News Release Archive

You could call it one-stop shopping for municipal legislation.
Municipalities are being asked to consider a proposal that
combines some 13 pieces of legislation into one municipal
government act.

This is one of the recommendations in a report by the Municipal
Legislation Review Committee. The committee is comprised of
representatives from the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities,
Association of Municipal Administrators and Department of Housing
and Municipal Affairs.

The committee's mandate was to modernize the legislation
governing Nova Scotia municipalities. It was responsible for
simplifying the language, streamlining the processes, eliminating
obsolete concepts and developing provisions to deal with emerging
municipal issues.

The committee reviewed issues identified by members, consultation
with groups, and from submissions received.

"These are the committee's recommendations," said Housing and
Municipal Affairs Minister Jim Smith. "The report does not
present a final position with regard to changes in municipal
legislation. Now it's time for municipalities and others to

The report also contains draft legislation. The draft Municipal
Government Act is intended to consolidate most of the legislation
concerning municipal government, with amendments to other
statutes. The draft act is intended to be a focus for discussion
and not necessarily the final statute. The committee used the
regional municipalities' acts as a basis for its proposed act.
The draft act does not require ministerial approval for any

The report contains numerous recommendations, including the
recommendation that wardens of rural municipalities should have
the same powers as mayors of towns and regional municipalities,
and be elected at large.

The committee also recommends that all members of council, except
the presiding officer, be required to vote on a question thus
eliminating abstentions. This is based on the premise that
councillors are elected to determine difficult issues not to
avoid them.

Over the coming months, the Department of Housing and Municipal
Affairs will review the committee's report and reaction to the
report as the basis for possible future legislation. Copies of
the report are available at the N.S. Bookstore 1-800-526-6575.


NOTE TO EDITORS: For a summary of the report, please call
902-424-4492. Media can obtain copies of the report from Michelle
Whelan 902-424-6336.

Contact: Michelle Whelan   902-424-6336

         Cathleen O'Grady  902-424-7716

trp                      July 16, 1996 - 2:50 p.m.