Local Government Awareness Week - May 15-21, 2022

This week marks Local Government Awareness Week (May 15-21) across British Columbia. The goal is to generate awareness and educate the public about the roles and responsibilities of local government and encourage the public to participate in local government processes.

Local government is an accessible and responsive level of government. Regional boards and municipal councils are local citizens elected by the community and local government staff are members of the community as well.

Photo courtesy: Dave Heath Photography

What is a Regional District?

A regional district is a federation of rural areas, municipalities and in some cases First Nations empowered to work together to plan, provide services and deal with issues on a regional scale.

In 1965, the province created regional districts to act as general local government for electoral areas. Regional districts provide rural residents with an effective form of local government, while also representing municipal residents on regional issues. They ensure all residents have access to commonly needed services, no matter where they live. Rural areas make up approximately 13 percent of the total population of BC.

Regional districts are governed by a Board of Directors composed of a director elected from each electoral area and one director appointed from the elected council of each municipality. The directors from the electoral areas serve for a four-year term, while municipal directors serve until the appointing body decides to make a change. The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) features 11 electoral areas and nine municipalities (Castlegar, Creston, Kaslo, Nelson, Nakusp, New Denver, Salmo, Silverton, and Slocan).

The RDCK is one of 28 regional districts in British Columbia and provides over 180 services including: GIS, Planning and Land Use, Community Sustainability, Fire Protection, Emergency Services, Animal Control, Regional Parks, Recreation Facilities, Water Systems and Waste and Recycling facilities.

The mission of the RDCK is to provide the area and communities with services, governance and representation in a manner that supports the economic, social and environmental goals of the region.

Here are some other resources to learn more about local government:

Local Government in BC: A Community Effort (overview of local government in BC)

Local Government in British Columbia - 4th Edition (complete overview of all levels of local government, from cities and regional districts to towns)

Regional Districts in BC

Learn more about the RDCK

The content on this page was last updated May 16 2022 at 9:44 AM