating area;

(c) in the case of costs incurred by the board, the costs are deemed to be costs of the service and must be apportioned and recovered from the service area on the same basis as other costs of the service.

(2) Unless otherwise agreed by the parties to a service review or service withdrawal or, in the case of arbitration, unless otherwise directed by the arbitrator, the following are deemed to be costs of the service and must be recovered in accordance with subsection (3):

(a) the fees of any mediator or arbitrator engaged to conduct or participate in the process, other than the fees of a facilitator under section 354 [minister may appoint facilitators];

(b) the administrative costs of the process, other than costs incurred by the parties in respect of their own participation in the process;

(c) any other costs with respect to the service review or service withdrawal that are not costs referred to in subsection (1).

(3) The costs to be recovered under subsection (2) must be assigned, apportioned and recovered as follows:

(a) in the case of a service review that dealt with only one service, the costs must be apportioned between and recovered from the participating areas on the same basis as other costs of the service;

(b) in the case of a service review that dealt with more than one service, the costs must

(i) be assigned proportionally between the services under review at the time those costs were incurred, on the basis of the relative expenditures provided for the services in the previous year's financial plan, and

(ii) for each service, be apportioned and recovered in accordance with paragraph (a);

(c) in the case of a service withdrawal that dealt with only one service, subject to a regulation under subsection (4), the costs must

(i) be assigned proportionally between the service area and the participating area for the initiating participant, on the basis of the converted value of land and improvements in those areas,

(ii) for costs assigned to the service area, be apportioned and recovered in accordance with paragraph (a), and

(iii) for costs assigned to the initiating participant, be recovered on the same basis that other costs of the service are recovered from the participating area;

(d) in the case of a service withdrawal that dealt with more than one service, subject to a regulation under subsection (4), the costs must

(i) be assigned proportionally between the services under review at the time those costs were incurred, on the basis of the relative expenditures provided for the services in the previous year's financial plan, and

(ii) for each service, be assigned, apportioned and recovered in accordance with paragraph (c).

(4) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations providing how costs are to be assigned under subsection (3) (c) and (d) in cases where there is more than one initiating participant.

Initiating a service review

357  (1) A participant may initiate a service review under this Division if all the following circumstances apply:

(a) the participant has been a participant in the service for at least 5 years or, if applicable, the shorter time period provided in the establishing bylaw for the service;

(b) the service has not been subject to a service review that was initiated within the past 3 years;

(c) the establishing bylaw does not include provisions under section 340 (1) (e) establishing an alternative review process;

(d) the participant considers that the terms and conditions of participation in the service are unsatisfactory.

(2) To initiate a service review, a participant must give written notice to the board, all other participants in the service and the minister.

(3) The notice under subsection (2) must

(a) describe the terms and conditions of participation in the service that the participant finds unsatisfactory,

(b) give reasons, relating to those terms and conditions, as to why the participant wishes to initiate the service review, and

(c) describe how the participant has previously attempted to resolve the issues.

(4) A participant who wishes to initiate service reviews for more than one service must give separate notice under this section for each service.

(5) In the case of a service review in relation to the exercise of authority under letters patent, the minister may determine what is to be considered a separate service under that authority for the purposes of this Division.

Other issues and services may be dealt with in one service review

358  (1) The following issues may be addressed by a service review:

(a) the issues raised by the notice under section 357;

(b) any other issue respecting the service raised by a party at a preliminary meeting under section 359;

(c) if the other parties agree, an issue respecting the service raised by a party after the preliminary meeting.

(2) In addition to the issues under subsection (1), if

(a) at the same time or after the service review is initiated, another service review is initiated by notice under section 357 in respect of the same or another service,

(b) the other parties to the initial service review agree, and

(c) any participants in the other service who are not parties to the initial service review also agree,

the service reviews may be combined and dealt with in the same service review.

Preliminary meeting

359  (1) Within 120 days after receiving a notice under section 357 [initiating a service review], the board must arrange a preliminary meeting of all party representatives for the purpose of

(a) reviewing the terms and conditions of the service, and

(b) establishing a negotiation process for addressing

(i) the issues raised in the notice, and

(ii) any other issues raised by a party during the meeting,

with a view to reaching an agreement on the negotiation process and the issues to be addressed in the negotiations.

(2) If a facilitator has been designated under section 354 [minister may appoint facilitator], the board must give notice of the preliminary meeting to the facilitator.

(3) The requirement for a meeting under subsection (1) does not apply to a service review that is combined under section 358 with another service review that was previously initiated.

Negotiations to resolve issues

360  (1) Within 60 days after the preliminary meeting under section 359 was convened, or the first such meeting was convened if there is more than one, the parties must begin negotiations for the purpose of reaching agreement on the relevant issues.

(2) All parties must negotiate in good faith, making reasonable efforts to reach an agreement respecting the issues being addressed in the service review.

(3) At any time after receiving a notice under section 357 [initiating a service review], the minister may specify a time period within which the parties must conclude negotiations.

(4) The minister may extend a time period established under subsection (3) before or after it has expired.

Initiating service withdrawal

361  (1) A participant may initiate service withdrawal if all the following circumstances apply:

(a) the service has been subject to

(i) a service review that was initiated within the past 3 years, or

(ii) an alternative review process, in accordance with establishing bylaw provisions under section 340 (1) (e), that was started within the past 3 years;

(b) the first meeting respecting the review, which in the case of a service review is the first preliminary meeting under section 359, was convened more than 8 months ago;

(c) the service is not

(i) a service referred to in section 338 (2) [services for which no establishing bylaw required],

(ii) a regulatory service, or

(iii) a service prescribed under subsection (6).

(2) A participant may initiate service withdrawal under this Division even if the establishing bylaw provides terms and conditions for withdrawal under section 340 (1) (f).

(3) To initiate service withdrawal, a participant must give written notice to the board, all other participants in the service and the minister.

(4) The notice under subsection (3) must

(a) describe the terms and conditions of participation in the service that the participant finds unsatisfactory, and

(b) give reasons, relating to those terms and conditions, as to why the participant wishes to withdraw from the service.

(5) Despite Divisions 3 to 5 of this Part or the establishing bylaw, at any time after receiving a notice under subsection (3) of this section, the minister may determine that a part of the service must be considered a separate service for the purposes of sections 362 to 372.

(6) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations excluding services from withdrawal under this Division.

(7) Regulations under subsection (6) may be different for different regional districts and different circumstances.

Minister's direction on process

362  (1) After receiving a notice under section 361, unless the matter is to be dealt with in another service withdrawal under section 363, the minister must do one of the following:

(a) if the establishing bylaw provides an alternative review process and the minister considers that agreement may be reached by a service review under this Division, terminate the service withdrawal and direct the parties to engage in a service review;

(b) direct the parties to engage in further negotiations respecting continued participation in the service, specifying a time period within which the parties must conclude negotiations;

(c) direct the parties to engage in negotiations respecting the terms and conditions for withdrawal, specifying a time period within which the parties must conclude negotiations;

(d) direct the parties to engage in mediation under section 365 respecting the terms and conditions for withdrawal, specifying a time period within which the mediation must be concluded;

(e) if satisfied that agreement is unlikely under paragraph (a), (b), (c) or (d), direct that the terms and conditions for withdrawal from the service be resolved by arbitration under section 366.

(2) The minister may extend a time period established under subsection (1) (b), (c) or (d) before or after it has expired.

(3) If no agreement is reached from negotiations under subsection (1) (b) within the applicable time period, the minister must take one of the actions set out in subsection (1) (c) to (e).

(4) If no agreement is reached from negotiations under subsection (1) (c) within the applicable time period, the minister must direct the parties to engage in mediation or arbitration in accordance with subsection (1) (d) or (e).

Addition of further initiating participants or further services

363  (1) If, at the same time or after a service withdrawal is initiated, the minister receives another notice under section 361 [initiating service withdrawal] respecting the same or any other service of the same regional district,

(a) in the case of a service withdrawal that is in negotiation under section 362 (1) (c) or mediation under section 365, the minister may direct that the matter be dealt with as part of the initial service withdrawal, and

(b) in the case of a service withdrawal that is in arbitration under section 366, the minister must refer the matter to the arbitrator, who may direct that it be dealt with as part of the initial service withdrawal.

(2) Before making a direction under subsection (1), the minister or arbitrator must consult with

(a) the parties in the initial service withdrawal,

(b) if applicable, the mediator, and

(c) if applicable, any participants in the other service who are not parties to the initial service withdrawal.

Early termination of process

364  A service withdrawal may be ended at any stage of the process

(a) by agreement between the parties,

(b) if there is only one notice under section 361 [initiating service withdrawal] in respect of the process, at the option of the initiating participant, or

(c) if there is more than one notice under section 361 in respect of the process, by agreement between the initiating participants.

Mediation in relation to service withdrawal

365  (1) If mediation is directed under section 362 (1) (d) [minister's direction on process], the mediator must be selected

(a) by agreement between the parties, or

(b) if the minister considers that the parties will not be able to reach agreement, by the minister.

(2) The mediation is to be a process of negotiation by the parties, undertaken with the assistance of a neutral and impartial person, for the purpose of reaching a mutually acceptable resolution of the relevant issues.

(3) The mediator must give notice to the minister when the mediation is concluded.

(4) Subject to subsection (5), if agreement on the terms and conditions for withdrawal is not reached during the mediation or within 60 days after the mediation is concluded, the terms and conditions for withdrawing from the service must be resolved by arbitration under section 366.

(5) The minister may extend the time period under subsection (4) before or after it has expired.

Arbitration in relation to service withdrawal

366  (1) If agreement in relation to service withdrawal cannot otherwise be reached under this Division, the terms and conditions for withdrawal must be resolved before a single arbitrator by

(a) final proposal arbitration in accordance with subsection (4), or

(b) full arbitration in accordance with subsection (5).

(2) The choice of process under subsection (1) (a) or (b) is to be determined by agreement between the parties but, if the minister considers that they will not be able to reach agreement, the minister must direct which procedure is to be used.

(3) The arbitrator is to be selected from a list prepared by the minister in consultation with the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, and is to be selected

(a) by agreement between the parties, or

(b) if the minister considers that the parties will not be able to reach agreement, by the minister.

(4) Subject to any regulations under section 372, the following apply to final proposal arbitration under this section:

(a) the arbitrator must conduct the proceedings on the basis of a review of written documents and written submissions only, and must determine each disputed issue by selecting one of the final written proposals submitted by the parties respecting that issue;

(b) in making a determination under paragraph (a), the arbitrator must consider any terms and conditions established under section 340 (1) (f) [establishing bylaw provisions respecting service withdrawal];

(c) the terms and conditions for service withdrawal must be resolved by the arbitrator after incorporation of the final proposals selected under paragraph (a) in respect of each issue;

(d) no written reasons are to be provided by the arbitrator.

(5) Subject to any regulations under section 372, the following apply to full arbitration under this section:

(a) the arbitrator may conduct the proceedings at the times and in the manner he or she determines;

(b) the arbitrator must consider any terms and conditions referred to in section 340 (1) (f);

(c) the terms and conditions for service withdrawal must be resolved by the arbitrator, who is not restricted in his or her decision to submissions made by the parties on the disputed issues;

(d) for an arbitration involving more than one initiating participant, the final resolution may establish different terms and conditions for service withdrawal depending on which participants decide to withdraw under the final resolution;

(e) the arbitrator must give written reasons for the decision.

(6) The Arbitration Act does not apply to arbitration under this Division.

Initiating participant must respond to final resolution

367  (1) Within one year after final resolution under section 366 or a longer time established under subsection (2) of this section, each initiating participant must do one of the following and must notify the minister and board as to whichever applies:

(a) agree to continue as a participant on the current terms and conditions;

(b) agree with the board and the other participants on new terms and conditions for continued participation in the service;

(c) agree with the board and the other participants on terms and conditions for withdrawal that differ from the final resolution;

(d) seek approval in accordance with subsection (4) of this section regarding withdrawal from the service in accordance with the final resolution and, as applicable,

(i) if that approval is obtained and the participant decides to proceed with withdrawal, agree to withdraw from the service in accordance with the final resolution, or

(ii) if that approval is not obtained, or the approval is obtained but the participant decides not to proceed with withdrawal, agree to continue as a participant on the current terms and conditions.

(2) The minister may extend the time period under subsection (1) before or after it has expired.

(3) If the board and the participants do not adopt the bylaws and take the other actions required to implement an agreement referred to in subsection (1) (b) or (c) within the applicable time period under subsection (1), the initiating participant is deemed to have given notice of continuation under subsection (1) (a) unless it has given notice of withdrawal before the end of that period.

(4) Approval required under subsection (1) (d) is obtained by one of the following:

(a) assent of the electors in the participating area in accordance with section 344 [approval by assent of the electors];

(b) in the case of a service referred to in section 345 (1) [approval by alternative approval process], by approval in accordance with that section;

(c) in the case of a municipal participating area that is all of the municipality, consent given on behalf of the electors in accordance with section 346 [consent on behalf of municipal participating area].

(5) If the service withdrawal is related to more than one service,

(a) approval must be sought in respect of all services considered together, which are deemed to be a single matter requiring approval,

(b) approval under subsection (4) (b) may be used only if each of the services are services referred to in section 345 (1) (a) or (b), and

(c) approval under subsection (4) (c) may be used only if the municipal participating area for each of the services is all of the municipality.

Direction to further arbitration in certain cases

368  (1) The minister must direct that a new arbitration under section 366 be undertaken, if

(a) a service withdrawal involved more than one initiating participant,

(b) only some of the initiating participants give notice of withdrawal, and

(c) the final resolution does not include applicable provisions under section 366 (5) (d) [arbitration — separate terms and conditions].

(2) For the purposes of arbitration under subsection (1), the participants who gave the notice of withdrawal are deemed to be the initiating participants.

When final resolution becomes binding

369  A final resolution becomes binding on all parties as follows:

(a) in the case of a service withdrawal involving only one initiating participant, if the initiating participant gives notice of withdrawal, the final resolution becomes binding when that notice is given;

(b) in the case of a service withdrawal involving more than one initiating participant, if all initiating participants give notice of withdrawal, the final resolution becomes binding when the last of these notices is given;

(c) in the case of a service withdrawal involving more than one initiating participant, if

(i) one or more initiating participants give notice of withdrawal, and

(ii) the final resolution includes applicable provisions under section 366 (5) (d) [arbitration — separate terms and conditions],

the applicable provisions of the final resolution become binding when all of the initiating participants have given notice under section 367 (1) (a) or (d) or at the end of the time period under that section, whichever is earlier.

Implementation of final resolution by bylaw

370  (1) The board and the participants must adopt the bylaws and take the other actions required to implement the terms and conditions of a final resolution within 90 days after it becomes binding under section 369.

(2) Despite any other provision of this Act, approval of the electors is not required for a bylaw referred to in subsection (1).

(3) The minister may extend the time period under subsection (1) before or after it has expired.

Failure to adopt required bylaws

371  (1) If the board or a municipal participant does not adopt the bylaws required under section 370 [implementation by bylaw], on the recommendation of the minister, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by order, implement the terms and conditions of the final resolution.

(2) An order under subsection (1) is deemed to be a bylaw of the applicable local government.

Regulations respecting arbitrations

372  (1) The minister may make regulations respecting arbitrations under this Division and, without limiting this, may make regulations as follows:

(a) respecting matters that an arbitrator must or may consider;

(b) respecting the authority of an arbitrator to resolve the terms and conditions for withdrawing from a regional district service;

(c) respecting the authority of an arbitrator to require the cooperation of local governments and electoral area directors in relation to the arbitration.

(2) Regulations under this section may be different for

(a) final proposal arbitration, full arbitration and arbitration directed under section 368 [direction to further arbitration in certain cases],

(b) different regional districts, and

(c) different circumstances.

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