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Regional District Governance

 

Governance is a term used to describe the political organization of regional districts. It also concerns the on-going involvement of citizens and the accountability of regional district board members.
 

Each of the 27 regional districts in the province is governed by a board that consists of a chair and a varying number of directors. The regional districts are divided geographically into a number of smaller units known as "electoral areas". One or more directors are elected to the regional board from each electoral area during the general local elections held every three years. In addition, every municipality located within the regional district appoints one or more council members to the regional board. The total number of directors on the board is determined by the population of the electoral area or the municipality.
 

The chair of each regional district is elected by, and from, the directors each December. Collectively, the regional district board is a decision-making body that, through resolutions and bylaws, is responsible for the services provided by the regional district and the actions taken by the corporation. They embody the public welfare of their communities which often means trying to balance their vision with the concerns expressed by the peoples and organizations affected by their decisions.
 

Every director representing an electoral area must appoint an alternate to carry out their responsibility in his or her absence. Similarly, municipal councils must also appoint alternate directors to take the place of absent council members at regional district board meetings.
 

Unlike municipalities where each council member votes a single time on any one issue, the voting on regional district boards is more complicated. There are situations where some board directors vote and others do not. There are also situations where certain board directors have more than one vote. These voting situations arise when a regional district provides services to the entire regional district, some services to a combination of municipalities and electoral areas, or where the regional district provides services to unincorporated communities located within electoral areas.
 

Generally only those municipalities and electoral areas that participate in a service are entitled to vote on issues involving that service. However, there are some board decisions of such importance that directors representing the more populous municipalities or electoral areas are entitled to more than one vote. These decisions are typically financial in nature.
 

Committees and Commissions

The regional district board may decide to establish a committee or commission to provide advice or undertake some work on behalf of the board. Committees or commissions are general used when the board does not have the capacity to undertake an initiative directly, in those cases where subject matter experts are required or where specific community involvement is warranted.
 

The regional district board can delegate (115 KB) some of its authority to the committee or commission. However, it cannot delegate authority to make a bylaw or any power or duty exercisable only by bylaw.
 

 

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