Municipal Government and Service Delivery

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Course description

Prerequisite: None
This course focuses on the functions of government, particularly emphasizing local government. The service delivery part can be adapted to particular services. The first version of this course was designed for fire services and the last unit concentrates on this service. However the course can be adapted to other municipal services merely by altering the last lesson and the last assignment.

The first three units take an historical approach to local government in Canada. Following a general historical analysis of the rise of the nation-state, the first unit concentrates on the municipal reform era of the early twentieth century. The second unit considers the period from the Depression of the 1930s to the 1980s. The third unit considers the last 15 to 20 years. The final unit examines the relationship between fire departments and their local governments.

Course author

John Benoit, Ph.D.
John Benoit has been an applied sociologist, employing social science research to fire service administration. He obtained his PhD in sociology from the Johns Hopkins University in 1975, writing a dissertation on the effect of information flow on risk taking. He had worked at Dalhousie for 24 years, spending the last 20 as Director, Fire Management Education. During this time he wrote and co-wrote several of the courses, editing others. His principal areas of expertise include fire department-municipal government relations, the volunteer fire service, some aspects of personnel management, and theoretical perspectives on emergency management. In addition to course development, he has conducted research and published in the areas of volunteer fire administration, and disaster management. John recently retired and is now examining the effect of rural volunteer fire departments on the local community, and the impact of courageous experience and social capital on local economic development.