How We Are Governed

The SLRD is governed by a ten member Board of Directors composed of six Municipal Directors (one director from Lillooet and Pemberton; two directors from Squamish and Whistler) and four Electoral Area Directors.

Municipal Directors are first elected to their respective municipal council, and are then appointed by their council to serve on the regional district board. Electoral Area Directors are elected directly by rural area voters. Elections are held every four years. 

Every director representing an electoral area must appoint an alternate to carry out the director's responsibilities in his or her absence. Similarly, municipal councils must appoint alternate directors to take the place of absent municipal directors.

The Board elects one director to serve as Chair and another to serve as Vice Chair each year at the November Board meeting. Every year, the Chair and the Board make appointments to various internal and external committees and commissions in which the regional district has direct involvement.

Board meetings are held once a month, normally on the fourth Wednesday of the month, and are open to the public. Committee meetings are also open to the public.

The SLRD derives its authority to govern from Letters Patent*, through Establishment Bylaws and generally from provincial legislation, primarily under the Local Government Act and the Community Charter of British Columbia.

Board Structure

Representation on the SLRD Board balances the need to reflect varying population bases across the region with different community interests. Certified population figures are used to determine how many directors are elected or appointed to regional district boards, with one director elected or appointed for every 10,000 people (or portion thereof).

Voting Strength

Unlike municipalities where each council member votes a single time on any given issue, the voting on regional district boards is more complicated. There are some situations where some board directors vote and others do not. There are also situations where certain board directors have more than one vote. These different voting situations arise because a regional district may provide services to the entire regional district, to a smaller combination or sub-region of municipalities and electoral areas, to one or more electoral areas, or to individual communities within those electoral areas.

Generally speaking, decisions dealing with the general administration of the regional district or one of the electoral areas, are based on the principle "one director - one vote." This is also referred to as an "unweighted all vote." Votes on establishing bylaws, including amendment of those bylaws, are also based on in this principle. 

Votes involving the administration or operation of a shared service are generally conducted on the basis of a “weighted participant vote” (i.e. only the jurisdictions participating in the service get to vote and cast the number of votes they are allotted).

Finally, certain matters require that all directors cast the number of votes they are allotted. These votes are applicable to authorizing contracts on behalf of the regional district, dealing with the acquisition or disposal of real property, adopting the financial plan, or authorizing borrowing or liabilities. 

The number of board votes for each municipality or electoral area is determined by population, Letters Patent* and the Local Government Act. For every 2,000 people or portion thereof, that municipality or electoral area is allowed one vote.

When a municipality or area has more than one director, the allowable number of votes are divided amongst its directors as evenly as possible. The results of these calculations can be seen on the following chart:

Squamish-Lillooet Regional District

Population 42,665 (2016 Census)

Municipality

2016 Census

Number of Directors

Voting Strength

District of Lillooet

2,275

1

2

District of Squamish

19,950¹

2

10

Resort Municipality of Whistler

11,854

2

6

Village of Pemberton

2,574

1

2

Electoral Areas

 

 

 

A

187

1

1

B

1,550¹

1

1

C

3,218¹

1

2

D

1,057

1

1

Populations certified by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing under sections 196 and 197 of the Local Government Act as per the definition of population in the Schedule to the Community Charter.

Effective November 1, 2017.

These population figures are to be used only in the determination of voting strength and Director representation.

1.    Population includes people residing on Indian Reserves and boundary extensions to December 31, 2016.

Funding

Regional districts raise funds primarily through property taxation. In rural areas, the Province collects property taxes. Within municipal boundaries, property taxes are paid to the municipality. The Province and municipalities then transfer funds to the regional districts to cover the costs of the local, sub-regional, and regional services that the regional districts are sanctioned by the voters to provide.

Regional districts also generate revenues from fees and charges, such as water fees, and provincial or federal government grants.

*What are Letters Patent?

Letters Patent are the basic rules, approved by the Provincial Government (Lieutenant Governor in Council or Cabinet), that incorporate the regional district and its electoral areas by name and defined boundaries. Letters Patent also outline the voting units for the regional district, determining how many directors are appointed from member municipalities and how many votes the directors have when an issue discussed by the regional board calls for a weighted vote. The Letters Patent set out the political and administrative framework for the delivery of services with the regional district's defined geographical boundary. 

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