Learning More About Government

Learning More About Government

Just like people, communities have basic needs which must be met if they are to function properly.

Imagine what it would be like if there was no-one to make laws and ensure they were obeyed, to look after old and sick people, to plan where buildings should go or to keep the environment clean and safe. Imagine living in a town where the local park was not mowed, the roads were not maintained and there were no Arena or Fire Department.

We depend on governments to take care of these things.

In school, you may have studied civics and learned about government.  You probably know that there is a federal government that serves all of Canada.

You may even know that there is a provincial government that serves the entire province of British Columbia.
 
Some of the things you need or want in your neighborhood are taken care of by a different kind of government, called local or municipal government. Each city, village and town in British Columbia has its own Mayor and Councillors.

Here, we’re going to tell you about the District of Stewart government.  Municipal government is really important because we deal with the things that affect you each and every day. The District of Stewart is responsible for providing police protection and fire rescue services.  We make sure you have parks to play in and we offer special programs like Picnics at the Boardwalk.

Town Hall

It’s important to know what people need and understand what their problems are.  For this reason, people who live in Stewart are asked to vote for people (called elected officials) to represent them when important decision are made. Stewart residents elect a Mayor and six Councillors to make the decisions that affect our town.

Let’s take an example - you want a new board skate park in the town.  What would you do?  You could contact an elected official, either the Mayor or a District Councillor, and tell that person what you think.

Now that you’ve told a member of Council what you think, he or she takes a look at all the other things that have been asked for by other people who live in the own.  He or she attends meetings to discuss these things.  The meetings are called Council meetings, and they usually take place twice a month.  You may attend these meetings.  Together, the Mayor and Councillors talk about all the things that need to be done, and they vote on those that seem to be the most important and in the best interest of the community at large.

So why doesn’t everything you ask for get done?  That’s a really difficult thing, because the town has a budget, just like you may have an allowance.  If your allowance is only $5.00 a week, and you have a list of things you want to buy that equals $10.00, you have to make some decisions, right?  Same thing with the town.  The town tries to do as much as we can with the money we have.

Where does the money come from?  Much of our budget comes from taxes.  Taxes are collected on things you buy or own.  If your parents own a house in Stewart, they pay property taxes. And this is the money that is used to pay for the services the municipal government provides to you like the parks, Arena, police protection, garbage collection, safe drinking water and much more.

Once the decisions are made about what the town must do, there are many people who work hard to make sure it all gets done.  In Stewart, there are civic employees, who work as firefighters, equipment operators, accounting clerk, administration support staff, and much more.  These people all work under the direction of the Chief Administrative Officer, who is responsible for the day-to-day operation of our municipal government. That’s a big job!

Let’s summarize what we've learned:

  • What is the official name of Stewart government?  The District of Stewart
  • Who votes for the Mayor?  Any resident of the District of Stewart is eligible to vote
  • Who is our Mayor?  Galina Durant
  • How often does Council meet?  Twice a month
  • Where does most of the money come from to pay for District services?  The District budget, which is made up of tax revenue and other money.
  • Who is responsible for the day-to-day operation of our municipal government?  The Chief Administrative Officer
  • How can I get involved in my town? Participate in Council meetings, find out what's going on and volunteer. Click here to find out more.
  • Who do you contact if you are interested in getting more information about the District of Stewart? 250-636-2251 or info@districtofstewart.com

Want to spend some time in Mayor’s office and learn more about your local government daily operations? Make an arrangement with the Mayor.

UBCM-2016

POSTED: October 13, 2016 | Mayors Blog

The 2016 Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention is focused on the theme “Stronger Together”. Standing together, from far and wide, each region still stands together. Each region has something unique to contribute to the growth and prosperity of BC and is integral to the success of this province.

Water quality

POSTED: September 5, 2016 | Mayors Blog

Lately the District of Stewart has issued few times a boil water advisory.  It's strictly a precautionary measure due power outage. Without power  water pressure at our pump declined below established level. A loss in pressure can result in contamination entering the drinking water distribution system from surrounding soil and groundwater (to read more click heading)
 

Stewart - the Best Town for Nature Lovers

POSTED: July 7, 2014 | Kids Blog

If you enjoy fresh air, hiking and wild life photography, see why this Bear Valley School student thinks you'll love Stewart!  => read essay

STEWART HAS THE BEST SOIL FOR GARDENING

POSTED: March 3, 2014 | Kids Blog

Read this essay from Lane Hyslop to understand why the soil in Stewart is great for gardeners!

NOTICE OF WATER MAIN FLUSHING

POSTED: October 17, 2017

Please note that on October 26 & 27 the Public Works department will be undertaking a Water Main flushing program.
See the Public Notice for specific information.  For additional information, a "question & answer" Information Notice has been provided.

October is Foster Family Month

POSTED: October 13, 2017

At the Regular Council Meeting of October 10, 2017, Council made a motion to proclaim October as Foster Family Month

Water Quality Advisory - September 5, 2017

POSTED: September 5, 2017

Please see the attached Public Notice regarding the Water Quality Advisory issued by the District of Stewart

October 24:  Attention Business Owners

POSTED: October 11, 2017

The District of Stewart and the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine have partnered together to visit local businesses and perform surveys and create a face-to-face connection with local business owners. "Business Walks" track the pulse of the business community and is one tool used to identify needed programs and services to the community. For more information see the attached poster.
 

2017 Christmas Card Competition *UPDATE*

POSTED: September 14, 2017

Calling all Artists & Photographers:  The District of Stewart is inviting members of the community to participate in a competition that will result in your original artwork or photograph to be featured on a District Christmas card.  See the attached poster for details.

UPDATE:  The entries are in, and now Council will announce the winners at the October 23rd Regular meeting of Council!

Discover BC’s Stewart-Cassiar Region

POSTED: December 20, 2016

Take a look at this Auto Tour video produced in conjunction with Destination BC, Kermode Tourism, and the Regional District of Kitimat Stikine-displaying spectacular views of scenery near Hazelton, New Hazelton, the Nass Valley and Stewart, with Dr. Joseph Gosnell narrating:  www.stewartcassiarhighway.com 

Salmon Glacier Auto Tour Brochure

POSTED: August 2, 2016

Here is an excellent resource to accompany you on your travel to visit the spectacular Salmon Glacier - Auto Tour Brochure