Regional Government

This page contains resources and information about regionalization in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Joint Working Group on Regionalization Report and Recommendations

In February, 2020, a joint working group was convened with an objective of making recommendations for a plan to implement regionalization in Newfoundland and Labrador. The group is comprised of representatives from Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador (MNL), Professional Municipal  Administrators of Newfoundland and Labrador (PMA) and the Department of Municipal and Provincial Affairs.

The report was submitted to government in January, 2022. On February 2, 2022, the Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs publicly released the report.

Click here to download a PDF of the report by the Joint Working Group on Regionalization.

Guiding Principles

The Joint Working Group on Regionalization report outlines a recommended approach to regionalization based on the following guiding principles:

  1. The provision of good local government for all residents;
  2. Better and more efficient local services;
  3. More transparent and accountable local government;
  4. Greater cooperation;
  5. Equitable taxation;
  6. Enhanced municipal administration;
  7. Integrated planning; and
  8. Potentially achieving regional economic development.

Key recommendations include:

As stated in the Joint Working Group on Regionalization report

  • Establishing a regional governance structure in the province to provide regional services to communities in order to achieve economies of scale.
  • Municipalities will retain autonomy and provide local governance and services to the residents within their boundaries. Residents in municipalities to continue to pay taxes only to their municipal councils.
  • Most regions will encompass a population range of 5,000 to 50,000 residents. Provisional regional boundaries will be developed, which will involve stakeholder input and the unique geographical landscape of the province.
  • Representation, including the number of seats, wards and decision-making process, will be determined by a provisional regional advisory committee.
  • Regional bodies will provide some services, such as land-use planning, economic development, emergency planning and by-law enforcement to all communities in the region.
  • Regional bodies will be given taxation authority for properties in former LSDs and UIAs and charge user fees for services provided to municipalities.
  • A multi-organization transition team comprised of staff from MPA, MNL and PMA will support communities during the transition period.
  • Provincial Government should provide financial and administrative support during the transition period.
  • Implement regional governance following a three-phase process over a period of three (3) years: – Phase I – Identify local governance capacity, regional boundaries and begin legislative development; – Phase II – Regional governance design; and – Phase III – Regional governance implementation.

 

Regionalization update, a presentation by MNL CEO Craig Pollett at the 2021 MNL Conference and Trade Show

 

Past research and studies on regionalization

Published by MNL:

Continuities and Discontinuities: A Brief History of Local and Regional Government in NL (2010)

Searching for a Purpose: A Current Assessment of Municipal Government and Regional Governance in NL (2010)

The Umbrella of Protection: Regional Government as the protector and promotor of municipal strength and autonomy in NL  (2010)

The Next Steps in the Regional Government Process (2013)

Published by Harris Centre, Memorial University:

Defining Regions for Building Economic Capacity in Newfoundland and Labrador (2011)

Understanding Regional Governance in Newfoundland and Labrador: A Survey of Regional Development Organizations,” (2013)

Demographic Change and Regionalization of Public Services (2018)