Regional district voting

Last updated on February 28, 2024

Regional district boards act through resolutions and bylaws, which require votes by the directors on a regional district board. Voting on regional district boards can be complex because regional districts are made up of jurisdictions of different populations and they may participate in different services.

The voting structure in regional districts reflects that they are unique federations of jurisdictions with different populations that choose to participate in various services.

This means that certain services are provided to all participants across the regional district, while other services are provided only to an electoral area, or to a sub-set of the municipalities, electoral areas and Treaty First Nations in the regional district. It also means that those jurisdictions participating in a service are typically the ones funding that service.

Regional districts have three different voting mechanisms--unweighted corporate vote, weighted corporate vote and weighted stakeholder vote. These voting rules take into account participation in regional district services, corporate structure of regional districts, and the population of jurisdictions in the regional district.


Voting on establishing services and general administration

Matters that affect the regional district corporation and all jurisdictions within the regional district are voted on using the "unweighted corporate vote." This means that all directors present at the meeting are entitled to vote and each director has only one vote. Unweighted corporate votes are used to determine matters such as:

  • Establishing bylaws for services
  • Regulatory bylaws
  • Resolutions and bylaws on the conduct of the board's business (for example, procedure bylaws)

Voting on financial decisions

Financial decisions, such as adopting the annual financial plan, borrowing, property acquisition and disposal, and key contracts, are voted on by the regional district board using the "weighted corporate vote." Each director on the board is assigned a specific number of votes (voting unit) based on the population of the jurisdiction the director represents.

Voting on administration and operation of services

Decisions related to the administration and operation of regional district services are voted on using the "weighted stakeholder vote." Only directors representing jurisdictions that participate in the service are entitled to vote, and each director is assigned a specific number of votes (voting unit) based on the population of the jurisdiction the director represents.

As an exception to this rule, if only one director would be eligible to vote on a resolution or bylaw, then each director who is present at the meeting is entitled to vote and has one vote. For example, if there is a water service for a portion of an electoral area where the only participant is the electoral area, the director of that electoral area would not be able to make a decision to contract out the maintenance of the water system on their own; all the board members present at that meeting would vote on the decision. This ensures that the interests of the region as a whole are considered as part of significant decision-making.

Voting strength (voting unit)

For the purposes of weighted corporate and stakeholder voting, the specific number of votes assigned to a director is determined by the regional district's voting unit, which is specified in its letters patent.