A Regional District has the ability, granted to them through the province, to impose a more stringent standard than a provincial enactment requires.
There is case law being sited throughout BC that suggests a bylaw is not in conflict simply because it imposes a more stringent standard than provincial legislation. A party could comply with both laws by complying with the stricter requirement. This has even been extended to cases where a bylaw prohibited something that a Provincial law allowed, but did not require.
The CVRD is responsible for this exceptional piece of legal work. In Cowichan Valley (Regional District) v. Norton the Courts upheld the power of a Regional Government to impose, with bylaws, more stringent standards that coincided with Provincial enactments. This decision was upheld at appeal in 2009.
This was the case of the aggregate mine operation in Cobble Hill that with a bylaw was prevented from processing the aggregate on site. Thus putting to the challenge the concept of dual compliance that suggests a bylaw is not in conflict simply because it imposes a more stringent standard than provincial legislation.
The CVRD cannot create a bylaw stating that no contaminated soil can be dumped in their Region. However, a bylaw that prohibits contaminated soil being imported into a watershed that either now or sometime in the future serves as a source of drink water for any of the residents of that area seems to be an excellent compromise. (A simplistic suggestion)
It was the exceptional knowledge and talents of the CVRD’s planning department that was responsible for this case law that is now being sited throughout BC. We are lucky to have this sort of talent and we should be utilizing it. The question is why arent we?