Province Pushes for Modernization of Municipal Government
The municipal advisor to the Pugwash Village Commission told the community’s annual meeting tonight that a new initiative of the province is to create the conditions for regional governance.
Nancy Bray says the plan calls for cooperation among municipal units. The Province and the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities signed an agreement to study ways that towns and counties can work together voluntarily rather than create new regional municipalities.
The idea was first raised by the provincial government with the Modernization of Municipal Government Act.
Critics fear the McNeil government wants to centralize control over municipalities in the same way they established the Nova Scotia Health Authority or the single school board authority.
Bray says it may include minimum standards for regional planning, equalization grants, and other development tools. She added it is all part of the review of the Municipal Government Act.
Bray stressed it will be all voluntary, with nothing by force.
Amalgamation in Halifax County brought about Halifax Regional Municipality. Cape Breton Region followed, while discussions on amalgamation in Pictou County failed.
There is a not so subtle difference between 'regional governance' and 'regional government'.