Human Resources Legislative Update
Municipalities Take Note: Ontario Introduces Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act, 2022
Date: August 12, 2022
On August 10, 2022, the Ontario government introduced Bill 3, Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act, 2022 (Bill 3) for first reading. If passed, Bill 3 would amend the City of Toronto Act, 2006 and the Municipal Act, 2001 to provide new powers to the mayor of the City of Toronto and mayors of other “designated municipalities,” such as by allowing them to appoint or dismiss the chief administrative officer or a chair or vice-chair of a local board. According to the government’s news release, it intends to also provide these new powers to the mayor of the City of Ottawa.
As a result of these proposed changes, the mayors of Toronto and Ottawa would have additional powers, including the following:
- Proposing a budget for the municipality and presenting it to city council for consideration,
- Determining the organizational structure of the municipality by hiring, dismissing and exercising other prescribed employment powers over municipal department heads, subject to restrictions with respect to specified persons including the Clerk, Fire Chief and the Integrity Commissioner,
- Establishing, dissolving or assigning functions to prescribed committees or committees within a prescribed class of committees, and
- Vetoing bylaws that could potentially interfere with a prescribed “provincial priority” (according to the government’s new release, one such provincial priority will be building new homes and the construction and maintenance of infrastructure that supports new housing).
If passed, these proposed amendments will come into force on a date to be proclaimed (which is intended to be November 15, 2022, to coincide with the start of the new municipal council term).
While it remains to be seen whether mayors of other municipalities in Ontario will see a similar expansion in powers, Bill 3 would provide the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing the authority to designate other heads of council as being covered by the amendments.
Should you have any questions, or require more information about how these changes may impact your municipality, please contact your regular Hicks Morley lawyer.
Editor’s Note: Bill 3 received Royal Assent on September 8, 2022. Please see Bill for coming into force information.
The article in this client update provides general information and should not be relied on as legal advice or opinion. This publication is copyrighted by Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP and may not be photocopied or reproduced in any form, in whole or in part, without the express permission of Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP. ©