FREDERICTON (GNB) – Twelve regional service commissions would be created as of January 2013 under the new Regional Service Delivery Act introduced today by Environment and Local Government Minister Bruce Fitch.

"As we committed to when we launched our Action Plan for a New Local Governance System in New Brunswick, we have brought forward legislation to create 12 regional service commissions," said Fitch. "The Regional Service Delivery Act would ensure transparency and accountability in reporting and the work of the commissions. It would also ensure that communities throughout New Brunswick have a voice on these commissions, something that had been heard clearly during our extensive consultations. These commissions will play an important role in controlling service delivery costs and will contribute to a stronger economy for our province."

The legislation would:

●    divide the province into 12 regions for service delivery, including a range of required common services;
●    establish a commission for each region, which would be governed by a board of directors comprised of: the mayor of every municipality and rural community; and representatives of local service districts; and
●    allow for and encourage communities to collaborate on additional, voluntary services.

The legislation includes transitional provisions, including an interim board of directors and the adoption of the first budget. These interim provisions would support a transition to the new regional model. This portion of the bill would come in force at royal assent, while other sections would come into effect on Jan. 1, 2013.

"The commissions will deliver common services as well as allow for, and encourage, communities to work together to find efficiencies in the delivery of services," said Fitch. "The common services include the delivery of solid waste management, local land use planning in local service districts, and regional planning. They also include the collaboration between police forces in a region, emergency measures planning as well as planning and collaboration for sport, recreation and culture infrastructure."

The creation of the commissions is one of the five objectives contained in the action plan.

LINKS:

●    Department of Environment and Local Government
●    Action Plan for a New Local Governance System in New Brunswick