News Release Archive

Municipal legislation could soon get a lot simpler. An extensive
review of most of the legislation affecting municipalities in
Nova Scotia which began last year, is now in the second stage.

The Municipal Legislation Review Committee submitted its report
to Housing and Municipal Affairs Sandy Jolly last week and copies
of the report will be widely distributed in early July. Comment
is anticipated from municipalities and others who deal with
municipal legislation.

The minister established the committee in fall 1994 with a
mandate to update, modernize and consolidate the legislation
governing local government. The committee is proposing combining
some 13 current acts into one Municipal Government Act.

"Response is critical to the success of this project," said the
minister. "We want people who deal with municipal legislation to
identify areas where they agree, disagree, or agree but would do
it differently."

The minister said the review is necessary for many reasons.
Municipal legislation is scattered in a variety of statutes. The
powers of the three regional municipalities are in their
respective statutes. Most of the law governing towns is in the
Towns Act and that of rural municipalities is in the Municipal 

Boundaries are set under the Municipal Boundaries and
Representation Act. Municipal borrowing is regulated under the
Municipal Affairs Act and the Municipal Finance Corporation Act.
Taxation matters are to be found in the Assessment Act, the Deed
Transfer Tax Act and several other acts. Authority for land use
by-laws and other aspects of community planning is in the
Planning Act.

"It's no wonder people are often frustrated by the sheer volume
of the provisions, overlap, duplication, and the legalistic
language of municipal legislation," said the minister. "All these
tend to increase the chance of error and inconsistency in
interpretation, while undermining municipal effectiveness."

The minister said that modernized legislation will mean greater
autonomy for municipalities, which is something they've been
requesting for years.

The Municipal Legislation Review Committee is comprised of
representatives from the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, the
Association of Municipal Administrators, and Department of
Housing and Municipal Affairs.


Contact: Michelle Whelan  902-424-6336

trp                         June 24, 1996 - 2:05 p.m.