Strong Mayor Powers

Cenotaph

The Ontario government has expanded strong mayor powers to the mayors of 45 large and fast-growing municipalities, including the City of Peterborough, that have committed to a housing pledge as part of the province's work to build 1.5 million homes by 2031.

Strong mayor powers offer resources to heads of council to accelerate the implementation of key shared municipal-provincial priorities such as housing, transit, and infrastructure. 

About mayoral powers and duties under the Municipal Act, 2001

Under Part VI.1 of the Municipal Act, 2001, the Mayor has the following special powers and duties as the head of City Council:

  • Appointing and dismissing the Chief Administrative Officer*
  • Hiring and dismissing certain municipal department heads, and establishing and reorganizing departments*
  • Creating committees of Council, assigning their functions and appointing the chairs and vice-chairs*
  • Proposing the municipal annual budget, which would be subject to Council amendments, a Mayoral veto and a Council override process
  • Vetoing certain by-laws if the Mayor is of the opinion that all or part of the by-law could potentially interfere with a provincial priority
  • Bringing forward matters for Council consideration if the Mayor is of the opinion that considering the matter could potentially advance a provincial priority
  • Directing municipal staff in writing to undertake research, provide advice, or carry out duties related to the Mayoral special powers

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

The Mayor is required to exercise these powers in writing, give notice to the City Clerk, and make decisions and directives available to the public, subject to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. 

Bill 3, Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act, 2022

Bill 3, the Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act, 2022, received Royal Assent on September 8, 2022, and came into force on November 23, 2022. This power was extended by regulation on July 1, 2023 to 45 municipalities, including City of Peterborough. 

This legislation and associated regulations O. Reg. 530/22 and O. Reg. 580/22 provide the Mayor with additional powers beyond those previously set out in the Municipal Act, 2001.

Bill 3 provides the Mayor, as the 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." The Mayor is required to provide written notice of intent to consider vetoing the by-law within a prescribed period of time. Council may override the Mayor's veto if two-thirds of Members vote in favour of such an override. 

Bill 3 and the associated O. Reg. 530/22 also grant the Mayor, as head of Council, powers related to proposing the annual budget and initiating in-year budget amendments. Under O. Reg. 530/22 under the Municipal Act, 2001, the Mayor is required to propose the budget by February 1. After the Mayor proposes the budget, Council can pass resolutions to amend the budget within 30 days. The Mayor may veto a Council budget resolution and Council may then override a mayoral veto with a two-thirds majority vote. At the end of this process, the resulting budget is "deemed" to be adopted by the municipality. 

Bill 39, Better Municipal Governance Act, 2022

Bill 39, the Better Municipal Governance Act, 2022, received Royal Assent on December 8, 2022. With respect to Mayoral powers, Bill 39 amends the Municipal Act, 2001to allow the Mayor to propose, and require Council to consider and vote on, certain by-laws related to prescribed Provincial Priorities (e.g. 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.

Mayoral Decisions and Directives

 

Mayoral decisions and directives pursuant to the Municipal Act, 2001
DateNumber Subject Matter 

November 6, 2023

MDEC23-1

Delegation of Authority to Council to establish the responsibilities of the Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Peterborough

November 1, 2023

MDEC23-2

Direction to the Treasurer to Present the 2024 City of Peterborough Budget

December 11, 2023

MDEC23-3

To propose the 2024 budget