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.


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 address the issue Council approve the purchase of new generator for new pump 4, to make sure that water pressure will be rebounded to acceptable levels for the remainder of the outage.  Also, Council approved a purchase of a drinking water quality test kit. 
District of Stewart drinking water undergoes  quality tests monthly to ensure that our citizens are provided with clean and safe water. People of Stewart can take pride in their drinking water - it continually meets  quality standards set out in the BC Drinking Water Protection Act and the Canadian Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality. Detailed water quality reports are available in the District office.

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


POSTED: March 3, 2014 | Kids Blog

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

Regional District Solid Waste Management Plan

POSTED: March 23, 2017

The District of Stewart is a member of the Regional District Solid Waste Management Plan. This Plan is a new approach that will help make waste management safer and more cost efficient by sharing resources. All communities will contribute to the plan based on their population. This means that Stewart’s taxpayers will contribute approximately 7% of the cost.

You will be receiving an informational flyer in your mailbox that provides more information. We encourage you to read the flyer and be informed about the changes that will be taking place with the closure of our landfill and the construction of a transfer station.

Community meetings will be arranged in the coming months so that you can provide your input into this process.

If you have questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me.

Jennifer Larson, CPA, CGA
Chief Financial Officer


POSTED: March 22, 2017

Please be advised that the District of Stewart has now switched back from Well #3 to Well #4

Water Quality Advisory:  UPDATE

POSTED: February 23, 2017

The District of Stewart received water sample results today from the lab and there is no bacteriological contamination. The water continues to be safe to drink. However, due to ongoing construction and maintenance work in and around the wells, the District has decided to keep a Water Quality Advisory in place. The Water Quality Advisory is the lowest-level notification and is used in situations where the public health threat is modest, and actions can be taken to reduce the risks. If you are a member of a high risk population, or you have concerns, you may choose to boil the water (rolling boil for one minute). Sampling will continue to be conducted periodically to assess the condition of the water. We will advise further if there is any change.

Public Comments on Rural Education in Stewart

POSTED: February 3, 2017

On February 6, 2017 there will be an Open House in Terrace hosted by Parliamentary Secretary Linda Larson who is seeking feedback from British Columbians on the challenges & opportunities facing rural school districts and communities.
Please visit the Rural Education Website and submit comments.
For more information, please see the District of Stewart's Open Letter on Rural Education.

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