Thinking about running for local government office?
As an elected official you will be entrusted with making decisions that directly affect the daily lives of residents, families, local business owners and many others in the community. It is important to think about how you can best serve your community if elected.
Things to consider:
- Why do I want to be an elected official?
- How will I best contribute to my community?
- What are my objectives for holding office and do they reflect the needs of my community?
An effective local government requires dedicated, ethical and informed leaders who are committed to their communities. Perhaps you want to become an elected official so you can:
- be actively involved in the local democratic process;
- contribute your experience and knowledge to your community;
- address various issues in your area; or,
- lead change in your community.
What are some ways for potential candidates to prepare for elected office?
Some ways to prepare include:
- look at the CSRD's key planning documents and reports;
- attend CSRD's board meetings to learn about priority issues and projects;
- review the CSRD's website to understand its key priorities and initiatives;
- attend neighbourhood community meetings and get to know key groups in your community such as the Chamber of Commerce, service groups, or social agencies.
Find out more about what it takes to run for Electoral Area Director.
Roles and Responsibilities of the Board of Directors
The Board is the governing body of the regional district corporation. Major policy decisions in a regional district are made by the elected Board which consists of the Chair and Directors. The most important role that the Board plays is the consideration and passage of regional district bylaws, financial planning, budget approval, appointment of official officers and determination of the basic organization of the region by representing all residents. All members of the Board must act in good faith in the best interest of the regional district as a whole.
Only the Board can exercise the powers of the regional district in the proper form which is by bylaw or resolution passed at a regular or special meeting when quorum is present (Community Charter Section 122) unless the duty is delegated to an officer as per Section 192 of the Local Government Act.
Quorum is the minimum number of members that must be present to hold a regular or special meeting of the Board where binding decisions can be made. For the CSRD, six (6) of the eleven (11) members of the Board must be present to achieve quorum. A single member of the Board does not have the power to bind the regional district in any way or (with the exception of the powers of the Chair) direct either its employees or its affairs. The Board must give collective judgment as a group and not as individuals. The power of a single member of the Board depends on his/her ability to persuade the other members to their point of view.
The Role of Directors
At the CSRD there are six electoral area directors and five municipal directors. Neither the Local Government Act nor the Community Charter provides a clear, definitive description of the role or responsibilities assigned of these directors. In lieu of such a description, however, some points can be offered to provide guidance. Specifically, directors:
- represent their respective local government jurisdictions — electoral area or municipality — and their jurisdictions' interests at the board table, in discussions and decisions on regional issues;
- consider the well-being and interests of the regional district corporation and regional community;
- contribute to the development and evaluation of regional district services, policies and programs;
- participate in regional board meetings, committee meetings and meetings of bodies and agencies to which the directors are appointed;
- perform duties as assigned or delegated by the board.
All regional district directors, whether they are appointed by councils or elected by citizens, are responsible to ensure the regional district corporation operates smoothly. Smooth operations require directors, as a collective, to pass budgets, fill staff positions, process debt requests, hold meetings, and make decisions. Smooth operations also require directors, both as individuals and as a collective, to demonstrate an interest in regional affairs, participate in debates, challenge positions and protect the interests of the CSRD.
One particular corporate interest relates to the need for certain matters to remain confidential. As members of the corporate board, regional district directors are expected and required to keep in confidence all in camera matters discussed at the board table.
What is the role of municipal directors as it relates to representing their respective councils?
At the regional board table each municipal director represents and is accountable to his or her council. Appointments of municipal directors are made by the municipal council. Regional districts provide a forum for representatives of all member jurisdictions to discuss and debate perspectives, and, where possible, to develop shared approaches to addressing shared issues.
The province has prepared a five-part video series to help potential local government candidates with answers to questions that they may have before making the final decision to run for elected office.
If you meet the following requirements, you may be nominated to run for Electoral Area Director:
- will be at least 18 years old on voting day;
- are a Canadian citizen;
- have lived in British Columbia for at least 6 months;
- have not been disqualified by the Local Government Act or any other enactment from voting in an election or from being nominated for, being elected to or holding the office, or be otherwise disqualified by law.
Who is NOT eligible
You are not eligible to run as Electoral Area Director if you:
- are a judge of the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court or Provincial Court;
- are an employee, salaried officer or paid volunteer of the regional district unless you have taken a leave of absence and agree to resign if elected;
- have been disqualified for failing to file a candidate disclosure statement, make an oath of office or attend requisite number of meetings;
- have been convicted of an indictable offence and are in custody;
- are involuntarily committed to a psychiatric or other institution.
Nomination papers will be available to download on July 27. Nomination papers will also be available for pick up from the CSRD Office in Salmon Arm on that date.
Completed Nomination Packages may be submitted to the Chief Election Officer between 9:00 AM on Tuesday, September 4, 2018 and 4:00 PM on Friday, September 14, 2018 only.
Thinking of Running for Local Office?
Visit the Province of BC’s General Local Elections website to learn about the role an elected official plays and the impact you could have on your community as an elected official.
Campaign Financing and Third Party Sponsors
Elections BC administers campaign financing and advertising rules for local elections in B.C. under the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act. Visit the Elections BC website for the Guide to Local Elections Campaign financing in BC, disclosure statement forms, campaign financing arrangement forms and instructions, advertising guidelines, etc.
Find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.
To find out if you are eligible, view Candidate Qualifications tab above.
No. The CSRD does not require a nomination fee or deposit.
The nomination period begins on Tuesday, September 4, 2018 at 9:00 AM and ends on Friday, September 14, 2018 at 4:00 PM.
No. There is a specific restriction against both working for, and holding office in, the same local government. However, if you were to take a leave of absence from your job, you could run in the election. If elected, you would have to resign your job.
Yes. In such an instance, if elected, you could be vulnerable to allegations of conflict of interest because of your employment.
Yes. Although it might not be wise. If elected you could be vulnerable to allegations of conflict of interest because of your employment.
It depends on whether you are considered to be an employee of the local government despite your contract. Check with the CSRD Chief Election Officer. You may want to consider whether your contract could expose you to allegations of conflict of interest while serving as an elected representative.
Yes. The only restriction is that you cannot run for, or hold, two offices in the same local government. In other words, you can't run for both mayor and councillor.
Whenever you like. Just make sure you record all your election contributions and expenses for the disclosure statement you must file within 120 days after voting day. The same applies to elector organizations and candidates alike.
All candidates must appoint a financial agent. Some appoint an official agent, scrutineers and volunteers to help with the election campaign. Some candidates may also be endorsed by an elector organization.
The minimum number of people is two, but it's wise to have more in case it turns out that one of them is not an eligible nominator.
Yes. You may view a candidate’s nomination documents from the time they were submitted to the local government until 30 days following the declaration of results at the CSRD office or on this website.
Yes. You must file a candidate disclosure statement even if you were not elected.
No. There can be no campaign material (signs, buttons, brochures, etc.) within 100 metres of a voting place or advance voting opportunity.
No. There can be no election campaigning advertising in newspapers or on radio or television on the day of the election, and there must be no campaign material (signs, buttons, brochures, etc.) within 100 metres of a voting place. If you advertise in a weekly newspaper that is distributed on a Saturday, be sure that your ad does not appear on Election Day.
You may withdraw as a candidate until 4:00 PM on the 29th day before voting day (Friday, September 21, 2018). At the time of filing nomination papers candidates must sign a declaration that they fully intend to accept the office if elected.
A local elections elector organization promotes a candidate, group of candidates or a point of view during a local election in one or more jurisdictions. Elector organizations are also known as civic political parties. An elector organization must have a membership of 50 or more eligible electors when the endorsement is made. Further information about elector organizations can be found on Elections BC website.
You could be disqualified from office if you do not file a candidate disclosure statement and/or take the oath of office following the general local election. There are also significant penalties for failing to comply with the campaign financing and election advertising rules in the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act (LECFA, the Act). Including possible fines and/or imprisonment.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Victoria Office: 250 387-4020
Toll Free: 1 800 663-7867
Governance and Structure Branch
PO Box 9839 Stn Prov Govt
Email : LGGovernance@gov.bc.ca
You can get answers to questions about election advertising, third party sponsors and campaign financing by contacting
Elections BC at:
PO Box 9275 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria BC V8W 9J6
Location: Suite 100 – 1112 Fort Street, Victoria
Toll-free: 1-800-661-8683 / TTY 1-888-456-5448
Toll-free Fax: 1-866-466-0665