Shuswap Watershed Council Referendum FAQs
Questions about the Shuswap Watershed Council
The SWC is a collaborative, non-regulatory group that focuses on strategic initiatives to protect, maintain and enhance water quality and to promote safe recreation in the Shuswap. The SWC works alongside organizations that have regulatory roles in managing the Shuswap watershed.
Comprehensive information on the projects and initiatives of the Shuswap Watershed council are available on their website, www.shuswapwater.ca. A summary can be found on their website in their Annual Highlights Report for 2022-2023.
There are currently 20 members of the SWC that represent the following organizations: Columbia Shuswap Regional District, City of Salmon Arm, District of Sicamous, Thompson Nicola Regional District, Secwepemc Nation, Regional District of North Okanagan, BC Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy, BC Ministry of Forests, and BC Ministry of Agriculture. There are also three community representatives at-large and a senior scientific advisor.
In the CSRD, the SWC is currently funded by parcel tax contributions from Electoral Areas C, D, E, F, and G. The same SWC funding formula applies also to the District of Sicamous.
Questions about the referendum
The CSRD’s role is to remain neutral and provide voters with information to make an educated decision on the referendum question. It is also our role to administer the referendum in accordance with the Local Government Act legislation. The decision on whether to fund the SWC is up to the voters.
As per the Local Government Act, the CSRD must receive the approval of the electors before it can adopt a bylaw to establish a service levy or incur long-term debt.
The result of the referendum is determined by majority rules – 50% plus one vote. This result is counted over the entire service area including Electoral Areas C, D, E, F, G and the District of Sicamous. It is not counted on an area-by-area basis.
To renew the Shuswap Watershed Council bylaw and continue providing funding to the SWC, the CSRD must first determine public support via an elector assent process, in this case, a referendum. If the referendum authorizes the service, the new bylaw will provide ongoing funding to the SWC without any additional expiry date.
Questions about finances
In 2023, the parcel tax amount to fund the Shuswap Watershed Council was $9.02 per taxable parcel.
The Board has not yet determined if the collection of taxes will be by way of parcel taxes or ad valorem taxes (property value of land and improvements).
- If a parcel tax bylaw is adopted for the collection of taxes, the amount per property is estimated to be $9.55 per year.
- If the taxes are collected by property value (ad valorem), the estimated amount per residential property would be $1.76 per $100,000 of assessed value, or approximately $9.74 per average residential property valued at $553,427.
Questions about voting
Only electors of Electoral Areas C, D, E, F, and G and the District of Sicamous can vote in this referendum because they are the only areas where taxpayers will be contributing to the service.
There is no need to pre-register to vote, as the registration of qualified electors will take place at the time of voting. You will be required to make a declaration that you meet the following requirements:
• Be 18 years of age or older on General Voting Day
• Be a Canadian citizen
• Have been a resident of BC for at least six months before General Voting Day
• Are a resident in the jurisdiction or are the registered owner of real property in the jurisdiction for at least 30 days immediately preceding General Voting Day.
• Not disqualified under the Local Government Act, or any other enactment, from voting in a local election.
Voting rights are granted to citizens based on residency or property ownership. There is no corporate or business vote in local elections.
Eligible electors who live on a First Nation reserve can vote. Where that person votes depends on whether the reserve is located within a municipality or regional district jurisdiction.
Non-Resident Property Electors
When a person lives elsewhere in BC but owns property in the service area, they may vote as a non-resident property elector, as long as they meet the voter eligibility requirements.
If a person owns a property with one or more other individuals, only one person is eligible to vote as the non-resident property elector for that property. The owner entitled to vote must be designated, in writing, by the majority of the property owners. A non-resident property elector consent form is required to be filled out and signed by a majority of the registered owners.
Out-of-province property owners are not eligible to vote in BC elections.
Yes. You must have two pieces of identification (ID) that prove who you are and where you live. The ID must show your residential address and one of them must have your signature. If your ID doesn't show your residential address, you can make what is called a solemn declaration as to your residence. The voting clerk will have the form you need to use to make that declaration.
Non-resident property electors
If you are registering as a non-resident property elector, you must also provide the address or legal description and the title (or other proof of ownership) of the property you own. If you are one of two or more owners, you must also demonstrate - in writing - that you have the consent of the majority of all owners to vote on behalf of them in the election.
Acceptable identification includes:
- BC Driver’s Licence
- BC Identification Card
- BC Services Card
- Credit or Debit Card
- Residential Property Tax Notice
- Utility Bill
- Citizenship Card
- ICBC Certificate of Insurance
- Social Insurance Card.
- Firearms Certification
Please note: The combined BC Driver's Licence and Services Card is considered one piece of ID.
Advance Polling opportunities for the Shuswap Watershed Council referendum already took place in August. There will not be additional advance polls. The mail ballot option is in place for those who cannot attend on General Voting Day.
To vote by mail, you must apply before 12 PM on Monday, January 22, 2024 by using this Mail Ballot Request Form.
With the continuation of the referendum process, voting will take place through mail ballots or on General Voting Day.
All polling stations are open from 8 AM to 8 PM on voting day.
Mail Ballot Request is now closed.
Yes. Mail ballot voting was available for resident electors and non-resident property electors in the CSRD.
To be counted, your mail ballot must be received by the Chief Election Officer at the CSRD Office no later than 8 PM (local time) on Saturday, February 3, 2024.
Please note: once you request a mail ballot, you will not be issued another ballot.
No. The CSRD uses Same Day Registration. You can register to vote at a voting place prior to voting. Just remember to take two pieces of identification with you if you are a resident voter. ID must show your residential address and one of them must have your signature.
If you are registering as a non-resident property elector, you must also provide the address or legal description and the title (or other proof of ownership) of the property you are registering to vote in relation to. If you own the property with other people, you will need their written consent to vote on behalf of them. A non-resident property elector consent form is required to be filled out and signed by a majority of the registered owners.
No. The legislation does not currently allow for voting through the Internet or telephone.
General Voting Day is February 3, 2024.
All polling stations are open from 8 AM to 8 PM on voting day.
All polling stations are open from 8 AM to 8 PM on voting days. Eligible voters may cast their ballot at any polling station in the region. You do not have to vote at the station closest to your home. Two pieces of valid identification are required to vote.
|General Voting Locations - Saturday, February 3, 2024
|Electoral Area C
|White Lake Community Hall, 3617 Parri Road, White Lake
|Electoral Area D
|Falkland Community Hall, 5706 Highway 97, Falkland
|Electoral Area E / District of Sicamous
|District of Sicamous Council Chambers,
446 Main Street, Sicamous
|Electoral Area F
Lakeview Community Centre,
|Electoral Area G
Blind Bay Memorial Hall, 2510 Blind Bay Road, Blind Bay
The CSRD uses same day registration. You can register to vote at a polling station prior to voting either at an Advanced Voting Opportunity or on General Voting Day. Mail-in ballots are also available by completing an application.
You must have two pieces of identification that prove who you are and where you live. The ID must show your residential address and one of them must have your signature. Examples are: a Driver’s Licence, Care Card, Credit Card or a utility bill or tax notice. If your ID does not show your residential address, you can make what is called a “solemn declaration” as to your residence. The voting clerk will have the form you need to use to make that declaration.
Please note that a combined Driver’s Licence/Care Card is considered to be only one piece of identification.
No. Each elector is entitled to one vote only.
No. There is no corporate or business vote in local government elections. Voting rights are granted to citizens on the basis of residency or property ownership. This means that you cannot vote on behalf of a corporation, or as a non-resident property elector, based on a property owned wholly or in part by a corporation.
No. This tax is paid by the residents of Electoral Areas C, D, E, F and G of the CSRD and the District of Sicamous. Only residents who are paying the tax get an opportunity to vote.
The City of Salmon Arm funds the Shuswap Watershed Council, but through its own municipal taxation system.
Yes. If you need assistance, an election official may assist you to vote. If you are caring for someone (e.g. a child or elderly relative) at the time you cast your ballot, the presiding election official may allow you to have that person in the booth with you.
Anyone providing assistance to another elector is required to sign a solemn declaration before providing any assistance. Speak to the presiding election official at the voting place for further information.