New local governance model introduced22 May 2013
FREDERICTON (GNB) – Amendments to the Municipalities Act that will create a new local governance model called a regional municipality were introduced today by Environment and Local Government Minister Bruce Fitch.
The amendments will create a new form of local governance entity, making it available to restructuring projects such as the one currently on-going in the Tracadie-Sheila area, which encompasses a town and would have a population of more than 15,000 people.
“As part of our Action Plan for a New Local Governance System in New Brunswick, we committed to eliminate barriers that discourage communities from coming together and that is what we will achieve with this new local governance model,” said Fitch. “We are recognizing the unique nature of the project in the Tracadie-Sheila area, where the town, 18 local service districts (LSD) and two partial LSDs are finishing a feasibility study that considers their incorporation. The study committee has been hard at work ensuring that the proposal is ready to present to the entire population in the weeks to come and this regional municipality model will help them in those efforts.”
The proposed changes would allow a project that includes a population of more than 15,000 and that has at least one municipality as part of the project to choose to become a regional municipality. Regional municipalities will have similar powers, authorities and responsibilities as a rural community.
“We have been working with the Town of Tracadie-Sheila and 20 neighbouring local service districts on their locally led efforts aimed at forming a new local government,” said Fitch. “The area in question has a population of 16,053, a property tax base of $800 million, and a land area of 524 square kilometres. The concept of the regional municipality recognizes that this is a unique project.”
● Department of Environment and Local Government