Local government terms going to four years

Extended terms for councils, school boards improve continuity for major projects, Community Minister Coralee Oakes says

Community

VICTORIA – Winners of next November’s local elections will serve four years on councils and school boards.

Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Coralee Oakes said Tuesday she will introduce legislation shortly to extend local government terms from three years to four. The change is to take effect in time for elections next fall.

Oakes said the change comes after the Union of B.C. Municipalities supported it at their convention last September. The issue has been debated many times and has been divisive over the years, with some rural politicians arguing against extending the commitment for jobs with little pay.

Oakes, who served two terms on Quesnel city council before being elected to the B.C. legislature last year, said she had her own doubts about it when it was debated during that time. But she has made up her mind.

“The reason why provinces across Canada have moved to four years is it provides greater certainty in communities to move those very important projects forward, things such as infrastructure improvements,” Oakes said. “It provides opportunities for local government officials to understand their projects and to carry them through.”

The change would mean the next municipal election would be held in 2018, on a schedule that follows provincial elections by one year. Oakes said there was no intent to avoid having both elections at the same time, and she is acting in response to the UBCM’s vote to go ahead.

Asked if the legislation would include a “Rob Ford clause” to remove politicians who misbehave while in office, Oakes said the ministry is examining changes to the oath of office to “provide more tools” to deal with such situations.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Recent arrests skim surface of Victoria’s human trafficking problem

Port city makes desirable place for traffickers flying under the radar

Two-vehicle crash in Langford sends one to hospital Monday morning

Driver sent to hospital with unspecified injuries

Victoria Canadian Forces member honored with exceptional Rotary Club award

Capt. Jacqueline Zweng is the Western Canada Ambassador of Wounded Warriors Canada

Oak Bay athletes rule the slopes at Island ski and snowboard series

Oak Bay boys take top ski, snowboard honours

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

Amtrak warns of delays as railways from Seattle to B.C. blocked by Wet’suwet’en supporters

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

Federal emergency group meets on pipeline protests as rail blockades continue

There’s mounting political pressure for Trudeau to put an end to the blockades

Most Read