Talking regional government
CARBONEAR, NL — Municipal Affairs Minister Eddie Joyce promises not to force amalgamation on any towns.
He made the statement during a public consultation on regional governance in Carbonear. It’s something he has said previously as well.
Joyce said government simply wants feedback that can aid the work of an advisory committee developing pilot projects for regional governance. Those projects are expected to start in 2019.
“Tell us what we can do,” he said. “We know the demographics of the province are shifting. Everybody in this room knows that. We all know that. We know there have got to be changes.”
Emily Thompson, manager of community co-operation with the province, gave a presentation that outlined some of the key issues underlining the need for more collaboration among towns. She gave the same presentation in Baie Verte last week.
Towns with declining, aging populations struggle to fill council vacancies and may not have access to the revenue necessary to provide services residents expect. More than half of all municipalities in the province as of 2016 have a population below 500. Among towns in close proximity, there may be an unnecessary duplication of services. Local service districts (LSDs) generally provide fewer services and in many cases are located near towns with an active council. These LSDs find themselves relying on neighbouring communities or the provincial government to address service shortcomings.
Emily Thompson, manager of community co-operation with the province, gave a presentation that outlined some of the key issues underlining the need for more collaboration among towns.