Media Contacts

Melanie Kilpatrick

Media Relations
Ministry of Municipal Affairs
778 698-9176


New legislation amendments for local governments

Electronic meetings and electronic public hearings:

  • The Local Government Act, Community Charter and Vancouver Charter will be amended to enable local governments to hold regular and council committee meetings electronically and conduct public hearings electronically.
  • These amendments contain specific transparency requirements, which include providing public notice so people have the information they need to participate in electronic meetings and public hearings.

Mail-ballot voting:

  • Proposed amendments to the Local Government Act and Vancouver Charter will remove legislative limitations, enabling local governments, by bylaw, to expand eligibility for mail ballot voting to everyone, rather than only those who are absent or have an illness, injury or disability.

Improvement districts:

  • Minor amendments to the Local Government Act will remove three operational barriers for improvement districts by amending timing of annual general meetings and trustee terms and removing impediments for bylaws to be sent electronically.

Ministerial regulation authorities:

  • Amendments to the Community Charter and Local Government Act add three new ministerial regulation authorities that enable the minister to address future financial and elections administration challenges faced by local governments in special circumstances, such as emergencies. These include:
    • enabling local governments to borrow from their reserve funds to pay for operating expenses;
    • delaying the repayment of debt for revenue anticipation borrowing by local governments for up to one year; and 
    • adjusting rules for administration of groups of local elections, byelections and assent votes.  

 Continuity for COVID-19 financial measures:

  • Amendments to the Municipalities Enabling and Validating Act (No.4) are required to ensure the continuity of certain extraordinary financial authorities and corresponding repayment obligations necessary to address local government financial challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures are currently provided for under the COVID-19 Ministerial Order 159 that will expire on July 10, 2021.
  • These amendments will ensure the following measures will continue to have legal effect after this date, in order to fulfil the original intention of COVID-19 Ministerial Order 159:
    • Local governments that borrowed from their reserve funds in 2020 will continue to be required to repay the borrowed amount by Dec. 31, 2025, without interest.
    • Local governments will continue to be obligated to repay revenue anticipation borrowing incurred in 2020, by Dec. 31, 2021.
    • Bylaws will continue under COVID-19 Ministerial Order 159 to postpone the tax sale of properties from fall 2020 to fall 2021.