FAQs

South Sewer Service Referendum
Proposed Service
Ballot Questions
Voter Info
FAQs
Results

Q1.  What do the referendum questions really mean?
Q2.  Who will be paying the tax – is it just residential property owners, or will commercial property
Q3.  How do I know if I am within the proposed area for this voting opportunity?
Q4.  Who can vote?
Q5.  Where can I vote?
Q6.  When can I vote?
Q7.  What do I need to bring with me when I come to vote?
Q8.  What are acceptable pieces of ID for voting?
Q9.  I’m away on voting day, can I still vote?
Q10.  How can I vote by mail?
Q11.  Are the results of this referendum binding?
Q12.  How many individuals need to vote in order for the project to go ahead?
Q13.  What happens if:
a)  Neither question passes?
b)  Only the question on the bylaws passes?
c)  Only the question on the long-term partnership agreement passes?
Q14.
Can I advertise in support or opposition to the referendum questions?
Q15. Can more than one person per property vote?
Q16. I rent a property within proposed service area can I vote?
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Q17. My spouse and I own property within the proposed service area but live elsewhere in BC, can we both vote?
Q18. I own property in the proposed service area but live outside of BC, can I vote?

Q1. What does the referendum questions really mean?
A.     In summary, the two referendum questions ask:

(i)     Whether the voter supports:

  • Creating the south sewer services along with the maximum parcel tax that would be required for the construction and operation of all the related infrastructure for the wastewater system;
  • Creating a loan authorization bylaw to allow for some borrowing capacity from the Municipal Finance Authority for the project;

(ii)   Whether the voter supports entering into a 30-year partnering agreement for the design, construction, finance and operation of the south sewer system, with the assets remaining under public ownership.

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Q2. Who will be paying the tax – is it just residential property owners, or will commercial property owners be taxed, too? 
A. All property owners (including residential, commercial, industrial, etc.) that are within the proposed service area pay the tax. All property owners will pay just as property owners pay for other local government services such as the recreation complexes, parks or building inspection services.

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Q3. How do I know if I am within the proposed area for this voting opportunity?
A. Please refer to the maps located here to see if your address is in the phase one proposed service area.  If you are unsure if your property is in the service area for this election, please contact the CVRD chief election officer at 250-334-6000. On voting day maps will also be on display at all of our voting stations to assist our staff in determining if your property is within the service area.

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Q4. Who can vote?
A.  You can vote if you are:

  • A resident voter -  anyone residing in the household in the proposed service area (including renters/tenants) and is:

    18 years of age or older on voting day (June 18, 2016);
  • a Canadian citizen;
  • a resident of B.C. for at least 6 months immediately before you register to vote;
  • a resident of the proposed service area for at least 30 days immediately before the vote; and
  • not previously disqualified by law from voting.

A non-resident voter - an individual  that owns property in the proposed service area, but lives elsewhere, and is:

  • 18 years of age or older on voting day (June 18, 2016);
  • a Canadian citizen;
  • a resident of B.C. for at least 6 months immediately before you register to vote;
  • a registered owner of property in the proposed service area of Royston and Union Bay including Kilmarnock for at least 30 days immediately before the vote; and
  • not previously disqualified by law from voting.

Note for Non-resident property electors: If there is more than one registered owner of the property, only one of those individuals may, with the written consent of the majority of the owners, register as a non-resident property elector.  A property does not qualify for a non-resident vote if it is owned by a trust or corporation.

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Q5. Where can I vote?
A.     On Saturday, June 18, 2016, you can vote between the hours of 8 am and 8 pm at: 

  • Royston Elementary School located at 3830 Warren Avenue, Royston, BC; OR
  • Union Bay Community Church Hall located at 5533 Island Highway, Union Bay, BC 

An advanced vote will also be held on Wednesday, June 8, 2016, between 8 am and 8 pm at the CVRD boardroom located at 550B Comox Road, Courtenay.

Mail ballot voting is also available by contacting the CVRD in person, by phone at 250-334-6000 or by email at administration@comoxvalleyrd.ca.

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Q6. When can I vote?

A.  You can vote at either of our two voting facilities in Union Bay and Royston from 8 am to 8 pm on Saturday, June 18, 2016. There will also be advance voting on Wednesday, June 8, 2016 between 8 am and 8 pm, at the CVRD boardroom at 550B Comox Road, Courtenay.

Mail ballot voting is also available by contacting the CVRD in person, by phone at 250-334-6000 or by email at administration@comoxvalleyrd.ca.

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Q7. What do I need to bring with me when I come to vote?

A.     A voter must produce two pieces of identification. At least one must show their signature and one must show their actual residential address. Photo ID is not required.

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Q8.  What are acceptable pieces of ID for voting?

  1. BC driver’s license
  2. BC identification card issued by the Motor Vehicle Branch
  3. BC services card (note: where the driver’s license and care card are combined, that is treated as one piece of ID)
  4. An Owner’s certificate of Insurance and Vehicle License issued by ICBC
  5. A social insurance number card
  6. A tax notice
  7. A credit card or debit card
  8. A firearm permit
  9. A utility bill such as a hydro bill, telephone bill, natural gas bill, water bill or cable bill, showing residential address.

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Q9.  I’m away on voting day, can I still vote?

A.  An advanced opportunity will be held on Wednesday, June 8, 2016 between 8 am and 8pm, at the CVRD boardroom at 550B Comox Road, Courtenay.  Mail ballot voting is also an option if you plan ahead.

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Q10. How can I vote by mail?
A.  Qualified electors may vote by mail if they:

  • have a physical disability, illness or injury that affects their ability to vote at another voting opportunity; OR
  • expect to be absent from the regional district on voting day and at the times of all advance voting opportunities. 

An “application to vote by mail” may be obtained by contacting the CVRD in person, by phone at 250-334-6000 or by email at administration@comoxvalleyrd.ca.  Packages will be sent out on or about May 10, 2016.  In order to be counted mail ballot votes must be received by the chief election officer no later than 8 pm on Saturday, June 18, 2016.

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Q11. Are the results of this referendum binding?
A.  If a majority of ballots are cast in favour of the bylaw, the board may adopt the bylaws to establish the south sewer project.

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Q12.  How many individuals need to vote in order for the project to go ahead?

A.  The legislation stipulates that a majority of ballots cast in favour of the bylaws authorizes the board to adopt the bylaws. There is no minimum number of voters required to provide the board with the authority to adopt the bylaw, provided a majority of ballots are cast in favour.  A majority is 50 per cent of the ballots cast plus one.

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Q13.  What happens if:

a)  Neither question passes?
A:  If voters do not support either question in the referendum, then the board cannot proceed with adopting the service establishment bylaws or entering into the long-term partnership agreements for the south sewer project. The existing grant funding would likely be lost and the planning process would have to be restarted. For more specific details on the next steps in the south sewer project, please visit the south sewer project website at: www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/southsewer.  

b)  Only the question on the bylaws passes?
A:  The board could adopt the service establishment bylaws and the loan authorization bylaw but could not enter into the long-term partnership agreement.  An alternative source of funding to the P3C grant would have to be identified for the project to move forward.  For more specific details on the next steps in the south sewer project, please visit the south sewer project website at: www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/southsewer.

c)  Only the question on the long-term partnership agreement passes?
A:  The board could not adopt the service establishment bylaws or the loan authorization bylaw but would have the authority to enter into the long-term partnership agreement. The future of the project would be uncertain; additional grant funding or participants would be needed to reduce the costs to residents.  For more specific details on the next steps in the south sewer project, please visit the south sewer project website at: www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/southsewer.

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Q14. Can I advertise in support or opposition to the referendum questions? 
A. Yes. Election advertising of this type is referred to as non-election assent voting advertising; however, there are rules that must be followed for individuals or organizations that wish to publicly show support or opposition to the referendum questions.

Elections BC has produced a guide for Local Non-election Assent Voting Advertising Sponsors in BC

An individual or organization that wishes to transmit non-election assent voting advertising regarding the referendum must register with Elections BC before conducting the advertising.

Non-election Assent Voting Advertising

Non-election assent voting advertising is any transmission of a communication to the public during a non-election assent voting proceedings period that promotes or opposes, directly or indirectly, a particular result in the assent voting (referendum).

Non-election assent voting proceedings period

The non-election assent voting proceedings period begins on the 30th day before general voting day (GVD) for the non-election assent voting and ends at the close of general voting. During this period, non-election assent voting advertising sponsors are required to:

  • register with Elections BC before sponsoring advertising
  • include sponsorship information on all advertising

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Q15.  Can more than one person per property vote?
A.  Yes. Residents in the proposed service area may vote if they meet other voting requirements, such as being 18 years of age or older, a Canadian citizen and a resident of BC for at least six months before voting day and a resident of the proposed service for 30 days before voting. There is no requirement that a person own property in order to vote if they live in the area. See the answer to question 4 for more information about voting requirements.

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Q16. I rent a property within proposed service area can I vote?
Yes. A resident voter  is anyone residing in the household in the proposed service area (including renters/tenants) and is:
•18 years of age or older on voting day (June 18, 2016);
•a Canadian citizen;
•a resident of B.C. for at least 6 months immediately before you register to vote;
•a resident of the proposed service area for at least 30 days immediately before the vote; and
•not previously disqualified by law from voting. 

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Q17. My spouse and I own property within the proposed service area but live elsewhere in BC, can we both vote?
No, someone that owns property in the service area but lives elsewhere in BC is a non-resident property elector.  Under the rules for non-resident property electors, if there is more than one registered owner of the property, only one of those individuals may, with the written consent of the majority of the owners, register as a non-resident property elector and vote in the referendum.  It is also important to note that a property does not qualify for a non-resident vote if it is owned by a trust or corporation.  For more information on requirements to vote as a non-resident property elector see question 4

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Q18. I own property in the proposed service area but live outside of BC, can I vote?
No, non-resident property electors must reside in BC, see question  4

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