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February 14, 2019, 9:32 am

Legislative Changes to Benefit B.C. Local Governments, Communities

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

VICTORIA - The Province has proposed a number of legislative changes that will clarify provincial and local government authorities, help local governments better respond to community needs and support British Columbia’s affordable housing goals.

If passed, the municipal affairs and housing statutes amendment act 2019 will amend the following provincial statutes:

The Vancouver Charter:
The proposed changes would align Vancouver Charter authorities with those under the Local Government Act, allowing the City of Vancouver to use housing agreements to limit sale, lease and share prices of housing units. These amendments support the city’s initiatives to expand the range of affordable housing options and support government’s 30-point plan on housing affordability.

The Building Act:
The proposed amendments would provide flexibility for the Province to share some authority on specific building regulations with local governments, while still allowing the Province to establish effective regulations on a number of emerging issues, including secondary suites, fire sprinklers and the establishment of a code for existing buildings as part of the climate action commitments in CleanBC.

The Local Government Act:
The proposed changes would allow local governments to better respond to various community needs. The proposed changes respond to the increasing recognition that access to high-speed internet has evolved into a basic service. The changes will allow regional districts to assist businesses in bringing high-speed internet to underserved communities. Amendments will remove a redundant requirement in relation to notices of assent voting.

The Cultus Lake Park Act:
The proposed changes would amend the Cultus Lake Park Act to provide modernized regulatory tools, procedural rules and corporate powers. This act was passed in 1932 and has had limited amendments.

The Resort Municipality of Whistler Act:
The proposed changes would allow for the removal of the requirement for the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s official community plans to be approved by the minister, making it consistent with the practice followed for nearly all local governments.

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