Why Aren't You Fixing My Road?

What is the difference between Municipal and Provincial governments?

Municipal government is responsonsible for local issues:
municipal property (wharves, parks, lands for public use);
dangerous and unsightly premises;
waste disposal (landfill operations, regular and special collections, recycling);
property tax administration;
systems (sewer, water);
planning (zoning, land use);
building and fire safety;
by-laws (dogs, noise, civic addressing);
policies (active transportation, kennels);
anything the Province delegates.

Most of our services are the result of Provincial legislation and programs. For example, when the provincial government passed a law banning certain materials from the landfill, they made municipalities responsible for ensuring that those materials did not end up in the waste stream. Municipal units across the Province devised recycling and composting programs. The Province provided help from their staff as well as funding for some projects.

Provincial government is responsible for, you guessed it, all of Nova Scotia. They govern:

  • provincial legislation (Motor Vehicle Act, Environment Act, Labour Board Act);
  • Crown land (provincial parks, protected areas, public lands);
  • corrections (justice system, some jails);
  • services like employment, healthcare, land registry and assessment, tourism, housing;
  • roads and highways (construction, maintenance, snow plowing of public roads as well as ditching, tree/bush trimming, setbacks and driveway approvals);
  • programs for seniors, children, businesses, families, etc.;
  • housing and tenancy issues;
  • education (schools, school boards);
  • permits, licenses, and certification;
  • many, many more initiatives (check out

They are also responsible for municipalities (as per the Municipal Government Act); which is why we collect property taxes for things such as, education, policing/corrections, and road maintenance.

The Municipality is responsible for:

  • Property tax rates and area rates
  • Waste collection & disposal
  • Private road signs and civic numbers
  • Municipal planning
  • Building and demolition permits
  • Central sewer systems and treatment
  • By-Law enforcement
  • Fire inspections
  • Animal control
  • Blown/broken street lights

If you have a local issue, please contact the Municipality and we will help you.

If you still aren’t sure if your issue is municipal or provincial, please call us and we will try to point you in the right direction.