Government of New Brunswick

The provincial government is undertaking a broad range of actions to create a new Local Governance System in New Brunswick. One of the five objectives outlined in the December 2011 Action Plan supporting this new system, is to increase collaboration, communication and planning between communities. The establishment of 12 Regional Service Commissions will help communities to communicate and collaborate regionally, as well as plan on a regional basis.

These new Commissions will better enable communities across New Brunswick to work together and share services to meet their common needs. The Commissions will serve communities and be governed by them, creating direct accountability to taxpayers in all regions.

The challenge in today's service delivery approach

Citizens in New Brunswick’s communities receive services, either from a local government (city, town, village or Rural Community) or the provincial government in the case of Local Service Districts (LSDs). Some services are delivered by Municipalities or Rural Communities themselves, while others are acquired or arranged for from service providers, including commissions, local volunteers, other municipalities, the private sector, and in the case of RCMP services, from the federal government.

There are currently 12 commissions providing planning services and 12 commissions providing solid waste management. There are also a number of mutual aid agreements in place across the Province between Municipalities, Rural Communities and Local Service Districts for the delivery of services such as fire protection, as well as a number of agreements for cost-sharing and managing services such as recreational facilities.

Neighbouring communities often compete for new investments, build infrastructure or acquire equipment which can result in duplication. Many struggle to maintain these assets with limited available revenue. Communities tend to individually purchase or acquire needed expertise to manage or administer services rather than collaborate and pool resources.

Government recognizes that this approach to service delivery is inefficient and doesn’t capitalize on the collective strength of neighbouring communities.

One of the primary challenges is that there is no existing structure to enable communities to communicate with one another, to plan and prioritize from a regional perspective, collaborate on projects, cost-share on service delivery, and make mutually-beneficial decisions on investments, or share expertise.

Addressing the challenges

To address these challenges, Regional Service Commissions will be established to enable the needed collaboration and cooperation between communities, ensuring that Municipalities, Rural Communities and Local Service Districts are better positioned to meet the service needs of residents and to benefit from collective efforts to build and sustain stronger regions.