Under subsection 43.1(10) of the CA, 59(1)(1.1) of the MA and 80(1)(1.1) of the NMA, after a municipality has notified another municipality of a proposed boundary alteration, a response is required to be provided within 30 business-days of the request. If a response is not received within 30 business-days, the request is deemed to be in dispute and the applicant municipality can proceed on that basis (i.e. third party mediation, application to SMB).
A set of “Principles for Financial Settlements Between Municipalities for Boundary Alterations” (i.e. annexations -- see #5 below) have been developed jointly by SARM, SUMA and the ministry. They are overarching principles intended for use both by municipalities for determining annexation compensation, and by the SMB if municipalities cannot settle the matter. The principles also offer transparency, predictability, and advance understanding for municipalities about how the SMB will review disputes pertaining to annexation compensation, if referred to the SMB for resolution. The principles will be used as guidelines by the SMB, leaving it with sufficient flexibility to consider cases on their own merits, as required by legislation.
For cases in dispute over financial compensation, the SMB will consider each principle, as a guideline, in addition to the specific facts and arguments brought forward by each party. More specifically:
The principles can also be used by municipalities to guide their negotiations to a mutually agreeable settlement without need for the SMB, if they choose.
- in the absence of a complementary resolution, the principles provide an opportunity to identify the various areas where they have agreement and the items they would identify for mediation;
- if through mediation, they are unable to obtain a complementary resolution, the municipalities should clearly identify which principle or principles are still outstanding; and
- their submitted boundary alteration application should focus on the outstanding principle and their argument and evidence to support their position as it relates to financial compensation.
If one of the involved municipalities does not consent or respond to the proposal, under subsection 43.1(4) of the CA, 60(3) of the MA and 81(3) of the NMA, before an application is submitted to the SMB for review pursuant to subsection 18(1) of
The Municipal Board Act, the SMB must appoint a mediator to assist the municipalities in resolving the matter in dispute unless there has been an attempt at mediation within the previous year. Municipalities are encouraged to attempt mediation prior to applying to the SMB. If none is attempted, the SMB will appoint a mediator. All costs of any mediation must be borne by the affected municipalities.
When Agreement is Reached through Mediation
If mediation successfully resolves a dispute, the application can be submitted by the municipality seeking the boundary alteration to the Ministry of Government Relations.
When Agreement is NOT Reached through Mediation
If one of the involved municipalities does not consent to the proposal and the mediation fails to resolve a dispute, an application must be submitted to the Municipal Boundary Committee of the SMB which will review the proposal, hold a meeting and make a decision regarding the proposal.
Under subsection 18(1)(1.1) of The Municipal Board Act, before an application is reviewed by the committee, the secretary of the board must review sufficiency of an application and information. If an application is complete, the secretary of the board will refer the application to the committee. If an application is not complete, the secretary of the board will notify the applicant municipality in writing of deficiencies and specify a period within which the deficiencies must be remedied. If the deficiencies are remedied within the period specified, the application will be forwarded to the committee for review. If the deficiencies are not remedied within the period, the application is deemed to have been withdrawn.
After receiving a sufficient application, the SMB committee will review the proposal and may hold a formal hearing with the public. An application can be withdrawn at any time prior to the committee completing its review. Once the committee's review is complete, its decision on the application applies even if an attempt to withdraw the application is made by the municipality. The SMB Committee may approve all or a portion of an application, subject to any terms and conditions it feels are appropriate.
Under subsection 18(11) of The Municipal Board Act, the SMB is required to report its decision to the Minister within four months after the day on which an application is referred to it by the secretary of the board. The Minister will issue the Order pursuant to the SMB Committee's ruling.
Please note an application to the Municipal Boundary Committee varies from the application to the Minister. Please ensure you follow the correct application process and requirements.
If an application to the Minister or the SMB is approved, the ministry will cause notice of the decision to be published in a newspaper circulated in the area of the proposal and the boundaries of the affected municipalities must be adjusted as per Ministerial Order. If an application or portion of an application is rejected, no subsequent application that is substantially similar may be made for one year. This applies to all municipalities.