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Bylaw No. 522 – Cortes Island Dog Control (AAP)

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Cortes Island Dog Control Service Proceeds to Alternative Approval Process

(Campbell River, BC) – At its February 28, 2024 board meeting, the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) approved moving forward with an alternative approval process (AAP) for Bylaw No. 522 which proposes to establish a dog control service for Cortes Island.  If adopted, Bylaw No. 522 would authorize the Regional District (by separate bylaw) to regulate or prohibit activities related to dogs that are deemed to be contrary to the public interest. Bylaw No. 522 would limit the amount which can be raised through annual property taxation to the equivalent of $0.03 per $1,000 of property assessments.

An AAP is used to gauge support and obtain legislative approval from electors for a bylaw, agreement or other initiative. An AAP is favoured due to its cost-effectiveness compared to traditional voting.

The number of eligible electors within the boundaries of Electoral Area B of the Regional District has been fairly determined to be 961. If responses from less than 10% of the electors in Electoral Area B are received by the SRD before the deadline of Monday, April 15, 2024 the Board can move forward with adopting Bylaw No. 522. Alternatively, if 10% or more of the electors (97) submit an elector response form stating their opposition to the bylaw, the Board’s ability to adopt Bylaw No. 522 would require a vote of the electors. In that case, the bylaw can only be adopted if a majority of electors vote in favour of it.

“The dog control initiative was initially brought to the Board’s attention last year by a petition containing over 100 signatures from Cortes Island residents,” said SRD Chair Mark Baker. “The petition called upon the SRD to enact measures to control dogs on Cortes Island in response to instances of aggressive and threatening dogs. This bylaw is the first step in determining what kind of regulations would be appropriate for Cortes Island.”

If Bylaw No. 522 is adopted by the Regional Board, the next step will be to discuss the regulatory environment that would be appropriate for residents of Cortes Island and, based on those discussions, to draft a regulatory bylaw that will adequately deal with the concerns of residents.


AAP Public Notice – March 01, 2024

Public notice is hereby given that the Board of Directors for the Strathcona Regional District may proceed with final passage and adoption of Bylaw No. 522, being Cortes Island Dog Control Service Establishing Bylaw 2023, at its meeting of Wednesday, April 24, 2024 unless at least 10% of the eligible electors within Electoral Area B of the Strathcona Regional District submit elector response forms not later than 12:00 noon on Monday, April 15, 2024.

Bylaw No. 522 would establish a service and authorize the Regional District to implement, by separate bylaw, regulations for the control of dogs within the boundaries of Electoral Area B (Cortes Island) provided that the maximum amount that may be requisitioned annually does not exceed the equivalent of $0.03 per $1,000 of hospital assessment within the service area.

The number of eligible electors within the boundaries of Electoral Area B of the Regional District has been fairly determined to be 961 and the number of valid elector responses required to prevent the adoption of Bylaw No. 522 without first obtaining the assent of the electors by voting is 97. Elector response forms must be in the form approved by the Regional Board and may be obtained online below or in person at the Regional District office during regular office hours. Only persons who qualify as electors within Electoral Area B (Cortes Island) of the Strathcona Regional District are entitled to sign and submit an elector response form for this alternative approval process.


Elector Response Forms

Elector response forms must be in the form approved by the Regional Board which are available below or in person at the Regional District office during regular office hours. Only persons who qualify as electors within the Electoral Area B of the Strathcona Regional District are entitled to sign and submit an elector response form.


FAQ

1 –What is an Alternative Approval Process (AAP)?

An Alternative Approval Process (AAP) is used to measure the level of support from electors for a bylaw, contract, or other initiative being proposed by the local government. The rules governing the AAP process are contained in the Local Government Act of BC.

The Regional Board will typically advertise its intent and high-level information on the nature of the initiative and the financial impact on the community should the approval process be successful. The initiative is deemed to be approved by the community if less than 10% of electors submit a petition objecting to proceeding without a vote of electors.

 

 2- Why did the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) choose an Alternative Approval Process?

  • Although the SRD could have proceeded with this initiative based on consent from the director for Cortes Island, the Regional Board has chosen to gauge community support through an AAP.
  • The cost of an AAP is significantly less than seeking approval via voting at a referendum and is often preferred for that reason. If the AAP process isn’t successful (at least 10% of electors submitwritten objection forms), the Regional Board then determines whether the proposal should be taken to a vote of the electors or dismissed altogether.
  • An AAP is truly an opinion poll in that the Board may either proceed to adoption if there is little opposition, or proceed with assent voting if ratepayer support is questionable.

 

3- If I am opposed to Bylaw No. 522, how can I submit a response?

Electors who are opposed to the Regional Board adopting Bylaw No. 522 without first obtaining assent of the electors by voting can submit a completed copy of the approved response form (available here) in person or by mail to the Regional District corporate office at 990 Cedar Street in Campbell River not later than noon on April 15, 2024.

The Regional District can only accept originally signed forms.  Completed forms submitted by email or by fax machine cannot be accepted.

Following the deadline, each response form is reviewed by the Corporate Officer to confirm its authenticity and to verify the elector status of the person submitting the form. A report outlining the results of the alternative approval process are then submitted for consideration by the Regional Board.

 

4 – Since the AAP only counts electors against the project, is there anything I can do to help show my support?

Persons who support the establishment of a dog control service need not participate in the AAP since, by not submitting a response form, they are assumed to be in favour of the initiative.

There are other ways they can show their support such as sharing their perspective with others and what it means to them, their family, and the community.

 

5 – When will the results of the Alternative Approval Process be known?

The AAP closes at noon on April 15, 2024.

The results of the AAP should be publicly available when the agenda for the Board meeting is published on April 19, 2024.

 

6 – How much is the service going to cost the average household?

The exact cost per average household will depend on several factors including the type of regulations that the community wishes to implement, the cost of enforcing those regulations and the relative cost to be borne by the different property classes (residential, commercial, institutional, etc.) on Cortes Island.

As mentioned earlier, the Regional District is proposing that the annual requisition for the service cannot exceed $.03 per $1,000 of property assessment. In 2024 that would be equivalent of a maximum $21.05 for the average household with property value of $730,000, although the opportunity to raise funds via property taxation will not be available until 2025.

If the AAP results show that the service initiative is supported by Cortes Island, a further bylaw will be prepared to look at specific regulatory requirements that the community supports in dealing with dogs.


Resources


Contact

For more information about Bylaw No. 522 or this alternative approval process, please contact Tom Yates – SRD Corporate Services Senior Manager at 250-830-6704   |   tyates@srd.ca