Provincial-Local Government Relations

The collaborative relationship between municipalities, regional districts and the provincial government is a key aspect of the local government system in B.C.

In Canada, provincial governments have constitutional responsibility for “municipal institutions.” In B.C., that provincial responsibility represents a unique system of local governance that emphasizes the empowerment, fiscal independence, accountability and collaboration of local government.

The local-provincial government relationship is resilient, focused on mutual respect and on mutually beneficial outcomes over conflict. Contributing to that success have been the underlying and legislated principles of that relationship, as well as targeted provincial oversight through the Inspector of Municipalities.

Ministry of Municipal Affairs

As the ministry responsible for the local government system, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs serves as a link between the provincial government and local governments. Formally identified as the “medium of communication” between local governments and the provincial government, the ministry supports local governments in several ways, including:

  • Advice
  • Problem-solving
  • Information materials
  • Grants
  • Specific bylaw approvals
  • Administration of the statutory framework for local governments