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About the Department


The vision of the Department of Municipal Affairs is of sustainable communities led by strong local governments within a self-reliant province that advances its interests in Confederation and abroad.


By March 31, 2017, the Department of Municipal Affairs will have strengthened infrastructure investments and supports to local governments.

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Departmental Overview

Department of Municipal Affairs (the ‘department') provides programs, services and supports that help contribute to the overall governance and sustainability of the province. At the local level, the department supports the financial stability and viability of municipalities and the efficient and effective delivery of municipal services. As such, the department assists municipalities in meeting their infrastructure needs and helps provide the financial and administrative tools to support development of community capacity, regional cooperation, and sound municipal governance.

The department also actively supports a number of key cross-department initiatives, including the Provincial Waste Management Strategy and the Drinking Water Safety Initiative.

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The mandate of the department is derived from the following legislation:

  1. The Department of Municipal and Provincial Affairs Notice, 2003, under the Executive Council Act, and is informed by the legislation set out in the Schedule which outlines the powers, duties and functions of the minister, who is also appointed Registrar General.

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Lines of Business

Lines of business are the major programs, products or services provided to our primary clients. The Department of Municipal Affairs has five main lines of business. They are as follows:

Local Governance and Support

The department strengthens local governance by:

  • formulating, administering and supporting regional approaches to service delivery;
  • providing municipal training to elected and administrative officials;
  • providing legislative interpretation to assist in the development of municipal by-laws;
  • advising local government officials;
  • conducting reviews of municipal administrative matters;
  • administering grants and subsidies for community infrastructure;
  • examining local governments' financial operations;
  • monitoring levels of debt;
  • providing operational support;
  • participating in inter-provincial policy development and knowledge sharing; and
  • supporting regional cooperation initiatives.

Municipal Infrastructure and Engineering Services

The department guides infrastructure investments by:

  • assessing needs and prioritizing municipal infrastructure investments;
  • providing financial support for the development of municipal infrastructure;
  • monitoring and providing guidance and advice on municipal infrastructure projects;
  • negotiating and managing federal-provincial agreements for municipal infrastructure funding;
  • investing in waste management infrastructure as part of the Provincial Waste Management Strategy; and
  • investing in clean and safe drinking water projects.

Land Use Planning

The department guides effective Land Use Planning by:

  • protecting provincial interests by reviewing proposed municipal and local plans;
  • assisting municipalities in preparing land use plans;
  • managing development of regional plans;
  • formulating land use policy;
  • encouraging efficient use of infrastructure;
  • assessing climate change impacts on proposed development; and
  • helping municipalities use their plans.

Employment Support

The department delivers employment support programs by:

  • working with local, community-based sponsors to create short-term employment initiatives that provide enduring benefits to communities; and
  • providing employment support programs in areas affected by permanent closure of fish processing plants and to coordinate interdepartmental efforts to assist the workers affected.

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