PICKERING: An explanation of “STRONG MAYORS” powers

Powers and Duties

The Mayor has special powers and duties under Part VI.1 of the Municipal Act, 2001 S.O. 2001, c. 25 and in accordance with O. Reg. 530/22 and O. Reg. 580/22. These powers include the ability to:

  • Appoint/dismiss the Chief Administrative Officer;*
  • Hire/dismiss or exercise any other prescribed employment powers with respect to City staff; *
  • Establish or dissolve committees comprised solely of Members of Council,
  • Assign the committee’s functions, and
  • Appoint the Chairs and Vice Chairs; *
  • Prepare and propose the City’s budget, subject to possible Council amendments,
  • Right to veto Council amendments, which are subject to an override process that may be accomplished by two-thirds of the Council;
  • Require Council to consider matters that could potentially advance a prescribed provincial priority;
  • Require Council to consider and vote on a by-law that in the Mayor’s opinion could potentially advance a prescribed provincial priority and
  • Above by-law with 1/3 vote of Council Members is deemed to be passed;
  • Veto by-laws, if Mayor considers the by-law as potentially interfering with a prescribed provincial priority; and,
  • Direct City staff, in writing, to undertake research and provide advice to the Mayor and the municipality, on policies and programs as they relate to the Mayor’s powers and duties under Part VI.1, and direct staff to carry out such duties and implement any decisions made by the Mayor.

*The Mayor may choose to delegate these specific powers and duties.

The Mayor is required to exercise these powers in writing and make them available to the public, subject to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Mayoral decisions to date are available below.

The following provides a more detailed overview of the legislative framework governing the Mayor’s special powers and duties under the Municipal Act, 2001 S.O. 2001, c. 25  (Section Part VI.1)

BILL 3 –  Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act, 2022, S.O. 2022, c. 18 – Bill 3,

  • received Royal Assent on September 8, 2022
  • came into force on November 23, 2022 and
  • provided special powers and duties to the mayors of the Cities of Toronto and Ottawa extended these powers to mayors in 26 municipalities, including the City of Pickering, effective July 1, 2023.

Under the legislation the mayor receives additional powers byond those as set out in the Municipal Act, 2001 S.O. 2001, c. 25.

BILL 3, STRONG MAYORS (Building Homes Act), 2022, S.O. 2022, c. 18
Bill 3 provides the Mayor, as head of Council:

  • the ability to veto certain by-laws approved by Council if the Mayor “is of the opinion that all or part of the by-law could potentially interfere with a prescribed provincial priority.”
  • is required to provide written notice of his veto intent within a prescribed time period. (City Council may override the Mayor’s veto if two-thirds of Members vote in favour of such an override.)
  • power to prepare and propose the annual budget and
  • power to initiate in-year budget amendments. (Budget proposal deadline February 1st.

Council can pass resolutions to amend the budget within 30 days subject to veto by the Mayoral. However, the Council may override a mayoral veto with a two-thirds majority vote after which the resulting budget is “deemed” to be adopted by the municipality.

Bill 39 – Better Municipal Governance Act, 2022, S.O. 2022, c. 24 – Bill 39

  • received Royal Assent on December 8, 2022.
  • amends the Municipal Act, 2001 S.O. 2001, c. 25, allowing the Mayor to propose, and
  • require Council to consider and vote on a by-law if in the Mayor’s opinion could potentially advance a prescribed Provincial Priority (O. Reg. 580/22: Provincial Priorities).
    (The by-law is considered passed if more than one-third of Members of Council vote in favour of the by-law.)
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