Meeting of Provincial and Territorial Ministers responsible for Local Government


VICTORIA, British Columbia – July 8, 2015 –  Provincial and Territorial (P/T) Ministers Responsible for Local Government  reaffirmed their commitment to continue collaboration on shared issues to deal  with the ever changing needs of communities.

Local government ministers used this  meeting to exchange experiences and information relating to communities such as  changes in population and economic impacts, local government restructuring,  modernization of local government legislation, new streams of revenue and  measures to reinforce public confidence in local decision-making. Ministers  gained insight from one another’s experiences in supporting communities facing  strong and rapid growth, held a panel on new developments in local governance  and discussed their priorities for the year ahead.

A key priority will be establishing two  working groups:

  • Modernization  of local governance; and
  • Local  government funding, financial and service arrangements.

In addition, ministers agreed to maintain a  working group on local government accountability. Outcomes of the work of these  groups will be shared at the ministers’ meeting next year.

Provinces and Territories reaffirmed their  intention to collaborate with the federal government on matters such as public  infrastructure funding, social housing and disaster mitigation. Ministers were  highly concerned that federal ministers, despite the invitation, did not  participate in the meeting again this year.

Ministers emphasized that infrastructure  remains a top priority for all jurisdictions and therefore reiterated the call for a stronger commitment from the federal  government and greater federal funding for vital local  government infrastructure projects — such as compliance with new federal  wastewater regulations — while also respecting provincial and territorial  priorities and jurisdictions. It was agreed that P/Ts and local governments  must be able to rely on guaranteed federal funding if they are to ensure  sustainable public infrastructure.

Concerns were also expressed about  unilateral changes to the federal government disaster assistance program, and  ministers raised the importance of these transfers for the security of  communities. Increased support for provinces and territories is needed to  respond to issues such as flood and fire mitigation funding.

 “Provinces and territories are eager to  work with the federal government to ensure that important infrastructure investments,  health and public safety requirements that benefit local governments or shared  priorities receive funding support,” said Coralee Oakes, Chair of the 2015  Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Local Government and BC Minister of  Community, Sport and Cultural Development. “These capital investments support  critical health, public safety and transportation issues and at the same time  encourage strong economic development.”

The next annual meeting of Ministers  Responsible for Local Government will be held in Québec City in July 2016.


Media contact: Gillian Rhodes
Director of Communications
Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural  Development
Province of British Columbia
Tel:  (250) 888-1462