Public engagement sessions planned on local governance reform
FREDERICTON (GNB) – The dates for public engagement sessions on local governance reform have been announced.
Interested individuals and groups are encouraged to first read the green paper entitled Working Together for Vibrant and Sustainable Communities which was released on April 6.
“We hope New Brunswickers have had an opportunity to read the green paper and visit our website,” said Local Government and Local Governance Reform Minister Daniel Allain. “We want to hear from you. The discussions we have now will pave the way toward a better future for all areas of the province.”
In keeping with COVID-19 guidelines, public and stakeholder engagement will be conducted virtually. People are invited to register online for the public engagement sessions listed below and/or to complete a survey. The deadline for public input is May 31.
- Monday, May 17, public session, structure and finance (French) 6:30-8:30 p.m.
- Tuesday, May 18, public session, structure and finance (English) 6:30-8:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, May 19, public session, regional collaboration and land-use planning (French) 6:30-8:30 p.m.
- Thursday, May 20, public session, regional collaboration and land-use planning (English) 6:30-8:30 p.m.
The four pillars outlined in the green paper that will be the focus of discussion during the engagement sessions are:
- regional collaboration;
- land-use planning; and
Due to the delay in municipal elections, the regional stakeholder sessions, which will include the regional service commissions, local government representatives and local service district advisory committees, will take place in June. Information on this engagement will be shared directly with them.
Stakeholder and public feedback and analysis will be incorporated into an engagement document summary that will contribute to the drafting of the white paper which will be released by the end of 2021.
The green paper presented opportunities designed to foster discussion with New Brunswickers on how to improve the local governance system, which has its roots in the 1960s.
Currently, there are 104 local governments, 236 local service districts and 12 regional service commissions in the province. The large number of entities creates duplication and competition for the same services while some communities are having difficultly maintaining basic services such as fire protection.
As well, more than 30 per cent of the population does not have elected representation on a local government.