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Municipal Infrastructure


Municipalities in BC may provide any service which the municipal council considers necessary or desirable for the community. These services may be delivered directly by the municipality or through another public authority or organization; the municipality has the regulatory authority in relation to those services to regulate, prohibit and impose requirements.

While most services are delivered within the municipal boundaries, a municipality may provide services outside its boundaries if it obtains the consent of the other government where it proposes to deliver the services (a regional district board for a rural area or a municipal council for another municipality).

Municipal infrastructure is required for many of these services such as providing drinking water, sewage collection and treatment, fire protection, cultural/recreational facilities, and transportation service. Essential infrastructure includes:

  • Water systems, water treatment plants and works, reservoirs, impoundments (dams), wells and pumping stations for the collection, treatment, storage and distribution of potable water;
  • Sanitary and storm sewers as well as pump stations for the collection, treatment and disposal of waste-water;
  • Water or waste-water metering equipment;
  • Buildings and facilities owned by local governments;
  • Cultural and recreational facilities, such as museums, heritage sites, galleries, performing arts facilities, cultural/community centres, recreational and sports facilities and libraries;
  • Basic local government infrastructure to support or provide access to tourist facilities, major public attractions, convention or trade centres and exhibition buildings;
  • Local transportation infrastructure, such as roads, sidewalks, urban public transit, including subway systems, commuter rail, light rail, and transit buses, traffic signals, public wharves, docks, piers and terminals;
  • Waste disposal such as landfills and recycling facilities (in conjunction with Regional Districts);
  • Other infrastructure including that relevant to affordable housing, fire protection, street lighting, internet access for local public institutions, etc.

It is vital to the sustainability of communities that municipal governments provide this infrastructure such that related services can be enjoyed. Sustainable infrastructure is that which does not compromise future generations and is accomplished by addressing environmental, economic, and social dimensions in current infrastructure provision.

The provincial government through the Local Government Infrastructure and Finance Division provides support and statutory approvals to local governments and improvement districts in the administrative, financial and engineering spheres.


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