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Governance &
Structure Division
 

Terms & Concepts in the Community Charter: Dispute Resolution

 

Part 9, Division 3 deals specifically with the resolution of disputes between or among local governments, local governments and the provincial government, and local governments and provincial crown corporations.
 

"Dispute resolution officers" are featured in the legislation. Any party to an inter-governmental dispute may apply to a dispute resolution officer for assistance in resolving the dispute. The officer, designated by the minister, is mandated to help the parties resolve the matter by any process the officer considers appropriate, including by referring the matter to mediation and other non-binding resolution processes. If the parties agree, the officer must direct the dispute to binding arbitration through a process of final proposal arbitration, or full arbitration. These processes, which are similar to those used under Part 25 (Regional Growth Strategies) and Part 24 (regional district service withdrawal) of the Local Government Act, are outlined in Division 3.
 

Certain disputes, between or among local governments specifically, must be settled using one of the binding arbitration methods in the event that non-binding methods are tried and found to be unsuccessful. Disputes that are subject to mandatory binding arbitration include those that relate to:

  • an intermunicipal boundary highway
  • an intermunicipal transecting highway
  • an intermunicipal bridge
  • an intermunicipal watercourse
  • a matter prescribed in an order by Cabinet (section 282)

A list of persons who may be used as arbitrators for disputes is prepared by the minister after consultation with the Union of British Columbia Municipalities.
 

Division 3, it should be noted, applies to the City of Vancouver.
 

Please direct questions or comments to Advisory Services Branch.
 

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