Background - Municipal Legislation Review


What is the Municipal Legislation?

Newfoundland and Labrador is made up of cities, towns and local service districts. Each city has its own legislation which governs how it functions and operates (City of St. John’s Act, City of Mount Pearl Act and City of Corner Brook Act).

Towns and local service districts are considered municipalities under the Municipalities Act, 1999 (the Act). The Act provides the governance model for municipalities and sets the foundation for how they function and operate.

Overview of the Municipal Structure in Newfoundland and Labrador

Municipal Legislation Review Terms of Reference

History of the Legislation


Act for the Management of St. John’s and its Municipal Affairs was enacted


Act for the Management of St. John’s and its Municipal Affairs underwent extensive amendment and consolidation


First Local Government Act was passed by the Alderdice government


Commission of Government passed the Local Administration Act


Adopted policy of passing a special act for each municipality


Following Confederation with Canada, a Local Government Act was passed


Community Councils Act came into force


City of Corner Brook Act came into force

53 municipal units had been incorporated


Royal Commission on Municipal Government was established with the number of municipalities having risen to nearly 300


Commission released its report


Municipalities Act came into force along with the Municipal Grants Act


City of Corner Brook Act came into force, replacing the earlier City of Corner Brook Act of 1955


City of Mount Pearl Act came into force


Task Force was appointed to review Municipalities Act and province-wide public consultation process undertaken


Task Force issued its final report (Fall)


New Municipalities Act enacted (July 6, 1999) which came into force on January 1, 2000


Municipalities Act, 1999 consolidated numerous amendments made to the 1979 Act, removed remaining restrictive provisions, expanded municipal authority and permitted a greater degree of local decision making. The Act also provided increased municipal autonomy in the areas of taxation, administration and financial management, new authority for economic development and new and expanded authorities for service delivery and municipal controls.