The City of Peterborough Legal Services includes the Office of the City Solicitor and the Provincial Offences Act Office.

Proposed Legal Services 2020 Budget

Office of the City Solicitor

The Office of the City Solicitor (OCS) provides a range of legal services to the Corporation, City Council, the Chief Administrative Officer and City staff. Legal services are provided on issues related to planning and land development; real estate transactions; real property agreements; by-law drafting; labour and employment; social services including housing; legislative interpretation, contracts and advocacy before administrative tribunals and the courts. The OCS also oversees the management of the Provincial Offences Office.

Highlights

The OCS manages a varied caseload, dealing with a broad range of legal issues faced by a single-tier municipality and relating to provincial and federal jurisdiction. The OCS's caseload is determined by the needs and projects of Council and City Departments. For 2020, OCS will be involved with numerous land acquisitions relating to road widening and other capital projects, various housing programs and Airport matters. 

OCS staff participate in a number of inter-departmental committees such as the Risk Management Committee. As such they work closely with the Insurance and Risk Management Coordinator involving litigation and insurance coverage for contractual and other risk management documents.

From time to time certain matters requiring extensive resources or specialized expertise (such areas of law as labour negotiations, environmental issues, and certain litigation) are outsourced.

Provincial Offences Office

The Provincial Offences Act (POA) Office is responsible for administration, courtroom support and municipal prosecution of the Provincial Offences Act (the Act) offences as well as municipal bylaws within the City and County of Peterborough. The POA office ensures compliance with the Act, the Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of the Attorney General and the Inter-municipal Service Agreement.

Highlights

The number of charges issued is the primary driver of the POA Court system, however, the Court has no influence on the number of charges filed by enforcement agencies. The charges laid are based on the type of offences that occur and the enforcement resources available to address those offences. The number of charges fluctuate and the composition of the dollar value of the charges impacts the revenue generated. POA revenues are only realized by the payment of fines. Provincially, a decrease in overall number of charges being filed is an issue, but it is not specific to Peterborough.

MTO/Service Ontario is now collecting defaulted fines that have suspended a driver's license as well as plate denials for defaulted parking tickets. This change has not resulted in a decrease of POA income but has resulted in a proportional decrease in daily payments coming directly to POA offices. The income shows up in the budget as revenue sent to us monthly by the Province.

Staff will continue to pursue collection initiatives with the goal of increasing fine revenue.

Net revenues are divided between the City and County of Peterborough based on the prior year's relative weighted assessment. The County's share for 2020 is 54.8%; the City's share is 45.2%.

Defaulted Fines - Definition: Any fine where the defendant has failed to pay the amount imposed upon conviction by the due date. A fine is considered defaulted when it remains unpaid 15 days past the due date. Once in default, the City will start collection activity that may include Final Notices, orders to suspend driver's licenses and plate denials, addition of defaulted fines to tax rolls and legal proceedings.

Defaulted fines collected
Year201720182019 (forecast)
Amount $1,197,489 $1,110,029 $1,150,000