Municipal Restructuring

What is municipal restructuring?

Municipal restructuring is when a municipality changes its boundaries.  It can include the process of amalgamation (when two or more municipalities join together to make one municipality) and annexation (when a municipality expands to take in property(ies) that do not have a local government), or a combination of the two.  

How does the municipal restructuring process start?

In order to restructure, a proposal needs to be filed with the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission (IRAC).  The Minister or the council of a municipality can start the process to submit an application.

If the proposal is to restructure a rural municipality that does not result in a municipality that meets the criteria in the MGA for a city or a town, the proposal must be submitted to the Minister for approval before being filed with IRAC. 

What must a proposal to restructure include?

A proposal to restructure must include:
  • A statement that the proposal is to restructure the municipality
  • The reason for the proposal
  • The names of the municipalities and unincorporated areas included in the restructuring
  • Estimated population and total property assessment, a map with boundaries, the class of municipality (city, town or rural municipality), the name of the proposed municipality, services that will be provided, and existing or proposed assets
  • The information required in the Principles, Standards and Criteria Regulations for a specific restructuring situation (the details of amalgamation, annexation, or combined annexation and amalgamation). 

How will I know if there is municipal restructuring proposed close to where I live?

IRAC must publish a notice in a local newspaper in the area where the restructuring is proposed.   There also must be a notice in at least 3 visible places in the area that is going to be affected (such as a community hall or a rink).  IRAC can also use additional methods, such as electronic means, to publish the notice. 
The notice must include information about how a person can file an objection to the restructuring proposal. 

IRAC must notify adjoining municipalities, and municipalities and First Nations Bands that may be affected by the restructuring.  The Federation of PEI Municipalities (FPEIM) must also be notified. 

How can I voice my opinions about a restructuring proposal?

You will have an opportunity to share your opinions about municipal restructuring.  You must fill in a form and submit it to IRAC within 30 days of the date that the notice was in the newspaper or was posted. 
IRAC may choose to hold a public hearing if there are objections.  IRAC will hold a public hearing if the Minister determines that there is significant public interest.  
If a municipality has an objection to the restructuring proposed, IRAC will appoint a mediator to assist the municipalities in resolving the dispute.  If the dispute remains unsolved (and the objection is not withdrawn), IRAC will hold a public meeting. 

How are municipal restructuring decisions made?

IRAC will consider the requirements in the MGA, the requirements in the Principles, Standards and Criteria Regulations, and the information gathered as it follows the process set out in the Act. Once any mediations or public meetings are complete, IRAC will provide the Minister with a written report containing its finding, recommendations and reasons for the recommendations.  This report will be sent to the council(s), nearby municipalities, nearby First Nations Bands, the FPEIM, and any other persons that IRAC believes should receive it.
The Minister will review the report from IRAC and will make a recommendation to the Lieutenant Governor in Council.  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may then decide to:
  • Restructure the boundaries as proposed or with changes, or
  • Deny the restructuring as proposed

Recent municipal restructuring

On December 15, 2017 the Community of Winsloe South and the Community of Brackley amalgamated to become one municipality.  The municipality is called the Rural Municipality of Brackley.  The councils of the two municipalities selected an interim council to serve until the next municipal election.  

Note: This page is prepared for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for specialized legal or professional advice.
Published date: 
April 18, 2018