Local Governance Reform

Stay informed on the latest news with the transition to Entity 40

The Province of New Brunswick launched a process to modernize New Brunswick’s local governance system in November of 2020. On November 18, 2021 the provincial government released its white paper on local governance reform. The white paper is an ambitious and fundamental change in local government structure and operations in New Brunswick. Sackville will change considerably and grow with the amalgamation of the Village of Dorchester, 40% of the Dorchester LSD, the Sackville LSD and the Pointe de Bute LSD.

This will have profound and unprecedented impacts on our own community. Council and staff will work closely with the Province of New Brunswick’s transition team and regional stakeholders over the next year on action items outlined in the white paper. Residents can stay updated here.


Update January 4, 2022:

The new entity of Tantramar officially came into effect on January 1st, 2023. The new Council was sworn in on December 20th at the Veterans Community Centre in Dorchester. You can watch the ceremony here.

There is a lot of work ahead for Council and staff and the transition to Tantramar will take time. We will keep residents informed throughout the process and provide updates as information becomes available.

Update December 1, 2022:

The results of the first election for Tantramar are as follows:

Mayor: Andrew Black
Ward 1: Debbie Wiggins-Colwell
Ward 2: Barry Hicks
Ward 3: Allison Butcher, Josh Goguen, Bruce Phinney, Mike Tower
Ward 4: Matt Estabrooks
Ward 5: Greg Martin (Deputy Mayor)

Update November 16, 2022:

At the Regular Council Meeting on November 15, 2022, Council passed a motion Council authorizing the Mayor to sign a sample letter provided by the Union of the Municipalities of New Brunswick to be sent to Minister Daniel Allain regarding expanding communications on the upcoming changes to our province’s local government system.  The letter can be found here.

Update November 9, 2022:

ElectionsNB will be running a shuttle service on Election Day, November 28. Residents can catch the shuttle, which runs every 30 minutes on the the half hour, from the Tantramar Veterans Civic Centre.

Update October 24, 2022:

Key dates for the November 28 election:

October 8, 2022: Nominations open
October 28, 2022: Nominations close at 2pm
November 19 and 21, 2022: Advanced polls 10am to 8pm
November 28, 2022: Election Day

Voting for advanced polls and on election day will be at the Middle Sackville Baptist Church, 14 Church St, Sackville, NB.

An unofficial list of candidates for the new Tantramar Town Council is available here.

Update September 16, 2022:

Elections NB has called a municipal election for November 28, 2022 to elect a new Council for Tantramar. Residents and interested parties can find information on Elections NB’s website.

The Province of New Brunswick provided the following maps for Tantramar (Entity 40). The Province advises that these maps are not for legal purposes. Legal maps with final boundaries will be set in regulation.


Click here for Entity 40 map.                        Click here for Ward map.

Update May 12, 2022:

The Elected Officials Advisory Committee has reached a consensus decision on the name for Entity 40.  The new community will be known as Tantramar.  The name has been submitted to the provincial government and will become official once regulations are adopted over the summer.

Update May 10, 2022:

Given the ongoing restructuring process for the new entity 40, the budget planning process is going to look different and start earlier this year. The Town is seeking input from residents on what they think the 2023 budget priorities for Sackville should be with a short survey. This information will be shared with the transition facilitator.

A special meeting for public presentations on the budget will be held on Tuesday May 31st 6:30pm in Council Chambers. Community groups and residents can present to Council on their budget priorities for 2023. Please register with the Clerks Office by emailing both d.beal@sackville.com and b.goodwin@sackville.com .

Update April 22, 2022:

After a naming workshop and historical research, the Elected Officials Advisory Committee has come up with two proposed names for Entity 40 for feedback from the public: Tantramar Township and Beauséjour Township. Some context for each name is included below.

The Committee has also determined that the new entity will be a town based on the provincial legal requirements. However, the Committee felt the term township provided a more inclusive, community feel. Although the community cannot legally be a township, it is something that can be included in any literature, letter head, etc.

The Committee has also been in discussions regarding consultation with First Nations. This process can be very complicated as it will likely require a more exhaustive consultation process and not just limited to the Fort Folly First Nation. The option does exist, similar to what Grand Bay-Westfield is doing, where the new community could have a First Nations ceremonial name and the new council could choose to embark on a consulation process with First Nations in New Brunswick once they take office in 2023.

Tantramar Township

This place name has its origin in the French word tintamarre ,which means a great noise. The first French Acadian settlers in the area who arrived around the last quarter of the 17th century are said to have heard great flocks of geese or maybe the incoming tide that made a great noise. They used the word tintamarre to describe this noise and, eventually, an Acadian hamlet was given the name Tintamarre before the expulsion of 1755. When anglophone settlers arrived in the region in the 1760’s, they kept the name, and after decades of different spellings, it became Tantramar in the second half of the 19th century.

Beauséjour Township 

When the French Acadian settlers arrived in the region around the last quarter of the 17th century, they gave French names to their new settlements, Beaubassin being the better known of them all. Eventually, the name Beauséjour appeared to identify a hamlet. When French military forces built a fort in 1750 close to the Missaguash River, they named it Fort Beauséjour or Fort de Beauséjour.  It was renamed Fort Cumberland when it was captured by British forces in the summer of 1755. Today, the name Beauséjour lives on as the name of the federal riding in southeastern New Brunswick, an important hotel in Moncton (Delta-Beauséjour), and numerous businesses and cultural groups, such as the Moncton choir Choeur Beauséjour.

Residents can provide feedback on the proposed names via entity40nb@gmail.com.

Update March 17, 2022:

The Elected Officials Advisory Committee met on March 15th, 2022. The ward maps presented on March 3rd, 2022 (Draft B, see March 4th update below) were discussed and consensus was reached.

Ward 1: Village of Dorchester/Dorchester LSD)
Ward 2: Sackville LSD-South + Unserviced portion of Town of Sackville South
Ward 3: Town of Sackville
Ward 4: Sackville LSD-North + Unserviced portion of Town of Sackville North
Ward 5 : Pointe-de-Bute LSD

The Advisory Committee also agreed to strike a subcommittee to lead the entity naming process. The subcommittee includes Robert Corkerton, Andrew Black, Debbie Wiggins-Colwell, and Greg Martin and will include community engagement.

The subcommittee will begin reaching out to the Fort Folly First Nation to seek their input on a name for Entity 40. Additionally, the committee will be reaching out to organizations like the Westmorland Historical Society, Professor Lauren Beck at Mount Allison (who’s class is conducting a current project on street and monument names in Sackville) along with other organizations as resources to help with this next step.

The next committee meeting will be March 29th to discuss the naming process further.

The following maps provide more detail on the boundaries of Wards 2,3 and 4.

Update March 4, 2022:

The Town of Sackville Municipal Reform Committee met on Thursday, February 24 to discuss the number of wards for Sackville. Councillors spoke in support of both options (one ward vs. four wards). The final consensus from this meeting was for four (4) councillors at large for the Sackville ward.

The Elected Officials Advisory Committee met on March 3. At this meeting, the transition facilitator provided revised draft maps for Entity 40 and Sackville (Ward 3) based on feedback from the Advisory Committee (see below). These revised boundaries provide a more equitable share of electors compared to the first drafts.

*Draft B March 3, 2022. Maps not for legal use and boundaries are subject to change.

Next steps:

  • The Advisory Committee will be obtaining feedback on the revised boundaries from their respective Councils/communities for Sackville (Ward 3) and Entity 40 in advance of their next meeting on March 15. This will be discussed at the Special Council meeting on March 7 at 7pm.
  • The deadline for finalizing the boundaries is March 31.

Update February 22, 2022:

The Elected Officials Advisory Committee met on Monday, February 21. At this meeting, the facilitator presented the draft ward boundaries for Entity 40. These boundaries are shown in the maps below.

*Draft A February 21, 2022. Maps not for legal use and boundaries are subject to change.

While the boundaries are largely set, there will be some slight tweaks to them to correct any mapping errors and issues. These changes will take place over the next two weeks.

The boundaries were established based on a number of factors, including geography, number of electors, population and community.

The next step for the Committee is to determine number of wards in Sackville. The other four wards are set, as per the maps above, though some tweaking may occur.

The Town of Sackville Municipal Reform Committee will be meeting on Thursday, February 24, 2022 at 6pm. This meeting will be used to obtain feedback on the number of wards for Sackville. To join the meeting, please follow this link.

Update February 16, 2022:

The Elected Officials Advisory Committee met on February 15th, 2022. The Committee is comprised of the following:

Mayor Shawn Mesheau – Sackville
Deputy Mayor Andrew Black – Sackville
Mayor Debbie Wiggins-Colwell – Dorchester
Deputy Mayor Robert Corkerton – Dorchester
Matt Beal – Dorchester LSD
Chris Milner – Sackville LSD
Mary Ellen Trueman – Pointe de Bute LSD
Greg Martin – Point de Bute LSD

The following decisions were made for Entity 40 Council Composition:

  • Ward system
  • Eight (8) councillors
  • Mayor elected at-large
  • Four (4) councillors will be allocated to Sackville and four (4) councillors will be allocated to the surrounding LSDs and the Village of Dorchester. It was determined that the Village of Dorchester and Dorchester LSD should have at least one of the council seats.

What does this mean for Sackville? There are different options. It might mean having four (4) wards (electing 1 councillor per ward), two (2) wards (electing 2 councillors per ward) or one (1) ward (electing 4 councillors).

Next steps:

  • Mapping options for the wards

The deadline to have the ward boundary maps finalized is March 4.

Update January 31, 2022:

Province has named the transition facilitators for the local governance reform process. Chad Peters of Lynwood Strategies will be the facilitator for Entity 40. Council and senior staff met with Chad on January 26 and he outlined important milestones for the coming year. The first actions for the transition team are:

  • Determining Council composition (eg. size, representation, wards vs at large)
  • A name for Entity 40
  • Type of municipal entity (eg. Town, local government, rural community)

These first steps will be completed by late February, early March.


Supporting documents and correspondence:

Letter to Minister Daniel Allain March 15, 2022 re. Entity 40 Boundaries

Letter to Minister Daniel Allain March 15, 2022 re. Council composition

Email response from Daniel Allain December 21, 2021 to both letters

Email response from Daniel Allain December 21, 2021

Letter to Minister Daniel Allain December 15, 2021

White Paper Response December 6, 2021

Green Paper Response July 21, 2021

Letter to Minister Daniel Allain June 5, 2023 re. Bill 45