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For the upcoming budget year, property taxes charged in both Electoral Area C and G would be essentially the same as those charged today in Electoral Area C. Changes made by the Board in the future may affect future tax rates.
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The Two Electoral Areas option was identified by the Electoral Area C Governance Committee at the end of the 2017 South Shuswap Governance Study into the possibility of incorporation for Sorrento and Blind Bay. This 2017 Committee, comprised of 12 residents from communities throughout Electoral Area C, recommended that Area C be divided into two separate areas in the event that incorporation did not proceed.
The recommendation was based on the view that the existing Electoral Area C is too large to be served effectively by only one Electoral Area Director. The CSRD Board and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs endorsed the recommendation.
The choice of boundaries is a difficult undertaking that involves the consideration of a number of factors. In the case of the Sorrento-Blind Bay Incorporation Study, boundaries were developed through a separate boundary analysis exercise commissioned by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.
A boundary for each restructure scenario was developed based on consideration of 10 factors, including:
The factors, taken together, were used to draft potential boundaries.
The results of the boundary analysis were presented to the CSRD Board of Directors for review. Based on this review, the Board recommended the Sorrento-Blind Bay scenario, with its associated boundary, for further study through a Sorrento-Blind Bay Incorporation Study. The Board also recommended that, in the event incorporation were not chosen, Electoral Area C be divided into two electoral areas using the boundary recommended for the Two Electoral Areas scenario. The Ministry accepted these recommendations.
British Columbia's Local Government Act sets out the structure and rules of regional district and municipal governance. The Act is clear in stating that each electoral area is represented by one, and only one, Electoral Area Director. An electoral area that seeks a greater level of political representation has the option, subject to provincial approval, to pursue local government restructuring through:
• the incorporation of all or a portion of the electoral area• the transfer, through an electoral area boundary change, of a portion of the electoral area to an adjacent existing electoral area• the division of the electoral area into two separate areas.
In the case of Electoral Area C, the Ministry approved the consideration of incorporation for Sorrento and Blind Bay with the provision that, should an incorporation referendum fail, Electoral Area C would be divided into two areas to ensure more effective elected representation. The creation of Electoral Area G is the outcome of that work.
If you live in Electoral Area C (Eagle Bay, Sunnybrae, Tappen, White Lake) your Electoral Area Director is Marty Gibbons, who was elected in the General Local Government Elections on October 15, 2022.
If you live in Electoral Area G (Blind Bay, Notch Hill, Sorrento) your Electoral Area Director is Natalya Melnychuk, who was elected by acclamation.
The CSRD Board of Directors is the governing body for the unincorporated areas of the region. The Board would make all decisions for CSRD services in which Electoral Areas C and G participated, including decisions on planning policies and approvals, parks and recreation priorities, and other matters.
Each of the electoral areas are represented on the Board by its own Electoral Area Director, who would participate in all votes related to services in their area. Directors from other jurisdictions would also participate in these votes, as they have done prior to the division of Electoral Area C. Decisions on roads, road priorities and standards would be made by the provincial government, as would decisions on local policing.
The services you received prior to the creation of Electoral Area G will remain essentially the same. As part of the process of the creation of the new Electoral Area, the services that were part of Electoral Area C transfer to the new Electoral Area G.
The CSRD, as the community's local government, would be the primary local service provider, responsible for providing most local government services, including planning and building inspection, utilities, fire response, bylaw enforcement, parks and recreation, and others. The provincial government would also play a significant role in local services. Through the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the Province would continue to manage the local road network and set road maintenance standards. Local policing would also fall to the Province.
Once the Board is sworn into office in November 2022, the elected Directors of Electoral Area C and G may have suggestions for changes to current services or the addition of others. If that is the case, these Directors must follow the due process laid out by the Local Government Act and by CSRD bylaw to make changes. This includes processes such as public notification and multiple readings of bylaws before changes can be made.
This is currently under review by CSRD staff, in conjunction with the applicable Provincial ministries. The CSRD needs to consider many factors to determine the best and most equitable restructuring options. In some cases, services may become sub-regionally provided, in others there may need to be a division between the two areas. These issues will take some time to resolve. They will, however, be done as part of an open and transparent public process, in conjunction with input and decision-making from the Board of Directors.