Proposed Local Government Act Revision Available

The proposed revision to the Local Government Act (Act) is now available.  If brought into force, the revision will support effective local government administration by making the Act more user-friendly.  While the Act would look different in terms of organization and numbering, these are changes intended to improve readability without changing legal effect.  The reorganization should be of particular interest to regional districts.

Acts are amended every year – new provisions are added and existing provisions are repealed and replaced.  Amendments do more than change the legal effect of legislation. They also change its organization. Over time, an Act that had a logical organization when it became a law loses that structure, making it difficult for readers to locate and understand the information they need.

The Statute Revision Act establishes a mandate for the Chief Legislative Counsel of BC to consolidate, renumber and reorganize these amended Acts into more coherent and readable “revised” Acts. The Legislative Counsel identified the Local Government Act because it is one of the most heavily used and amended Acts in British Columbia and is subject to considerable public use.

To help with transition to the revised Act, the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development has made tables of concordance available on its website for users who are anticipating a transition from the current Act to the proposed revision.  These tables can be used to cross-reference specific sections in the current Local Government Act with their location in the proposed revision.

A Select Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly will consider the proposed revision on December 15th.  If the Committee recommends that it be brought into force, this will be done by regulation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.  While it will be for the Cabinet to decide when the proposed revision is brought into force, a consultation group of local government administrators has recommended that the proposed revision be brought into force on January 1st, 2016.

The Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development’s website has FAQs, links to tables of concordance, and details about who to contact for more information.

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