Establishing a New Service

The many integral services delivered by the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) are established and provided in direct response to the community’s expressed needs. When an individual, organization or local government wishes to establish a service (such as water or sewer), the CVRD follows a specific process, which includes the creation of a bylaw.

The Local Government Act (part 2, section 31) provides authority for the CVRD to establish a service and levy a tax to recover all or part of the costs of a service provided within a local service area. 

How New Services are Established in the CVRD

Is there a service you’d like to see established within the Comox Valley Regional District? The following is an overview of the process involved in establishing a new service.

1. Raise Idea

  • The idea for a service can be raised by CVRD directors, residents, community associations, other public agencies or by staff.
  • As regional districts establish and provide services in direct response to expressed needs, a key point is that those in the area benefiting from the service become those who pay for it.

2. Study Feasibility

A feasibility study is required to identify the purpose and costs of the proposed service. This study could cover items such as:

  • Clear and understood purpose of the proposed service
  • Defined and agreed upon scope
  • Cost-sharing among the parties
  • Service delivery
  • Service governance

3. Develop Bylaw

  • If the CVRD Board deems the service is feasible, a service-establishing bylaw would be developed.
  • An un-weighted corporate vote (every director present must vote and is given one vote) is held, with a majority determining the outcome.

4. Get Ministry and Elector Consent

  • After third reading, the bylaw must receive approval from the provincial government's Inspector of Municipalities and the approval of the electoral area(s) that would receive and pay for the service.
  • Electoral approval can be obtained by a petition, an alternate approval process or a referendum.

5. Adopt Bylaw

  • Once the bylaw receives inspector and elector approval, it can be adopted by the board.
  • Funds for the service, if provided by way of a tax requisition, could become available during the following year's budget cycle

How Long Does it Take to Establish a Service?

The timeframe for establishing a service can range from a few months (for very straightforward service requests with an uncomplicated service delivery model) to over a year (if the service is more complicated, involves multiple jurisdictions, requires third-party service delivery partners and/or does not have a clear and specific mandate from the outset).