Regional district service establishment

Last updated on January 5, 2023

Generally a regional district must adopt a service establishing bylaw in order to provide a new service to the community. This bylaw outlines what the service is, how it will be delivered, who will benefit, the maximum cost and how the costs will be recovered.

The decision to establish a new service is voted on by the entire regional district board -- a majority vote is needed to establish the service. However, before a service establishment bylaw can be enacted it must also be approved by the electors or taxpayers that will be affected by, or benefit from the service.

A regional district board may choose to create any service deemed necessary. The regional district must follow the procedural requirements for establishing a service before operating it and comply with any other legislative requirements related to the substance of the service.

Where services are provided to several areas within the regional district, some negotiation may take place to reach agreement among representatives of the benefiting areas on the specific service arrangements.

Once a service has been established, the regional district board continues to be involved in certain instances, however responsibility for decisions related to a specific service falls to the members of the board who represent the areas that receive the service.

Service area establishing bylaws must be approved by the Inspector of Municipalities.

Bylaw requirements

The Local Government Act sets out what information must be included in a service establishing bylaw.

In general, service establishing bylaws are required to describe the service, define the service boundaries, identify the participants, and indicate the method cost recovery. Most service establishing bylaws must also contain the maximum amount that can be requisitioned (collected) for the service by the regional district.

Regional districts can add special optional provisions to the service establishing bylaw such as methods of cost apportioning amongst participants, criteria for alternative service review processes and establishing terms and conditions for withdrawal from a service.