Regional district board organization

Regional district boards consist of elected representatives from electoral (unincorporated) areas, municipalities and Treaty First Nations where applicable. The size of the board varies depending on the composition of the regional district area.

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The purposes of a regional district include taking care of the region's public assets and fostering the current and future economic, social and environmental well-being of the region.

Collectively, the regional district board is the governing body of the regional district. It has authority to make decisions through resolutions and bylaws, consistent with the purposes of the regional district. The board is ultimately responsible for the services provided and actions taken by the regional district.

Each regional district in BC is governed by a board consisting of a chair and a varying number of directors. Each electoral area has one elected director while municipalities and Treaty First Nations members may have one or more appointed directors depending on the population. The chair of the board is elected from among the directors each November and has specific responsibilities outlined in legislation.

Board membership

Regional districts are a federation of municipalities, unincorporated areas (electoral areas), and Treaty First Nations if the Treaty First Nation has chosen to join under its treaty (Final Agreement). Some regional districts are made up primarily of electoral areas, some primarily of municipalities and most are a combination. Directors are directly elected or appointed from among elected officials to the board from each of the jurisdictions:

  • Electoral area: For unincorporated areas (outside municipal boundaries), citizens elect one director from each electoral area to the regional district board during the general local elections.
  • Municipal: Each municipality appoints one or more council members to the regional district board.
  • Treaty First Nation: Under a Final Agreement and the Local Government Act, a Treaty First Nation may join a regional district and appoint one or more individuals from its governing body to the regional district board.

The total number of directors on a regional district board is determined by the composition of the regional district and the population of the municipalities or Treaty First Nations in its boundaries. Some municipalities and Treaty First Nations may have multiple directors on the board depending on the voting strength of the area they represent.

Board voting

To make decisions, regional district board members must vote. Unlike municipalities, where every member of council votes on every issue, and every member receives one vote, regional districts have special voting rules. These special voting rules accommodate the different sizes of jurisdictions and situations where services are provided and funded by different combinations of jurisdictions.

Term of office

Regional district board members have differing terms of office, depending on the type of member jurisdiction:

  • Electoral area directors serve a four-year term, beginning on the date of the first board meeting following general local elections. The term ends immediately before the first board meeting following the next general local elections.
  • Municipal directors serve until the municipal council changes the appointment.
  • Treaty First Nation directors serve until the Treaty First Nation’s governing body changes the appointment.

Learn more about general local elections.

Alternate directors

Each regional district electoral area director representing an electoral area must appoint an alternate to carry out their responsibilities in their absence. If the electoral area director does not appoint an alternate, the regional district board must do so. To be qualified to be an alternate electoral area director, the person must have the qualifications necessary to be nominated as a director for the electoral area.

Municipal councils may appoint alternates to cover absences of municipal directors at regional district board meetings. An alternate municipal director must be a member of the municipal council. Treaty First Nations may appoint alternate directors, but it is not required.

Board committees and commissions

A regional district board may decide to establish committees or commissions to provide advice or undertake work on the board's behalf. Committees or commissions are generally used when it may be more effective for a subset of the board to address an issue directly, where subject matter experts are required to guide a specific service, or where specific community involvement is warranted.

The regional district board may delegate some of its authority to the committee or commission, and it may also delegate some authority to regional district officers and employees. It may not delegate authority to make a bylaw or any power or duty exercised only by bylaw.