Menu Search

Last call for voluntary ICFs: are you headed to arbitration?

December 16, 2020

370 out of the 422 Intermunicipal Collaboration Frameworks (ICFs) required across the Province are complete (84%), with more notifications of completed ICFs being sent to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs regularly.

The deadline for completion of ICFs is April 1, 2021. Municipalities that do not complete their ICF(s) or initiate voluntary arbitration before this date will be required to engage in the mandatory arbitration process set out in Part 17.2 the Municipal Government Act

Current tips and trends that members need to be aware of include:

  • There is no standard format or template for an ICF, so the format of the document can be determined by the parties to an ICF.
  • Some municipalities are already encountering disputes coming out of completed ICFs, mainly as a result of severe financial constraints. You should therefore ensure that your ICF includes a clear and thorough dispute resolution process that will apply once the ICF is in place.
  • Common areas of intermunicipal dispute at present relate to recreation, libraries, and water and wastewater.

If you need assistance with your ICF process:

  • Refer to what others have done. Many municipalities have their completed ICFs posted on their websites under bylaws or intermunicipal cooperation.
  • In 2018, AUMA and RMA, with support from Municipal Affairs, collaborated to develop an Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework Workbook to support municipalities in completing ICFs and Intermunicipal Development Plans (IDPs).
    • The workbook was last updated in September 2020 to recognize the adjustment of the deadline to April 1, 2021 and to provide tips and tools on how to address outstanding areas of dispute when finalizing an ICF.
  • Contact Municipal Affairs’ Intermunicipal Relations Team for expert advice on arbitration and dispute resolution. 

If you have any questions on ICFs or the ICF Workbook, you may also contact AUMA’s advocacy team at advocacy@auma.ca.