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DEPARTMENT OF MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS REPORT for the YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31 1964 British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1965

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 PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
DEPARTMENT OF
MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS
REPORT
YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31
1964
  To Major-General the Honourable George Randolph Pearkes,
V.C., P.C., C.B., D.S.O., M.C.,
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 31, 1964.
  r
Report of the Department of Municipal Affairs
Victoria, B.C., January 16, 1965.
The Honourable D. R. J. Campbell,
Minister of Municipal Affairs.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit herewith the Annual Report of this Department for the year ended December 31, 1964.
The real-property tax continues to be the main source of revenue for municipalities. It may be noted in the following table that revenues accruing to municipalities from this source in 1963 amounted to $141,020,672. On the basis of
present information, total revenues from the property tax in 1964 should reach
$155,000,000, which is a substantial increase over the previous year.
The increase of approximately $14,000,000 in municipal revenues was offset
by an increase of about $4,000,000 in the amount paid to school districts by the
municipal real-property taxpayer for education, leaving the balance of approximately
$10,000,000 available to the Municipal Councils for municipal purposes.
The total assessed values actually taxed for school purposes in the Province
in 1964 amounted to $3,802,375,467. Of this total, $2,878,206,746, or 76 per
cent represented values within the municipalities. The taxable assessed values in
municipal areas during 1963 represented 77 per cent of the total values in the
Province. Ill^MM. appear that the percentage difference between the years 1963
and 1964 may be attriraralM'to the large industrial and other developments being
located in the unorganized portions of the Province.
The dollar growth in the municipal tax base over the last eight years is portrayed in the following table:—
Growth n
Term borrowing by municipalities in the amount of $25,231,663 was approved
by the Inspector of Municipalities during 1964. This represents an increase of
$10,649,748 over the previous year, reflecting the very considerable impact of
financing by means of the recently introduced Municipal Development and Loan
Act of the Government of Canada, for which the Department is responsible for
Provincial administration. The majority of the borrowings approved were eligible
for financing by this means. The full effect of this programme has not yet been
felt in the issue of debentures as most of the projects are financed temporarily at a
 Y 6 BRITISH COLUMBIA
commercial bank pending completion of the work and the calculation of the amount
of the approved loan. For this reason only, a few Development Fund debenture
issues were certified by the Inspector of Municipalities last year. The number of
these issues will increase considerably in coming months, with a corresponding
decrease in serial debenture issues, as projects commenced during the year are
brought to completion.
The Municipal Development and Loan Act has had a profound effect on the
borrowing procedures of the municipalities and represents a major departure from
the past. Prior to the introduction of this programme, the normal practice was to
issue and sell debentures of the serial type on the open market. The serial debenture
has been the usual security issued by the municipalities of this Province, and it is
still employed for that part of a borrowing not met by participation in the Development and Loan Fund programme or the National Housing Act sewage-disposal
facilities programme. Debentures issued under the Development and Loan Fund
programme are payable to the Receiver-General of Canada by blended semi-annual
or annual instalments of principal and interest. A similar style of debenture is
issued in respect of projects financed under the National Housing Act scheme, except
in this case debentures are payable to the registered holder.
The Development and Loan Fund programme has proven to be of distinct
benefit to the municipalities, largely because of its attractive debt-cancellation
features. Provided a project is completed before March 31, 1966, the amount of
the loan, which may extend to two-thirds of the cost, is reduced by 25 per cent.
Similar debt-cancellation provisions apply to sewage-disposal projects financed under
the National Housing Act through the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
A number of major sewer projects are being, or have been, financed in part by
participation in both programmes. As mentioned in the 1963 Annual Report of
the Department, the new borrowing provisions of the Municipal Act, simplifying
the issue of debentures in series to meet the requirement of these programmes, have
proven to be an efficient method of processing complicated by-laws with a minimum
of delay.
The amount and purpose for term borrowing authorized during the year under
review is summarized below. Borrowing by the City of Vancouver and by the
metropolitan water and sewer boards functioning under special legislation are not
subject to the approval of the Inspector of Municipalities, and, as in past years,
have not been included.
Purpose
CiUes
Districts
Towns
Villases
im
Tota,
'.w.
WWII
188'0OO
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||
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=
503 832
Civic
gs and projects	
3,755,154
w
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2729000
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Pavil
,g. road
s. and sidewalks	
mm
To
$10,590,529
$11,064,131
$1,250,540
$2,326,463
—
Total debenture debt as at December 31, 1964, of all municipalities, including
the City of Vancouver, is shown in the following table. The debenture debt of the
water and sewer boards is not included.
 REPORT OF DEPARTMENT OF MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS, 1964
Total Authorized Debenture Debt-as at December 31, 1963
Following the trend of previous years, Provincial guarantees were again reduced in the number of issues and in total amount. This reduction has been largely
due to changes in the sources of capital funds. Federal Government loan programmes do not require Provincial guarantees, and as a result of these programmes
the amount of loans raised in the open market has declined markedly in the last
year or so, and in consequence has reduced the requirements for the Provincial
guarantee. Borrowings which were guaranteed during the year, including a number
of issues which were purchased direct for Provincial accounts, are as follows:—
Municipalities Assistance Act Guarantees Approved
During 1964
s (excluding Vancouver) ..
$652,000
int of debentures guaranteed by the Province under the Municipalities
t and the Village Municipalities Assistance Act outstanding as at
December 31, 1964, is summarized below:—
IP-
*sp
T0«
era      ci cUmv
»I3_
$I9,lS
lfl\
200
V<,nco„v^0taIS	
zzzzz
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5
g^lfrN^^e^ragSDrainage District .
It is to be noted that the liability represented by guaranteed debenture ii
is supported by the revenues of self-liquidating utilities or enterprises with a ca
value estimated to be in excess of $180,000,000.   While the debt charges are
 Y 8 BRITISH COLUMBIA
from the revenues of the undertaking, it is nevertheless a direct liability of the issuing
municipality or other authority.
In addition to the guaranteed debt recorded in the above table, there is also
outstanding under the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District Act
debenture debt totalling $31,133,500.
The Department of Finance of the Federal Government has advised that as
at January 1, 1965, all semi-annual repayments have been made on loans authorized under the Municipalities Improvements Assistance Act, 1938. The outstanding obligations under this programme amount to $32,769 from an original total
of $2,146,759.70.
Another significant borrowing provision is the short-term capital loan authorized by the Municipal Act. This borrowing method has proven to be most helpful
in financing projects of relatively small cost. Financing is normally undertaken by
means of a direct bank loan. The restrictions on these borrowings are that a loan
must be for a capital purpose and not exceed a term of five years. In addition,
the aggregate amount outstanding is limited to $5 per capita or $100,000, whichever is the lesser. The assent of the owner-electors is not required to incur debt
by this means. Borrowing under this provision has extended to the Municipal
Development and Loan Act and the National Housing Act.
During 1964, 17 municipalities were granted either subsisting or provisional
certificates of self-liquidation in respect of 19 utility systems or sewer systems. Of
these, certificates are issued in respect of new undertakings or where major borrowing with respect to an existing utility or enterprise is proposed. Provisional certificates are replaced by subsisting certificates after it has been proven by actual
operation that the utility or enterprise is operating on a self-liquidating basis. One
hundred and sixty-five certificates of self-liquidation have been issued to date, of
which 104 are subsisting.
Reserve funds of the municipalities for various purposes amounted to
$16,900,000 at the close of the year in spite of expenditures for various purposes.
This represents an increase of approximately 20 per cent or $2,800,000 over 1963.
In September the annual shield awards of the Minister of Municipal Affairs to
the municipalities having the highest percentage turnout of electors at the annual
elections were presented at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities Convention
at Burnaby. The municipalities receiving the awards for the results of the December, 1963, elections in the three categories of the award were: Cities and towns—
Fernie, with a turnout of 75.5 per cent; districts—Kent, with a turnout of 62.1 per
cent; and villages—Stewart, with a turnout of 87.8 per cent. The Village of Stewart
has won the village award for four years out of a possible five.
The annual conference of the Municipal Officers' Association was again held
in Victoria on May 20th, 21st, and 22nd. The Department is pleased to lend its
support to the conference, which is considered to be of value as a workshop for
the discussion and review of mutual problems in the field of municipal finance and
administration.   Members of the staff actively participate in this conference.
The Union of British Columbia Municipalities held its annual convention in
Burnaby during the month of September.   Senior members of the staff attended.
Four new municipalities were incorporated during the year. The Villages of
Sparwood and Nakusp were incorporated in the latter part of the year. The Villages
of Campbell River and Squamish were dissolved, and new districts were created
to encompass the former village areas as well as substantial areas outside. Local
referendums on the question of the formation of a district municipality were held
in these areas under the general direction of the Department, and favourable votes
were secured as follows:  Squamish, 78.7 per cent; Campbell River, 67.0 per cent.
 REPORT OF DEPARTMENT OF MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS, 1964              Y 9
1     The date of incorporation, the area, and the estimated population of the four new
[    municipalities is shown below:—
New Incorporations, 1964
Municipal.,.
Date ol Incorporation
(inl^es)
Population
r       1,11 »•
TWrnhpr 17
9m!o
n
I       N"V"«r
November 24	
1       |P^°jJ	
^^„
Following your recommendation to the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, the
\     Villages of Hope, Ladysmith, and Merritt were changed in status to town municipalities, effective January 1,1965.   In all cases the population of these municipalities
[    exceeded the limit fixed for villages by the Municipal Act.   Similar recommendations
were made in the case of the Villages of Campbell River, Castlegar, and Creston,
but were not acted upon as Campbell River had since become a district municipality
and Castlegar and Creston are actively studying the formation of district municipalities.
The Cities of Alberni and Port Alberni voted in the fall on the question of
1     amalgamation.   The referendum received overwhelming support in both municipalities.   The merger is to take place in 1967, the interval being to allow time for
current programmes in the respective cities to be completed before amalgamation.
[     The Councils of these two municipalities are to be commended on their foresight.
Currentiy there are a number of studies being carried out in various parts of the
Province looking toward the amalgamation of adjoining municipalities.
Throughout the Province a renewed interest has been shown in municipal
1     government.   Many municipalities are looking to surrounding unorganized territory
L    with a view to joint participation in regional functions for the benefit of the greater
community.   A large number of unorganized communities have expressed interest
in incorporation or in amalgamation with existing municipalities.    It is clearly
evident that major changes in the field of municipal organization are in the offing.
Much time and thought has gone into the development of some form of regional
organization whereby existing units of local government can unite to perform those
1     tasks which require a wider application or viewpoint.
One regional planning board was established during the year.   This was the
Kamloops Regional Planning Board.   The name of the Board was subsequently
changed to The Thompson Valley Regional Planning Board, to reflect the larger
district encompassed by this planning area.   In addition to this, the jurisdiction of
the South Okanagan Regional Planning Board was extended to include further areas.
Four local areas were established under the provisions of the Local Services
Act.  The following table indicates the name, purpose, and date of establishment:—
Local Areas Established, 1964
|            ~            |    Bst^ed
Grand Forks Arena Local Area
Hnm?™?"-^113'-
rch£.o
Huntingdon Home Nursing Care I.ocal Area
Fire}_r
Sber3-
 Y 10
BRITISH COLUMBIA
A list of local areas established up to the end of 1963 was published in the
Annual Report of the Department for that year. There are now 32 local areas
with a wide range of functions.
In addition to the above, the Sproat Lake Local Area was extended to include
a further small area.
During 1964, extension of boundaries was granted to the following municipalities: Cities of Kelowna, New Westminster, Penticton, and Prince George, and
the Villages of Creston, Salmo, and Squamish.
The extension shown for the Village of Salmo includes a minor redefinition of
boundaries to correct a previous discrepancy. The extension of the City of New
Westminster to include the area of the Connaught Heights Waterworks District was
conducted under the provisions of a 1964 amendment to the Municipalities Enabling
and Validating Act. The extension was undertaken following a vote of the owners
of land within the extension area, the result of which was 89.3 per cent in favour of
joining the city.   The following table shows the extent of the u
Adjustments in
Area and Population, 1964
SS
_rea(inAcres)
Population
HI
C?H
3SE
S
s*
Ex«n5on
erne
ii
ll':*
11
5
M
The primary populations shown in the above table are the 1961 Census. The
additional populations are for the extension areas only.
The training programme in municipal administration offered by the Faculty
of Commerce and Business Administration of the University of British Columbia,
under the sponsorship of the Department, continues to attract a large number of
students. This four-year corresondence course has a current enrolment as follows:
First year, 29; second year, 17; third year, 20; fourth year, 11. In addition, two
students are enrolled in the Assessors' Course.
The Municipal Administration Course is divided at the third year into separate
study programmes of either municipal administration and law or municipal finance
and accounting. The University granted 25 diplomas in 1964, as follows: Junior
diplomas (two years of the general course), 12; Senior Administration (Law), 8;
and Senior Accounting (Finance), 5.
During the year the Board of Examiners granted five certificates of proficiency.
The following table illustrates the classifications of the certificates issued during 1964
and indicates the number and classification of certificates issued to date:—
 report of department of municipal affairs, 1964
Certificates of Proficiency Issued by the Board of Examiners
Totals _ _g^._.    5 192
There were a number of significant changes and additions enacted by the
1964 Session of the Legislature which affected municipalities. As the Municipal
Act was not opened at the 1963 Session, numerous amendments were introduced at
the 1964 Sitting, of which the majority were in the nature of housekeeping.
Some of the more important changes to the Municipal Act were as follows:—
(1) A requirement that a Council obtain the approval of the Inspector of
Municipalities before a by-law to construct works under local improvement is adopted, if borrowing is contemplated.
(2) A provision allowing a Council to include the amount remaining due from
other governments when computing the total amount it may borrow temporarily in anticipation of revenue.
(3) Administrative changes in the licensing of commercial vehicles and a provision allowing each participating municipality to retain $2 from the fees
collected for each licence and exemption-plate issued and for each transfer.
(4) Provisions enabling a Council to require the fencing of all swimming-
pools and to regulate the construction of trailers and trailer courts.
(5) A change in the day of the annual municipal election from Thursday to
Saturday.
(6) A provision allowing a municipality to provide for payment of taxes by
instalments.
(7) A provision abating the charges for garbage collection and disposal if a
person does not use these services for any period of time of not less than
two consecutive months.
In addition to the foregoing, significant amendments were made to those sections affecting the licensing and taxing of businesses. The business-licence provisions of the Act were rewritten completely, and the major changes included provision
for the requiring of security for any non-resident and new-resident businesses at the
discretion of Council and a revision of the licensing period. The business tax was
also adjusted so that a municipality may tax businesses either on the basis of the
annual rental value of the property or on the taxable value of personal property.
The provision allowing municipalities to tax landlord and tenant machinery and
equipment was repealed. The last two items were subject to Proclamation, and were
proclaimed effective the 1st day of November, 1964.
Certain municipalities were affected by specific amendments to the Municipalities Enabling and Validating Act. These were New Westminster, North Vancouver (City), Victoria, Burnaby, Chilliwhack, Delta, and Kent.
Municipalities were also affected by amendments to other Acts. An amendment to the Milk Industry Act removed the authority for Councils to pass local
regulations. The Public Utilities Act was amended to enable the Public Utilities
Commission to restrict the areas outside municipalities wherein the municipality
concerned must supply services. The Controlled Access Highway Act was amended
to give the Minister of Highways control over municipal zoning near controlled-
 Y 12 BRITISH COLUMBIA
access highways.   Other amendments affecting municipalities were made to the
Public Libraries Act and to the District of Surrey Hospital Enabling Act.
This seems an appropriate place to record the fact that your predecessor, the
Honourable W. D. Black, who relinquished the portfolio of Municipal Affairs on
March 20,1964, served longer in this capacity than any of his predecessors, having
held the appointment for 12 years. During this period, with his support and
encouragement, local government underwent an active period of modernization and
development.
The staff have enjoyed an active and challenging year, particularly with respect
to regional problems and the adapting of local government to economic regions.
I would again like to express my thanks and appreciation to all municipal
officials, both elected and appointed, for their continued courtesy and assistance,
and to all other groups and organizations working with the Department in the field
of municipal government, and to all departments of government, and to you, Sir,
for your leadership and encouragement.
J. E. BROWN, F.C.I.S.,
Deputy Minister.
 REPORT OF DEPARTMENT OF MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS, 1964
REPORT OF THE ASSISTANT DEPUTY MINISTER AND
DEPUTY INSPECTOR OF MUNICIPALITIES
Victoria, B.C., January 15, 1965.
7. E. Brown, Esq.,
Deputy Minister of Municipal Affairs.
Sir,—Municipalities throughout the Province continued their programmes of
accelerated development of services during 1964 to meet the demands of property-
owners. Total revenues, including those of utilities, of all municipalities in 1963
increased by $15,000,000 over 1962 to $235,000,000. Over the same period the
amount expended on capital works amounted to $54,000,000, an increase of
$6,000,000 over the previous year. Part of this capital expenditure was financed
by debenture loan, part from reserves, and the balance out of current revenue.
The lower interest rate offered under the Municipal Development and Loan Act, as
well as the forgiveness feature included in the Act, can be credited to some extent
for the increase in capital projects being undertaken at this time.
Of a total of $35,728,900 made available to municipalities in British Columbia,
130 loans for capital works, totalling $31,771,100, were approved at the Provincial
level by January 15, 1965.   A summary of the approved loans is set out below:—
Waterworks—
,^-OEities . $1,369,286
Districts        2,08 8,952
Towns               169,046
Villages _JE|i       541,432
Other       3,560,442
Districts j=se fe-g    9,201,068
Towns ^iZLZLl.   169,720
Villages  971,149
Other  708,439
. $5,614,215
.    2,430,632
476,666
.  Cities^_^    _ .._   $1,716,874
Districts                388,667
Towns   __         «. 322,333
Villages—  [ZZZfZZjs^.      366,250
Other         25,167
 Y 14 BRITISH COLUMBIA
Coupled with this is the continued urgent demand by the residents of the
municipalities for the improvement of streets, sidewalks, and other services. While
these are among the basic reasons for incorporation of municipalities, nevertheless
the Department must ensure that the desire for improvements does not exceed the
ability of the property-owner to pay the annual charges.
In spite of the pressure of additional work brought about by the rapid development in the municipalities, as well as the incorporation of new municipalities, we
were able to adhere more closely this past year to our policy of having a senior
member of the Department visit each municipality at least once during the year.
Due to the importance attached to this phase of our work both from the Departmental and the municipal point of view where personal contacts are considered to
be invaluable, a concerted effort will be made to see that this problem is also satisfactorily met in future years.
A record of major activities of the Department during 1964 would include the
following:—
(1) One hundred and eighty-two visits were made to municipalities. The
number of municipalities actually visited was 126, some receiving more
(2) Two hundred and seventy-six Minutes of Council were prepared and
subsequently approved by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.
(3) One hundred and twenty-one certificates of approval for municipal loan
by-laws were issued.
(4) Seventy-eight debenture issues were examined and subsequently certified
by the Inspector of Municipalities, consisting of 10,362 debentures of a
total par value of $11,172,594.21.
(5) Seven hundred and fifty by-laws were examined and registered. Of these,
110 were town by-laws, 636 were village by-laws, and 4 were local district
by-laws. Many of the by-laws required advice and correspondence, resulting in resubmission in revised form.
(6) Many draft by-laws and similar documents were submitted for review and
comment, involving a considerable amount of correspondence.
(7) Publication of the Annual Report of Municipal Statistics, which includes
some 30 different schedules.
(8) Editing the financial and statistical returns of the municipalities to ensure
conformity with statutory and other requirements. This phase of administration involves a great deal of correspondence with municipal officials
and auditors.
(9) Administration of the Municipal Winter Works Incentive Programme, i
(10) Administration of the Municipal Commercial Vehicle Licensing Pro-
(11) Administration of the Municipal Development and Loan Act.
(12) By correspondence and by visits to the various municipalities, encouraging
the adoption of good financial, accounting, and administrative procedures.
Municipal officials and others have continued to co-operate with the Department in supplying financial and other statistical information which is required for
the publication of the annual edition of Municipal Statistics. We are continuing in
our efforts to ensure that this publication is made available at the earliest possible
date, and that the information is accurate and on a comparable basis with prior years.
I would like to acknowledge the co-operation which we have received from the
various municipal officials and auditors in submitting the information requested
promptly and in the required form.
 REPORT OF DEPARTMENT OF MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS, 1964 Y 15
The Municipal Commercial Vehicle Licensing Programme, which commenced
last year, is now considered to be operating with a fair degree of efficiency, although
we still continue to handle a sizeable volume of correspondence in the form of
inquiries both from municipal officials and from the public.
The sum of $601,595 was received in the Department from the sale of these
licences during the 1963/64 licence-year and distributed to the participating municipalities on a per capita basis. In all, 46,288 municipal commercial licence-plates
and 31,893 exemption-plates were issued. Following changes in the relevant sections of the Municipal Act during the last session of the Legislature, the issuing
municipality now retains $2 from the proceeds of the sale of a licence, and a fee of
$2 is charged for permits for exemption-plates, which also is retained by the issuing
municipality. The balance received from the sale of licences is remitted to the Inspector of Municipalities and is later distributed to the participating municipalities
on a per capita basis.
For the seventh consecutive winter the Government of Canada has provided an
incentive for municipalities to undertake winter works for the relief of unemployment. The incentive is the offer to pay one-half of the direct labour cost of approved
capital works projects. The programme period this year is November 1st to April
30th. There are no basic changes in the regulations or in the type of project which
may be undertaken during the current programme.
In addition to the incentive offered by the Government of Canada, the Government of this Province has offered to pay to municipalities 50 per cent of the approved
direct payroll costs of those persons employed on an accepted project who had been
continuously in receipt of welfare assistance for a period of three months prior to
the date of being engaged on the project. Further, the Province has undertaken
under certain conditions to contribute 25 per cent of the direct payroll costs of other
employable welfare recipients and also 25 per cent of the direct payroll costs of
unemployed persons who are not qualified to receive unemployment insurance
benefits.
An indication of the growth of the programme may be gained from the
following:—
CostotProiects
Man-daysWo* [         Payroll
1960/61 as at
Iii
|S
These are estimated figures of the municipalities for the programme period.
As of January 15, 1964, approvals had been given to 451 projects, whereas at this
time the number for the present programme is 330 projects. It is anticipated that
additional applications will be received this year following the consideration of
municipal budgets by the Councils in 1965.
The following tabulation gives a summary of the British Columbia municipalities participating in the Winter Works Programme as at January 15, 1965, according
to the records of this office:—
Number of men 1___|^^^^MLl1  5,578
Man-days work 1 .^liW^tejBw._a____J_B_i        429,192
Total cost of projects?2_§____ . $24,786,739
Federal share (payroll cost)   .... ....    $4,469,650
Provincial share (payroll cost)          $802,072
Municipal share (payroll cost) __■____:     $3,620,500
Total payroll under offer L <     $8,892,222
 COLUMBIA
Nature and Total Cost of Projects
Waterworks  $4,182,024
Sewers        9,455,202
Drainage           319,494
Roads._.__,  ....—__     1,773,077
Sidewalks ._        522,519
Buildings         6,135,652
Parks       976,547
Other       1,422,224
Municipalities Participating Number of Accepted Projects
Cities 26 Cities 129
Districts :     24 Districts 126
Towns      3 Towns i      6
Vffiages_J-____________   24 Villages    41
Other  — _L6 Other      28
Total..       93 Total L^_  330
Table 1 shows the final summary of the Municipal Winter Works Incentive
Programme for the year 1963/64 as issued by the Department of Labour of the
Government of Canada, and Table 2 indicates the same information for the current
programme as at January 8, 1965.
All classes of municipalities continued to maintain a high rate of collection of
taxes. The city, district, and village municipalities collected in excess of 95 per cent
of the current levy, and the towns collected slightly less than 91 per cent of the
current levy.
In view of the importance placed on this aspect of municipal administration,
we will continue to keep a very close watch on the tax-collection picture in the
municipalities. In this regard, correspondence has been directed to any municipality
where the arrears of taxes were in excess of 10 per cent of the current levy in an
effort to determine whether appropriate steps were being taken to improve the
position.
It is felt that impovements could be made in administrative procedures, particularly in some of the smaller municipalities, and this matter will receive our attention
during the coming year. A review of the municipal tax-collection picture across
Canada reveals that the percentage collection of current taxes of British Columbia
municipalities continues to be among the highest in Canada, while the percentage of
arrears of taxes is among the lowest. Municipal treasurers and collectors are to be
congratulated for their efforts and ingenuity in developing techniques which are
proving to be successful in effecting and maintaining a high rate of tax collection.
Chart 1 shows the percentage tax collections for municipalities for the period
1953 to 1963, inclusive. The result in the case of villages is very noticeable, principally because of the general lack of effort in earlier years on the part of village
officials. As will be noted, the collection picture in towns, a class of municipality
established in 1958, is not as favourable as in other classes of municipalities. This
matter is receiving our particular attention, and it is hoped that an improvement will
be shown in future years. The continued improvement in, the case of outstanding:
taxes as a percentage of current levy should also be noted. However, the same
comment does not apply in the case of towns.
Chart 2 indicates the trends in various financial aspects of municipal government compared to population and income.
J. D. Baird, F.C.I.S.,
Assistant Deputy Minister and Deputy Inspector
of Municipalities.
 REPORT OF DEPARTMENT OF MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS, 1964 Y 1
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 REPORT OF DEPARTMENT OF MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS,  1964
 BRITISH COLUMBIA
PERCENTAGE      TAX       COLLECTIONS
PERCENTAGE    OF   CURRENT   LEVY  COLLECTED
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OUTSTANDING   TAXES    AS   A    PERCENTAGE  OF   CURRENT   LEVY
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1 I"---1 1---T l'--'l 1 1 1 1
 REPORT OF DEPARTMENT OF MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS,  1964             Y _
TRENDS    IN     FINANCIAL   ASPECTS   OF   MUNICIPAL   GOVERNMENT
COMPARED     TO    POPULATION    AND     INCOME
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—
 BRITISH COLUMBIA
REPORT OF THE DIRECTOR, REGIONAL
PLANNING DIVISION
Victoria, B.C., January 14, 1965.
/. E. Brown, Esq.,
Deputy Minister of Municipal Affairs.
Sir,—I am glad to say that interest in the planning process has not diminished
in the Province, and that the prevailing attitude has changed gradually from " Should
we plan? " to " How do we plan? " This activity exists at all levels of local government. The regional plans for the two metropolitan areas served by the Lower
Mainland and Capital Region Planning Boards are continuously reviewed and are
being expanded in depth. Three similar agencies have been established in the
Interior of the Province, where the Thompson Valley, the Central Okanagan, and
the South Okanagan Regional Planning Boards are now in operation. This means
that about 70 per cent of the population of the Province is presently contained in
regional planning areas. As for the rest of the Province, there are now only a very
few settled places, which do not at least have the benefit of a planning report to
guide the orderly development of their communities.
This changed attitude to planning is clear also in a number of areas where
large-scale resource development is responsible for the rapid growth of rather sizeable communities. Interest is strongly in favour of developing good communities
from the start. Past experience has shown us that to depend solely upon the
haphazard evolution of a community can be expensive and at the same time fail
to create a good environment or to establish a well-ordered layout. The Division
has been consulted many times in the past year about these new communities, and
it is engaged in a long-range study to help improve the environment of older communities on the northern part of Vancouver Island.
Community planning areas were established around Revelstoke in response to
the increased activity generated by the power and water-storage projects on the
Columbia River, and at Shawnigan Lake, where building, plumbing, and subdivision
regulations have been adopted to help prevent pollution of the lake.
Community Planning Area Number 10 (Connaught Heights) became part of
of the City of New Westminster, and we feel our function was fulfilled in maintaining a reasonable minimum standard of development until such time as some form
of local government could administer the area.
In co-operation with Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the Division
is investigating the use of urban renewal funds to create a new planned community
at Sparwood in the Elk River valley some 20 miles north of Fernie. The street
plan and disposition of facilities in the new community will be as convenient, efficient, orderly, safe, and attractive as possible. The new Sparwood will replace the
residential and commercial parts of Michel, Middletown, and the Village of Natal,
which have grown since the turn of the century near the mine and now find themselves inextricably mixed in the various operations of the now expanding Crow's
Nest Pass Coal Company. To achieve this most desired end, the Federal and Provincial Governments will require a local government partner, and the best solution
would be to form a large inclusive district municipality. Needless to say, the
Division is seeking and has received full co-operation of other departments of the
Government of British Columbia in expediting the scheme.
Planning reports are being prepared for three villages which have not received our services before, and we are giving continuing advice as something new
 REPORT OF DEPARTMENT OF MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS,  1964 Y 23
or unpredicted occurs in communities we have dealt with previously when some
point in one of our reports needs expansion or development.
We continue to be very active in unorganized territory in all phases of planning.
Community Planning Area Number 7, around Prince George, now has an approved
official community plan. This instrument is a basic and flexible document that has
started to mould die community around the City of Prince George into more
orderly development, and so far there has been no need to amend the plan. Applications to change zoning in all our areas increased by over 25 per cent to 127 for
the year. We have recognized that one of the bigger problems in the planning process is a public fear of the unknown, and are now making sure that all hearings are
advertised to the utmost of our resources. This increased advertising has improved
public knowledge of proposals, and consequently hearings have been more directed
to bona fide comment rather than information-seeking. Some municipalities have
followed our lead now and are placing their public-hearing advertisements in the
main part of the local newspaper rather than tucking them away in the legal notices
at the back end of the classified section. We have also improved our handling of
zoning applications in some of our areas by having them considered quarterly rather
than as they come in at any time. This gives the public a better chance to consider
a group of applications at a hearing in a batch and helps us in finding out where
there are pressures for particular classes of land or weak points in our zoning.
In co-operation with the Department of Highways, we made an intensive
investigation into subdivision approval in Community Planning Area Number 6,
around Nanaimo. We felt we should know everything possible about the process
of subdivision approval in other departments, as well as exercise our own function
in considering shape and layout of parcels of land. It is not generally realized, but
in many ways subdivision of land is one of the more critical parts of the planning
process in a transitional area. Land use can change, but the pattern into which
land is subdivided is most difficult to change, and a community can have as a legacy
a highly inefficient, expensive, and, in some cases, dangerous pattern of roads,
which mistakes could have been prevented if individual subdivision proposals had
been considered in relation to an emerging over-all pattern. Such benefits would
accrue in almost every case, at no cost or sacrifice to the subdivider of the land.
The Department strives in many ways to keep in touch with municipal officials
throughout the Province, and in this endeavour the Division, in co-operation with
the Planning Institute of British Columbia, held a two-day meeting at Parksville.
About 40 planning officials attended, and many planning problems and achievements
were discussed. The Division is also involved in helping in the Planning School at
the University of British Columbia with the Regional Development Seminar for
the second-year class. Along with the Planning Institute of British Columbia, we
are supervising and advising the students on their term project.
The National Building Code, which is in use as a building standard in all
community planning areas, is gaining recognition as a uniform Canadian standard
and is being increasingly widely used by other local agencies throughout the Province. The Division is represented on the National Building Code Committee, and
this has meant that problems peculiar to the Province have had consideration in
code revisions. In accordance with the policy of providing for improved standards
of public service, a two-week course on the National Plumbing Code was conducted
by the Department at the Burnaby Vocational School in January. Approximately
20 Provincial and municipal inspectors attended.
The value of construction in the community planning areas in 1964 totalled
$34,292,366.   This represents an increase of 55 per cent of the value of a
tion from the previous year.   Details are shown on the following table.
 Y 24                                                   BRITISH COLUMBIA
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Communis PlannSS Area Number 2 (woond Vernon)	
Community Planning Area Number 10 (Connaught Heights, 1   L  172, next
Smmm..y p!Z^8 Ar" wZlVr P HM p*~,Tn}rr^7	
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£ZZSf!     ££S^rJ«',"■";,"""'•" ''hn'-—■
?°™™"ni.y EHS" ArP. NnShS Ifl ESJ' ^ PCnUCt°n)	
^Tri^r,'^8 Area NUmbM ^ (Crooked Rlver' 60 mUes north of
SSSSsEe
1,426
9,002
$34,292,366
Don South, M.T.P.I.C.
Director, Regional Planning Division.
1060-165-2258

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