Imagine it’s five in the morning and you are rudely awakened by your neighbour’s frantically barking dog. You close your bedroom window and go back to sleep. Later that morning, you hop out of bed, have a shower, and get on your skateboard to meet your friends downtown.
Your day has just started, and already the decisions you have made are affected by the bylaws of the community you live in. The size of your bedroom window is likely determined by a municipal building code. Local bylaws can deal with neighbourhood problems like barking dogs. The water for your shower is likely provided by your local municipality. And traffic bylaws regulate the use of your skateboard.
As you can see, local government—also known as municipal or civic government—deals with all sorts of issues that are close to home. So what is local government? What exactly does local government do? And how can we influence local government so it has a positive impact on our lives? This issue of The PLEA explores these issues by explaining local government in Saskatchewan.