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Governance &
Structure Division

Public Response to the Community Charter


The Community Charter is the result of an extensive consultation process that began more than a decade ago when the Union of British Columbia Municipalities tabled its Local Government Bill of Rights in 1991.

In 2001, the provincial government passed the Community Charter Council Act to establish the Community Charter Council, headed by the Honourable Ted Nebbeling, Minster of State for Community Charter. The 12-member council had equal municipal and provincial representation, and was charged with the responsibility of drafting legislation to increase the autonomy of municipalities.

The Consultation Process

To develop the draft legislation, the Community Charter Council concentrated on information gathering and consultation with local government representatives. In May 2002, the provincial government released a draft to obtain feedback from interested parties and the general public, through meetings and written submissions.

Of the submissions received, most were in favour of the content and intent of the draft Community Charter. While respondents took issue with specific aspects of the legislation that concerned them, they also made positive comments about the Community Charter's progressive vision for a new relationship between the province and local governments.

Submissions were received from:

  • corporations and associations (including the Business Council of BC; the Canadian Union of Public Employees, BC Division; the Aggregate Producers Association of BC; the BC Civil Liberties Association; BC Trucking Association; Canadian Taxpayers Federation; the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association; Union of British Columbia Municipalities; Local Government Management Association; Government Finance Officers Association of BC; Chambers of Commerce and the legal community);
  • members of the public;
  • local government elected and non-elected officials; and
  • provincial ministries.

Themes of Responses

Submissions ranged from general comments to recommendations for re-wording sections of the legislation. The following themes were addressed by the submissions:
  • revenue sources;
  • business tax exemptions;
  • broad municipal powers;
  • municipal regulations;
  • openness and accountability; and
  • local-provincial relations.

Consideration of the submissions led to changes in the draft which are reflected in the Community Charter. The legislation represents a balance of the interests of citizens, business, municipalities and the province.

News Release and Backgrounder

Please direct questions or comments to Advisory Services Branch

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