Changes to the Municipal Government Act to make it fair for all Islanders.

Changes to the Municipal Government Act to make it fair for all Islanders.

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Rural Coalition of PEI started this petition to Dennis King Government

We are calling on the provincial government led by Dennis King to honour their election promise to revise the Municipal Government Act (MGA) to make it fair for all Islanders.  The changes that need to be made are:

1)  No annexation or amalgamation without a binding referendum community-by-community.

2)  Creation of Island-wide, comprehensive land use and emergency measure plans by the Province in consultation with communities - not download that responsibility.

3)  Changes to regulations to allow small communities to continue to exist without amalgamation or annexation - different rules, share existing resources (administrators, offices, experts), use of Access PEI sites.

4)  Federation of PEI Municipalities powers removed from the Act

5)  Minister's powers reduced to the same as the old Municipalities Act.

Only the people of PEI can force the Government to honour their commitment to fairness and equality for all Islanders.  Veterans made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve these values and Government is chipping away at each and every democratic right they fought so hard for.  Please take the time to sign this petition and commit to attending a protest to let the Government know we will not allow this to continue.  We are not going away!

These are the reasons why the MGA must be changed:

The MGA, which was passed in 2017, has sweeping financial and planning consequences for incorporated communities.  These requirements (land use planning, official plans and bylaws, emergency measures planning and requiring a municipal office to be open 20 hours a week) make sense for larger centres such as Charlottetown and Summerside but make no sense for small communities of 100-200 people.  It is a financial burden which forces them to amalgamate with other small communities and perhaps annex their rural neighbours to raise enough tax dollars to meet these requirements. 

The Act downloads land use planning and emergency measures planning to communities.  These are provincial responsibilities and small communities should not be tasked with these responsibilities.

The Act specifically precludes residents in unincorporated areas from having a say when another community decides to annex them.  Even in incorporated communities, where they are supposed to have a vote, council can overturn the vote and make decisions contrary to what residents want.  There is no democracy in that.  No amalgamation or annexation should be allowed to take place without a binding referendum.

The Act gives the Minister in charge of Communities the right to amalgamate, annex or restructure any community at will.  No minister should have these sweeping powers.  This actually allows the Minister to form a new government with no vote from any resident.

Once you are part of a municipality, a bylaw enforcement officer can enter your property with 24 hours’ notice and “do whatever needs to be done” according to the MGA.  These are not police officers or inspectors.  These are people hired by council to enforce bylaws.

New taxes.  Once rural areas are forced into municipalities, they are subject to municipal taxes but receive no new services.  These taxes are open ended, meaning they can be changed every year when the budget is created.  Many seniors and low-income families live in the rural areas because taxes are lower – they provide their own services (sewer & water).  A few hundred dollars in new taxes means less money for medications, food, heat, clothing, etc.  This is an extra financial burden they cannot afford. 

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!