HomeAboutElections & Assent Voting → Alternative Approval Process

Alternative Approval Process

The Local Government Act and Community Charter gives the Board of Directors an alternate option to seeking approval of the electors by referendum: the alternative approval process (AAP). It is a less costly and less time consuming way of asking the electorate’s permission to proceed with the adoption of, for example, a borrowing bylaw. If at least 10 per cent of the estimated number of electors oppose the bylaw, agreement or other matter in question, it must be taken to a formal referendum vote before it can be adopted. 

Who is eligible to participate in an AAP?
Any individual who qualifies as a resident elector or non-resident property elector within the specified service area affected by the subject matter of the AAP can participate.

What happens during an AAP?
The Board of Directors will direct staff to proceed with obtaining the approval of the electors on a matter via an AAP.  Staff will then bring a report forward to the Board at an open meeting which will outline the proposed advertising dates for the AAP, the proposed deadline for receipt of responses, the estimated number of electors, and the proposed “elector response form”. The Board must approve these by resolution, and following that, the response forms are made available to the electors.

Notice to residents
The AAP must then be advertised in the newspaper at least twice, and the deadline for receipt of the response forms must be at least 30 days after the second advertisement. Depending on the subject matter of the AAP, there may be additional newspaper ads, public open houses, press releases, and other public communications.

Response forms
Once the AAP starts, the forms are available from the Regional District office (for pick up or they can be faxed, mailed, or e-mailed to an elector). In some cases, depending on the service area and voter eligibility they may also be made available at other offices such as the City of Vernon or District of Coldstream.   Forms are also available for downloading from the Regional District website. 

The completed response forms must be delivered to the Regional District of North Okanagan office by the deadline in order to be counted.  Accurate copies of the Board approved forms are acceptable, provided that they are not altered from their original form (in other words, someone may obtain one form and photocopy it if needed).

Once they are delivered to the Regional District of North Okanagan office, the completed AAP elector response forms are date stamped when they are received, validated for eligibility, and are held in safekeeping while the process is on-going.  The number of responses received is not made public during the process (in other words you cannot ask for a running-total of the number received to date).

Once the deadline has passed, staff brings forward a report to the Board called the “Certificate of Sufficiency” report, in which the total number of valid responses received is given. 

  1. If the total responses received is at least 10% of the estimated number of electors, the Board is not permitted to proceed with the matter unless it is approved by the electorate through a referendum.
  2. If the total responses received is less than 10% of the estimated number of electors the Board is permitted to proceed with the matter in question.


For more information, contact:

Regional District of North Okanagan
Phone: 250.550.3700