Cooperation and Capacity: Inter-Municipal Agreements in Canada
The challenge of governing regions that fall within the jurisdiction of more than one municipality is a long-standing policy problem for local governments. While institutional changes are often suggested as a solution to coordination and servicing difficulties in metropolitan areas, recent research suggests that decentralized, voluntary means of inter-local cooperation may help ensure service and policy continuity. Little research has been conducted on voluntary cooperation arrangements in Canadian metropolitan areas. This IMFG paper examines interlocal agreements in six Canadian metropolitan areas. Overall, the researcher found few inter-local agreements, largely because provincial governments have not actively encouraged municipalities to pursue inter-local cooperation. There is, however, evidence that this attitude is changing. Inter-local cooperation is a topic worthy of more scholarly research and this paper proposes several potential lines of new research.