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Regional Districts and the Community Charter: Managing the Transition. 2003 UBCM Convention Regional District Forum. September 23, 2003 Vancouver, BC. Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women’s Services. Gary Paget Deidre Wilson Local Government Department.

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Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Regional Districts and the CommunityCharter: Managing the Transition

2003 UBCM Convention Regional District Forum

September 23, 2003 Vancouver, BC

Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women’s Services

Gary PagetDeidre Wilson

Local Government Department


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Regional Districts and the CommunityCharter:Managing the Transition

Background and Context

Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women’s Services

Gary PagetExecutive Director Governance and Structure


Objectives for the session

Objectives For The Session

  • Provide an update on the Community Charter process

  • Provide an overview of the new architecture of regional district legislation

  • Equip regional districts to manage the transition to the new legislation


Community charter background

Community Charter Background

  • Phase I: Core municipal powers

  • Phase 2: Regional governance

  • Careful consideration needed to linking of the Local Government Act and the Community Charter


Community charter current status

Community Charter: Current Status

  • Community Charter Council provided Final Report to government in February 2003

  • Community Charter (Bill 14) adopted in April 2003

  • Bill 67 Consequential Amendments and Transition introduced at Spring session of legislature

  • Bill 67 will be adopted in the Fall session

  • Community Charter and Consequentials Bill will take effect January 1, 2004


Community charter implications for regional districts

Community Charter Implications for Regional Districts

  • Changes to regional district legislation are not fundamental

  • There are some significant implications

  • “Breathing room” before provisions take effect


Regional district process

Regional District Process

  • Ministry developed proposals and drafted consequential amendments to the Local Government Act

  • Proposals and drafts were vetted by Local Government Management Association Technical Committee and a sub-committee

  • Included GFOA and UBCM staff


Summary

Summary

  • The Ministry has worked hard to harmonize legislation to provide minimal disruption to the operation of regional districts

  • The unique nature of regional districts will be addressed in subsequent reviews


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Regional Districts and the CommunityCharter:Managing the Transition

Architecture of the Legislation

Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women’s Services

Deidre WilsonManager

Policy and Research


Objectives

Objectives

  • Allow regional districts to function effectively

  • Minimize confusion for electoral area and municipal directors as to which rules apply

  • Minimize confusion for the public

  • Leave major policy issues relating to regional districts for future initiatives

  • Maintain integrity of policy decisions made in the Community Charter


Legislation strategy 1

Legislation Strategy (1)

  • Community Charter becomes the core for most aspects of municipalities

  • Local Government Act: remains the core for regional districts


Legislation strategy 2

Legislation Strategy (2)

  • Make Community Charter provisions apply to regional districts where appropriate

  • Rewrite parts of the Local Government Act to make them work for regional districts only


The legislation

The Legislation

  • Community Charter Transitional Provisions, Consequential Amendments and Other Amendments Act - Bill 67, 2003

  • Introduced May 27, 2000

    • Part 1 – Transitional Provisions

    • Part 2 – Consequential Amendments

      • A-Z: Agricultural Credit Act to Weed Control Act

      • Includes Local Government Act

    • Part 3 – Other Amendments

      • Community Charter minor housekeeping amendments


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Regional Districts and the CommunityCharter:Managing the Transition

Overview of the Charter:What Applies and What Doesn’t

Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women’s Services

Deidre WilsonManager

Policy and Research


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Structure of the Community Charter

  • Part One: Principles and Interpretation

  • Parts Two and Three: Municipal Purposes, Powers and Limits

  • Part Four: Public Participation and Council Accountability

  • Part Five: Municipal Government and Procedures

  • Part Six: Financial Management

  • Part Seven: Municipal Revenue

  • Part Eight: Bylaw Enforcement

  • Part Nine: Governmental Relations


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Part 1 - Principles and Interpretation

  • Regional districts use principles and interpretation contained in the Local Government Act.


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Parts 2 & 3 - Municipal Purposes and Powers

  • Regional district purposes remain in the Local Government Act

  • Community Charter powers generally will not apply to regional districts:

    • Natural person powers

    • Service powers

    • Regulatory powers


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Parts 2 & 3 - Municipal Purposes and Powers

  • Regional district powers remain in the Local Government Act:

    • Corporate powers

    • Service powers

    • Regulatory service powers


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Part 4 - Public Participation/Council Accountability

  • Community Charter provisions that will apply to regional districts:

    • Approval of electors

    • Open meeting rules

    • Public notice requirements

    • Conflict of interest and ethical standards

    • Disqualification from office


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Part 5 - Municipal Government and Procedures

  • Community Charter provisions that will apply:

    • Bylaw procedures

    • Duty to respect confidentiality

    • Reconsideration of a matter

    • Authority of presiding member


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Part 5 - Municipal Government and Procedures

  • Community Charter provisions that will not apply:

    • Responsibilities of mayor

    • Responsibilities of councillors

    • Special meetings

    • Electronic meetings and participation by members

  • Local Government Act provisions respecting these matters continue for regional districts


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Part 6 - Financial Management

  • Community Charter provisions that will apply:

    • Annual financial statements

    • Reporting of remuneration, expenses and contracts

    • Audits

    • Loan authorization and liabilities under agreements

    • Reserve funds

    • Investment of municipal funds

    • Restrictions on use of funds


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Part 7 - Municipal Revenues

  • Generally Community Charter will not apply and Local Government Act provisions remain for regional districts

  • Some Local Government Act provisions modified to reflect Community Charter policy decisions (e.g. rules for petition for services)


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Part 8 - Legal Proceedings

  • Community Charter provisions that will apply:

    • Ticketing for bylaw offences

    • Enforcement by civil proceedings

    • Entry warrants


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Part 9 - Governmental Relations

  • Community Charter provisions that will apply:

    • Dispute resolution


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Regional Districts and the CommunityCharter:Managing the Transition

Ethical Standards

Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women’s Services

Deidre WilsonManager

Policy and Research


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Application to Regional District

  • LGA s.787.1 (1) [Application of Community Charter provisions to regional district directors]


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Conflict of Interest

  • Disclosure and restrictions

  • Inside influence

  • Outside influence

  • Exceptions from restrictions


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Conflict of Interest:Disclosure and Restrictions

  • Scope [who, what and how] fundamentally the same (ss. 100 & 101)

  • A noteworthy difference:

    • New provision for members to “withdraw” erroneous conflict declarations

      • Requires legal advice

      • To be used with caution - not a “get out of jail free card”


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Restrictions on Inside Influence

  • New

  • If direct or indirect pecuniary interest in a matter, must not use his or her office to attempt to influence in any way

    • Decisions

    • Recommendations, or

    • Other actions


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Restrictions on Inside Influence

  • Applies in relation to decisions, recommendations or other actions to be made or taken

    • At board meetings, board committee meetings, or other meetings of Regional District bodies under Community Charter s. 93

    • By an officer or an employee of the Regional District, or

    • By a delegate under LGA s.176 (1) (e)


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Restrictions on Outside Influence

  • New

  • If a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in a matter, must not use his or her office to attempt to influence in any way any decision, recommendation or action to be made or taken by any other person or body


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Exceptions

  • Continues existing exceptions for conflict of interest and adds

    • Matters relating to local service, in common with other persons who are or would be liable for the local service tax

    • Pecuniary interests of a nature prescribed by regulation

  • Regulatory power provides opportunities to define areas where there might be conflict


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Exceptions

  • New rules for board member representation where the member

    • Has a legal right to be heard or make representations to the board, and

    • Would be restricted by ss.100 to 103 from exercising that right


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Restrictions on Accepting Gifts

  • New

  • Must not, directly or indirectly, accept a fee, gift or personal benefit that is connected with performance of the duties of office

  • Exceptions

    • Incident of protocol/social obligations

    • Compensation authorized by law

    • Lawful election contributions


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Disclosure of Gifts

  • New

  • Disclosure required for all allowable gifts

    • Exceeding $250 in value or multiple gifts received from one source in a 12 month period

  • Disclosure statement must be filed with the corporate officer


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Disclosure of Contracts

  • New

  • Reporting of regional district contracts with a member, or a person who was a member at any time during the last 6 at an open board meeting

  • Board members and former members must also advise the corporate officer of any such contracts


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Restrictions on Use of Insider Information

  • New

  • Board members or former members must not use information/records for personal gain where the record/information:

    • Was obtained in the performance of the member’s office, and

    • Is not available to the general public

  • “Former members” not limited to 6 months


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Duty of Confidentiality

  • S. 117 applies to board members and former board members

    • Requires confidence for

      • Records held until lawfully released to the public and

      • Information considered at a lawfully closed board meeting

  • Restriction continues until disclosure specifically authorized by board


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Contravention

  • Violation is an Offence Act offence

  • Regional District recovery of damages, if

    • The Regional District suffered loss or damage and

    • Contravention was not due to inadvertence


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Regional Districts and the CommunityCharter: Managing the Transition

Implementation

Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women’s Services

Gary PagetExecutive Director

Governance and Structure


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Next Steps?

  • ?


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Further Information

Community Charter web site:

http://www.mcaws.gov.bc.ca/charter/index.html


Regional districts and the community charter managing the transition

Questions and Answers


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