11/03/2009

The Good Government Bill proposed a multitude of changes to various statures that affect municipalities.
Issue:  

Bill 212, introduced on October 27, 2009, proposes a multitude of changes to various statues.  Below is a highlight of some of the changes which affect municipalities.  

Quick Summary:

Municipal Elections

Please see
Municipal Election Changes, October 27, 2009 for more details on these changes. 

Fine Revenue

The Bill would amend the Provincial Offences Act and Municipal Act to improve the processes for pleas, trials and payment of fines. The amendments would allow municipalities to recover the amount of a defaulted POA fine through property taxes and to recover collection agency costs without approval of the Attorney General. The changes in the Bill reflect changes that have been promoted by the sector.

Property Tax

The Bill would streamline the Assessment Act and the Municipal Act by deleting deadlines on a municipality’s ability to make tax policy decisions regarding classes of real property and deadlines to make tax policy bylaws and therefore seek ministerial approval for relief from the deadlines.

Planning

Minor changes to the Planning Act will add flexibility to Committee of Adjustment minor variance applications, clarity to the use of Cash-in-lieu of Parkland dedication funds and will add condominium approval authority to those municipalities in the North that currently have subdivision approval delegation authority.   

Clean Water Act

The Bill re-enacts section 36 of the Clean Water Act authorizing the Minister to designate parts of a Source Protection Plan and Assessment Report for review and sets out requirements for the preparation of terms of reference for a review. It also amends section 108 to ensure that municipal councils can appoint members to Conservation Authorities if a regulation is made designating municipalities as part of Conservation Authorities for the purposes of the Act. 

Ontario Heritage Act

The Bill amends the Ontario Heritage Act to clarify that grants and loans made under the Act to the owners of designed properties does not constitute “bonusing” as defined by the Municipal Act.  It also contains other changes which provides for modern options to communicate with property owners and members of the public, including internet communications.