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Changing the Status of a Town or Village

Urban Status Change

The Municipalities Act includes provisions for a village or resort village to become a town and a town to become a village or resort village.

Legislation

Section 52 of The Municipalities Act provides the authority for a municipality to apply for a status change.

To become a town, a village or resort village must have a population of 500 or more.  A town may request a change in status to a village or resort village if the population is less than 500.

Procedures

It is recommended that an informal public meeting be held to discuss a proposal to request a change in municipal status to inform the community of council's intention.  Any residents that would be affected by the inclusion should attend to discuss the proposal.

Please note that if the status of a municipality changes, a new council must be elected to serve the community.

Application

Once a municipality has requested a status change, the council should submit the following information to the ministry:

  • a certified copy of a resolution of council requesting the status change;
  • an outline of the public consultation regarding the request;
  • confirmation of the population; and
  • the details necessary to hold an election to vote for the council of the new municipality, including the number of council members.

Decisions/Effects/Consequences

After a review of the submission, if the Minister is of the opinion that the status of the municipality should be changed, the Minister may issue an order causing the status of the municipality to be changed.

An order will:

  1. declare the municipality to be incorporated, assign a name to it, and describe its boundaries;
  2. fix a day, hour, and place for the nomination day for the election of a council, which day may be before the effective date of the order;
  3. appoint a person to act as the returning officer for the election;
  4. fix a day, hour, and place for the first meeting of the council; and
  5. include any other provision the minister considers necessary to facilitate the incorporation and to enable the holding of the first election and first meeting of the council.

Consequences of the Order, on and from the effective date, include:  all bylaws and resolutions in force as the bylaws and resolutions in the former municipality continue in force as the bylaws and resolutions of the new municipality for one year or until sooner repealed and others made in their place.

Refer to Section 63 of The Municipalities Act for further details regarding consequences of the Order.

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