Local Government Resources
The Riparian Areas Regulation (RAR) is enabled by section 12 of the Fish Protection Act. Subsection 4(b) provides that an applicable local government ensure that its bylaws and permits under Part 26 of the Local Government Act must in its opinion, provide a level of protection that is comparable to or exceeds that of the Riparian Areas Regulation.
New RAR Guidebook for local governments
The 2006 RAR Implementation Guidebook has been revised and edited with new resources replacing the former document. A specific Guidebook has been prepared for local governments, including updated information.
Local Government RAR Implementation and Compliance Review
In response to the BC Ombudsperson’s 2014 report; Striking a Balance: The Challenges of Using a Professional Reliance Model in Environmental Protection - British Columbia's Riparian Areas Regulation, the ministry has conducted a comprehensive review of Local Government implementation of the RAR. The release of this report represents the full implementation of the Ombudsperson’s recommendation #1, specifically to “Review local government implementation of and compliance with the Riparian Areas Regulation, and report publicly on the results of that review”. The results of this review are important information for the public, local governments and the ministry. This information will be used to inform the ministry’s commitment to work with local governments to bring them into compliance with the RAR. The ministry will directly support local governments in responding to the results of this review.
Read more about
- The local governments that implement riparian protection
- The legal opinion about liability for local governments
The Riparian Areas Regulation applies only to local governments on the east side of Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland and the Southern Interior, as these are the parts of the province that are experiencing the most rapid urban growth. This includes the following regional districts and all the municipalities within them:
Capital (except the City of Victoria and Township of Esquimalt)
Greater Vancouver (except the City of Vancouver)
Trust area under the Islands Trust Act
Learn more about where the Regulations apply:
- Map of municipalities and regional districts (PDF, 2.4MB)
- Map of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Areas (PDF, 7.6MB)
- Map of B.C. Government Regions (PDF, 2.4MB)
- Overlay Municipal, Regional, B.C. Government, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada borders (PDF, 3.6MB)
A legal opinion was jointly commissioned by the Ministry and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) to address Resolution B75 passed at the 2004 UBCM annual convention. The resolution requested a legal review of local government liability from the Riparian Areas Regulation.
The B.C. Government has worked with the UBCM to generate the following strategy to address the conclusions and recommendations made in the legal opinion by the law firm Staples McDannold Stewart (SMS):