FREDERICTON (GNB) – The new Local Governance Act and the modernized Community Planning Act will replace the current Municipalities Act and Community Planning Act, effective Jan. 1.

“Our government is pleased to ring in the new year with modern legislation that will help local governments achieve their goals,” said Environment and Local Government Minister Serge Rousselle. “With these changes, we are getting things done for New Brunswickers.”

The more permissive legislation will provide local governments with increased flexibility and autonomy, and specific powers to engage in activities and implement programs and incentives, supported by by-laws, to encourage economic development and job creation. The legislation recognizes local governments as a responsible and accountable level of government which are separate, autonomous and distinct entities from the provincial government.

The legislation will:

  • Give broad powers to local governments to enact bylaws for matters of local importance.
  • Provide economic development powers allowing local governments to engage in activities to maintain and expand their tax base, such as providing in-kind grants; or establishing government and non-government partnerships with respect to economic development and the development of community facilities, such as recreational facilities.
  • Provide new planning and development tools that would, for example, allow local governments to collect development charges when approving a new development; this funding could then be used to provide that development with services such as roads or water and wastewater infrastructure.
  • Improve service delivery and modernize the process to respond to requests from local service districts for additions to services.
  • Be more user-friendly, with fewer cross-references and updated language which would make following the law simpler for planning authorities.

“In bringing forth new and modernized local governance legislation, our government is fulfilling an important commitment to New Brunswickers,” said Rousselle. “We have worked closely with our stakeholders to modernize these important laws, which we believe support strong, vibrant, and well-planned communities that will help grow the local economy and create jobs.”