December 18, 2023

FREDERICTON, N.B – The Union of Municipalities of New Brunswick (UMNB) and the Cities of New Brunswick Association (CNBA) are urging the government to act on a much-needed financial reform. The Minister of Local Government released a long-awaited report from two financial experts on the state of municipal finances after the restructuring that took place in 2023. The report indicates that 29 entities, or one in three communities, could experience significant financial difficulties within the next three years. The authors also conclude that the current framework is not sustainable, and that the provincial government should consider establishing alternate sources of revenue to support municipalities. 

“This report underlines the importance of action and the deep need for a new fiscal framework for municipalities across New Brunswick,” said Andrew Black, President of the UMNB. “Municipalities are tackling 21st century problems with a 19th century funding structure that no longer represents the services that residents have come to expect and need from their communities.”

Municipal associations and their members have long been advocating for meaningful fiscal reform to address the increasing responsibilities of local governments.  The expert report further highlights the need for urgent action on fiscal reform and mirrors an ongoing national conversation.  In Québec and Saskatchewan, provincial governments have built  new revenue partnerships with their municipal associations.

“Municipalities are on the front lines of increasingly complex and challenging issues such as homelessness and the housing crisis, though little new revenue has been allocated to us,” said Adam Lordon, President of the CNBA. “Time is running out for the province to act on this critical issue. Municipalities are the foundation of the growth our province is experiencing. Now is the time to make good on the commitment of municipal reform and engage with our communities on how we can achieve the goals of building strong and vibrant communities”. 

The Desjardins and LeClerc report underpins the need for a roadmap on when and how municipal financial reform will take place. The white paper on local governance reform states that fiscal reform will be in place  by January 1st , 2025. 

“Municipal reform will remain incomplete as long as fiscal reform is incomplete,” said Black. “The report lays out a number of challenges that require both short- and long-term fixes. We urge the government to partner with our members in 2024 to address the challenges and ensure we meet the goals of municipal reform.”  


– 30 –

Media Contact:


Vanessa Pettersson 



Pierre Beaulé