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How Municipal Governance Operates in White Rock

Updated: Sep 3, 2022

BC Municipal Governments

The '1996 Protocol of Recognition’, an agreement made between the provincial government and the Union of BC Municipalities, rendered BC municipal governments autonomous. We are the only province in Canada to have such an agreement. The purpose was to ensure the provincial government could not restrict the services a municipality may offer; however, autonomy has resulted in less accountability. If a municipality is poorly administered, the only avenue for change is electing a more astute council.

The City of White Rock

The CAO (Chief Administrative Officer) is an employee hired by the City Council. This person is charged with the overall delivery of services and policies. 

The current CAO resists any involvement/interaction of council members with city staff. While this has some merits, it results in limited information flow. As well, the CAO resists suggestions from council members with regards to operational matters. 

White Rock residents perceive their City Council as the body that should address their concerns. We receive communications regarding public services and policies. To act on the public’s behalf is limited by the current structure, i.e. the division of responsibilities presently entrenched in the workings of City Hall. 

This must change. City Council and the CAO, along with city staff, must all share the same goal: cooperatively serving the residents of White Rock. We are all on the same team.

Two Legal Documents Govern BC Municipalities:

Local Government Act:

  • Creation of municipalities

  • Elections

  • Land Use and Planning


Community Charter:

  • Powers

  • Procedures

  • Taxation

  • Budgets

  • Tax Collection

  • Public participation

The Mayor

  • Oversees the implementation of the law (bylaws)

  • Communicates information to the Council

  • Reflects the will of the council


  • Council’s one employee

  • Charged with the overall efficient delivery of services and policies


Local Government Act:

Community Charter:

“A Community Effort” (UBCM):

Protocol of Recognition (Province of BC and UBCM)

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