Alternative Approval Process


The Community Charter gives Council an alternate option to seek approval of the District’s electors by referendum: the alternative approval process (AAP). It is a less costly and less time consuming way of asking the electorate’s permission to proceed with the adoption of, for example, a borrowing bylaw. If at least 10 per cent of the estimated number of electors oppose the bylaw, agreement or other matter in question, it must be taken to a formal referendum vote before it can be adopted.

Who is eligible to participate in an AAP?

Any individual who qualifies as a resident elector or non-resident property elector within the area affected by the subject matter of the AAP (usually it is District-wide, but it is possible that an AAP could be limited to a smaller area) can participate.  

What happens during an AAP?

Council will direct staff to proceed with obtaining the approval of the electors on a matter via an AAP.  Staff will then bring a report forward to Council at an open meeting which will outline the proposed advertising dates for the AAP, the proposed deadline for receipt of responses, the estimated number of electors, and the proposed “elector response form”. Council must approve these by resolution, and following that, the response forms are made available to the electors.

Notice to residents

The AAP must then be advertised in the newspaper at least twice, and the deadline for receipt of the response forms must be at least 30 days after the second advertisement. Depending on the subject matter of the AAP, there may be additional newspaper ads and other public communications. 

Response forms

Once the AAP starts, the forms are available from the Corporate Officer at Municipal Hall. They are also made available on the District website. The completed forms must be delivered to the Corporate Officer by the deadline in order to be counted.  Accurate copies of the Council approved forms are also acceptable, as long as they are not altered (in other words, someone may obtain one form and photocopy it if needed).

Once they are delivered to the Corporate Officer, the completed AAP elector response forms are date stamped when they are received, and are held in confidence while the process is on-going. 

Once the deadline has passed, the responses are validated, and staff then brings a report forward to Council, advising the total number of valid responses received. If the total is at least 10% of the estimated number of electors, Council is not permitted to proceed with the matter unless it is approved by the electorate through a referendum.

For more information, please contact the Corporate Officer at 604.815.5023 or 604.815.5006.