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The Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities (NSFM) stands as the collective voice for municipalities in the province, a non-profit organization representing 375 municipally elected officials across 49 municipalities.

Guided by a 16-member board of directors, fifteen elected during our annual general meeting, and one appointed from our sister organization, the Association of Municipal Administrators of Nova Scotia (AMANS).

Established on August 15, 1906, during the Convention of the Union of Canadian Municipalities in Halifax, Nova Scotia, NSFM, formerly known as the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities (UNSM), was conceived when Mayor Black of Wolfville proposed the formation of a Provincial Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities. The motion passed unanimously, appointing Mayor R.T. MacIlreith of Halifax as President and Halifax City Engineer F.W.W. Doane as Secretary.

The initial constitution, resembling those adopted by other provincial associations, was approved clause by clause. Membership fees were set with counties contributing $10, towns paying $2 per thousand in population (minimum $10), and cities contributing $2 per thousand in population (up to $50). In its inaugural year, the Union generated $180 in fees from 12 members, growing to 18 members with $210 in fees by August 1908, reaching 50 members by the Seventh Annual Convention in 1912.

Established to safeguard the interests of municipal units in Nova Scotia, the UNSM, as articulated by Mayor MacIlreith at the Second Annual Convention on August 28, 1907, was tasked with monitoring legislation affecting municipalities. President A.E. McMahon foresaw the government increasingly relying on the Union's services and expertise, a prediction that held true over time, fostering an interactive decision-making process between the Province and the Union.

While not delving into committees scrutinizing municipal expenses for infectious disease suppression, a function present in 1907, the NSFM's mandate remains aligned with Mayor MacIlreith's era. Despite changes in personnel, the Federation's core objective endures — to protect the interests of Nova Scotia's municipalities.


To enable effective local government for Nova Scotia’s communities by facilitating strategic advocacy, education and collaboration.


Effective local government and strong, sustainable communities.


The Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities, formerly the Union of Nova Scotia. Municipalities were incorporated in 1981 under the Act to Incorporate the Union of Nova Scotia_Municipalities.

The Act was amended on May 22, 2003.

pdf NSFM By-laws (388 KB)


pdf CHAPTER 103-ACTS OF 1981 An Act to Incorporate the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities (UNSM) (55 KB) (As amended up to and including May 2003). 

2019 Rebranding

A request was made to the Province of Nova Scotia to amend the legislation to incorporate our new name, Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities. That request was granted by an Order In Council on September 3, 2019.

pdf Order In Council published in the Royal Gazette (350 KB)

2023 Annual Report

To review  NSFM 2023 Annual Report