Upcoming elections for 62 newly formed and amalgamated communities
New Brunswick is on track to hold the first elections for dozens of newly formed municipalities, with new names and boundaries on ballots.
Large centers like Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John, along with some other smaller municipalities, will not vote, but 50 new municipalities and 12 rural districts will hold elections for the first time on Nov. 28.
Kim Poffenroth, the province’s chief electoral officer, said Elections New Brunswick usually holds province-wide municipal elections every four years in May, but since local governance reform, residents must elect new councilors and mayors.
She said that in some communities, residents elect entirely new councils, including mayors. In other locations, new advisors are added.
“It’s important for voters to know when the election date is – that the election is coming up. But it’s also important for all eligible voters, who are also eligible to be candidates, to know that those are coming,” Poffenroth said. said Fredericton Information Morning.
She said there is a lot of work for Elections New Brunswick to do, not just to organize the vote, but to help candidates know where to run and people know when and where to vote.
“We also need people to get involved as candidates,” she said. “When there’s no real choice on the ballot for individuals, you know, democracy suffers.”
Poffenroth said candidates will need to turn in their documents by 2 p.m. Oct. 28 and all voters will find a yellow Elections New Brunswick envelope in their mailbox this week.
LOOK | Elections NB is preparing for the first elections in 50 local municipalities:
“These are really important positions because your mayors and local councilors make really important decisions about the kinds of things that affect people’s daily lives,” she said.
“Snow removal, road clearing, police and fire, it’s all under the authority of your local government officials. And we need people who are passionate about their communities to get involved,” she said. .
This election will be the culmination of years of legislative changes, including a bill passed in December that reduced 340 local government entities to less than 100.
Since the passage of the reform bill, provincial and local governments have been busy revising boundaries, creating rural districts, choosing new names and choosing governance structures for the amalgamated communities.
The first phase is expected to end on January 1.
The next phase is determining how municipalities will work together and share resources, with policies cemented by 2027.
Reform led by the Progressive Conservatives under Premier Blaine Higgs aimed to address chronic local government problems that have accumulated for years, including the sharing and funding of local services and infrastructure, and the growth of the urban sprawl just outside the tax reach of cities. , towns and villages.