Foundations of Governance

Foundations of Governance: Municipal Government in Canada's Provinces

ANDREW SANCTON
ROBERT YOUNG
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 453
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/9781442697874
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  • Book Info
    Foundations of Governance
    Book Description:

    InFoundations of Governance, experts from each of Canada's provinces come together to assess the extent to which municipal governments have the capacity to act autonomously, purposefully, and collaboratively in the intergovernmental arena.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-9787-4
    Subjects: Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Contributors
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-2)
    ROBERT YOUNG and ANDREW SANCTON
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 3-19)
    ANDREW SANCTON

    This collection of essays is the most comprehensive attempt ever to describe and analyse the systems of municipal government in Canadaʹs ten provinces.¹ It has been fraught with challenges, not the least of which are the huge differences in the populations of the provinces and the resulting variations in what their respective municipalities are expected to do. By assigning the writing of the essays to academic experts in each province, we gain the benefits that derive from detailed local knowledge. The disadvantage of this approach is that it is often hard for local authors to understand fully what is special...

  6. 1 Ontario
    (pp. 20-69)
    DAVID SIEGEL

    The purpose of this chapter is to provide a general overview of the municipal system in Ontario with a particular emphasis on the way the system has changed recently in terms of the relationship of municipalities to the provincial government. I have argued elsewhere that municipal government in Ontario has been characterized by long periods of quietude punctuated by short periods of intense reorganization.¹ Specifically, I predicted that the years of rapid change in the latter part of the 1990s would be followed by a return to quietude. I was correct about the longer-term historical trend. I was wrong about...

  7. 2 Quebec
    (pp. 70-137)
    SERGE BELLEY, LAURENCE BHERER, GUY CHIASSON, JEAN-PIERRE COLLIN, PIERRE HAMEL, PIERRE J. HAMEL and MATHIEU RIVARD

    The objective of this chapter is to shed light on how the municipal system works in Quebec.¹ We begin in the 1960s when, as was true of other components of the state during the Quiet Revolution, the municipal system came under pressure to modernize its management structure and practices. This pressure did not lift in the following decades but it took different forms. Added to this was the fact that the provincial government had to face both a ʹpolitical crisisʹ against the backdrop of a ʹperceived crisisʹ in public finances – rightly or wrongly defined as such by some –...

  8. 3 Nova Scotia
    (pp. 138-185)
    DAVID M. CAMERON and PAUL A.R. HOBSON

    The basic structure of municipal government in Nova Scotia has, with a few notable exceptions, changed remarkably little over the past century and a quarter. The foundation of the municipal system is the county, of which there are eighteen. Three of these are now incorporated as ʹregionalʹ municipalities, containing both urban and rural communities in single-tier municipal units.¹ Of the remaining fifteen counties, nine are incorporated as municipal units covering the entire county, while six are divided into two municipal districts each.² In Nova Scotia parlance, these rural municipalities are simply referred to as the municipalities. In municipal circles, they...

  9. 4 New Brunswick
    (pp. 186-222)
    DANIEL BOURGEOIS and FRANK STRAIN

    The number, size, and functions of municipalities have had a significant impact on how New Brunswick has been governed. These issues motivated the provincial government, in 1962, to establish the (Byrne) Royal Commission on Municipal Finance and Taxation. The commission went way beyond its initial mandate and recommended, in 1963, that the province overhaul its entire apparatus by centralizing ʹservices to peopleʹ in provincial institutions, eliminating county councils, and decentralizing ʹservices to propertiesʹ in municipalities that would henceforth fall under closer scrutiny and tighter controls by the province. The provincial government agreed, arguing that this would provide standardized services to...

  10. 5 Manitoba
    (pp. 223-281)
    TOM CARTER

    Local government in Manitoba has evolved over a period of 130 years. Its origins (since the arrival of European settlers) date to the granting of municipal status to and the creation of the city of Winnipeg in 1873.¹Despite considerable opposition from the Hudson Bay Company, a major landowner within the new city boundaries that feared increased taxation on its land, the provincial legislature granted the city of Winnipeg a charter. This was followed closely by the incorporation of other municipalities, both urban and rural, in the immediate vicinity of Winnipeg.

    Since these early beginnings, the evolution of municipal government in...

  11. 6 British Columbia
    (pp. 282-313)
    PATRICK J. SMITH and KENNEDY STEWART

    Successful multilevel governance in Canada requires federal, provincial, and municipal governments cooperating to achieve goals of benefit to those residing in areas where the jurisdictions of these three governmental tiers geographically overlap. Such cooperation means not just municipal governments doing the bidding of more senior governments, but also policy sometimes being directed from the bottom up. This chapter offers an appraisal of the multilevel-governance readiness of municipal governments in British Columbia by providing an overview of local institutions, processes, and players, along with some brief case examples. We argue that, while current governance arrangements and processes have created conditions apparently...

  12. 7 Prince Edward Island
    (pp. 314-344)
    DAVID BULGER and JAMES SENTANCE

    Prince Edward Island is a small place. It is small in land area and small in population. Size accounts for a number of anomalies, not the least of which is the fact that, while it has the smallest population, the Island also has the highest population density of any province in Canada.¹ It is this high density that sometimes perplexes outside observers, especially when it is put into the perspective of community incorporation. Few places in Prince Edward Island that are identifiable ʹlocalitiesʹ have undergone the incorporation provided for by the Municipalities Act, occasioning mystification, if not consternation, on the...

  13. 8 Saskatchewan
    (pp. 345-383)
    JOSEPH GARCEA and DONALD GILCHRIST

    In Saskatchewan, as in other provinces, the configuration of the municipal system is important not only for the nature and scope of local governance but also for multilevel governance. Ultimately, of course, it is also important for economic and social development within the local, regional, and provincial communities. This chapter is an overview of the municipal system in the province of Saskatchewan, of the debates regarding the effects of the system both for local municipal governance and for multilevel governance, and of the prospects for reforms. The chapter consists of four sections discussing: 1) the origins and evolution of the...

  14. 9 Alberta
    (pp. 384-452)
    EDWARD C. LESAGE JR and MELVILLE L. MCMILLAN

    This chapter provides an overview of the municipal government system in Alberta with reference to select significant developments that have affected this system over the past three decades. We begin with an introduction to system organization which focuses on the types and nature of the principal and auxiliary authorities that comprise it. A review of the powers and functions of Alberta municipal government follows, with attention to the more or less unique functions of Alberta municipalities. Municipal finances are examined next. Democratic institutions and processes (for example, elections, public participation) are subsequently considered, with provincial-local relations the next focus. Municipal...

  15. 10 Newfoundland and Labrador
    (pp. 453-486)
    JAMES P. FEEHAN, JEFFERY BRAUN-JACKSON, RONALD PENNEY and STEPHEN G. TOMBLIN

    The purpose of this chapter is to outline and examine critical features of municipal governance in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It will review the development of municipal governance, paying close attention to St Johnʹs, the capital city and the longeststanding municipality. This chapter will also review several other topics, including the historical context and evolution of municipal government, functions performed by municipalities, municipal finance, oversight functions performed by the provincial government, demographics, political culture, key policy actors, electoral systems, and trends in local governance.

    In 1949 Newfoundland became part of Canada. At the time, supporters of Confederation expected...

  16. Conclusion
    (pp. 487-500)
    ROBERT YOUNG

    The chapters collected here present a remarkable survey of municipal government in Canadaʹs provinces. They have truly described the foundations of our governance. We do not use ʹfoundationsʹ to imply that other governments and governance systems are built on or depend in some way on municipal governments, because of course the reverse is true: the federal and provincial governments are constitutionally primordial, and municipal governments and other local authorities emanate from provincial jurisdiction. Nor do we mean that municipal governments are foundational in that they are ʹcloser to the people,ʹ as the commonly heard phrasing has it. This may be...

  17. Appendix: Municipal Financial Data for Canada and by Province
    (pp. 501-524)
  18. Index
    (pp. 525-544)
  19. Back Matter
    (pp. 545-545)