FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Local Governance Commission Act was introduced in the legislative assembly today.

“During our extensive consultations it became clear that we needed a single entity in New Brunswick that manages both the investigative and adjudicative aspects of local governance,” said Local Government and Local Governance Reform Minister Daniel Allain. “Creating a supporting regulatory framework is an important milestone.”

In the White Paper on Local Governance Reform, the government committed to establishing an independent body to review, assess, rule, and make recommendations on matters affecting the administration and governance of local/regional entities including local governments, regional service commissions and rural districts.

The governance structure will consist of a commission led by an independent commissioner accountable to the government through the minister. The commission will be responsible for all administrative, investigative, educational, and advisory functions, such as:

  • the appointment of inspectors and investigations;
  • the appointment of auditors and audits;
  • the appointment of a supervisor/trustee;
  • investigations related to codes of conduct and conflicts of interest;
  • reviews of cost-sharing decisions by regional service commissions;
  • reviews of bylaws;
  • local government restructuring plans; and
  • amendments to regions.

The Assessment and Planning Appeal Board will be transitioned into and renamed as the tribunal. This tribunal, also led by a chair, will operate under the commission’s organizational umbrella but remain independent and will perform related adjudicative functions, such as appeals.

“We are putting in place a framework and mechanisms that support an independent body to address key functions in local governance bodies such as assessing and ruling on matters of conflict of interest,” said Allain.