A merger is the restructuring of the whole or any part of a municipality with another municipality. Mergers result in the incorporation of a new municipality:
- Two or more like municipalities (rural-to-rural or urban-to-urban) may merge to form one new municipality.
- A municipal district is formed when at least one rural municipality and at least one urban municipality merge together. Please see the Guide to Establishing a Municipal District for detailed information specific to municipal districts.
Section 53(1)(b) of The Municipalities Act provides the authority for municipalities to apply for a merger while Section 54 of the Act permits voters of a municipality to petition their municipal council to apply for a merger.
Because a merger involves the structure of a municipality, all involved municipalities must agree to the restructuring. Municipalities considering a merger are encouraged to negotiate a voluntary restructuring agreement, which will address such matters as:
- structure and name of the new municipality;
- location of the municipal office;
- assets and liabilities;
- integration of administration and other staff;
- consolidation of financial and physical operations;
- electoral structure; and
- the establishment of different service areas.