Local Governments

Municipalities and regional districts provide British Columbians with essential local and regional services such as clean water, sewer systems, parks and recreation and fire protection. These local governments plan, adopt bylaws and shape communities.

Whether you live in a rural area, a small town, or a big city, locally elected officials represent citizens and taxpayers; they make decisions together to meet your community’s needs now and in the future.

Local Election Reform

The B.C. government is reforming local election legislation which governs elections for municipal office (mayor and councillors), electoral area directors, some park boards, the Islands Trust, and Boards of Education. During a local election year over 1660 elected positions are filled providing elected representation to over 250 government bodies.

Environmental Infrastructure

Environmental infrastructure are critical public services (drinking water, wastewater and stormwater management) provided through complex and expensive infrastructure systems. These services are essential to protecting the environment, public health and economic well-being of communities. Provincial grants help support these essential investments.

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Finance

Finance covers local government revenue sources such as fees and charges and property taxes to fund services; it covers expenditures and financing such as long-term capital borrowing. Required reporting, an arms-length body assessing properties and collective borrowing ensure transparency and financial security for local governments and taxpayers.

Governance & Powers

Elected mayors, councillors and electoral area (rural) directors serve on municipal councils and/or regional district boards to govern and provides services. They must follow requirements, processes and standards to make decisions that are transparent and accountable to their communities.

Green Communities

Green communities are complete, compact communities that encourage "mixed-use" development, energy efficiency, lighter infrastructure and alternative transportation to reduce GHG emissions and achieve environmental and social benefits.

Incorporation & Restructure

Communities change, so sometimes their municipalities, regional districts or improvement districts also need to change. Boundary adjustments, incorporation of municipalities or a shift in who provides services may help citizens get the most efficient and cost-effective governments.

Planning & Land Use

Through community plans and regional growth strategies, citizens and their local governments establish a vision for the social, environmental and economic well-being of their communities and regions. 

More Local Government Topics & Resources

Find additional information about the wide variety of topics that municipalities and regional districts deal with as they manage change and provide governance and services to their communities.