Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Primer on Regional Districts in British Columbia

BC is unique in Canada when it comes to regional governance because we have regional districts. Because regional districts are a BC invention, sometimes there is confusion about what services regional districts provide and how they fit into the local governance framework. I think this confusion gets some people upset about Metro Vancouver and its role our region.

I came across a great document from the Local Government Department at the Province called “A Primer on Regional Districts in British Columbia”. This 13-page gem is worth the read if you want to know the context behind the creation of regional district in the 1960’s, what they do, and how they operate today. Briefly, the primer explains that:

Regional districts have three basic roles. First, regional districts provide regional governance and services for the region as a whole.

Second, regional districts provide a political and administrative framework for inter-municipal or sub-regional service partnerships through the creation of "benefiting areas".

Third, regional districts are, in the absence of municipalities, the "local" government for rural areas.

Anyway, I highly recommend reading this document if you care about regional issues in Metro Vancouver.

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