Shadow Populations



Endorsed by the NCLGA and UBCM Memberships


WHEREAS local governments in rural British Columbia are experiencing a growing number of people living adjacent to their borders which is placing additional service provision pressures on these communities;

AND WHEREAS the local governments are not presently allowed to include this “shadow” population in their overall population count even though municipal services are utilized by them:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the NCLGA and UBCM lobby the Provincial Government to amend the Community Charter to allow local governments the ability to conduct municipal census similar to Alberta’s Municipal Government Act’s Determination of Population Regulation 63/2001 and Amendment 10/2013.

Background Information

Province of Alberta, Municipal Government Act, Determination of Population Regulation
Alberta Regulation 63/2001 (need to link to document)

Shadow population
2.1(1) A municipal authority may apply to the Minister to have the shadow population included as part of the municipal census if the shadow population in a municipality is
(a) greater than 1000 persons, or
(b) less than 1000 persons but greater in number than 10% of the permanent population.
(2) An application under subsection (1) must be made prior to the
municipal authority conducting the municipal census.
(3) The shadow population for a municipal authority must be verified every 3 years by a count held in the period starting on April 1 and ending on June 30 of the same year.
(4) The Minister shall determine whether the shadow population may be included as part of the municipal authority’s municipal census.
(5) If the Minister permits a municipal authority to use the shadow population as part of the municipal census, the municipal authority must submit the results of the count of the shadow population, in the form set out in Schedule 3, to the Minister before September 1 of the year in which the municipal census is conducted.

UBCM Comments: The UBCM membership has not previously considered a resolution requesting that the provincial government amend the formula for funding health services in remote communities to reflect populations living outside the boundaries of a particular local government that access health services located within the boundaries of that local government.

However, UBCM members have consistently endorsed resolutions that would improve health care in small, rural and remote communities of BC. These resolutions have called for:

  • sufficient medical services in small communities (2012- B93)
  • universities and communities to encourage medical program graduates to practice and stay in rural areas of BC (2011-B60);
  • changes to the International Medical Graduate (IMG) Program which prohibits Canadians trained as doctors in other Commonwealth countries or the US from returning to Canada to practice (2009-B148);
  • increased funding for universities and other medical training facilities so they can supply a larger number of graduates (2008-B49);
  • medical education programs to identify and develop appropriate changes in the Canadian medical education system required to ensure that general practitioners can meet the needs of rural Canadians, such as proficiency in surgery, anesthesia and obstetrics (2010-B112);
  • the expansion of services and funding for people with mental illness and addictions, especially in small and midsize communities (2010-B42)
  • standby ambulance attendants in rural and remote communities receive the same pay as those in other areas of the Province, and that all areas of BC be entitled to equal service (2006- B48);
  • UBCM advise the provincial government that it considers the removal of qualified ambulance personnel from rural areas, without provision of an alternative service for those rural residents, is totally unacceptable (1996-B5);
  • the availability of smaller aircraft that can consistently access rural locations. (1998- B98); and
  • the Province improve affordable public transportation service between small rural municipalities and hospitals in larger urban centres in British Columbia (2009-B15).