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24Nov
2018

The Ins and Outs of Drainage

The law of drainage, as it applies to local governments in British Columbia, is drawn from two sources: the common law and statute. The first part of this paper will discuss the common law of drainage which draws heavily from English common law. Many of the cases discussed in the first part of this paper cite English precedents from the 19th century or earlier which, except as they have been modified by statute or superseded by the jurisprudence of British Columbia, have the force of law here.

An understanding of the common law of drainage is important to understanding the rights and obligations given to and imposed upon local governments under their home statutes: the Local Government Act, RSBC 2015, c 1 (the “LGA”) and the Community Charter, SBC 2003, c 26. As such, the latter part of this paper will discuss the intersection of common law and statute, as well as discuss some of the powers available to local governments to regulate drainage.

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