The province of British Columbia is divided into exactly twenty-eight regional districts. Each regional district is a federation of its component municipalities and electoral areas. Initially enabled by the Municipal Act of 1965, the regional districts have three basic roles:
- Act as a regional government over issues affecting the entire region, particularly in the area of service delivery
- Provide administrative framework for economic or service partnerships between two or more municipalities or areas, and
- In the absence of incorporated municipalities, the regional district acts as the "local" government for rural areas.