March 7, 2024

FREDERICTON, NB – The Union of Municipalities of New Brunswick (UMNB) maintains that the province’s prosperity is tied to the success and well-being of its municipalities, shaping a shared future of growth and opportunity for all. In their recent budget recommendations to the provincial government, the UMNB made an urgent call for the development and implementation of a modern municipal fiscal framework to address the growing financial challenges faced by New Brunswick municipalities.

“Local governance reform in New Brunswick is propelling a transformation that demands immediate attention,” stated President Andrew Black, mayor of the Town of Tantramar. “The stability and prosperity of our local communities are intricately linked to the success of the province. The province can no longer afford to ignore the critical need for a modern fiscal framework.”

The province has increased the responsibilities of municipalities in a way that strains their financial resources, including escalating costs of infrastructure repair, public safety concerns, and homelessness. This comes at a time when cost of living challenges are being felt by every household, and every level of government. Yet, the province hasn’t delivered a promised modern municipal fiscal framework to support these new responsibilities.

Black raised concerns saying, “The lack of adequate funding will have serious impacts on our citizens, affecting essential services such as police presence, water supply, road and infrastructure maintenance, and housing affordability. Without sufficient financial support, the overall well-being of our communities, and in turn the province, is in jeopardy. As our communities go, so too does the province.”

The UMNB has called on the government to commence negotiations for the new municipal fiscal framework immediately, and re-commit to the implementation of the new system begins no later than January 1, 2025.

Municipalities are underscoring the significant financial strain they are facing and are calling for immediate, concrete measures to secure sustainability. Therefore, the UMNB is urging the government to act in good faith by promptly implementing the following recommendations as interim solutions, aimed at aiding communities in remaining financially viable during this transitional phase, as they await further reform.




Ensure the stability of municipalities by providing adequate funding.


  • Enable the full transfer of property tax to municipalities to allow communities to meet the goals laid out in the White Paper and be truly strong and vibrant.
  • Sustain the Community Funding and Equalization Grant and reverse the scheduled 20% reduction to maintain vital support for community development and equitable financial distribution.
  • Allocate the additional $3.6 million received by the Regional Services Support Fund (RSSF) in 2023 back into municipalities to help offset the cost of increasingly complex and challenging issues such as homelessness and the housing crisis.
  • Bolster the Department of Environment and Local Government’s transition funding for municipalities by incorporating assistance for strategic planning, by-law updates, and human resources, ensuring a more comprehensive and effective support framework.
  • Double the Provincial-Municipal Highway Partnership (PMHP) Program funding and adjust for inflation to sustain crucial transportation infrastructure initiatives on a go forward basis.

Safeguard essential services and infrastructure against the increasing challenges posed by climate change.

  • Invest in a climate resilient municipal infrastructure fund with a specified budget to fortify essential systems, mitigate environmental risks, and promote long-term sustainability.

Foster affordable housing opportunities to create inclusive communities and improve economic stability.

  • Eliminate the provincial sales tax for multi-unit residential construction for a period of two years, spurring housing developments, fostering affordability, and addressing the growing demand for rental properties.


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About the UMNB:

UMNB is a bilingual association of 56 municipalities of all sizes and linguistic backgrounds. Together, our members represent almost 70% of the NB population.


Media Contact:


Vanessa Pettersson   

506 – 444 – 2285