Service Agreements

Service Agreements between First Nations and local governments can be established to the economic benefit of both parties.

Opportunities

Sharing of investment, risk, responsibility and reward between local governments and First Nations can build mutual strengths and create synergies that can result in more cost effective service delivery.

Limitations

  • Possible legislative constraints if both parties do not have the full legal capacity to carry out the agreement;
  • Possible concern of loss of control by either party;
  • Cross governmental agreements can raise accountability issues;
  • Possible upfront cost of negotiation.

How to Proceed 

If you are a Municipality:

Section 23 of the Community Charter enables a council to make agreements with a First Nation including:

  • Undertaking provision and operation of services and activities;
  • Operation and enforcement as it relates to the exercise of the authority to regulate, prohibit and impose requirements; and
  • Managing a property.
  • No public notice or public approval process is required but it is advisable that both parties engage in an open process

If you are a Regional District:

Sections 176 and 177 of the Local Government Act enable a board to make agreements with a First Nation respecting:

  • Activities, works or services within the power of a party to the agreement;
  • Operation and enforcement in relation to the exercise of regulatory authority within the power of a party to an agreement, and
  • Management of a property or interest in a property held by a party.

No public notice is required although advisable.

Public approval is required only if the agreement establishes a long-term capital liability.