Provincial Ministers of Municipal Affairs

… a core term in Governance and Institutions and Atlas100


Andrew Sancton notes that each province has a cabinet minister designated to look after the municipal system within the province, responsible for ensuring that legislation is in place and implemented so that municipalities can do their jobs effectively, efficiently, and democratically.

Sancton notes (p. 31) that:

“In some provinces the legislation gives the minister considerable authority to control what municipalities do; in others there is much less in the way of central supervision. Similarly, there is considerable variation in the number of provincial public servants who assist the minister in carrying out these functions. These and other matters of common concern are discussed at annual meetings of Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Local Government that are organized by the Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat.

“It is important to note that, even though municipalities are legally “creatures of the provinces”, no provincial minister is in a hierarchical relationship with respect to municipalities; except in the most unusual circumstances specified by law, no minister can order a mayor or municipal council what to do. Provincial law establishes municipalities as institutions that are separate from the provincial government.”

Atlas topic, subject, and course

Municipal Governance (core topic) in Governance and Institutions and Atlas100 Governance and Institutions.


Andrew Sancton (2011),  Central Governments and Local Governments, in Canadian Local Government: An Urban Perspective, pp. 26-40. Toronto: Oxford University Press.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 29 September 2016.