Executive Council
Municipal Affairs and Environment
November 2, 2017

Premier’s Forum Leads to Valuable Discussions on Regional Government

The Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, hosted the second annual Premier’s Forum on Local Government yesterday in Corner Brook. Premier Ball and the Honourable Eddie Joyce, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment, participated in discussions with delegates focusing on the sustainability of local governments and regional governance.

The forum was held in conjunction with Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador, the Combined Councils of Labrador and Professional Municipal Administrators.

Topics discussed at the forum included:

  • What we heard from in-person consultations on Regional Government;
  • Three potential shared service models and how they could be implemented on a regional level; and
  • Three sample models of regional government and discussion of which elements of each might work in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Provincial Government has held extensive public consultations on the potential for a regional government model. As an action of The Way Forward, government is committed to implementing regional governance and/or sharing of services pilot(s) by 2019.

“We had a very productive forum and I thank those who attended for their valuable contributions. The long-term sustainability of our local governments is of significant concern, and we will use the information we gathered about potential changes to regional governance to meet our commitments under The Way Forward to support opportunities for regionalization and to build on offering quality services for all residents.”
Honourable Dwight Ball
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

“I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all participants from communities throughout our province for expressing their opinions during the forum. The insight and expertise from delegates about their experiences in local governance is invaluable as we ensure every region has strong and sustainable services in the future.”
Honourable Eddie Joyce
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment

“MNL was glad to partner once again with the province in hosting this event. Forums like these give our members an opportunity to speak directly about improving the effectiveness and sustainability of service delivery to improve the lives of our residents. Many of the smaller municipalities in Newfoundland and Labrador are having difficulty providing the services that residents expect. It's important that we continue to focus on building capacity where capacity doesn’t exist, and regional government can take a lot of the heavy burden off these vulnerable municipalities.”
Karen Oldford
President, Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador

"Thank you to the Provincial Government for the invitation to have our members participate in this year’s Premier’s Forum. Municipal staff bring a different perspective to the discussions on regional government and sharing services than elected officials. A necessary and important perspective that must be considered moving forward with a potential regional government model. We encourage all town clerks, managers, and department heads to participate, engage, and advise on these discussions. Considering all factors will ensure success in the sustainability of rural Newfoundland."
Brian Peckford
President, Professional Municipal Administrators

"There are a great number of potential benefits in regional governance and/or regional shared service delivery, however there are also a great number of potential pitfalls as well. When implementing any new governance model one must take great care to ensure the model is efficient, effective and of course a good fit for where it is being implemented. Using the information gathered through the consultation process, government should have a good idea of how to implement this type of model to maximize those benefits while minimizing the weaknesses. There is not a ‘one size fits all’ model to best fit the many diverse areas of our province, flexibility of the model design will be of the utmost importance to ensure successful implementation."
Trent A. O'Brien
President, Combined Councils of Labrador

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Learn More

Premier’s Forum: www.mae.gov.nl.ca/premiersforum/

Media contacts
Michelle Cannizzaro
Office of the Premier

Lynn Robinson
Municipal Affairs and Environment
709-729-5449, 691-9466

Gail Woodfine
Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador

Krista Planke
Professional Municipal Administrators

Margaret Rumbolt
Combined Councils of Labrador

2017 11 02                             12:00 p.m.