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date: 22 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The term local government does not appear in the Constitution Act of 1867. The closest reference is in section 92 (8), where the authority to make laws relating to “Municipal Institutions in the Province” is placed under the jurisdiction of provincial legislatures. All Canadian provinces have enacted laws that provide for the existence of municipalities. In its Fiscal Management System, Statistics Canada defines “local government” as including both municipalities and their associated “autonomous boards, commissions, funds and school boards.” Although commonly accepted, the definition is nonetheless precise. This article discusses local government in Canada. It discusses the functions of local government and the provincial controls on such government. The article also discusses special-purpose bodies and two-tier urban systems. Municipal elections, local political leaders, and municipal finance are also examined.

Keywords: local government, provincial legislatures, municipalities, government, functions, provincial controls, urban systems, local political leaders

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