Human Resources Legislative Update
Municipalities Take Note: Ontario Introduces Better Municipal Governance Act and Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act Regulations
Date: November 25, 2022
In this Human Resources Legislative Update, we provide a brief summary of two recent legislative developments–the introduction of Bill 39, Better Municipal Governance Act, 2022, as well as Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act, 2022 regulations–that build on the Ontario government’s stated initiative to extend strong mayor powers and deliver on shared provincial-municipal priorities.
Bill 39, Better Municipal Governance Act, 2022
On November 16, 2022, the Ontario government introduced Bill 39, Better Municipal Governance Act, 2022, for First Reading. As of November 23, 2022, Bill 39 had passed Second Reading and has been referred to Committee for further consideration.
If passed, Bill 39 would amend the City of Toronto Act, 2006 and the Municipal Act, 2001 to provide the mayor of the City of Toronto and mayors of other “designated municipalities” the authority to propose by-laws to advance a prescribed provincial priority (e.g. housing) and require city council to pass the by-law if more than one-third of the members of council vote in favour of the by-law. According to the government’s new release, it intends to provide this authority to the mayor of the City of Ottawa as well.
Bill 39 would also amend the Municipal Act, 2001 to authorize the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to appoint, for the term of office beginning in 2022, the head of council of The Regional Municipality of Niagara, The Regional Municipality of Peel and The Regional Municipality of York.
If passed, these proposed amendments would come into force on a date to be proclaimed.
Editor’s Note: Bill 39 received Royal Assent on December 8, 2022.
Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act Regulations
On November 22, 2022, the Ontario government filed O. Reg. 529/22 made under the City of Toronto Act, 2006, as well as O. Reg. 530/22 made under the Municipal Act, 2001. These regulations support the amendments the Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act, 2022 makes to 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. (See our Human Resources Legislative Update of August 12, 2022, Municipalities Take Note: Ontario Introduces Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act, 2022.)
O. Reg. 529/22 provides details regarding the new powers of the mayor of the City of Toronto, as set out in the Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act, 2022. The regulation includes information relating to the mayor’s veto powers as well as the mayor’s delegatory authority (and its limits). O. Reg. 529/22 also prescribes the process for the mayor and city council to follow regarding the annual budget.
O. Reg. 530/22 contains the same provisions as O. Reg. 529/22, but also includes a section that designates the City of Ottawa as a municipality for which “Part VI.1 Special Powers and Duties of the Head of Council” applies.
These regulations came into force on November 23, 2022.
Should you have any questions, or require more information about how these changes may impact your municipality, please contact your regular Hicks Morley lawyer.
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. ©