Regional Districts are a type of government unique to British Columbia. The closest equivalent in other provinces would be a county. They deliver certain key regional services, such as supplying drinking water and managing garbage. They also provide basic government for rural areas that are not incorporated as municipalities.
The Sunshine Coast Regional District contains three municipalities (the District of Sechelt, the Town of Gibsons, and the Sechelt Indian Government District). The rest of the district is divided into five “Rural Areas”. People who live in a municipality vote for a Mayor or Chief and Councillors. People who live in the rural areas vote only for their Rural Director, who is their sole local government representative.
Area E, or Elphinstone, is the smallest of the SCRD’s areas in size (21 sq. kilometres) but the largest in terms of population (3,664 as of the 2016 census). See Maps of Area E. Although we sit at the SCRD board with the Sechelt Nation, Elphinstone lies within the traditional territory of the Squamish Nation.
Unlike municipalities, regional districts do not have authority over roads, so all roads in Area E are the responsibility of BC’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI). MOTI in turn contracts out road maintenance to a private company, Capilano Highways, which is responsible for filling potholes, painting lines, sweeping, mowing shoulders, and clearing snow.
Did You Know?
You can pay your property taxes monthly instead of being whacked by a big bill each July. Set up a rural property account online with eTaxBC to make automatic payments semi-monthly or monthly from your bank account.
Property taxes are one of the last things that many people pay annually instead of monthly, so there’s a big sticker shock. It’s easy not to notice that our household may be paying just as much for other services, such as cable packages, home insurance, auto insurance, or cell phone plans.