Local Government Bylaw Notices
Under the Local Government Bylaw Notice Enforcement Act, local governments may establish a bylaw notice adjudication system. This administrative system is an alternative to the provincial court for resolving minor local government bylaw contraventions.
The Local Government Bylaw Notice Enforcement Act, and the authority it provides to establish an adjudication system, applies to both municipalities and regional districts by regulation. Local governments and other bodies may make a request to the Ministry of Attorney General to be added, by regulation, to a list of bodies to which the Act applies.
The legislation enables the creation of simple, more cost-effective administrative systems for enforcing minor bylaw contraventions, ranging from parking tickets to dog licensing and minor zoning infractions. For example, local governments may join together to administer a bylaw notice system jointly to cover a broader geographic area more cost-effectively.
The two main features of a bylaw notice system are a simple “front-end” notice process for initiating enforcement, and a locally managed “back-end” venue for a professional and non-judicial adjudicator to hear ticket disputes. The adjudication system eliminates the requirement for personal service; uses a timely dispute resolution-based approach to obtaining independently adjudicated decisions; and, avoids the need to hire legal counsel and the unnecessary attendance of witnesses for bylaw enforcement disputes.
Local governments participating in the bylaw notice system must pay its costs. At the same time, the bylaw notice adjudication system improves local government bylaw contravention enforcement by providing a more accessible venue for determining simple bylaw contraventions. It also reduces the demands on the court system, is less expensive to administer than the court process, and better balances between the amount of the penalty imposed (at a maximum set by regulation, currently at $500) and the cost of pursuing the bylaw contravention in court.
For more information or to be added to the list of authorized local governments, please contact the:
Ministry of Attorney General:
Court Services Branch
Phone: 250 356-1550
Bylaw Notice Enforcement
Local governments that have chosen to implement the bylaw notice administrative penalty system may use that system instead of using the more formal court-based processes for simple bylaw contraventions like parking violations. Local governments choosing this option establish a dispute process that is presided over by a neutral adjudicator with the maximum penalty that may be imposed established by regulation (currently $500).
A bylaw notice may be written by a bylaw enforcement officer and delivered in various ways, including in person or by being left on a vehicle. Pursuing an administrative penalty may have some similarities to a court proceeding, but is less formal and occurs outside of the court system as an adjudication. The penalties under the bylaw notice enforcement system are strictly monetary, the burden of proof is substantially less, and the adjudicator does not have the ability to adjust the penalty amount. Bylaw notice enforcement is available to authorized local governments and other bodies through the Bylaw Notice Enforcement Regulation.