Adjustments made to local governance reforms after input from communities
FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has made changes to its local governance restructuring plan in response to feedback from residents, stakeholders and community leaders.
The timeframe for suggesting changes to the local governance restructuring ended Thursday, Dec. 16.
The Department of Environment and Local Government had been accepting comments and suggestions since last month’s release of the white paper on local governance reform. Although many were pleased with the restructurings, others asked the government to consider different pairings or groupings of communities.
“The provincial government has been listening to New Brunswickers and we have made adjustments to some proposed restructuring plans if they are consistent with the guiding principles of the reform,” said Local Government and Local Governance Reform Minister Daniel Allain. “This is the most significant reform in 60 years, and we feel it is the right plan for New Brunswick at the right time. But we also knew it was not perfect, and that is why we have accommodated some changes after consultation with New Brunswickers.”
The department held 36 local governance reform engagement sessions. Those were in addition to meetings Allain had individually with hundreds of New Brunswickers – some virtually and some in person. About 1,700 people took part in this process. As well, the department received hundreds of emails and briefs while more than 1,200 people took part in an online survey.
“I want to thank those who took the time to meet with us and write to us since Nov. 18 to suggest improvements to the local governance reform plan,” said Allain.
Allain also announced that Gerard Belliveau, executive director of the Southeast Regional Service Commission; Lise Ouellette, former executive director of the Francophone Association of Municipalities of New Brunswick, Jennifer Wilkins, assistant deputy minister of Local Government and Local Governance Reform; and Ryan Donaghy, deputy minister of Local Government and Local Governance Reform, will lead the transition as advisers to the minister.
As well, Ken Harding, former town manager and chief administrative officer, and Maurice Basque, historian and scientific adviser at the Acadian Studies Institute of Université de Moncton, have agreed to advise on issues relating to toponomy.
The changes to the plan are available online.