Municipal Incorporations

What does it mean when a municipality becomes incorporated?

Municipal incorporation occurs when a group of residents want to become self-governing under the laws of the province as a municipality. Municipalities currently are incorporated as a city, town or community.

Why would residents want to incorporate as a municipality?

There are many reasons why residents choose to incorporate as a municipality. Some of the most common reasons are to:

  • provide local services,
  • regulate through bylaws, and
  • work as a community towards community and economic development.

How does a resident of an unincorporated area apply for incorporation as a municipality?

A group of residents must submit an application to the Minister responsible for Communities, Land and Environment, which contains a:

  • petition with signatures of at least 25 residents in the area, and:
    • a request for a municipality
    • a description of the proposed boundaries of the municipality
    • a description of type of municipality – town or community, and
    • a listing of services to be provided by the municipality

What happens once an application for incorporation has been submitted?

When the Minister responsible for Communities, Land and Environment receives a completed application, he/she calls a public meeting of the residents in the area to determine public support for the proposal. The Minister may also hold a plebiscite and/or request a feasibility study. If the Minister supports the proposal, a recommendation is made to Cabinet, who has final authority to establish a municipality.

What role does Municipal Affairs have in municipal incorporations?

The role of the Municipal Affairs branch is to:

  • explain the application process;
  • explain the responsibilities, powers and requirements for a municipality once it is approved;
  • assist the Minister responsible for Communities, Land and Environment in assessing whether or not the proposed municipality is feasible;
  • hold a public meeting to explain the details of an application; and
  • assess whether or not there is local support for the proposal.

For further details on the municipal incorporation process, please see our Information Sheet on Creating a New Municipality.

Published date: 
July 6, 2015
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General Inquiries

Department of Communities, Land and Environment
4th Floor, Jones Building
11 Kent Street
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Phone: (902) 368-5044
Toll-free: 1-866-368-5044
Fax: (902) 368-5830