List of regional districts of British Columbia

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British Columbia Regional Disrticts

The Canadian province of British Columbia is partitioned into regional districts, as a means to better enable municipalities and rural areas to work together at a regional level.

Similar to counties in other parts of Canada, regional districts serve only to provide municipal services as the local government in areas not incorporated into a municipality, and in certain regional affairs of shared concern between residents of unincorporated areas and those in the municipalities such as a stakeholder role in regional planning. In those predominantly rural areas, regional districts provide services such as land use planning, building inspection and some responsibility for community fire protection. Regional districts also provide some services, such as solid-waste management, but otherwise differ from counties in having no powers or similar bodies with other arms of government whose powers are much more sweeping, including forests, environment, health, schools, provincial and courts. They are not the equivalent of counties and their powers and democratic mandate are substantially weaker. Most land within a regional district is under control of other arms of the provincial government, or in the case of national parks and offshore waters, of the federal government. Indian reserves located within the boundaries of regional districts are likewise excluded from their jurisdiction and infrastructure, and there are varying levels of collaboration between First Nations governments and regional district boards.

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 (which are grouped into electoral areas) elect directors directly. The votes of directors from municipalities generally count more than the votes of directors from electoral areas, and larger municipalities have more votes than smaller ones. 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.[1]

Current regional districts[edit]

Census divisions BC-numbered.png
Div.
 
Population
(2011)
Area
(km²)
Density
(/km²)
Head office
location
Name
1 31,061 6,588 4.7 Port Alberni Alberni-Clayoquot
2 39,208 73,361 0.53 Burns Lake Bulkley-Nechako
3 359,991 2,340 153.8 Victoria Capital
4 62,392 80,609 0.77 Williams Lake Cariboo
5 3,206 24,492 0.13 Bella Coola Central Coast
6 58,441 22,095 2.6 Nelson Central Kootenay
7 179,839 2,905 61.9 Kelowna Central Okanagan
8 50,512 28,929 1.7 Salmon Arm Columbia-Shuswap
9 63,538 1,701 37.4 Courtenay Comox Valley
10 80,332 3,475 23.1 Duncan Cowichan Valley
11 56,685 27,543 2.1 Cranbrook East Kootenay
12 277,593 13,335 20.8 Chilliwack Fraser Valley
13 91,879 50,676 1.8 Prince George Fraser-Fort George
14 2,313,328 2,883 802.5 Burnaby Greater/Metro Vancouver
15 37,361 104,461 0.36 Terrace Kitimat-Stikine
16 31,138 8,082 3.9 Trail Kootenay Boundary
17 11,506 20,244 0.57 Port McNeill Mount Waddington
18 146,574 2,038 71.9 Nanaimo Nanaimo
19 81,237 7,503 10.8 Coldstream North Okanagan
20 5,578 85,111 0.07 Fort Nelson Northern Rockies
21 80,742 10,414 7.8 Penticton Okanagan-Similkameen
22 60,082 117,391 0.51 Dawson Creek Peace River
23 19,906 5,075 3.9 Powell River Powell River
24 18,784 19,781 0.95 Prince Rupert Skeena-Queen Charlotte
25 38,170 16,310 2.3 Pemberton Squamish-Lillooet
26 629 118,663 0.01 (n/a)* Stikine Region
27 43,252 18,278 2.4 Campbell River Strathcona
28 28,619 3,777 7.6 Sechelt Sunshine Coast
29 128,473 44,448 2.9 Kamloops Thompson-Nicola

* The Stikine Region is not officially classified as a regional district,[2] and is administered directly by the provincial government.

Historical regional districts[edit]

The first regional district was established in 1965, and the then final regional district was established in 1968.

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

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 having 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.[citation needed]

The Comox-Strathcona Regional District was abolished in February 2008, and replaced by two successor regional districts: Comox Valley and Strathcona.[4]

The Peace River-Liard Regional District was created October 31, 1967 when the regional district system was first being established. On October 31, 1987]], it was split into the Peace River Regional District, and the Fort Nelson-Liard Regional District, which since has become the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

BC
Canadian Provinces and Territories
Census divisions by province and territory