Advocacy Update: Strong Mayor Powers Expanding to More Municipalities

Date Published

Following a meeting with Ontario Big City Mayors this morning, Minister Clark has announced that the Government is expanding 'strong mayor powers' to 26 additional municipalities beyond the City of Ottawa and the City of Toronto, effective July 1, 2023. This extension would be made by adding municipalities to O. Reg. 530/22 under the Municipal Act.


Once the regulation is in effect, a head of council of a listed municipality can choose whether to use these permissive authorities.


The municipalities that will be added to the regulation include:

Town of AjaxCity of BarrieCity of Brampton
City of BrantfordCity of BurlingtonTown of Caledon
City of CambridgeCity of ClaringtonCity of Guelph
City of HamiltonCity of KingstonCity of Kitchener
City of LondonCity of MarkhamTown of Milton
City of MississaugaCity of Niagara FallsTown of Oakville
City of OshawaCity of PickeringCity of Richmond Hill
City of St. CatherinesCity of VaughanCity of Waterloo
Town of WhitbyCity of Windsor 

These 26 additional municipalities are single or lower-tier municipalities with a population over 100,000 or projected to grow to 100,000 by 2023. These municipalities have also submitted a housing pledge to the Province.


Of note, during media availability following the announcement, Minister Clark indicated that more municipalities will be receiving a letter inviting them to sign a housing pledge and consideration will be given to adding more municipalities to the regulation.


Minister Clark also confirmed that the additional powers given to these 26 municipalities are the same as what was given to Ottawa and Toronto, and that the Provincial priorities prescribed in O. Reg. 580/22 remained unchanged.


AMCTO has long advised that without providing reasonable timelines to implement Provincially mandated changes to structures, governance or other matters, the Province continues to place undue administrative and operational burden on municipal staff who must implement these initiatives.


In August of 2022, AMCTO presented to the Standing Committee on Heritage, Infrastructure and Cultural Policy regarding Bill 3: Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act, 2022Our submission expressed concerns about the effective removal of non-partisan local government management professionals, especially the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), and the impact this could have on the politicization of senior and other local government officials. We also emphasized the additional undue administrative burden this change could have on our members and other municipal staff.


In addition, we also responded to the Government’s regulatory proposals regarding prescribed Provincial priorities related to the Act, and matters that bring Part VI.1 of the Act into effect. We once again urged the Province to consider how implementation of these changes would work on the ground, including impacts on local governance, operational matters, and already limited municipal finances, resources and staff capacity.


As an Association representing municipal staff, we play an important role in facilitating conversations on the practical considerations regarding the implementation of ‘strong mayor’ authority. With this in mind, we will continue to work together with Toronto and Ottawa to bring information and considerations for implementing ‘strong mayor powers’ to our members and other affected municipalities. Stay tuned for more information on this to come.


For more information or to discuss further, please contact:


Alana Del Greco

Manager, Policy and Government Relations


Charlotte Caza

Policy Advisor


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