Phase 1 involved the development of a general framework for the reform process. This included the establishment of various committees and working groups that will guide, support and / or provide the needed expertise throughout the process. The following committees were established: steering committees to ensure the transformation of local governance in New Brunswick meets objectives, an advisory committee comprised of key stakeholders, and working groups which includes senior representatives from various departments, agencies and external stakeholders.
The launch of the Local Governance Reform website was also part of the first phase.
Phase 2 begins with the release of Working together for vibrant and sustainable communities: a green paper. Phase 2 will focus on engagement with stakeholders and the public. The goal of this phase is to obtain feedback and perspectives from across New Brunswick on how to address the challenges facing our local governance system and on what potential opportunities are.
Note that the green paper is not government policy. It is intended to stimulate thoughtful public discussion by outlining the key issues and problems and by highlighting what some of the potential options / solutions might look like.
Phase 3 will include a thorough review of the feedback received through the public / stakeholder engagement phase, the preparation and release of a white paper, and taking the first steps toward implementation. The purpose of the “white paper” will be to outline the changes the Government of New Brunswick plans to implement to strengthen our local governance system, along with providing additional information on implementation. It is anticipated that the white paper will be released publicly in Fall 2021.
The timing of the changes to the local governance system, whether they are financial or structural, will depend on their scope and complexity and will only be put in place once the required legislative and / or regulatory amendments are enacted.