FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has introduced several amendments aimed at ensuring a seamless transition to the new system of local governance.

The proposed changes were identified with input from transition teams, which include representatives of local governments and local service districts, along with facilitators.

“As with any change of this magnitude, we are finding areas that need to be updated,” said Local Government and Local Governance Reform Minister Daniel Allain. “We knew from the beginning that this was an evolving process, and it is remarkable to see how far we have come in two years. That said, sometimes we need to make adjustments and that is what we’re doing.”

Most of the amendments concern Chapter 44 of the Acts of New Brunswick, 2021. They include:

  • Having a local government’s municipal bylaws not take effect in annexed areas until these bylaws are revised by the local government.
  • Establishing a review mechanism on the cost-sharing of regional infrastructure.
  • Extending the deadline to update local land-use plans in an annexed local government to five years from 18 months.
  • Clarifying roles pertaining to future road development within local government boundaries where the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure retains ownership and control.

In addition, the government proposes repealing the Greater Saint John Regional Facilities Commission Act. For more than 20 years, Saint John, Rothesay, Quispamsis and Grand Bay-Westfield have shared operating costs of five facilities, including the Saint John Trade and Convention Centre and the Canada Games Aquatic Centre. Allain said the legislation is no longer needed, given the expanded roles of regional service commissions with regard to regional sport, recreational and cultural infrastructure. The proposed changes would transfer responsibility for cost-sharing of the five facilities to the Fundy Regional Service Commission.