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.