In 2003 and 2007, the CCO organized and carried out censuses of municipalities across Newfoundland and Labrador. The purpose of the censuses was to better understand the resources of municipalities in the province and find out how these resources are used. Topics in the census ranged from the method of taxation used by municipalities to the different forms of and reasons for collaboration between towns. The 2007 Municipal Census questionnaire is available HERE and the Final Report is available HERE.
In 2003 and 2007, the CCO organized and carried out censuses of municipal councillors in Newfoundland and Labrador. These were the first two times that such a survey had been conducted into the working conditions, motivations, qualification, and thoughts of the province's elected municipal representatives. The census was an in-depth examination of municipal councillors, considering issues such as councillor remuneration, working hours, and length of service. The 2007 Councillor Survey final report is available HERE
MUNICIPAL SELF-ASSESSMENT SURVEY
The 2005 President’s Task Force on Municipal Sustainability highlighted the need to build the capacity of municipal governments to operate effectively. It also proposed that municipalities be led through a process of self-assessment to determine their own level of sustainability. The CCO was envisioned as playing the role of a facilitator and clearinghouse in this process, allowing for consistency and comparability through a central framework. The CCO, with funding provided by the Department of Municipal Affairs, carried out the Municipal Self-Assessment Survey throughout 2008 and 2009. Project staff met with municipal representatives from 250 towns and collected 249 completed self-assessment surveys. The survey results are being used by towns in their Integrated Community Sustainability Plans and will be used for years to come by the CCO in the development of policy. The Municipal Self-Assessment Survey booklet is available HERE and the Final Report is available HERE
CLIMATE CHANGE INITIATIVE
The CCO is partnering with the Memorial University and the Department of Environment and Conservation for a climate change initiative aimed at assisting municipalities adapt to water related climate change issues. Three workshops/forums were held in the province in the Fall of 2009 - St. John's, Gander, Corner Brook - and another will be held in Wabush in February 2010.
These workshops/forums are to the support the proposed Regional Adaptation Collaborative (RAC) project. The RAC is to be a nation-wide climate change initiative, divided into 5 regions. Newfoundland and Labrador falls into the Atlantic RAC, which will focus on water-related issues. One of the this province's major projects will be the creation of toolkit for municipalities that will help them assess their risk and capacity to adapt to water related climate change issues. The CCO's anticipated role in this project is to assist in the creation of the toolkit and help explain the toolkit and its uses to municipalities.
REGIONAL GOVERNMENT INITIATIVE
In 2010 the CCO will launch the Regional Government Initiative, which is a comprehensive analysis of the current municipal structure and an examination of various regional government models that exist in other jurisdictions or as theretical models. Given the difficult circumstances of many municipalities (which has been highlighted in much of the research conducted by the CCO), MNL feels that now is the time to revisit the issue of regional government. The Regional Government Initiative will be luanch with a mojor research paper on regional government in the province that will contain recommendations and plans for the future. The follow-up to this paper is still ongoing, though it is envisioned that a series of workshops and forums will be held to discuss regional government.
The CCO continues to play an ongoing role on Fogo Island, as the Island's municipal councils consideramalgamating. The CCO was instrumental in bringing the Fogo Island councils together and has helped them overcome their concerns and apprehension with regards to greater integration. The Fogo Island process continues into 2010 and the CCO continues to offer whatever support is requested of it, with the best interests of the Fogo Island municipalities always kept in mind.
THE RURAL URBAN PROJECT
The CCO's role in the Rural-Urban project is knowledge mobilization: informing municipalities, particularly those within the three pilot regions, of the important research findings of the project. Currently, knowledge mobilization involves publications in the Municipal News, a newsletter thatt is sent all towns, and pilot region consultations. The last three consultations occured in November 2009. For more information on the Rural-Urban Project, please follow the link that is available on the home page.