Participation Information

The following is a list of commonly asked questions regarding participation in MBNCanada.

  1. How are new participating municipalities approved?

The MBNCanada Board, represented by the Chief Administrative Officers or City Managers from each of the current participating municipalities, will have final approval of new participating municipalities.

  1. Is there any documentation required to support a request to join MBNCanada?

Yes, potential new municipalities will be required to complete a “Readiness Assessment”, recognizing a municipality must be a good fit; one that enhances the current MBNCanada program; and adds value to the overall exercise. The assessment addresses:

  • Demographics and organizational information, such as size/population, services provided and benefits for both the new member and existing members.
  • Expectations, including the commitment to the program, recognized interest/culture about performance measures, ability to provide and support the required staff resources and confirmation that a municipality will adopt and adhere to MBNCanada protocols, practices and processes.
  1. Is there a minimum time commitment if you join MBNCanada?

Yes, new municipalities, regardless of level of government, will be subject to an initial three (3) year term.

  1. When is the best time to join MBNCanada?

It is recommended that new municipalities join MBNCanada after the completion of the annual data call cycle, which typically occurs in the Fall; however, this is negotiable depending on municipality.

  1. How much does it cost to join MBNCanada?

Program Fees are approved annually in September by the Board. New municipalities are also subject to a one-time ‘start-up fee’ to support onboarding/orientation and training, technical set-up in the data portal and other related costs. Program fees are billed annually in January of each year.  For more information on current fees, please contact Patti.tomalin@mbncanada.ca.              

  1. What are the program expectations for a new municipality?

New municipalities are required to adhere to MBNCanada policies and practices, such as (but not limited to):

  • Mandatory participation in all service areas provided by municipality (phased in over a 3-year period). Participation in all selected service area Board Primary and Support measures in the first, second and third year of participation.
  • Adoption of and adherence to:
    • MBNCanada Cost Methodology
    • MBNCanada Data Sharing Protocol
    • MBNCanada Data Collection Practices and Processes
  • Information sharing and networking to support benchmarking and best practices
  1. What are the resources and time required to participate (Municipal Roles and Responsibilities)?
  • Municipal Lead (ML) – this individual facilitates/directs the coordination and implementation of the benchmarking program at the municipal level. The Municipal Lead:
    1. Acts as a liaison between the Chief Administrative Officer/City Manager and the municipal expert panel members.
    2. Participates in Municipal Lead Committee meetings and may participate in sub-committees and ad hoc task teams. The ML Committee meets approximately 4 times per year.
    3. Coordinates the data call within municipality and participates in the review of the annual performance report (i.e., results, context, and graphs).
    4. Attends the Annual MBNCanada Forum.

The total annual time commitment for a Municipal Lead varies based on their level of participation in committees and initiatives and the availability of other municipal in-house support.

The total time commitment for a Municipal Lead is from ~200-250 hours per year.

  • Service Area Experts – these individuals are responsible for collection of data at the service level and participate in knowledge exchange and shared learnings with other municipal experts as part of the MBNCanada Expert Panel. There can be multiple service area experts for each designated service area. A service area expert:
    1. Participates in the data call and expert panel discussions.
    2. There are 3 meetings (November, February and August/September) per data call cycle; and additional meetings may be requested to facilitate shared learnings.
    3. Contributes to data collection, review and reporting. The annual data call cycle varies by municipality and is dependent on existing municipal organizational structure and data systems. 

A service area expert may spend between 10 – 20 hours per year on all MBNCanada activities.

  • Financial Advisory Panel (FAP) Representative – this individual supports the calculation, collection and reporting of municipal financial data:
    1. The municipal FAP representative is a finance person who supports the data call and is responsible for all municipal financial information.
    2. FAP ensures costs are measured consistently by reviewing their municipality’s cost measure data annually.
    3. Participates in MBNCanada FAP meetings as required to ensure that the MBNCanada Cost Methodology is current and reflects legislative and other reporting municipal reporting requirements (e.g., PSAB).

The total time commitment for an FAP member is between 10-20 hours per year.

  • MBNCanada meetings:
    1. Most meetings (Board, Standing Committee, ML and FAP, Expert Panel) are scheduled from 90 minutes to two hours and are conducted via MS Teams, with teleconferencing also provided.
    2. The schedule of meetings is set annually to provide sufficient notice and facilitate participation.
  1. How is a new municipality integrated in the annual data call?

MBNCanada encourages a three (3) year phase-in approach for all new municipalities, with the goal of data collection for all service areas being reported by year 4.

Year 1

  • New municipalities select a minimum number of service areas for which they will provide data. At a minimum, the municipality will provide data for all MBNCanada Board Primary and Support measures in the selected service areas. The selection is determined in consultation with the Program Office (consideration should be given to starting with direct services, such as Waste Management, Wastewater and Water, Roads, Facilities, etc.)
  • All service area experts are encouraged to participate in their respective Expert Panel meetings (even if that service area is not included in the Year 1 selection).
  • Public reporting (i.e., inclusion in the Performance Report) for services in Year 1 is at the municipality’s discretion.

Year 2

  • Additional services, in consultation with Program Office, are added to the schedule of data collection.
  • There is continued participation in Expert Panel meetings.
  • Publicly report (for two years’ data) on service areas where data was collected in Year 1.
  • Public reporting on new services undertaken in Year 2 is at the municipality’s discretion.

Year 3

  • All remaining service areas are added.
  • There is participation in all Expert Panel meetings.
  • Publicly report (for three years’ data) on service areas where data was collected in Years 1 and 2.
  • Public reporting on new services introduced in Year 3 is at the discretion of the municipality.

Year 4

  • The municipality fully participates in all service areas (expert panels; data collection; public reporting).


For further information, please contact:

         Patti Tomalin, Executive Director
         Email:  Patti.tomalin@mbncanada.ca
         Tel: 905-546-2424, Ext. 5779
         Mobile: 905-973-3057