This archived statute consolidation is current to July 16, 2002 and includes changes enacted and in force by that date. For the most current information, click here.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT — Continued
[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 323

Part 20 — Business Regulation and Licensing

Division 1 — General Authority

Definition of "business"

652 In this Part, "business" means

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

(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.

Authority to regulate business

653 (1) A council may, by bylaw, regulate businesses, business activities and persons engaged in business.

(2) A bylaw under this section may

(a) establish different classes of businesses, business activities and persons engaged in business, and

(b) make different provisions for different classes and different areas of the municipality.

Regulation of business hours

654 Subject to the Holiday Shopping Regulation Act or a bylaw or order under that Act, a bylaw under section 653 [authority to regulate business] may restrict the hours of operation of businesses or business activities.

Restriction on authority in relation to rental accommodations

655 As a limitation on sections 653 [authority to regulate business] and 658 [authority to require business licences], a municipality may not, under this Part, regulate, prohibit or require business licences for the business of renting 2 or fewer rooms, or 2 or fewer suites, in a dwelling unit if

(a) the dwelling unit is occupied by the owner of the dwelling unit,

(b) the dwelling unit remains as a single legal title, and

(c) the interval at which rent is payable on the suite or rooms is one month or longer.

Limitation on authority to require examination or certification

656 A provision in a bylaw under section 653 [authority to regulate business] that requires an examination or certification of a person engaged in a trade or occupation does not apply to a person who has been granted a certificate or other evidence of competence for that trade or occupation under an Act of Canada or British Columbia.

Regulation of carriers

657 (1) A council may, by bylaw, regulate carriers of persons or things to the extent to which they are not subject to regulation or order under another Act.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1) or section 653 [authority to regulate business], a bylaw under this section may do one or more of the following:

(a) establish the maximum and minimum charges that may be made by carriers, which may be different for different zones or areas of the municipality designated by bylaw;

(b) establish and alter routes to be taken by carriers;

(c) limit the number of vehicles with respect to which persons may be licensed in a class of carrier.

(3) A bylaw under this section may establish different classes of carriers and make different provisions for different classes.

Division 2 — Business Licensing

Authority to require business licences

658 (1) Subject to this Part, a council may, by bylaw, provide for a system of business licences, including one or more of the following:

(a) prohibiting a business from being carried on unless the owner or operator holds a valid licence under this Division;

(b) providing for the granting, refusal, suspension and cancellation of licences for businesses;

(c) providing for the duration periods of licences;

(d) providing that terms and conditions may be imposed on any licence, the nature of the terms and conditions and who may impose them;

(e) setting out the conditions that must be met before a licence is granted, the nature of the conditions and who may impose them.

(2) A bylaw under this section may

(a) establish different classes of businesses,

(b) make different provisions for different classes and different areas of the municipality, and

(c) in relation to a provision under subsection (1) (c), provide that duration periods for different individual licences may be different based on the duration period of some other licence, permit, certificate or other authority that is required for the business or business activities to be carried on or for persons to engage in the business activities.

Refusal of business licence

659 (1) An application for a business licence may be refused in any specific case, but

(a) the application must not be unreasonably refused, and

(b) the council or designated municipal officer must give reasons for the refusal.

(2) In the case of a refusal by a designated municipal officer, the officer must notify the applicant of the right to a reconsideration by council.

Suspension or cancellation of business licence

660 (1) A business licence may be suspended or cancelled for reasonable cause.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), any of the following circumstances may constitute reasonable cause:

(a) the holder fails to comply with a term or condition of the licence;

(b) the holder is convicted of an offence indictable in Canada;

(c) the holder is convicted of an offence under an Act or municipal bylaw in respect of the business for which the holder is licensed or with respect to the premises named in the licence;

(d) the holder is deemed, under this Act or the Offence Act, to have pleaded guilty to an offence referred to in paragraph (c);

(e) the holder has ceased to comply with a bylaw or has otherwise ceased to meet the lawful requirements to carry on the business for which the holder is licensed or with respect to the premises named in the licence;

(f) in the opinion of the council, the holder has engaged in misconduct that warrants the suspension or cancellation of the licence, if the misconduct is

(i) in respect of the business,

(ii) in or with respect to the premises named in the licence, or

(iii) in respect of that business or another business, or in or with respect to the premises of that business or other business, carried on by the holder inside or outside the municipality.

(3) Before suspending or cancelling a business licence, the council must give the licence holder notice of the proposed action and an opportunity to be heard.

(4) A suspension under this section is for the period determined by the council, and the council may impose additional conditions on the licence that relate to the reasons for the suspension and apply after the period of suspension.

(5) Despite section 193 (1) [restriction on delegation of hearings], a bylaw under section 192 [delegation of council authority] may authorize a designated municipal officer to exercise the powers of the council under this section.

(6) In the case of a suspension or cancellation under subsection (5), the designated municipal officer must notify the holder of the right to a reconsideration by council.

(7) The obligations under subsections (2) and (6) are satisfied if a reasonable effort was made to mail or otherwise deliver the notices.

Right to reconsideration of delegated decisions

661 If a designated municipal officer exercises a delegated authority to grant, refuse, suspend or cancel business licences, the applicant or licence holder who is subject to the decision is entitled to have the council reconsider the matter.

Intermunicipal business licences

662 (1) Two or more municipalities may, by bylaw adopted by the councils of each of the participating municipalities, establish an intermunicipal business licence scheme.

(2) An intermunicipal business licence scheme may provide that one or more of the municipalities may exercise its authority under this Part in another municipality participating in the scheme.

Offence to carry on business without a licence

663 A person who carries on a business for which a business licence is required, without holding a valid business licence for the business, commits an offence and is liable to the penalties provided in section 4 of the Offence Act.

Division 3 — Licensing of Commercial Vehicles

Definitions

664 For the purposes of this Division:

"commercial vehicle" means a vehicle used by a person on a highway in a participating municipality, if the vehicle is

(a) a commercial vehicle as defined by and licensed under the Commercial Transport Act, or

(b) a vehicle not licensed as referred to in paragraph (a), but used for the collection or delivery, or both, of merchandise or another commodity in the ordinary course of a business;

"licence plate" includes licence decal;

"licence year" means the period from March 1 to the last day of February of the following year;

"municipality" includes the City of Vancouver;

"participating municipality" means a municipality in which a bylaw is in force declaring that this Division applies in that municipality.

Application of Division

665 Subject to the Motor Carrier Act and despite any other Act relating to a municipality, this Division applies to all municipalities.

Commercial vehicle licensing bylaw

666 (1) A council may, by bylaw, declare that this Division applies to the municipality, and in that case it applies in the municipality from and after the start of the licence year that begins at least 3 months after the adoption of the bylaw.

(2) A bylaw under subsection (1) must make provision not inconsistent with this Division for the following:

(a) the imposition and collection of licence fees;

(b) the issue of licences and licence plates;

(c) the transfer of licences and licence plates, and transfer fees.

(3) A bylaw under subsection (1) may be repealed or amended at any time, but a repeal does not take effect until the end of the licence year in which the repealing bylaw is adopted.

(4) A municipality that is not a participating municipality may not impose a licence fee under this Division or issue a class of licence under this Division.

Exemptions from licensing requirements

667 The following commercial vehicles are exempt from this Division:

(a) a commercial vehicle licensed as a farm vehicle under the Commercial Transport Act, except when used for the collection or delivery, or both, of merchandise or another commodity not required in the ordinary course of the farm undertaking of the owner of the vehicle;

(b) a commercial vehicle owned and operated by an improvement district;

(c) a commercial vehicle not requiring a licence fee under section 3 (8) of the Motor Vehicle Act;

(d) a commercial vehicle licensed under the Commercial Transport Act that is not being used by a person for the purpose of the person's business or by an organization for profit;

(e) a commercial vehicle licensed under the Commercial Transport Act that is owned by a farmer and used only to transport the produce of the farmer's farm to market and to transport supplies required for the farmer's farm;

(f) a commercial vehicle owned by the Provincial government.

Licence plate must be displayed

668 Unless exempted under section 667 [exemptions from licensing requirements], a commercial vehicle must not be operated on a highway in a participating municipality unless there is displayed on the vehicle a valid and subsisting licence plate issued in accordance with this Division for the vehicle.

Issue and transfer of licence plates

669 (1) On application for a licence under this Division for a commercial vehicle and payment of the licence fee, a licence plate must be issued for the vehicle.

(2) On application for a licence under this Division for a commercial vehicle operated under an agreement under section 10 of the Commercial Transport Act and payment of the licence fee, a licence plate must be issued and is valid for display on any commercial vehicle operated under the agreement.

(3) Subject to the requirements of a bylaw under this Division, on payment of the prescribed fee together with any sum representing the difference in licence fee required for the transfer of a licence plate to a commercial vehicle of greater gross vehicle weight, a licence plate may be transferred

(a) from one person to another person for the same commercial vehicle, or

(b) from one commercial vehicle to another commercial vehicle for the same person.

(4) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations prescribing fees for the purposes of this section and, in relation to fees under subsections (1) and (2), may prescribe different fees for commercial vehicles of different gross vehicle weight.

(5) For the purposes of section 671 [fees to be paid to UBCM], an amount paid under subsection (3) in addition to the prescribed fee is deemed to be a licence fee.

Term of licences

670 (1) A licence issued under this Division by a municipality is valid in every municipality for the current licence year.

(2) A licence issued during January and February must be issued for the following licence year and is a valid and subsisting licence from the date of issue until the end of the following licence year.

Fees to be paid to UBCM

671 (1) After deducting any licence transfer fee under section 669 (3) and the prescribed administration fee, a municipality must pay the remainder of the fees it collects under this Division to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities.

(2) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations prescribing administration fees for the purposes of subsection (1).

(3) Money received by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities under subsection (1) must be placed in a separate licence fee account, and the money may be paid out of the account for any of the following:

(a) licence plate production expenses;

(b) the expenses of conducting the audit under subsection (4);

(c) other related expenses;

(d) payments to participating municipalities.

(4) The licence fee account must be audited at the times and in the manner directed by the minister.

Offences

672 (1) The owner or operator of a commercial vehicle, other than a vehicle exempted under section 667 [exemptions from licensing requirements], who operates or uses or causes the vehicle to be operated or used on a highway in a participating municipality without holding and displaying a valid and subsisting licence plate for the vehicle is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $50.

(2) A person who displays or causes to be displayed a licence plate on a commercial vehicle not authorized to have it displayed on the vehicle is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $200 and the confiscation of the licence plate.

(3) A fine imposed under this section does not remove any liability for a prescribed licence fee under this Division.

Sections Repealed

673 to 679 [Repealed 1999-37-149.]

Specific regulatory powers

680 Subject to section 679 but without limiting that section, a council may, by bylaw, do one or more of the following:

(a) prohibit the operation of a public show, exhibition, carnival or performance of any particular kind or in any particular location, or both;

(b) prohibit for all or defined parts of the municipality the operation of a public poolroom, billiard hall, cabaret, skating rink, bowling alley, dance hall or other place of amusement, including halls and other buildings where public dances are held;

(c) require that all bread sold or intended to be sold or offered for sale in the municipality

(i) be of a weight specified in the bylaw,

(ii) be distinctly labelled with its weight, the name and address of its baker or manufacturer and, in the case of an incorporated company, with the name of its manager, and

(iii) be wrapped,

except that this paragraph does not apply to bread sold in premises owned by the bakery that baked the bread;

(d) subject to the Milk Industry Act,

(i) regulate the delivery of milk and milk products to consumers by means of vehicles, and

(ii) establish the hours for delivery in various months of the year and prohibit delivery at other times;

(e) provide for the seizure and forfeiture of bread and other things intended for human consumption when of light weight or short measurement or made contrary to a bylaw;

(f) in relation to premises in which rooms or suites are let for lodging or living purposes,

(i) require operators of the premises to maintain a register of persons living there,

(ii) regulate the mode of registration, and

(iii) require that the register be produced at the request of an employee of the municipality authorized by the council,

except that this paragraph does not apply to the operator of premises having not more than 2 rooms available for letting;

(g) require all licensed persons purchasing, taking in barter or receiving used or second hand goods

(i) to notify the chief constable having jurisdiction in the municipality within 24 hours after purchasing, taking or receiving them, and

(ii) not to alter the form of, or to sell, exchange or otherwise dispose of, those goods within 72 hours after the hour of purchasing, taking or receiving them;

(h) regulate all vehicles, vessels or other things in which anything is exposed for sale or marketed in a street or public place;

(i) in relation to millwood, sawdust, earth, sand and gravel,

(i) regulate their delivery,

(ii) prohibit their delivery within the municipality except in accordance with the bylaw, which may be different for different commodities, for inspection, measurement, marking, numbering, covering and approval of the vehicle or container in which delivery is made, and the display on a vehicle of its cubic or other capacity and the name of the owner, and

(iii) provide for the appointment of officials to inspect and carry out other duties under the bylaw in relation to the vehicles or containers;

(j) regulate and require compulsory measurement or weighing of butter, potatoes, milk, cordwood, firewood, coal and other articles of food and fuel sold or exposed for sale.

Sections Repealed

681 and 682 [Repealed 1999-37-149.]

683 [Repealed 1999-25-124.]

684 to 691 [Repealed 1999-37-149.]


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