November 2020
Budget Bill: 229: Protect, Support and Recover From COVID-19 Act

2020-11-13 1:38:21 PM

We have already blogged about several measures announced as part of the Fall 2020 Budget.

This post will focus on Bill 229: Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures), 2020, which contains 44 Schedules that would make amendments to several Acts. Some of the more significant proposals are outlined below:

The Bill would amend the Conservation Authorities Act to add further accountability and transparency measures including:

  • A section that requires persons appointed to conservation authorities to be municipal councillors.
  • A section on duties of members to act honestly and in good faith on behalf of municipalities where members are appointed by participating municipalities.
  • A section that requires agendas and meeting minutes of the authority and executive committees to be made public and posted to the authority's website.

In addition, the Bill would allow the Minister to appoint a representative from the agricultural sector. Conservation Authorities would continue to be responsible for providing programs and services to further the conservation, restoration, development and management of natural resources other than gas, oil, coal and minerals. However, Conservation Ontario has expressed some concern with some of the other proposed measures.

For treasurer members in particular:

There are several proposed amendments to various legislation including the Assessment Act, and the Municipal Act, to enact proposed changes to property tax assessment for some businesses.

As mentioned in our budget blog post, in 2021, municipalities will have the ability to reduce property taxes for certain small businesses via a new 'small business' property tax class.

Some consideration will have to be given as to the definition of small business used by municipalities to ensure that this measure provides the support intended — particularly as there is a provincial commitment to consider matching these reductions. A 2018 City of Toronto staff report on Tax Policy Tools to Support Businesses identified some considerations for implementing such a measure.

Additionally, the Bill proposes to extend property tax exemptions that already apply to land that is used and occupied as a memorial home, clubhouse or athletic grounds by an Ontario branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, units of the Army, Navy, and Air Force Veterans in Canada.

The Bill also proposes to allow municipalities to elect whether or not to have a vacant unit program — provided they pass a bylaw and unless otherwise prescribed or defined in the Municipal Act. Municipalities are also given several options respecting the requirements of their programs.

Overall, AMCTO is encouraged to see that the budget maintains the OMPF funding envelope, continues investments in broadband and modernizing government process and procedures — all of which are measures that align with our pre-budget submission.


Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.