Bill 130 (available here), the Municipal Statute Law Amendment Act, 2006 (the “Bill”), received Royal Assent on December 20, 2006 and is now in force. The Bill amends, among other Acts, the Municipal Act, 2001 (available here), the City of Toronto Act, 2006 (available here), and the City of Ottawa Act (available here). In addition, new regulations (available here) have been made puruant to the Municipal Act, 2001 to give effect to the Bills amendments to that Act.
The amendments provided for in the Bill are intended to give municipalities most of the powers and duties that have been conferred on the City of Toronto pursuant to the City of Toronto Act, 2006. Some of these powers and duties are as follows:
· Broad powers to pass by-laws with regard to, among other things, municipal governance, financial management of the municipality and its local boards, public assets, the provision of municipal services, consumer protection and business licensing;
· Expanded delegation powers to allow delegation of certain duties to certain persons and bodies. Municipalities will not have the ability to delegate their power over zoning by-laws and taxation, for instance;
· Regulation of the demolition of residential rental properties;
· Broader powers over local boards;
· Enhanced power to promote accountability and transparency by way of codes of conduct, the appointment of an integrity commissioner, an ombudsman, an auditor general and a lobbyist registrar;
· Broader enforcement abilities, including the authority to set fines for by-law offences and the authority to enter private property to determine by-law compliance.
To counter-balance these enhanced powers, the Bill also gives the Lieutenant-Governor in Council power to make regulations limiting the exercise of municipal powers.
Although the Bill deals with both upper- and lower-tier municipalities, municipalities continue to have authority only within the jurisdiction previously assigned to them.
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