Municipalities have ownership rights over most highways within their boundaries. The B.C. government continues to have ownership of and jurisdiction over arterial (provincial) highways that are located in municipalities, and has a right of resumption of municipally-owned highways for specified purposes.
The Community Charter defines highways to include streets, roads, lanes, bridges, viaducts and any other way open to public use, other than private rights of way on private property. That includes, for example, sidewalks.
The property of most highways in a municipality is vested in (belongs to) a municipality, subject to the common law right of public passage (right to use the property as a highway). In addition, the municipality has a right of possession of some highways that it does not own, giving it the authority to maintain those roads. The B.C. government has ownership of and jurisdiction over most roads in non-municipal (rural) areas – for example, those roads in regional district electoral areas.