Local government asset acquisition and disposal

Municipalities and regional districts have the authority to both acquire and dispose of property, including land, buildings, infrastructure, vehicles, and equipment. In some cases, this broad authority is subject to specific legislative restrictions.

Physical assets include property owned and controlled by a local government such as recreation centres, sewage treatment plants, emergency vehicles, parks, and municipal roads.

Local governments may use borrowing, capital leases, reserve funds (including development cost charges funds), grants, current-year taxation, and contributions from developers and other parties to finance the acquisition of such assets.

While local governments are not bound under legislation to accept bids or follow any specific acquisition procedure, they are bound by procurement rules under the New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA) with Alberta and Saskatchewan. Local governments may wish to establish their own purchasing and procurement policies and procedures that comply with NWPTA..

Local governments have the authority to dispose of physical assets. However, depending on the specific circumstances, they may be subject to statutory restrictions including public notice requirements, use of any proceeds generated by the sale of assets, and (in some cases) elector approval.

Property ownership and disposal (disposition notice)

The Community Charter and Local Government Act provide for certain default provisions regarding the general acquisition and disposal of local government property including a requirement that local governments provide public notice prior to the disposition of physical property.

Parkland ownership and disposal

There are statutory requirements regarding the disposition of local government parkland.

Municipal highways

Municipalities have ownership rights over most of the highways within their boundaries, though the B.C. government continues to be responsible for and have jurisdiction over arterial (provincial) highways that are located within municipalities.

There are statutory requirements regarding the ownership and disposition of municipal highways. Learn more about:

General expropriation powers

Municipalities and regional districts have the power to expropriate (take ownership of) real property or works in order to carry out their powers, duties and functions.