Gary Paget received a joint Legacy Premier’s Award with Brian Walisser in 2010 and was inducted into the Hall of Excellence in the 2014. Gary and Brian shaped and improved B.C.’s unique local government system, and their efforts have benefited regions, communities and people throughout B.C.
Together, Gary and Brian have led or significantly contributed to milestone changes in B.C.’s local government system, including:
- Establishment of a new model of resource town governance.
- Revitalization of regional districts.
- Rebirth of cooperative regional planning.
- Creation of a variable property tax rate system.
- Transformation of the Municipal Act.
Working for the Local Government Department, Brian and Gary were critical to designing, strategizing, developing, and implementing these vital changes, uniquely combining the practical and conceptual to make a real difference for the provincial government, the local government system, the services, democratic institutions and development of each community and region, and ultimately, citizens throughout B.C.
While they were exceptional partners, they each made lasting contributions on their own.
Gary joined the department as a planner in 1977, and has built his legacy from working on-the-ground with communities and regions on governance, planning, intergovernmental relations, finance and infrastructure.
He was a leader in driving new approaches to enhance resort communities and build bridges between local governments and First Nations; he implemented the unprecedented Sechelt Indian Government District’s participation in the local government system.
Like Brian, he was a mentor and a teacher. He was a champion of the Local Government Leadership Academy for training elected officials.
Individually Gary and Brian authored many articles, and together wrote Local Government Excellence through Collaborative Partnerships, an essential guide to local governance in B.C. presented at the 2006 United Nations’ World Urban Forum 3.