Government Introduces Strong Mayors Legislation

On August 10, 2022 Minister Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, introduced Bill 3: Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act. If passed, the Act would give the mayors of Toronto and Ottawa additional powers including to: 

  • Appoint municipal CAOs and other non-statutory department heads and restructure departments;  

  • Create new identified committees and appoint chairs and vice-chairs of identified committees and local boards and change the make-up of a committee; 

  • Direct items to council that could potentially advance a provincial priority and direct staff to develop proposals to be brought forward for council consideration; 

  • Propose the municipal budget and veto changes proposed by council; and 

  • Veto council’s passing of a by-law if all or part of the by-law could interfere with a provincial priority.  

The proposed changes would give the mayors all of the powers of a municipality under section 229 of the Municipal Act with respect to the CAO. This would include exercising general control and management of the affairs of the municipality. 

The changes would also require a municipality to fill a vacancy for the mayor’s seat through a by-election. If the position becomes vacant after March 31 in the year of a regular municipal election, the municipality would be required to appoint a mayor, who would not have these new powers. If the position becomes vacant within 90 days before voting day in the year of an election, the municipality would not be required to fill the position.  

If passed, the government will propose accompanying regulations to set out current provincial priorities and the legislation would take effect November 15th, 2022.  

While at the current time, this legislation applies only to Toronto and Ottawa, earlier media reports suggest this legislation could soon be applied to other cities with Tuesday's Speech from the Throne referencing "urban populations". Stay tuned for more details and our full analysis on the Speech from the Throne to come. 

In response to this legislation, AMCTO has sent the following letter (PDF) to Minister Clark to make him aware of our concerns and to offer an opportunity to discuss alternate legislative solutions that consider all parties. 

AMCTO's letter to Minister Clark (PDF)

News Release: Ontario Empowering Mayors to Build Housing Faster

Backgrounder: Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act