How Municipal Government Works

In the province of British Columbia, the City of Vancouver is unique. Unlike other BC municipalities, which are governed by the Local Government Act, the City of Vancouver has its own provincial statute called the Vancouver Charter. The Charter contains the rules that govern how the City operates, what by-laws City Council can create, and how budgets are set.

Municipal Government in the City of Vancouver is comprised of Vancouver City Council, Vancouver Park Board, Vancouver Board of Education and several other civic Boards and Commissions.

Here’s some brief info on a few of them:

  • Vancouver’s Mayor and 10 Councillors make up Vancouver City Council. The Mayor and Councillors serve three-year terms.

  • The Vancouver Park Board is one of the only elected park boards in Canada. As with all other civic elected posts in the City of Vancouver, seven Park Board Commissioners are elected every three years.

  • The Vancouver Board of Education is comprised of nine Board of Education Trustees, elected every three years at the same time as the Mayor and City Council.

  • The Vancouver Library Board is made up of 13 volunteer Library Board Trustees, appointed by Vancouver City Council:

    • 10 members of the general public appointed for two-year terms,

    • 1 Vancouver City Councillor appointed annually,

    • 1 Vancouver Park Board Commissioner appointed annually, and

    • 1 Vancouver Board of Education Trustee appointed annually.

The City of Vancouver also has a number of Civic Agencies & Committees, who give Mayor, Council and City staff advice on various issues. One such Committee, specifically addressing children and youth issues, is the Family Court/Youth Justice Committee.

Numerous Vancouver Park Board community centres have Community Centre Youth Councils. The Vancouver Board of Education is helped out by the Vancouver District Student Council. And, the Vancouver Public Library has its own Teen Advisory Group.

Want to learn more?

To learn more about how municipal government works in Vancouver, click here.