History of Metro Vancouver
Metro Vancouver, originally established in 1967 as the Greater Vancouver Regional District,was formed under the basis that municipalities could accomplish certain shared goalsmore effectively and efﬁciently through collaboration, rather than competition.Precursors to the GVRD include the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District(1914), the Greater Vancouver Water District (1926), and the Lower Mainland RegionalPlanning Board (1949). Provincial legislation initiated in 1965 formed regional districts tocreate a legal framework for cooperative planning and service provision. Throughout the years, the GVRD gained and lost various regional responsibilities. Inaddition to water, sewage, and planning, the GVRD has also had authority over hospitals,regional parks, municipal labour relations, solid waste management, public housing, airquality and pollution, and regional transit.
Metro Vancouver is governed by a Board comprised of elected representatives from eachmember municipality. Number of directors and votes per municipality is determined bypopulation size - one vote per 20,000 residents.
The modern role of regions
Cities and regions are increasingly becoming the economic engines of the nation-state.Canada continues to gradually shift from a rural, resource-based country, to an urban,knowledge and service-based economy. The three big cities of Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, and their surrounding regions, are the gateways to our nation and requireinterconnected planning and strategic investments to succeed on the international stage.Cities must work together to accomplish broader goals of competitiveness in the 21stcentury. For a region to be successful, it will require more than open borders andaccessible capital, but a focus on increasing quality of life, a clean environment, a robustand sustainable transport network, and vibrant cultural opportunities - all ambitious goalsthat cannot be achieved with the resources of a single city.
While Metro Vancouver accomplished a number of laudable achievements throughout theyears, the organization has been plagued during the past decade by a lack of leadership
White Paper for Regional Governance Reform
Paul Hillsdon, December 2009