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Improvement District Governance


Improvement districts are represented by an elected board of trustees, one of whom has the additional duty of chair. Each trustee is elected for a three-year term by the eligible landowners of the improvement district.

The improvement district's Letters Patent, applicable sections of the Local Government Act, and other relevant provincial statutes outline the powers that can be exercised by the board of trustees. These powers include the ability to enact and enforce its regulations and charges, to assess and collect taxes, to acquire, hold and dispose of lands, to borrow money and to expropriate lands required to carry out its functions. The board of trustees exercise these powers through the passage of resolutions and bylaws.

Bylaws and resolutions are similar insofar as they record a decision made by a majority of the trustees that govern the operation and administration of the improvement district; however, resolutions differ because they can be effective immediately upon passage whereas bylaws must be registered with the Inspector of Municipalities before becoming effective.

Although improvement districts are independent public corporations, they are also subject to supervision by the ministry. In addition to the requirements for bylaws to be approved by the Inspector, each year the improvement district's audited financial statements and the minutes of its annual general meeting are reviewed and filed with the ministry.

In some cases, the board of trustees may decide to establish a committee to undertake some work on behalf of the board. Persons who are note trustees may be appointed to the committee in order to obtain input from specific stakeholders. Committees by their nature are advisory and cannot take action on behalf of the improvement district.

The Local Government Department has developed the Improvement District Manual (235 KB) as a resource for improvement districts which provides additional information about the topics on this page.


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