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Relations &
Planning Division

Dispute Resolution Process


Tension and conflict is natural in most working relationships, including inter-governmental relationships. The Local Government Act and the Community Charter recognize this and provide for a principled, interest-based approach to trying to solve intergovernmental conflicts with minimum delay and cost.

Division 3 of Part 9 of the Community Charter provides a process to help resolve disputes between:

  • municipalities and other local governments;
  • municipalities and the provincial government; and
  • municipalities and provincial crown corporations.

These provisions apply to all municipalities and are similar to the dispute resolution provisions for regional district service reviews contained in Division 4.5 of the Local Government Act, and the provisions in Part 25 of the Local Government Act which apply to Regional Growth Strategy disputes.

In addition, under the Local Government Act and Community Charter certain disputes between or among local governments, must be settled using one of the binding arbitration methods, if non-binding methods fail to resolve the dispute. These are: regional growth strategies; regional service withdrawals; and, certain local government disputes under the Community Charter.

Any party to an inter-governmental dispute may apply for process assistance to the Ministry. Local government jurisdictions in dispute over a Regional Growth Strategy may request facilitation assistance. A local government partner in a regional district service which is requesting a service review may also request facilitation assistance. In the case of a dispute between a municipality and another local government, provincial government or provincial crown corporation one or more of the parties may apply to a dispute resolution officer for assistance. The facilitator or dispute resolution officer may then help the parties resolve the matter by any process they consider appropriate, including by referring the matter to mediation and other non-binding resolution processes. For those Community Charter disputes not subject to mandatory arbitration, if the parties agree, the dispute resolution officer must direct the dispute to binding arbitration through a process of final proposal arbitration, or full arbitration.

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