FAQs Civic Centre AAP

Civic Centre AAP
Background
AAP FAQs
Elector Response
Civic Centre Project
 Media

Q1. What is an AAP?
Q2. How is the electoral approval determined?
Q3. Why isn’t this issue going to a Referendum?
Q4. Who can take part in the Alternative Approval Process?
Q5. I don’t own property in the Comox Valley, I am a renter; can I submit a form?
Q6. My family lives in the Comox Valley in one household, how many forms can we submit?
Q7. I don’t live in the area but I own property in the Comox Valley Regional District, can I submit a form?
Q8. I own property in the Comox Valley Regional District but live in Alberta, do I get to submit a form?
Q9. I own more than one property; do I get to submit a form for each property I own?
Q10. I don’t live in the Comox Valley, but I own property there together with some other people.  Do we each get to submit a form?
Q11. I own a business in the area where the civic centre is proposed to be built, do I get to submit a form?
Q12. I own property that’s registered under a corporate name, can I submit a form?
Q13. I am a resident of one municipality in the CVRD and I also own property in another municipality in the CVRD, do I get to submit two forms?
Q14. Do you require proof of ID or property ownership when submitting the response form?
Q15. How will the CVRD know if I meet all the elector eligibility requirements?
Q16. How do I obtain an elector response form and submit it?
Q17. Can I pick up more than one form?
Q18. Can I submit more than one form?
Q19. Why can’t I scan and e-mail my completed form?
Q20. Can I attach a petition form signed by a number of electors to one elector response form?
Q21. Can the number of responses received while the AAP is underway be released to the public?
Q22. Who can look at the elector response forms once they are submitted?
Q23: Can signs, for or against, the AAP be posted in public places?

Q1. What is an AAP?
A. There are several different ways for local governments to gather feedback from the public. One of those tools is the Alternative Approval Process.  This process helps regional districts and municipalities measure public approval for matters such as bylaws, new financial arrangements and changes to existing services.  It works by giving residents the opportunity to vote against or oppose these matters. Today, the Alternative Approval Process is a common way for councils and boards to find out the wishes of the public. It is a valid process to gain elector approval but is less costly than a referendum and allows the public time to review details and ask questions.

How it works:
The public will be notified through notices placed in the local newspaper. Each notice will provide information on the proposed loan authorization bylaw for the project, and how eligible electors who oppose the project can submit an elector response form. Electors must be given at least 30 days to submit response forms after the second newspaper advertisement is published. When the submission deadline has passed (in this case, August 18, 2017), the chief election officer counts the number of elector response forms received. If the number of response forms received is greater than 10 per cent of the total number of eligible electors in the service area that will be affected, in this case, 5055,  then the matter is considered opposed by the public and the board will have to conduct a Referendum if it still wishes to proceed. If less than 10 per cent of the people in the area submit forms against the matter, then the matter is considered approved and the board can adopt the bylaw and proceed with the project.

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Q2. How is the electoral approval determined?
A. The CVRD may proceed with adoption of Bylaw No. 457 being “Comox Valley Civic Centre Regional Office Building Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 457, 2017” if fewer than 5055 electors, 10 per cent of the total number of electors within the service area (which is 50,545), sign and submit elector response forms opposing the CVRD board’s adoption of the bylaw.  Otherwise, if 5055 or more valid elector response forms are received the CVRD board must obtain the assent of the electors by way of Referendum.

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Q3. Why isn’t this issue going to a Referendum?
A. Typically proposals that would result in a significant increase in taxation to those in the service area go to Referendum. In this case, this project will be tax neutral to residents.  The regional district developed a financing strategy based on redirecting the current lease amount and reserve fund contribution towards the debt repayment. Instead of paying rent with no building asset, the regional district would be paying debt payments with ownership of a community asset at the end of the term.

Also, a referendum would cost approximately $40,000 whereas an AAP costs approximately $4,000.

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Q4. Who can take part in the Alternative Approval Process?
A. Eligible electors who live in or own property in the physical area to which the proposed service applies may take part in the process.  In this instance, the Comox Valley Regional District as a whole is the service area so the total number of electors within the service area is determined to be 50,545. This includes Courtenay, Comox, Cumberland and Electoral Areas A, B and C.

You are an eligible elector if you meet the following requirements:

  1. 18 years of age or older;
  2. Canadian citizen;
  3. Have lived in British Columbia for at least six months immediately before signing the elector response form;
  4. Have lived in the Comox Valley Regional District for at least 30 days before signing the elector response form;
  5. In the case of a non-resident property elector:
    a)  Not entitled to vote as a resident elector in the Comox Valley Regional District for purposes of the matter;
    b)  Have been a registered owner of real property in the Comox Valley Regional District for at least 30 days before signing the elector response form (Note: even if you own more than one property, you may only submit one elector response form);
    c)  If there is more than one individual who is the registered owner of the property, only one of those individuals may sign the elector response form in relation to the property, assuming the non-resident property elector has the written consent of the number of individuals who, together with the person signing this elector response form constitutes a majority of the registered owners;
    d)  The only persons who are registered owners of the real property are individuals who do not hold the property in trust for a corporation or another trust.
  6. Not disqualified from voting under the Local Government Act or any other enactment or otherwise disqualified by law from voting.

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Q5. I don’t own property in the Comox Valley, I am a renter; can I submit a form?
A. Yes, you do not have to own property to be an eligible elector, however, you must meet all the following requirements:

  1. 18 years of age or older;
  2. Canadian citizen;
  3. Have lived in British Columbia for at least six months immediately before signing the elector response form;
  4. Have lived in the Comox Valley Regional District for at least 30 days before signing the elector response form;
  5. Not disqualified from voting under the Local Government Act or any other enactment or otherwise disqualified by law from voting.

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Q6. My family lives in the Comox Valley in one household, how many forms can we submit?
A. Each person who resides in the household who meets the eligibility requirements for a resident elector may submit a form.

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Q7. I don’t live in the area but I own property in the Comox Valley Regional District, can I submit a form?
A. Yes, as long as you meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. 18 years of age or older;
  2. Canadian citizen;
  3. Have lived in British Columbia for at least six months immediately before signing the elector response form;
  4. Have been a registered owner of real property in the Comox Valley Regional District for at least 30 days before signing the elector response form (Note: even if you own more than one property, you may only submit one elector response form);
  5. a)  Not entitled to vote as a resident elector in the Comox Valley Regional District for purposes of the matter;
    b)  Have been a registered owner of real property in the Comox Valley Regional District for at least 30 days before signing the elector response form (Note: even if you own more than one property, you may only submit one elector response form);
    c)  If there is more than one individual who is the registered owner of the property, only one of those individuals may sign the elector response form in relation to the property, assuming the non-resident property elector has the written consent of the number of individuals who, together with the person signing this elector response form constitutes a majority of the registered owners;
    d)  The only persons who are registered owners of the real property are individuals who do not hold the property in trust for a corporation or another trust.
  6. Not disqualified from voting under the Local Government Act or any other enactment or otherwise disqualified by law from voting.

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Q8. I own property in the Comox Valley Regional District but live in Alberta, do I get to submit a form?
A. No. One of the elector eligibility requirements for a non-resident property elector is that you be a resident of BC for at least six months prior to signing the form.

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Q9.  I own more than one property; do I get to submit a form for each property I own?
A.  No. Eligibility to submit elector response forms for an AAP parallels eligibility to vote in general local elections which is based on a one person one vote system; it is not based on property ownership. Any one person may only submit one form (as either a resident or a non-resident property elector), regardless of how many properties a person might own.

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Q10. I don’t live in the Comox Valley, but I own property there together with some other people.  Do we each get to submit a form?
A. No. if there is more than one individual who is the registered owner of the property, only one of those individuals may sign the elector response form in relation to the property, assuming the non-resident property elector has the written consent of the number of individuals who, together with the person signing the elector response form constitutes a majority of the registered owners

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Q11. I own a business in the area where the civic centre is proposed to be built, do I get to submit a form?
A. No, eligibility to submit elector response forms for an AAP parallels eligibility to vote in general local elections. There is no business or corporate vote in British Columbia. In order to submit a form you must either be a resident elector or non-resident property elector.

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Q12. I own property that’s registered under a corporate name, can I submit a form?
A. No. Individuals who hold property in trust for a corporation or another trust are not eligible electors.

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Q13. I am a resident of one municipality in the CVRD and I also own property in another municipality in the CVRD, do I get to submit two forms?
A. No. You can only be a resident elector or a non-resident elector. You cannot be both. If you reside in the Comox Valley Regional District you are a resident elector; one of the requirements to vote as a non-resident property elector is that you do not qualify to vote as a resident elector.

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Q14. Do you require proof of ID or property ownership when submitting the response form?
A. No, unlike a referendum you are not required to provide identification or in the case of a non-resident property elector, proof of ownership.

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Q15. How will the CVRD know if I meet all the elector eligibility requirements?
A. In signing the elector response form you are making a solemn declaration that you meet the eligibility requirements.

Making a false declaration is an election offence under the Local Government Act; the penalties for making a false declaration when required to do so are a maximum fine of $5,000 and/or up to one year in prison.

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Q16. How do I obtain an elector response form and submit it?
A. Forms may be obtained from the CVRD offices located at 600 Comox Road, Courtenay, BC during regular office hours 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) or see below:

The deadline for delivering the original signed elector response forms to the CVRD is 4:30 pm on Friday, August 18, 2017. Emailed or faxed copies cannot be accepted. Forms must be received by the deadline in order to be counted and may only be signed by electors of the Comox Valley Regional District.

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Q17. Can I pick up more than one form?
A. Yes. However, in order to be environmentally conscious, we will not print off 5055 forms in one go for an individual (7500 sheets of paper is equivalent to one tree).

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Q18. Can I submit more than one form?
A. You can only sign one form; however, you can collect forms signed by others and submit them at the same time.

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Q19. Why can’t I scan and e-mail my completed form?
A. The CVRD requires that the original signed copy be submitted, not a copy or facsimile.

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Q20. Can I attach a petition form signed by a number of electors to one elector response form?
A. No.  Responses need to be submitted on the board approved response form.

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Q21. Can the number of responses received while the AAP is underway be released to the public?
A. Releasing this information could alter the outcome of the AAP, as electors may base their decision on the number of response forms already submitted and whether the 10% threshold has been met. The appropriate time to release the number of elector responses is after the deadline for submissions has passed  and the Corporate Officer has certified the results (August 21st).

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Q22. Who can look at the elector response forms once they are submitted?
A. Only the Corporate Officer or their designate can review and certify elector response forms during the AAP. The Corporate Officer is responsible for the safe-keeping of the elector response forms throughout, and after, the AAP.  Response forms are kept for one year in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

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Q23: Can signs, for or against, the AAP be posted in public places?
A: Yes. Any signs or posters used during an AAP must comply with the bylaws of the municipality in which the sign is placed. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI) regulates sign placement along provincial highways, medians, bridges and major roadways. Therefore, signs placed on MoTI property must comply with provincial regulations. Signs posted in Electoral Areas on public property will be investigated on a complaint basis only.

(Signs for an AAP do not fall under the Campaign financing provisions of Elections BC i.e., no sponsorship information is required on the signs or registration with Elections BC)

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