Municipal Renewal Begins with Regionalization

February 8, 2021

St. John’s – In the fourth and final week of its Municipal Solutions Platform campaign, Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador (MNL) is focusing on regionalization as a solution to an uncertain future.

Municipalities in this province face serious demographic, governance and service delivery challenges that include an ageing population, youth out-migration, a lack of economic opportunities, reduced taxation levels and increased expenses. Three-quarters of municipalities have only a single staff person or fewer and lack access to professional and technical advice.

Regionalization makes it possible for communities to share costs and services, and to have a stronger voice together. In some cases, it can mean establishing a regional government. Research from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) indicates that improving effective municipal services and democracy through regional government is the key to success for most countries. Throughout the rest of Canada and in 81 percent of Commonwealth countries, structures to support regionalization are already in place.

As a result of MNL advocacy, a concerted effort toward regionalization is happening. A Regionalization Working Group, including representatives from MNL the Professional Municipal Administrators (PMA) and the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Municipalities officially launched in November 2020. The group is working toward ministerial recommendations for effective regionalization in Newfoundland and Labrador. MNL is asking for concrete commitments from all parties to implement these recommendations.

“We envision a well-organized, appropriately structured and resourced future municipal sector in Newfoundland and Labrador where residents living in our communities can access programs, services and infrastructure at a reasonable cost.  Regionalization is one clear way to achieve this vision and we cannot afford to let inaction drag on for another decade.” Craig Pollett, CEO of Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador.




Deatra Walsh
Director of Advocacy, Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador