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DEPARTMENT OF MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS REPORT For the Year Ended December 31st 1951 British Columbia. Legislative Assembly [1953]

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Full Text

 PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
DEPARTMENT OF
MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS
REPORT
For the Year Ended December 31 st
1951
VICTORIA, B.C.
Printed by Don McDiarmid, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty
1953  To His Honour Clarence Wallace, C.B.E.,
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of British Columbia.
May it please Your Honour:
I have the honour to transmit herewith the Annual Report of the Department of
Municipal Affairs for the year ended December 31st, 1951.
W. D. BLACK,
Minister of Municipal Affairs.
Victoria, B.C., December 16th, 1952.  Report of the Department of Municipal Affairs
Victoria, B.C., December 15th, 1952.
Hon. W. D. Black,
Minister of Municipal Affairs.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit herewith the Annual Report of this Department
for the year ended December 31st, 1951. This year a change has been made in that
a separate publication has been produced, entitled " Municipal Statistics," in which has
been placed the statistics formerly making up the major part of the Annual Report. The
change-over should result in a reduction in printing costs and in a more convenient
presentation of the material, while increasing the possibility of earlier issuance. At the
same time a more comprehensive report can be made of the work of the Department
as well as allowing for the inclusion of general information and trends in the local
government field. In accordance with this change in policy, you will note that, for the
first time, the separate branches are represented by their individual reports.
Assessed valuations show increases over the previous years for cities, districts,
villages, and Vancouver. Values, both taxable and actually taxed, likewise show
increases.   Figures are shown in the following tables:—
Total Assessed Value of Land and Improvements
1950
1951
Increase
$305,887,012
322,039,127
38,362,319
$328,463,342
352,124,109
43,174,027
$22,576,330
30,084,982
4,811,708
$666,288,458
530,809,967
$723,761,478
557,937,134
$57,473,020
27,127,167
$1,197,098,425
$1,281,698,612
$84,600,187
Values Taxable
1950
1951
Increase
Cities
$234,374,070
261,022,567
32,631,041
$249,341,133
284,292,026
36,616,533
$14,967,063
23,269,459
3,985,492
Totals -          	
$528,027,678
442,810,627
$570,249,692
461,975,094
$42,222,014
19,164,467
$970,838,305
$1,032,224,786
$61,386,481
Values Actually Taxed
1950
1951
Increase
Cities        -
Districts   ■	
$142,208,204
169,929,588
21,195,496
$148,859,181
186,696,891
23,251,705
$6,650,977
16,767,303
2 056 209
Totals  	
$333,333,288
289,014,433
$358,807,777
300,020,487
$25,474,489
11,006,054
$622,347,721
$658,828,264
$36,480,543 T 6
BRITISH COLUMBIA
During the year new debentures were approved for the undernoted amounts and
purposes:—
Purpose
Cities
Districts
Villages
Total
$50,000.00
$50,000.00
$25,000.00
25,000.00
854,000.00
300,000.00
53,813.11
230,000.00
31,000.00
262,100.00
360,000.00
163,300.00
118,000.00
244,500.00
$90,000.00
944,000.00
300,000.00
	
53,813.11
32,800.00
262,800.00
31,000.00
262,100.00
2,607,000.00
2,102,000.00
982,000.00
2,967,000.00
2,265,300.00
Waterworks.	
50,000.00
1,150,000.00
244,500.00
Totals                          	
$2,666,713.11
$5,813,800.00
$75,000.00
$8,555,513.11
Total debenture debt is summarized as follows:
Issued, Sold, and
Outstanding
Unissued and
Unsold
Total
Cities   _ _ 	
Districts   	
Villages - 	
$38,465,330
18,560,483
1,630,760
$2,143,557
5,671,158
32,200
$40,608,887
24,231,641
1,662,960
$58,656,573
93,785,223
$7,846,915
$66,503,488
93,785,223
$152,441,796
$7,846,915
$160,288,711
This Department has been advised by the Department of Finance of the Federal
Government that all half-yearly payments have been made in respect of projects for which
loans were outstanding under the provisions of " The Municipal Improvements Assistance
Act, 1938." The following table shows the outstanding amounts as at January 1st,
1952:—
Loans Made under the Provisions of " The Municipal Improvements Assistance
Act, 1938," Guaranteed by the Province of British Columbia, as at January
1st, 1952.
Municipality
Loan No.      Amount Advanced
Balance Outstanding
Greater Vancouver Water District-
City of Vancouver	
District of Saanich 	
City of Nanaimo_
City of Prince George	
City of Grand Forks	
District of Summerland..
City of Trail.
City of Port Alberni..
City of Alberni	
City of Prince Rupert..
Westview Light, Power, and Waterworks District-
District of Coquitlam	
District of Penticton	
District of Surrey..
Annable-Warfield Waterworks District.....
Connaught Heights Waterworks District-
District of West Vancouver.- 	
Grandview Waterworks District	
City of Salmon Arm	
City of Armstrong	
Totals..
1
2
21
22
31
32
33
54
56
57
59
60
67
68
69
81
84
85
89
94
95
$750,000.00
390,000.00
39,224.15
200,000.00
18,750.00
11,000.00
140,192.50
130,000.00
66,000.00
10,000.00
40,000.00
40,000.00
8,400.00
41,000.00
12,500.00
44,000.00
39,200.00
100,000.00
8,000.00
15,000.00
11,491.05
$2,114,757.70
$436,175.92
184,843.49
18,590.59
72,241.55
6,223.44
84,265.49
58,271.42
31,281.21
27,404.72
10,428.20
3,082.76
18,377.92
3,706,10
21,974.41
26,856.62
63,949.67
3,791.64
10,276.76
3,814.07
$1,085,555.98
Amortized payments due December 31st, 1951, and January 1st, 1952, made by all municipalities. REPORT OF DEPARTMENT OF MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS T 7
All money by-laws before being approved for submission to the electors were
carefully examined as to the necessity, the estimated cost, the financial ability of the
municipality to repay the loan, and the relation of the life of the works to the maturity
date of the debentures.
Due largely to changes in over-all fiscal policies, municipalities have experienced
difficulty in disposing of debentures. Rising interest rates have also contributed to the
difficulties encountered. In some cases additional debentures had to be authorized to
cover discount on the sale of debenture issues. Municipalities at the present time would
be well advised to refrain from capital borrowings, except for the most essential purposes.
On the other hand, during the present high level of employment and corresponding period
of favourable collection of taxes, Councils should make every effort to create reserve
funds for future expenditures. In addition, local governments, where feasible, might
explore the advisability of developing at least a five-year plan covering capital and other
extraordinary expenditures.
The Commissioner regime in British Columbia, which started nearly twenty years
ago when a number of municipalities for various reasons could not meet debt requirements, has come to an end. This termination took place with the installation of Councils
in the District of North Vancouver and in the City of Merritt following elections held in
December, 1951. It is hoped that the lessons of the past will not be forgotten and that
individual Municipal Councils will take care that the debt structure develops with proper
forethought, bearing in mind that the future tax-collection picture may not be as favourable as at the present time.
Following discussions with various municipal officials, both elected and appointed,
it is felt that consideration should be given toward revising the present method of debt
limitation. The concensus of opinion is that all municipal debt should be considered
when computing borrowing power. At the present time, debts for school purposes and
for local improvements are not included as applying against borrowing power. It is my
opinion that, because the final criterion is ability to pay, this whole subject of municipal
borrowing should be reviewed. In the meantime, further study is being given to drafting
legislation governing over-all borrowing power.
At the end of the year under review, reserve funds amounted to $2,846,429, being
an increase over the previous year of $429,886.
In October, 1950, a public inquiry was held into the affairs of the City of Port
Alberni. Remedial action ordered by the Inspector of Municipalities at that time has
been taken, according to the city auditors and the city treasurer. From reports submitted,
it would appear that financial order has been restored.
The Municipal Officers' Conference was again held in June, 1951 and, as usual,
resulted in worth-while discussions. This Conference is sponsored annually by the
Minister of Municipal Affairs, and all who attend are convinced of its value.
During the year 1951 the communities of Princeton and Invermere were incorporated
as villages, and extensions of boundaries were granted by Order in Council to the following villages: Campbell River, Cranberry Lake, Dawson Creek, Parksville, Pouce Coupe,
and Salmo.
Amendments were made in 1951 to both the "Municipal Act" and the "Village
Municipalities Act," the majority of which were of merely a technical nature for clarity
and correctness. However, some changes are worthy of note. City and district municipalities were empowered to set up Athletic Commissions for the regulation of professional
boxing and wrestling contests and exhibitions. The statutory tax exemption enjoyed by
private hospitals was withdrawn. The requirements that a village must have five Commissioners was altered so that, if desired by the Board of Commissioners and the electors, T 8
BRITISH COLUMBIA
such Board may be reduced to three in number.   As a sign of the times, " drive-in "
theatres were specifically brought under both Statutes for taxation purposes.
The active co-operation of the various elected and appointed officials of the
municipalities has, during the year, materially assisted the efforts of the Department.
B. C. BRACEWELL,
Deputy Minister. REPORT OF DEPARTMENT OF MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS T 9
REPORT OF SUPERVISOR OF MUNICIPALITIES
Victoria, B.C., December 12th, 1952.
B. C Bracewell, Esq.,
Deputy Minister of Municipal Affairs.
Sir,—Statistics pertaining to the financial operations of the municipalities of this
Province are now published in a volume separate from the Departmental Report. Generally the municipalities are co-operating fully in the compilation of this material by
sending in their returns promptly and by adopting, with the advice and encouragement
of the auditors, uniform accounting records and procedures. For the rare official who
feels that the filling-in of statistical forms is an unrewarding effort, it should be mentioned
that this information is of real value for Governmental planning and for financial appraisals
of individual municipalities by investors and other interested persons. There is no doubt
that as time goes on these statistics will be put to even wider use.
A part of the staff is almost constantly engaged in collecting, editing, checking, and
compiling the statistical report. Some idea of the nature and extent of the work done by
the remainder of the staff can be gleaned from the following brief summary of activities
for the year 1951:—
(1) Seventy-eight visits were made to municipalities. The number of individual municipalities visited is less than this figure, since a few received
more than one visit.
(2) One hundred and eighty-one Orders in Council were prepared and
approved.
(3) Fifty-eight certificates of approval for municipal loan by-laws were issued.
(4) Forty-eight debenture issues were certified by the Inspector of Municipalities, while 6,477 debentures with coupons attached were examined,
checked, sealed, and certified.
(5) Two hundred and thirty-six village by-laws were examined and filed.
This enumeration fails to reveal all the administrative and consultative work leading up
to these final steps.   It is the desire and hope of this Department to be of even greater
service in the future to the municipalities of this Province by increasing the number of
personal visits and in other ways.
Mr. Goldenberg, as a result of his investigations of 1946, recommended that more
rigid limits be immediately placed on municipal borrowing powers. This was done by
amendment to the " Municipal Act " in 1947. Coupled with this, he suggested that the
Inspector of Municipalities give the matter further study, which has also been done. This
study, however, has indicated that there is no simple formula which will ensure that any
particular municipality will not assume too great a debt burden and yet give adequate
scope for the proper development of the majority.
Regardless of any formula that may ultimately be adopted, there are reasonable
grounds for feeling that the municipal debt structure is not at present in the dangerous
position that prevailed as late as 1929. The debt burden was, at that time, so great in a
number of instances that during the thirties four cities and two districts lost local self-
government until their affairs could be restored to a solvent state, while a number of
others had to go through varying degrees of refinancing and refunding in order to carry on.
A better appreciation of the current situation can be gained by an examination of the
past record. The long-term trend in municipal debts (Table I) is shown graphically in
Charts A, B, and C. The combined debt of all cities except Vancouver (Chart A) showed
remarkably little fluctuation from 1917 until the mid-thirties, when it gradually declined
to a low figure in 1945, thereafter increasing moderately. By contrast, the combined debt
of the districts and also the debt of Vancouver (Charts B and C respectively) increased T 10 BRITISH COLUMBIA
appreciably between 1924 and 1931, subsequently decreasing until the close of World
War II. Since the close of the war the aggregate debt of the districts has increased quite
sharply, while the debt of Vancouver has expanded more moderately.
Comparing 1951 with thirty-five years earlier, there has been virtually no change in
the combined debt of all cities (excluding Vancouver), although in the same interval their
populations have increased by 90 per cent and the average incomes have probably
doubled. During the same period the total outstanding debt of the districts has about
doubled but their populations have quadrupled, while the net debenture debt of Vancouver has increased by 50 per cent and its population by 146 per cent. A very rough
estimate (Table II) indicates that the aggregate debt burden is now about one-quarter as
onerous as it was in 1917 for cities (Vancouver excluded) and for districts and about
one-third for Vancouver.
Turning to an examination of individual cases, a comparison is made of per capita
debenture debts for 1951 with 1931. The latter has been selected because it is approximately the year of greatest debt load preceding the effect of the financial collapse.
Further, to eliminate any distortion caused by differences in the level of sinking funds on
hand, the intermunicipal comparisons are confined to per capita net debenture debts;
that is, gross debenture debts less sinking funds. The distribution of cities and districts
by the amount of the per capita net debenture debts for the two separate years is shown
in Table III. For cities the most significant change over the twenty years has been
an increase in the number without any bonded indebtedness and the disappearance of all
cases in which the net per capita debt exceeds $250. For districts there is likewise the
disappearance of high net per capita debts. However, probably induced by their rapid
growth and urbanization, there has been a marked shift upward in the net per capita debt
of the districts, so that whereas in 1931 twelve had debts of less than $25 per person, now
only six are in that category.
As suggested earlier, the determination of a safe debt limit is far from easy. This can
be illustrated by reference to Chart D, which is a " scatter diagram " relating net per capita
debenture debt to per capita receipts for all cities for the year 1931. Those which had
subsequently to undergo some financial readjustment of the debt load are indicated on
the diagram. It is at once evident that all cities with a debt burden in excess of $200 per
capita eventually suffered financial embarrassment in greater or lesser degree. One may
conclude, therefore, that to assume a debt in excess of a given amount is to invite almost
certain disaster during a period of recession. On the other hand, however, it cannot be
said that to keep the debt load at a point below the danger level is to assure all of
immunity from financial difficulties. As can be seen from the chart, some cities with
quite modest debts found themselves in trouble. In nearly all such cases it seems that
these cities were dependent upon a single major industry which sharply declined during
the depression. It appears, therefore, that there is a definite limit beyond which it is
unwise for any municipality to go in incurring debts, but that in a number of instances it
is a mistake to borrow even up to the debt limits generally considered safe.
During the present period when the normal market for municipal bonds is not as
active as usual, municipalities might profit from the example of the City of New Westminster. Mr. Wilfred A. Greene, Comptroller-Treasurer of the Corporation, has reported
that in 1952 the city sold at par to the local citizens 4M-per-cent twenty-year serial
debentures of a face value of $370,000. The sales were made directly from the City
Treasurer's office, and the issue was actually oversubscribed by $20,000.
J. E. Brown,
Supervisor of Municipalities. REPORT OF DEPARTMENT OF MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS
T 11
Table I.—Gross and Net Debenture Debt for All Cities (Exclusive of Vancouver) and Districts and Vancouver as at December 31st, in Each Year
for the Years 1917 to 1951, Inclusive.
All Cities
(Exclusive of Vancouver)
All Districts
Vancouver
Year
Gross
Net
Gross
Net
Gross
Net
Debenture
Debenture
Debenture
Debenture
Debenture
Debenture
Debt
Debt
Debt
Debt
Debt
Debt
1917...	
$38,509,942
$34,468,862
$8,811,204
$8,032,959
$47,550,327
$41,776,910
1918	
38,356,818
33,804,619
8,881,929
7,842,224
47,781,362
41,868,021
1919 	
37,842,115
32,612,405
9,058,499
7,694,589
47,841,002
40,580,773
1920 	
38,500,363
33,187,860
9,243,616
7,649,824
48,363,931
40,245,544
1921	
39,111,694
33,458,085
9,614,942
7,965,958
48,769,348
39,090,621
1922  	
40,255,933
35,824,553
9,457,915
7,753,364
49,047,782
36,804,967
1923 	
39,400,951
33,278,765
9,321,174
7,513,364
47,551,862
38,041,413
1924. _	
39,659,719
33,275,896
9,326,154
7,302,494
47,120,279
37,969,566
1925..	
39,585,861
34,080,928
9,460,185
7,168,843
50,009,155
38,218,227
1926..	
39,664,173
31,772,909
9,927,250
7,385,367
53,261,805
42,481,436
1927 	
39,735,837
31,009,951
10,504,608
7,736,512
57,135,673
45,638,155
1928	
40,311,390
30,662,109
11,020,411
7,995,580
58,793,018
46,759,276
1929... _.
40,272,630
29,725,497
11,413,521
8,624,042
66,797,467
53,764,762
1930 	
41,065,881
29,190,234
12,253,500
9,205,340
72,512,707
58,547,615
1931	
40,672,119
29,033,178
12,669,090
9,607,109
76,572,681
61,567,341
1932 	
40,591,843
28,816,637
12,683,755
9,641,967
76,057,193
60,945,978
1933 	
39,779,988
28,059,914
12,524,259
9,503,707
75,789,912
60,793,483
1934  _	
39,416,S93
27,567,331
12,258,733
9,075,776
75,497,316
59,724,896
1935...	
39,140,101
27,015,450
11,655,189
8,033,593
76,575,270
60,112,051
1936 	
38,416,071
26,134,769
11,711,099
7,919,078
75,711,449
58,920,616
1937	
35,938,121
27,189,921
11,405,720
7,366,050
75,436,527
58,101,369
1938  	
35,322,167
26,995,169
11,467,544
7,237,611
74,380,487
56,690,497
1939  	
35,386,071
27,155,183
11,417,758
7,013,986
73,180,837
55,316,667
1940..	
35,016,544
26,725,971
10,779,362
6,732,294
71,458,838
53,253,456
1941.    _.
32,923,851
24,862,119
11,046,116
7,152,584
69,022,334
51,009,739
1942 	
31,845,524
24,003,725
10,497,872
6,691,845
66,327,878
47,629,777
1943    	
30,289,903
23,502,574
10,111,591
6,278,671
64,453,631
44,798,132
1944 	
29,415,962
22,642,486
9,826,738
6,231,432
61,509,160
41,836,356
1945  	
29,303,764
22,774,516
10,201,318
6,427,285
64,564,705
42,990,604
1946.	
31,689,923
24,992,181
11,802,717
7,797,635
65,511,372
44,301,025
1947	
35,014,170
29,510,001
14,289,934
11,541,028
66,345,934
42,969,024
1948 	
37,421,841
32,324,538
16,031,308
13,236,857
74,441,975
45,206,541
1949. 	
39,382,423
34,090,425
18,052,321
15,116,859
83,838,581
54,239,048
1950	
38,441,230
32,999,557
17,651,097
14,863,591
88,577,863
58,682,312
1951	
38,465,330
33,473,139
18,560,483
15,871,610
93,785,223
62,717,572
Totals
$1,306,147,146
$1,036,221,457
$404,938,912
$303,211,028
$2,291,574,884
$1,723,593,770
Note.—For purposes of comparison, Penticton classed as city throughout and former Districts of South Vancouver
and Point Grey are included in Vancouver totals. T 12
BRITISH COLUMBIA
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LEGEND
GROSS      DEBENTURE      DEBT     IN      TENS     OF    MILLIONS    OF    C
NET      DEBENTURE       DEBT     IN      TENS     OF     MILLIONS     OF    DOLLA
POPULATION                     IN     HUNDREDS        OF       THOUSANDS        	
(RATIO     CHART)
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T 15
Table II.—Relative Debt Burden (Estimated) for Cities, Districts, and
Vancouver, 1951 Compared with 1917
Year
Debenture Debt
Per Capita
Debenture
Debt
Per Capita
Income1
Debt as
Percentage
of Income
Approximate
Ratios
All Cities except Vancouver
1917 (population, 120,0002)	
1951 (population, 227,641)....	
All Districts
1917 (population, 70,0002)	
1951 (population, 291,076)	
Vancouver
1917 (population, 140,0002)..
1951 (population, 344,833)...
Gross $38,509,942
Net  34,468,862
Gross  38,495,330
Net  33,473,139
Gross  8,811,204
Net  8,032,959
Gross  18,560,483
Net.  15,871,611
Gross 47,550,327
Net  41,776,910
Gross  93,785,223
Net   62,717,572
$320
287
169
147
126
115
64
54
340
298
272
182
$646
1,244
646
1,244
646
1,244
50
44
14
12
20
18
5
4
53
46
22
15
1 Estimated from National Accounts, Income and Expenditure, prepared by Dominion Bureau of Statistics.
2 Estimated from intercensal estimates of Dominion Bureau of Statistics.
Table III.—Number of Cities and of Districts by Amount of the per Capita Net
Debenture Debt as at December 31st for the Years 1931 and 1951
Per Capita Net Debenture Debt
Number of Cities
Number of Districts
1931
1951
1931
1951
$325-$349     ...
2
300- 324  	
1
1
275- 299  _	
1
250- 274      	
1
2
1
1
225- 249        . .
200- 224 _ 	
1
175- 199 _ 	
3
1
150- 174 	
4
1
125- 149  _	
2
0
4
4
2
2
2
100- 124 _	
2
75-   99   	
7
9
2
4
50-    74 	
6
5
1
5
25-    49     	
2
2
2
7
0-   24  .......   	
3
2
12
6
0	
1
3
3
1
34i         1           15
27 »
27 2
1 For purposes of comparison, Penticton classed as a city and former Districts of South Vancouver and Point Grey
are included in Vancouver totals.
2 Tadanac excluded. T 16
BRITISH COLUMBIA
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suv~noa    ni    J.a3a    3-.niN383a    isn    viidVD     «3d REPORT OF DEPARTMENT OF MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS
T 17
REPORT OF DIRECTOR, REGIONAL PLANNING DIVISION
(As at December 31st, 1951)
Victoria, B.C., December 12th, 1952.
B. C Bracewell, Esq.,
Deputy Minister of Municipal Affairs.
Sir,—The following paragraphs comprise a brief outline of the history of the
Regional Planning Division as well as a short account of the work which has been done.
During World War II the Post-war Rehabilitation Council composed of a committee
of members of the Legislative Assembly, was formed under authority of the " Post-war
Rehabilitation Act." The purpose of this Council was to advise the Provincial Government what policies it should adopt to help guide the Province toward a stable post-war
economy. Toward this end the Bureau of Reconstruction was formed, and its activities
placed under control of a committee composed of the Ministers of Health and Welfare,
Lands and Forests, Finance, and Public Works.
The Regional Planning Division of the Bureau of Reconstruction was initiated on
January 1st, 1945. The Division started immediately to work along the lines indicated
in the recommendations of the Post-war Rehabilitation Council. Such work included the
assembly of information necessary to undertake a plan aimed at securing a state of
economic balance. Also included in its activities was the giving of planning advice to
small municipalities. This was done in the form of a community plan, containing a
zoning by-law, suggestions for the development of recreational areas, road systems, and,
in some cases, subdivision plans. Upon request, planning advice was also given to other
Government departments.
A preliminary regional report of the East Kootenay was submitted to the Council in
1945. During the same year a comprehensive report of the Lower Fraser Valley was
compiled and given to municipalities and groups interested in the development of some
form of over-all control throughout the Lower Mainland.
Planning advice given to the small municipalities proved popular from the start, and
within eighteen months after the Division's establishment over twelve municipalities asked
for and received community plans.
Concurrent with this growing interest and demand for planning in municipalities,
there arose concern over certain undesirable developments on the outskirts of municipalities. A committee of Government officials investigated these matters and recommended
that the " Town Planning Act" be amended so that control could be exercised when
needed. As a result of these recommendations, Part III was added to the " Town Planning Act" in 1946, authorizing the Lieutenant-Governor in Council to make regulations
dealing with sanitary facilities, construction of buildings, and use of land and subdivisions
in unorganized territory.
The parts of unorganized territory where such regulations were put into effect became
known as regulated areas.
In 1947 the Bureau of Reconstruction was disbanded and the Regional Planning
Division became part of the Department of Municipal Affairs.
Also in 1947 two regulated areas were established, around Kelowna and Vernon.
Each following year more have been established until now there are eight in operation,
with more pending. There are regulated areas around Vernon, Kelowna, Prince George,
Nanaimo, and Kamloops, and others at Connaught Heights next to New Westminster,
View Royal bordering on Esquimalt and Saanich, and North Saanich bordering on Central
Saanich.
The " Town Planning Act" was further amended in 1948 by the addition of Part IV.
This allowed the establishment of regional planning areas.    In the following year the T 1.
BRITISH COLUMBIA
Division aided in the formation of the Lower Mainland Regional Planning Board, which
is now giving excellent planning services to the municipalities in the Lower Fraser Valley.
The organization of the Capital Region Planning Board of British Columbia around
Victoria was set up in 1951 with similar help from this Division.
Some idea of the activity in the regulated areas is shown in the following table. It is
interesting to note that the houses built in the regulated areas since their establishment
would house a community of 5,000.
Construction Particulars in Regulated Areas to December 31st, 1951
Year Established
Regulated Area
Total Construction
Value of Permits
Issued
Houses
Built
1947
$3,952,269.00
631,043.00
287,705.00
659,625.00
1,263,295.00
453,780.00
4,734,109.00
444,650.00
486
1947
139
1948
31
1948
72
1948
140
1949
1949
Prince George District   	
129
432
1950
24
Totals  ....   ...    	
$12,426,476.00
1,453
The eight regulated areas are perhaps unique in operation on this continent. The
procedure at present for the formation of a regulated area is as follows: —
Upon evidence that people are concerned over undesirable developments in their
part of unorganized territory, the Minister of Municipal Affairs may direct an investigation to be carried out by the Division. If the investigation shows that the concern is
justified, the Minister may order that regulations suited to the area be drafted for presentation to the residents. After having been advertised in the local newspapers, a public
meeting is held, at which a representative of the Division is present to answer any questions
regarding the establishment and operations of the regulations.
If the concensus of opinion of the people in the area opposes the adoption of proposed regulations, it generally results in the proposal being held in abeyance. However,
if the local residents in general support the proposals, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council
usually puts the regulations into effect.
The regulated areas are administered by Inspectors, who see that the regulations
are followed, issue building permits, and who also are available to anyone seeking advice
in general construction procedure. The Inspector has no discretionary powers. Appeal
from the decision of an Inspector when it may cause hardship lies in the hands of a Board
of Appeal in each regulated area. This Board is composed of resident land-owners in
the area and in some cases includes the local Government Agent.
The Division, since its inception in 1945, has given community planning advice to
over forty municipalities in British Columbia. In addition, it has conducted surveys for
or given planning services to the Departments of Lands and Forests, Health and Welfare,
Trade and Industry, and Public Works. A complete municipal atlas of British Columbia
is being compiled. The Division is active on the University of British Columbia Research
Committee on Planning Legislation both with advisory and material help. The Division
is also represented on the Advisory Council to the Community and Regional Planning
Course at the University of British Columbia.
J. H. Doughty-Davies,
Director. REPORT OF DEPARTMENT OF MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS
T 19
REPORT OF SUPERVISOR, ESTATES BRANCH
Victoria, B.C., December 8th, 1952.
B. C Bracewell, Esq.,
Deputy Minister of Municipal Affairs.
Sir,—The administration of the estates of patients at the Provincial Mental Hospitals by and with your title of Inspector of Municipalities acting for the Attorney-General
as statutory committee under the " Lunacy Act " has continued during the past year.
Historically, it may be of interest at the outset to mention the fact that this work first
came into the office of the Inspector of Municipalities in the latter part of the year 1917.
Prior to this the administration of the affairs of these patients had been carried out in the
Attorney-General's office, commencing in the year 1897. When, in 1934, the Department of Municipal Affairs was created, the estates work continued on with the office of
the Inspector of Municipalities.
This Branch of the Department has continued to enjoy co-operation and assistance
from many sources. The information and assistance so provided has afforded a most
valuable means of protection and guidance in the exercise of our duty. We are particularly dependent upon the Attorney-General and the officials of his Department for direction and advice with regard to the legal aspects of all major decisions, as well as in the
execution of documents.
Where a person committed to a mental hospital possesses property located in another
Province, that Province, if it is a Western Province, will by means of reciprocal legislation
allow the custodian Province to administer such property. Ontario achieves the same
result through the requisite Order of the Courts.
As may be generally realized, the handling of the individual estates is, in the nature
of things, a matter of some delicacy: the personal preferences and prejudices of a patient's
family cannot be entirely disregarded, and a happy balance must be achieved between
efficiency, with legality, and humanity. It has been the endeavour to assure persons
particularly interested that the Government has not taken or seized the property of a
patient, but that it is the duty of the appointed official to administer the patient's affairs
as a trust in the best interests of the patient. Of course, it is understood that all estate
matters are dealt with confidentially.
It may be of interest to mention that, by our records, as of the end of last year,
cash and securities and other assets belonging to these patients bordered on a total of
$1,750,000, with some 2,500 current files.
For the year under review the total moneys received to the credit of the patients
amounted to some $372,000. This sum was derived from revenue earned on the assets,
including interest on the cash balances held on our books and on investments, and from
pensions, disability payments, legacies, cash realized from the sale of real and personal
property, and other sources.
During the same period some $341,000 was paid out on behalf of patients. This
money was used in part in payment of the patients' maintenance at the institution at the
nominal rate of $1.50 a day and to provide for extra comforts while at the institution.
In addition, in some cases certain sums were expended on behalf of dependents of patients.
Other expenditures were chiefly for estate maintenance, represented by property taxes,
repairs, insurance premiums, mortgage payments, and for the closing-out of balances to
patients upon their discharge from the hospital and for turning over remaining assets to
executors and administrators where patients have died. A portion of these total expenditures included investments in Canada Savings Bonds.
While the Attorney-General may, under the Act, retain up to 5 per cent out of all
moneys of an estate in his possession as committee of a patient as an administration T 20
BRITISH COLUMBIA
charge, in practice the rates are varied according to the circumstances. All sums so
retained are paid into the Provincial Treasury.
Arrangements were made toward the close of the year under review for the Inspector
to become trustee under " The Old Age Security Act" and receive the cheques for the
many patients entitled to Old Age Security payments. The Inspector also receives " The
Old Age Assistance Act " cheques.
It will be fairly evident from the foregoing description of the work carried out by
this Branch that a very heavy volume of correspondence is involved. Because there are
patients who have come from various parts of the world, the correspondence extends to
many countries.
Expressions of appreciation have been received from patients after they have left
the hospital for the manner in which their affairs were handled.
The aim of this Branch has been efficiency and service to the public, and it may be
in order here to express appreciation for the co-operation of our staff.
E. C. Wilderspin,
Supervisor, Estates Branch.
victoria, B.C.
Printed by Don McDiarmid, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty
1953
1,020 1252-8960

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