Regional districts of British Columbia

Regional districts of British Columbia

The Canadian Province of British Columbia is divided into regional districts. Like counties in nearly all states of the United States and in Eastern Canada, regional districts serve as the local government in areas not incorporated into a municipality and in certain regional affairs of shared interest to the municipalities. In those predominantly rural areas, regional districts provide services such as land-use planning, building inspection and fire protection. Regional districts also provide some services, such as solid-waste management and emergency management, to their entire territory, including municipalities. They are not the equivalent of counties, however, and their powers and democratic mandate are substantially weaker.

Regional districts are governed by boards of directly and indirectly elected directors. Municipalities appoint directors to represent their populations (usually the mayors), while residents of unincorporated areas elect directors directly. The votes of directors from heavily populated areas sometimes count more than the votes of directors from sparser areas. For example, both North Saanich and Metchosin appoint one director to the Capital Regional District board of directors, but the vote of North Saanich's director counts three times as much as the vote of Metchosin's appointee. [ [ British Columbia Ministry of Community Services, "Primer on Regional Districts in British Columbia," 2006.] ]

Current regional districts

The current districts, shown with the location of their head offices:
#Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (Port Alberni)
#Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (Burns Lake)
#Capital Regional District (Victoria)
#Cariboo Regional District (Williams Lake)
#Central Coast Regional District (Bella Coola)
#Regional District of Central Kootenay (Nelson)
#Regional District of Central Okanagan (Kelowna)
#Columbia-Shuswap Regional District (Salmon Arm)
#Comox Valley Regional District (Courtenay)
#Cowichan Valley Regional District (Duncan)
#Regional District of East Kootenay (Cranbrook)
#Fraser Valley Regional District (Chilliwack)
#Regional District of Fraser-Fort George (Prince George)
#Metro Vancouver (Greater Vancouver Regional District) (Burnaby)
#Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine (Terrace)
#Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (Trail)
#Regional District of Mount Waddington (Port McNeill)
#Regional District of Nanaimo (Nanaimo)
#Regional District of North Okanagan (Coldstream)
#Northern Rockies Regional District (Fort Nelson)
#Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (Penticton)
#Peace River Regional District (Dawson Creek)
#Powell River Regional District (Powell River)
#Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District (Prince Rupert)
#Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (Pemberton)
#Stikine Region (n/a)
#Strathcona Regional District (Campbell River)
#Sunshine Coast Regional District (Sechelt)
#Thompson-Nicola Regional District (Kamloops)

Historical regional districts

The following regional districts were dissolved in December 1995, and amalgamated largely into the newly formed Fraser Valley Regional District:

*Dewdney-Alouette Regional District: Mission, Pitt Meadows, and Maple Ridge, and unincorporated areas north of the Fraser River and west of the District of Kent
*Central Fraser Valley Regional District: The modern City of Abbotsford (itself newly formed at the time) and adjacent unincorporated areas - Sumas Mountain (now FVRD Electoral H, west of Chilliwack and south of the Fraser River.
*Fraser-Cheam Regional District: The eastern 2/3 of the modern Fraser Valley Regional District, including Chilliwack, Kent, Harrison Hot Springs, Hope and the Fraser Canyon unincorporated areas. [ [ ALR Statistics Appendix 3 ] ]

The western half of Dewdney-Alouette, comprising Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, was incorporated into the Greater Vancouver Regional District (now Metro Vancouver). Mission and the unincorporated areas east to the Chehalis River were incorporated into the Fraser Valley Regional District.

This amalgamation took place due to the western part of Dewdney-Alouette had become essentially a suburb of Vancouver and would be better served by being within Metro Vancouver. The Central Fraser Valley RD would be nearly completely dominated by the newly amalgamated City of Abbotsford, bringing its role as into question; similarly the remnant of Dewdney-Alouette would be dominated by Mission. Given the rapid growth being experienced in the Fraser Valley at the time, and expected to continue for the foreseeable future, the creation of the Fraser Valley Regional District was seen as the best option.Fact|date=April 2008


External links

* [ Regional district maps]

ee also

*List of regional district electoral areas in British Columbia
*Subdivisions of Canada
*List of communities in British Columbia

Census divisions by province and territory

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