Government of New Brunswick

Cities, towns and villages are known as municipalities and are represented by a council, elected by residents.  Council is in place to ensure the delivery of services that meet the interests and needs of residents, businesses, and organizations, at a cost these groups are willing and able to fund.  Council is also the vehicle through which residents express their thoughts and concerns in an effort to create local opportunities or to find solutions to community concerns. At minimum, a municipality is responsible to provide administration, land use planning, emergency measures, policing, road, and garbage collection services to residents.

Regional Municipalities

In May 2013, the regional municipality was introduced as a new restructuring option for New Brunswick communities. A population greater than 15,000 and a community grouping that includes at least one municipality are required to become a regional municipality.  Like a municipality, a regional municipality is governed by a council, elected by residents. Unlike a municipality, a regional municipality must only take on community administration, planning and emergency measures services, with the option to take on more services as it chooses. The regional municipality is responsible; however, to provide all services that were previously provided by a former municipality that is now part of the regional municipality. Responsibility for police protection and road services in an area(s) of the regional municipality that used to be a local service district would continue to be delivered by the Province of New Brunswick, unless the regional municipality chooses to take on the service.

Rural Communities (RC)

A rural community is an incorporated community that has a locally elected council to oversee the delivery of local services in a manner that reflects the community’s needs, wants, and ability to pay.  This local government option is open to a local service district, a group of LSDs, or a grouping of an LSD(s) and a town or village so long as the target feasibility requirement of 3,000 population or $200 million tax base is met. RCs are responsible to provide administrative services, community planning and emergency measures services only.  The province ensures the delivery of other services (e.g. solid waste collection, recreation services, etc.) until the RC chooses to take them on. This allows communities to transition to a new governance structure with flexibility. However, a rural community that includes a former village or town is responsible to provide all services that were previously provided by in the former municipality.

If you do not live in a municipality, regional municipality or rural community, you live in a local service district:

Local Service Districts (LSD)

Unincorporated communities are known as local service districts and are not local governments. They are administered by the Minister of Environment and Local Government.  Department staff coordinates service delivery to LSDs, such as fire protection and garbage collection services, among others. To assist staff in providing local services, and to ensure residents have an opportunity to be heard, unincorporated communities may elect a Local Service District Advisory Committee. These committees do not have decision making powers but help advise the minister on local matters.

Approximately a third of New Brunswick residents live in LSDs and have no local governance power (2014 figures).