FREDERICTON (GNB) – Several amendments were introduced in the legislative assembly today to ensure the local governance reform transition has the legislative tools required for implementation.

Through the work completed so far this year, several acts have been identified that require amendments including: An Act Respecting Local Governance Reform, the Local Governance Act, the Regional Service Delivery Act, the Assessment and Planning Appeal Board Act and the General Regulation under this act.

Some of the proposed changes include: enabling the creation of a code of conduct for rural district advisory committees, allowing for expanded use of electronic meetings for local governments, providing for a director of finance for regional service commissions, establishing accountability requirements for third-party service providers on behalf of the commissions, and increasing the minimum number of voting members on commission boards from five to six.

“Our transition teams, facilitators and local governance reform team at the department have been busy working together to make our modernization plan for New Brunswick a success,” said Local Government and Local Governance Reform Minister Daniel Allain. “While we have a great plan for the province, some legislative areas need to be updated to keep pace with the changes.”

The transition teams are coordinating and overseeing the creation of new entities, which includes work related to budgets, bylaws, assets and council composition.

Several milestones have been reached since January, such as finalizing boundary and electoral structure submissions by all entities by March 4 and updating the entity maps. The naming process will be completed by May 16.

“The reform package in its entirety continues to progress well and we are keeping the lines of communication open to address issues if they arise,’’ said Allain. “I am impressed by the progress being made in many regions.”

“We encourage all affected councils and committees to effectively collaborate with their transition leaders to ensure that the upcoming plan reflects their communities,” he said.

More information on local governance reform is available online.