FREDERICTON (CNB) - New Brunswickers should be engaged and be involved in the upcoming municipal elections in their community as the nomination period is now open, Local Government Minister Carmel Robichaud has announced.

"Serving on a municipal or rural community council is a great opportunity to make a difference locally, and to contribute in making New Brunswick self-sufficient by the year 2026," Robichaud said.

The nomination process for the upcoming quadrennial municipal election on May 12 officially opened on March 17, and closes at 2 p.m. on April 11. Candidates have until Monday, April 14, to withdraw their names. Nomination papers may be picked up at the municipal returning offices or local municipal offices, or may be printed from the Elections NB website.

"Municipalities and rural communities are key players in this province and local governments make decisions that have an impact on day-to-day life in communities," Robichaud said.. "This is why I encourage interested residents who meet eligibility requirements to run for municipal office. This is a great opportunity to take on new challenges, and influence and make changes that will benefit the whole community, its residents, businesses, and organizations."

On election day, May 12, first-time elections will be held for the new Town of Florenceville-Bristol as residents in two former villages will vote for a new common council.

Residents of the newly established rural community of Upper Miramichi will also have the opportunity to vote at a municipal election for the first time.

EDITOR'S NOTE: For information on the electoral process, contact Paul Harpelle, communications, Elections NB, 506-453-2218.