Questions and answers

Here are answers to some of the questions received from the survey and public information sessions:

What is a municipality?
The provincial government’s Department of Communities, Land and Environment website provides basic information regarding municipalities.
To visit their site, click here.

What is the proposed area for the new municipality?
This is the list of villages in the proposed area: Rural Municipality of Wellington, Rural Municipality of Abram-Village, Abram-Village (currently unincorporated section), Egmont Bay, Cap Egmont, Day’s Corner, Goodwin’s Corner, Maximeville, Mont Carmel, St-Chrysostome, St-Gilbert, St-Hubert, St-Philippe, St-Raphael, St-Timothée, Union Corner, Urbainville, Wellington Centre (section only – see map). To view the proposed restructuring boundary map, click here.

How will my taxes be affected by municipal restructuring?
Municipal tax rates vary depending on factors such as municipal services, the total assessed value of all property within the municipality and the population living in that municipality. The Working Committee has hired the firm Brighter Community Planning & Consulting to provide different taxation scenarios. The public session planned for April will propose three different tax rates, one for Wellington, one for Abram-Village and one for the currently non-incorporated area. Tables and examples will be provided which will allow residents to estimate their taxes based on municipal services and assessed value of their property. This information will be posted on the website prior to the session.

Will there be any temporary government funding?
The possibility of temporary government funding is still being explored. This information will be shared if funding becomes available.

Are there more restrictions in a municipality? What would it mean for individuals?
Living in a municipality is not necessarily more restrictive than living in an unincorporated area. A lot depends on the priorities and objectives of the people in the municipality.

Municipalities do have the authority to establish bylaws to meet the needs of citizens and resolve issues. Bylaws can address matters such as: public safety; protection of public and private property; nuisances and unsightly premises; services; and animal control, black fly or mosquito control.

Whether you live in a municipality or not, there are rules and regulations related to land use and development and permits are required regardless of where you live.

Municipal land use planning processes are currently more complete than provincial processes. Individuals in municipalities with official plans generally have better opportunities for input and more certainty about development.

Will rates go up for what we pay for our sewer services?
Wellington and Abram-Village sewer services are administered by independent companies and rates will not change because of a new regional incorporation. Only people who use sewer services pay for this service.

How would gas tax money be divided?
The money will be divided according to the needs and infrastructure priorities identified by the council.

Are we going to have more capacity to influence government to support big projects?
Local governments provide great tools to improve the quality of life for their residents.  A municipality provides people with a local voice and the means to promote local initiatives and priorities that are important to the people in that area.

Towns and rural areas benefit from working together to attract opportunities and investment for their area.  Municipal councils provide a framework to address many of the challenges faced.

How will newly incorporated areas benefit from this?
On PEI, municipal governments must provide: administration, fire protection, emergency management, and land use planning.  Municipal governments, especially larger municipalities, should be well positioned to provide additional services such as: recreational programs and facilities, parks, animal and fly control, libraries, water and wastewater, economic development, and tourism and cultural activities, which will benefit the community as a whole.

What do you mean by maintenance of wharf?
A municipality can work with port authorities to lobby governments for improved facilities.

Will we get more recreation programs with a regional municipality?
The public consultation process identified a need for increased recreation programs for all ages. The new municipal council should address this.

Will there be any changes in services?
No changes in current services are expected.

Why duplicate services already provided by the province?
Many services that Islanders count on everyday are best provided at a local level.  Stronger municipalities will have the ability to provide the standard of services that their residents expect.  Combining the resources of existing municipalities can remove duplication – this can result in cost savings for the larger area or simply ensure that services work better.

Could access to internet and cellular services be improved?
A municipality would have the capacity to lobby for improvements to technology services.

Will incorporation help support our French school?
This municipal restructuring activity is taking place at the same time as an initiative to submit a proposal to renew the Centre d’éducation Évangéline. This facility plays a very important role in the cultural and economic development of the area. The Working Committee for the renewal of the Centre is seeking a strong municipal partner to support their proposal. This is an example of where a single municipal voice for the community would provide valuable support for regional and provincial initiatives.

How are you going to make sure we keep French as a first language?
The proposed concept will support community development and the Acadian language and culture.

Will the new municipality strengthen the French language? Will French employees be required in businesses?
The new proposed municipality will support the promotion of the offer of services in both languages.

What place will the French language have during meetings?
The proposed new municipality plans to have simultaneous translation available for regular and special meetings.

How many members would be on the board of the new proposed municipality?
The municipality project is proposing nine board members, but this must be approved by the provincial government. It is required by the Municipal Act to have a minimum of seven members.

Are municipal council members voted or appointed?
Municipal council members are elected through public elections. During the transition phase, interim council members could be appointed by the Minister of Communities, Land and Environment.

Who is responsible for the regulations for new developments?
The rural municipality would be responsible for issuing building and development permits and enforcing new developments.

How are bylaws adopted?
The municipal council is responsible for adopting bylaws after consulting with the public.

Who could be a member of the municipal council?
According to the Municipal Government Act, a person may be nominated as a candidate and elected to a council of a municipality if:

  1. the person is a Canadian citizen;
  2. the person is at least 18 years of age, or will attain that age on or before election day;
  3. the person has been ordinarily resident in the municipality for a period of at least six months before election day;
  4. and the person is not disqualified by reasons identified in section 33(1)(c) of the Municipal Government Act.

How do we decide if a new regional municipality will proceed?
The Phase 2 report will address this and will be available on the website soon.

What is the timeframe for the decision process?
The Phase 2 report will address this and will be available on the website soon.