Important new legislation is coming

Municipality Matters

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by Mayor David Gordon

The province is implementing Bill 68, “Modernizing Ontario’s Municipal Legislation Act 2017″, which will impact every municipality in Ontario. The key themes of the Act are Accountability and Transparency, Municipal Financial Sustainability and Responsible and Flexible Municipal Government. These changes will come into force in phases, with some provisions already in place, and many others will come into force on a schedule laid out in the proclamation.

A phased approach would bring certain amendments into force on January 1, 2018 and March 1, 2019. Changes are as follows:

Municipal Tax sales: This reduces the time that property taxes have to be owning before a municipality can start a tax sale of the property from 3 years to 2 years.

Property Tax Collection and Administration: Various amendments to improve delivery of property tax collection and administration provisions generally. For example, electronic delivery of property tax bills and broadening the range of fees and charges that can be added to the tax roll.

The Act makes clear that existing broad powers include the power to pass by-laws respecting climate change, and that municipalities may provide for, or participate in, long-term energy planning in the municipality. It also provides municipalities with additional powers to pass by-laws respecting the protection and conservation of the environment in accordance with regulations, including powers to require green roofs, or alternate roof surfaces, in circumstances specified by the Building Code.

General amendments brought in by this Act include areas such as Administrative Penalties; Pregnancy and Parental leave for council; Advertising Devices; Power of Entry; Site Alteration; Rental Housing; Amendments to the Planning Act; Amendments to the Municipal Election Act, 1998; Open Meetings re council; Small Business Programs; and Temporary Replacements on Upper-tier Council.

You can see that the “Modernizing Ontario’s Municipal Legislation Act 2017″ covers a lot of areas that municipalities deal with now, and will deal with in the future. Many of these changes will be implemented in 2018, and the impact will only be really seen over time. This report might sounded boring, but this Act will become the Holy Grail to all municipalities in Ontario

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