The question of governance in the Sorrento community has been important to area residents dating back to 1990. Between 1990 and 2004, there was communication between the CSRD and the Ministry of Community, Sport, and Cultural Development on the topic of an incorporation feasibility study for the Sorrento community. View a chronology of this timeframe (PDF).
At that point, CSRD records indicate that no activity took place on this file from 2004 until 2010. The concept of incorporation was then advanced again in 2010 through the efforts of the Sorrento and Community Association (SACA). They approached the BC Ministry of Sport and Cultural Development with a request for funding to examine the feasibility of incorporation for the community of Sorrento.
Additional background on the efforts involving the potential incorporation of Sorrento between 2010 and 2015 is available through a report from Charles Hamilton, Chief Administrative Officer. View the Chief Administrative Officer's Board Report (PDF).
The decision to do the most recent incorporation study can be traced back to 2015. In that year, the CSRD Board of Directors approached the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to review local governance and service provision in Electoral Area C, the largest (by population) electoral area in the Regional District. The Board sought to understand the views of Area C residents on local service provision and local governance. Were residents happy with the local services provided by the Regional District, as well as with the process for making local decisions? Should changes be considered?
In early 2016, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs provided funding for a South Shuswap Governance Study to explore these questions. A 12-member Area C Governance Committee conducted the year-long study, which included extensive engagement throughout Area C. The Committee concluded that while residents in many parts of Area C — including, for example, in White Lake, Sunnybrae, Notch Hill, Eagle Bay, and Tappen — were content under the current regional district form of local government, there was considerable interest on the part of residents in Sorrento and Blind Bay to learn more about incorporation. The desire for local decisions to be made locally, rather than at the CSRD, was an important factor for these residents.
The Governance Committee recommended to the CSRD Board that a restructure (incorporation) study for Electoral Area C be undertaken and that the study examine two options:
- The incorporation of a portion (i.e., Sorrento and/or Blind Bay) of the electoral area
- The division of the current electoral area into two electoral areas.
The CSRD Board accepted the Committee's recommendation and requested funding from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs for a restructuring exercise. The Ministry responded by commissioning, first, a boundary analysis to recommend a boundary for a potential new municipality. This analysis was completed in early 2019 with the identification of the Sorrento-Blind Bay Incorporation Study Area. In late 2019, the Ministry then provided funding for the incorporation study that is now underway.