About Local Government

Ontario has thousands of local governments – consisting of municipal governments or municipalities and various other local governing bodies known as agencies, boards, and commissions, or ABCs.

  • Boards of education (operate public schools)
  • Police commissions (provide police protection services)
  • Public heath units (conduct activities such as rating restaurants for cleanliness and pushing to ban smoking in public places)
  • Transit commissions (operate bus and subway systems)
  • Library boards
  • Conservation authorities (manage watersheds and help preserve the quality of groundwaterthe source of drinking water for most of rural Ontario).
  • Arena or community center boards

Local governments provide services such as roads and bridges, water supply and sewage treatment plants which make up a community’s basic infrastructure. Local governments can be responsible for a wide range of social programs, including; day care facilities, homes for the aged, and affordable housing. Land use decisions by municipalities play a major role in determining the character and prosperity of the community. Essential services such as: Fire protection, police, & ambulances, also fall under the jurisdiction of municipal governments. Local governments are directly responsible for providing safe drinking water, effective treatment of sewage, and garbage collection and disposal. They also operate recycling programs.

Read more about local government in the AMCTA Local Government Presentation.