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Governance &
Structure Division
 

Terms and Concepts in the Community Charter

 

Alternative Approval Process
Annual Municipal Report
Approval of the Electors
Borrowing and Liability Authority
Broad Powers
Business Regulation
Dispute Resolution
Local Area Service
Municipal Ownership of Highways

Alternative Approval Process

Section 84 of the Community Charter contains the provisions for elector approval. If electors approval is required under the Community Charter or Local Government Act in relation to a particular matter, that approval may be obtained either by assent of the electors (i.e., a vote), or by alternative approval process.
 

The alternative approval process, outlined in section 86, will be familiar to users of the former counter petition opportunity under the Local Government Act. The purpose of the process is to provide electors the opportunity to seek a vote on the particular matter being proposed by council.
 

Approval of the electors through the alternative approval process is obtained by council if fewer than 10% of eligible electors in the area covered by the alternate approval process, submit elector response forms.
 

A best practices guide is under development.
 

Annual Municipal Report

Section 98 requires each council to prepare, for public review, an annual municipal report. Council has some discretion in determining the contents of its annual report, however, certain information must be included in the the report (e.g. audited financial statements; objectives, measures and a progress report).
 

A Guide to Municipal Reporting , developed in partnership with the Local Government Management Association and the Government Finance Officers Association of BC provides some guidance on setting objectives, and measures, and checking progress.
 

Approval of the Electors

Approval of the electors is addressed under Part 4 of the Community Charter.
 

Under various sections of the Community Charter and the Local Government Act, a municipality is required to obtain the approval of its electors for a proposed bylaw, agreement or some other matter. In some instances, council must obtain the assent of the electors through an actual vote on the matter. In other cases, council may obtain voter approval either through a vote, or through the Community Charter's alternative approval process.
 

The purpose of the alternative approval process is to provide electors the opportunity to seek a vote on the particular matter being proposed by council. The relevant sections of the Community Charter outline numerous requirements that apply to the use of the alternative approval process. Such requirements address:

  • the type of public notice required for an alternative approval process;
  • the development of elector response forms;
  • the determination of the total number of electors in the area to which the process applies; and
  • the proper completion and submission of elector response forms.

Approval of the electors through the alternative approval process is obtained if fewer than 10% of eligible voters in the area covered by the approval process submit elector response forms. Conversely, if at least 10% of these voters submit response forms, council must either call a vote to obtain voter assent on the matter, or abandon its proposal altogether.
 

Please direct questions or comments to Advisory Services Branch
 

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