Omnibus: Becoming a Good Sustainability Planning Practitioner

27th September 2010

Session 3: 3.20 - 4.05

Introduction to Government and Governance- Local


In the third session today we will focus on local governance including municipalities and regional districts as they are established in British Columbia. As indicated in the first session, local government is a creature of the Provincial Government, being established by it and operating under legislation, policies and procedures enacted by it. The Local Government Department (LGD) of the BC Ministry of Community and Rural Development has primary responsibility for this.

The web site for The Local Government Department has detailed information about local government in BC. It provides more information than you will be able to cover for today's session but you will want to progressively work your way through it as you proceed with the course, giving more attention if your career goals envisage working in the local governance context in North America whether in government, business or civil society positions. While the information is specific to BC, much of it has wider applicability. Your Group Assignments focusing on sustainability planning in the context of Greater Vancouver, will help you in understanding more of the details of local governance and will bring you back to the LGD site to answer questions that arise. In preparation for this session please review the LGD information while thinking about the questions below. Aim to get an initial appreciation of the bigger topics (e.g. what is a municipality vs a regional district etc) while leaving more specific details to later (e.g. how does the Municipal Finance Authority operate etc).

You will find that the links within topic pages lead you all over the LGD site and off to policies and programs of other BC ministries. In reviewing the topics covered on the LGD site, you should be sure to come back to look at each of the major navigation links and the sub-topics under them:

Under Stakeholder Info

Under Subject Areas


  1. How democratic is the organization of local government as provided for by the BC Provincial Government legislation and policies?
  2. Where do planners work in local governance systems?
  3. What are the key planning processes employed by municipalities and regional districts?
  4. Looking at sustainability planning areas that are of particular interest to you, what strikes you most strongly about the character of local government activities as enabled by (i) the Provincial Government's and (ii) the Federal Government's legislation and policies? What questions do you have about them?