Client Update: Bylaw requirements under the Municipal Government Act
Municipalities in Prince Edward Island entered a new era when the Municipal Government Act (the “MGA”) was proclaimed into force on December 23, 2017. The MGA modernized the Province’s municipal legislation and repealed and replaced the Charlottetown Area Municipalities Act, the City of Summerside Act, and the Municipalities Act.
Many municipalities have a significant amount of work to do in order to comply with the new MGA. One of the most pressing concerns for many municipalities will be ensuring that the MGA’s bylaw requirements are met within the requisite time limits. Specifically, the MGA requires all municipalities to have the following bylaws enacted on or before December 23, 2018:
- procedural bylaw (including conflict of interest rules);
- code of conduct bylaw;
- records retention and disposal bylaw;
- access to information bylaw; and
- protection of personal information bylaw.
The MGA also states that municipalities must pass an election bylaw by July 30, 2018. The Minister of Communities, Land and Environment has since extended this deadline to September 5, 2018 for all municipalities except the Resort Municipality. The Resort Municipality must pass its election bylaw by July 13, 2018 (as its election takes place in August, 2018).
Municipalities are required to enact the following bylaws at a later date:
- emergency management program bylaw; and
- purchasing or procurement bylaw.
It is important to note that the bylaws set out above include only those which the MGA mandates that all municipalities enact. Some municipalities may be required to enact additional bylaws. For example, municipalities who borrow funds, provide grants, provide compensation to council members, establish reserve funds, establish tax rate groups, or wish to appoint enforcement officers are obligated to enact specific bylaws prior to taking such actions. Municipalities without an official plan and zoning bylaws must have them in place no later than December 23, 2022. The circumstances under which these additional bylaws may be needed are likewise prescribed in the MGA.
Procedure for Enacting Bylaws
To validly enact a bylaw it must be read and formally approved at two separate council meetings which are open to the public and held on different days. The bylaw must be approved by a majority of the council members present and voting at each meeting. After its second reading the bylaw must be formally adopted by council resolution.
Next Steps for Municipalities
Municipalities should be mindful of the timeline for enacting the MGA’s required bylaws. Municipalities who already have bylaws in place to address these areas should review their bylaws to make sure that they satisfy the requirements of the MGA. We encourage all municipalities to contact their legal advisors to ensure that their bylaws comply with the new legislation, both in form and in content.
Bryan Mills and John Morse On May 21, 2019, the New Brunswick Labour and Employment Board (”Board”) dismissed an application by the New Brunswick Union of Public and Private Employees (“Union”) seeking certification as bargaining…Read More
Jonathan Coady and Justin Milne The Ontario Court of Appeal has found that the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act¹ is valid federal legislation.² The Act implements national minimum pricing standards to reduce greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions.…Read More
Richard Niedermayer, TEP, Jennifer Taylor and Bhreagh Ross, summer student There is a right to testamentary freedom under section 7 of the Charter, according to a recent decision of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court. In…Read More
John Samms Introduction Much ink has been spilled on the controversial 1969 power contract between Hydro-Quebec and CFLCo (the contract) and last week the Quebec Court of Appeal added to the pile with its decision…Read More
Kevin Landry On June 14, 2019, Health Canada announced the release of the final version of amendments to the Cannabis Regulations, which will permit for the production and sale of edibles, extracts and topicals. The…Read More
We are pleased to present the fourth issue of Discovery, our very own legal publication targeted to educational institutions in Atlantic Canada. While springtime for universities and colleges signal the culmination of classes, new graduates…Read More
Grant Machum and Richard Jordan In an earlier article, we considered an employer’s options when an employee departs and takes with them the social media contacts they have obtained during the course of their…Read More
Matthew Jacobs and Daniel Roth (summer student) “… we cannot be a Blockbuster government serving a Netflix society.” – The Hon. Minister Navdeep Bains paraphrasing the Hon. Scott Brison (May 2019, at the Empire…Read More
Tauna Staniland, Andrea Shakespeare, Kimberly Bungay and Alycia Novacefski The federal government has introduced new record keeping requirements for private, federally formed corporations governed by the Canada Business Corporations Act (“CBCA”). The amendments to the…Read More