After 20 years, the municipality of West Nipissing is increasing the cost of a marriage licence, from $100 to $150.
The municipality purchases marriage licences for $48 from the Office of the Registrar General, which is in Thunder Bay, and registers all births, marriages, and deaths in Ontario.
However, there are additional costs to the municipality, mostly in staff time processing the licences— “there’s a lot of work involved,” explained councillor Lise Sénecal.
The increase brings West Nipissing into the range of other neighbouring municipalities. North Bay charges $155, Sudbury and Espanola charge $160, and Timmins’ fee is $165.
West Nipissing’s lower cost has attracted thrifty couples “seeking to purchase their marriage licences” in the municipality as opposed to “where they reside,” explained the municipal clerk, in her report to council.
Councillor Chris Fisher suggested raising the fee, “because this has not been changed since 2001, and we’re not likely to revisit it for a long time, why don’t we just make it $160?”
“Then if the purchased licence goes up” the municipality will still come out ahead, “and we’ll still be in line with the other municipalities.”
Council did not favour Fisher’s suggestion, noting their decision was already raising the cost by $50 and emphasizing that staff put forward the $150 amount, which is what they ultimately voted to implement.
David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca