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Community Charter

[SBC 2003] CHAPTER 26


Definitions and Rules of Interpretation


1  In this Act and in a bylaw or resolution under this Act:

"alternative approval process" means the process for obtaining approval of the electors established by section 86 [alternative approval process];

"animal" means any member of the animal kingdom, other than a human being;

"annual property tax bylaw" means a bylaw under section 197 [annual property tax bylaw];

"approval of the electors" means approval in accordance with section 84 [approval of the electors];

"assent of the electors" means assent in accordance with section 85 [assent of the electors];

"assessed value" means assessed value determined under the Assessment Act;

"assessment commissioner" means the assessment commissioner appointed under the Assessment Authority Act;

"assessment roll" means an assessment roll within the meaning of the Assessment Act;

"assessor" means an assessor appointed under the Assessment Authority Act;

"assistance" means assistance within the meaning of section 25 (1) [prohibition against assistance to business];

"building inspector" means an individual designated by the council as a building inspector for the municipality;

"business" means

(a) carrying on a commercial or industrial activity or undertaking of any kind, and

(b) providing professional, personal or other services for the purpose of gain or profit,

but does not include an activity carried on by the Provincial government, by corporations owned by the Provincial government, by agencies of the Provincial government or by the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority or any of its subsidiaries.

"business licence" means a licence required for a business under section 8 (6) [spheres of authority — business];

"charge", in relation to an estate or interest in land, means a charge under the Land Title Act;

"collector" means the municipal officer assigned responsibility as collector of taxes for the municipality;

"converted value of land and improvements" means the net taxable value of land and improvements multiplied by the percentage prescribed by regulation for this purpose;

"corporate officer" means the municipal officer assigned responsibility under section 148 [corporate officer];

"council" means the council of a municipality;

"council committee" means

(a) a select committee of a council,

(b) a standing committee of a council, or

(c) any other body established by a council that is composed solely of council members;

"councillor" means a member of a council other than the mayor;

"designated municipal officer" means

(a) the municipal officer assigned responsibility under section 146 [officer positions]  in relation to the matter, or

(b) if no assignment referred to in paragraph (a) has been made, the corporate officer;

"dispute resolution officer" means a person designated by the minister to assist in the resolution of disputes for the purposes of Division 3 [Dispute Resolution] of Part 9 [Governmental Relations];

"domestic animal" means an animal that is tame or kept, or that has been or is being sufficiently tamed or kept, to serve some purpose for people;

"election" means an election for office on a council;

"extraordinary traffic" includes the carriage of goods or persons in vehicles over a highway that, in conjunction with the nature or existing condition of the highway, the council considers is so extraordinary in

(a) the quality or quantity of the goods or the number of persons carried,

(b) the mode or time of use of the highway, or

(c) the speed at which the vehicles are driven or operated,

that it substantially alters or increases the burden imposed on the highway through its proper use by ordinary traffic, and causes damage to the highway or resulting expense to the municipality beyond what is reasonable or ordinary;

" farm land"  means land classified under the Assessment Act as a farm;

"fee" includes a fee by any name, including a charge;

"financial officer" means the municipal officer assigned responsibility under section 149 [financial officer];

"financial plan" means the current financial plan for a municipality under section 165 [financial plan];

"firearms" includes air guns, air rifles, air pistols and spring guns;

"first nation" means an aboriginal governing body, however it is organized and established by aboriginal people in their traditional territory in British Columbia;

"general bylaw" means a bylaw referred to in section 138 [municipal codes and other general bylaws];

"general property tax" means a property value tax or a parcel tax that is imposed in the municipality generally;

"greater board" means the corporate body, incorporated by an Act, with responsibility for the provision of water or sewage and drainage services;

"highway" includes a street, road, lane, bridge, viaduct and any other way open to public use, other than a private right of way on private property;

"impose", in relation to a tax, includes levy;

"improvements" means improvements as defined in the Assessment Act;

"inspector" means the Inspector of Municipalities under section 1019 of the Local Government Act;

"intermunicipal boundary highway" means a highway that forms all or part of the boundary between 2 or more municipalities, including any part of such a highway that deviates so that it is wholly or partly inside one or more of the municipalities, but does not include all or part of an intermunicipal transecting highway;

"intermunicipal bridge" means a bridge that crosses a river, stream or other body of water that forms all or part of the boundary between 2 or more municipalities;

"intermunicipal transecting highway" means a highway that transects 2 or more municipalities and serves those municipalities;

"intermunicipal watercourse" means

(a) a natural stream or watercourse that forms the boundary between, or runs through, more than one municipality, or

(b) a stream or watercourse referred to in section 548 [regional district equivalent] of the Local Government Act;

"justice" means a justice as defined in the Offence Act;


(a) for the purposes of assessment and taxation, means land as defined in the Assessment Act, and

(b) for other purposes, includes the surface of water, but does not include

(i)  improvements,

(ii)  mines or minerals belonging to the Crown, or

(iii)  mines or minerals for which title in fee simple has been registered in the land title office;

"land title office" means the applicable land title office under the Land Title Act;

"loan authorization bylaw" means a bylaw under section 179 [loan authorization bylaws for long term borrowing];

"local area service" means a service referred to in section 210 (1) [authority for local area services];

"local authority" means

(a) a municipality, including the City of Vancouver,

(b) a regional district,

(c) the trust council, a local trust committee and the trust fund board within the meaning of the Islands Trust Act,

(d) a greater board,

(e) an improvement district, and

(f) any other local body prescribed by regulation as a local authority for the purposes of one or more provisions of this Act or the Local Government Act;

"local service area" means the area in which a local service tax is imposed;

"local service tax" means a tax imposed under section 216 [local service taxes];

"minister responsible" means the minister responsible in relation to the applicable matter;

"municipality" means, as applicable,

(a) the corporation into which the residents of an area are incorporated as a municipality under Part 2 [Incorporation of Municipalities] of the Local Government Act or under any other Act, or

(b) the geographic area of the municipal corporation,

but does not include the City of Vancouver unless otherwise provided;

"net taxable value", in relation to land or improvements or both, means net taxable value of land or improvements or both, as applicable, for regional hospital district purposes;

"newspaper" means, in relation to a requirement or authorization for publication in a newspaper, a publication or local periodical that contains items of news and advertising;


(a) for the purposes of Division 8 [Tax Liability of Occupiers] of Part 7 [Municipal Revenue], means occupier as defined in the Assessment Act, and

(b) for other purposes, means a person

(i)  who is qualified to maintain an action for trespass,

(ii)  who is in possession of Crown land under a homestead entry or preemption record,

(iii)  who is in possession of

(A)  Crown land, or

(B)  land owned by a municipality or regional district

under a lease, licence, agreement for sale, accepted application to purchase, easement or other record from the Crown, municipality or regional district, or

(iv)  who simply occupies the land;

"owner" means, in respect of real property,

(a)  the registered owner of an estate in fee simple,

(b)  the tenant for life under a registered life estate,

(c)  the registered holder of the last registered agreement for sale,

(d)  the holder or occupier of land held in the manner referred to in section 228 [taxation of Crown land used by others] or section 229 [taxation of municipal land used by others], and

(e)  an Indian who is an owner under the letters patent of a municipality incorporated under section 12 [incorporation of reserve residents as a village] of the Local Government Act;

"parcel" means any lot, block or other area in which land is held or into which it is subdivided, but does not include a highway;

"parcel tax" means a tax imposed on the basis of a single amount for each parcel, the taxable area of a parcel or the taxable frontage of a parcel;

"parcel tax roll review panel" means the parcel tax roll review panel under section 204;

"partnering agreement" means an agreement between a municipality and a person or public authority under which the person or public authority agrees to provide a service on behalf of the municipality, other than a service that is part of the general administration of the municipality;

"population" means, in relation to an area,

(a) population for the area as determined by the most recent population census, or

(b) if the population has not been established for the area by census, population determined by the minister;

"procedure bylaw" means a bylaw under section 124 [procedure bylaws];

"property class" means a property class under the Assessment Act;

"property taxes" means taxes under Division 3 [Property Value Taxes], 4 [Parcel Taxes] or 5 [Local Service Taxes] of Part 7 [Municipal Revenue];

"property value tax" means a tax imposed on the basis of the value of land or improvements or both;

"Provincial arterial highway" means a highway that has been designated as an arterial highway under the Transportation Act;

"Provincial building code" means the Provincial building code under section 692 (1) of the Local Government Act;

"Provincial building regulations" means the Provincial building code and other regulations under section 692 (1) of the Local Government Act;

"public authority" means any of the following:

(a) the government of Canada, the government of British Columbia or the government of another province, or an agent of any of them;

(b) a local government body, educational body or health care body, as those terms are defined in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act;

(c) a first nation;

(d) a body in another province or country that provides local government services;

(e) any other body prescribed by regulation as a public authority for the purposes of one or more provisions of this Act or the Local Government Act;

"public notice posting places" means the places identified as such in a procedure bylaw;

"real property" means land, with or without improvements so affixed to the land as to make them in fact and law a part of it;

"registered", in relation to an interest in land less than the fee simple, means registered as a charge;

"registered mail" includes any method of mail delivery provided by the Canada Post Office for which confirmation of delivery to a named person is provided;

"registered owner" means the person registered in the land title office as entitled to the fee simple;

"registrar of land titles" means the applicable registrar of a land title district under the Land Title Act;

"regulate" includes authorize, control, inspect, limit and restrict, including by establishing rules respecting what must or must not be done, in relation to the persons, properties, activities, things or other matters being regulated;

"remedial action requirement" means a requirement imposed under section 72 [council may impose remedial action requirements];

"reserve fund" means a reserve fund under Division 4 [Reserve Funds] of Part 6 [Financial Management];

"seize" includes impound and detain;

"service" means, in relation to a municipality, an activity, work or facility undertaken or provided by or on behalf of the municipality;

"soil" includes sand, gravel, rock and other substances of which land is composed;

"stream" means a stream within the meaning of the Water Act;

"tax sale" means a tax sale under Part 11 [Municipal Tax Collection] of the Local Government Act;

"trees" includes shrubs;

"wildlife" means animals prescribed by regulation as wildlife.

Application of Local Government Act definitions

2  Subject to the definitions established by section 1 of this Schedule, section 5 [definitions] of the Local Government Act applies to this Act.

Special rule for Mountain Time Zone

3  In those municipalities in which Mountain Standard Time or Mountain Daylight Time is customarily used, section 25 (7) [calculation of time] of the Interpretation Act does not apply and instead a reference to a specified time of the day is a reference to Mountain Standard Time or Mountain Daylight Time, as applicable.

References to municipal officers

4  Words in an enactment referring to a municipal officer, by name of office or otherwise, also apply to

(a) the officer's deputy, and

(b) any person designated by the council to act in the officer's place.

Contents  | Part 1  | Part 2  | Part 3  | Part 4  | Part 5  | Part 6  | Part 7  | Part 8  | Part 9  | Schedule