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BILL NO. 22


Local Bill


6th Session, 56th General Assembly

Nova Scotia

46 Elizabeth II, 1997





An Act to Amend Chapter 3

of the Acts of 1995,

the Halifax Regional Municipality Act






The Honourable Bruce F. Holland

Timberlea-Prospect








Halifax

Printed by Queens Printer for Nova Scotia




Explanatory Notes





Clause 1 adds two definitions to the Halifax Regional Municipality Act.










Clause 2 repeals a provision that disentitles the Deputy Mayor to any additional remuneration as such except when acting as Mayor, and replaces it with a provision that enables the Council to prescribe, by administrative order, the duties and responsibilities of the Deputy Mayor.



Clause 3


(a) enables the Council to determine the salary to be paid to the Deputy Mayor (as presently the Council may only determine the salary to be paid to the Deputy Mayor when acting as Mayor); and


(b) removes a provision that requires any remuneration, other than reimbursement for expenses, to which a member of the Council is entitled as a result of being a member of a board or commission or other position to which that member is appointed by the Council, be paid to the Regional Municipality, and replaces it with a provision that requires that any such remuneration to which a member of the Council is entitled as a result of being a member of such a board or commission or other position to which the member is either nominated or appointed by the Council or is otherwise appointed as a representative of the Regional Municipality, be so paid to the Regional Municipality.


Clause 4 repeals a provision that makes a development agreement entered into by a community council subject to the approval of the Council where the agreement commits the Regional Municipality to the provision of any service or the expenditure of any funds or assigns to the development more than 5% of the available excess capacity of any sewer or water system as assigned to the community, and replaces it with a provision that requires the approval of the Council of a development agreement made by a community council that commits the Regional Municipality to the expenditure of capital funds, before the Regional Municipality is committed to the expenditure.


Clause 5


(a) makes it clear that the Chief Administrative Officer has a duty to carry out certain activities that the Act presently authorizes the Chief Administrative Officer to carry out;


(b) removes the power that the Chief Administrative Officer now has to make expenditures for the purchase of equipment, supplies or any other thing required for carrying on the business of the Regional Municipality, and replaces it with the power to make expenditures for anything required by the Regional Municipality, enables the Council to regulate the exercise of that power and enables the Chief Administrative Officer to delegate that power to employees of the Regional Municipality;


(c) enables the Chief Administrative Officer to acquire real property for the Regional Municipality and sets out the circumstances under which that power may be exercised;


(d) repeals a provision that enables the Chief Administrative Officer to sell, under such terms and conditions as the Council may prescribe by resolution, personal property of the Regional Municipality that, in the opinion of the Chief Administrative Officer, is no longer needed by the Regional Municipality or that is obsolete, unsuitable for use or surplus to requirements and replaces it with a provision that enables the Chief Administrative Officer to sell, subject to administrative orders adopted by the Council, personal property of the Regional Municipality that, in the opinion of the Chief Administrative Officer, is obsolete, unsuitable for use, surplus to requirements or no longer needed by the Regional Municipality, and enables the Chief Administrative Officer to delegate this power to employees of the Regional Municipality; and


(e) adds a provision that requires the Council to obtain a recommendation from the Chief Administrative Officer before approving any expenditure in excess of $10,000.




















Clause 6 expands the class of subjects that may be dealt with by administrative order.







Clause 7 confers an additional power on the Regional Municipality respecting the disposal of property.






Clause 8 excludes from the prohibition against the use of red lights that is contained in the Motor Vehicle Act, the use in municipal parks of a red light on a vehicle operated by a special constable in the course of the constable's duties as an employee of the Regional Municipality.




Clause 9 adds provisions to the Act respecting the taxation of the property and assets of the Halifax Regional Water Commission, agreements between the Municipality and the Water Commission respecting grants in lieu of taxes and rates, the settlement of claims by and against the Regional Municipality and the offsetting of amounts owing by the Municipality against amounts owed to it.



Clause 10 adds further by-law-making powers.

















Clause 11 changes a reference from stormwater system frontages to stormwater systems in the by-law-making power dealing with the imposition of charges, rates and fees for wastewater and stormwater facilities.


Clause 12 expands the power to make by-laws respecting noise.






Clause 13 enables the Council to make by-laws regulating dating services and escort services.









Clause 14 adds to the by-law-making powers of the Council.




Clause 15 adds to the Act an offence provision for making false statements in licence applications.




Clause 16 adds to the by-law-making powers of the Council.









Clause 17 enables the Municipality to permit and regulate by by-law encroachments upon, over or under streets, including the power to enter into agreements for particular encroachments.


Clause 18 removes a provision that prevents the establishment of a street that is less than 15 metres wide and replaces it with provisions dealing with the title to streets.





Clause 19 removes a provision that enables the Council to close a street by resolution and replaces it with a provision that enables the Council to close a street to public use by administrative order.


Clause 20 adds to the Act a provision respecting the collection of pollution-control charges.






Clause 21 adds derelict vehicles to the definition of "dangerous and unsightly" in that part of the Act that deals with dangerous and unsightly premises.


Clause 22 enables the Council to delegate the authority conferred on it by the Act respecting dangerous and unsightly premises.






Clause 23 adds derelict vehicles to the items that an owner is prohibited from permitting to remain on property.


Clause 24 provides a penalty for violation of a land-use by-law made by the Regional Municipality in cases where no specific penalty is provided.



Clause 25 changes the title of the head of a department of the Halifax Regional Municipality from "director" to "commissioner".




An Act to Amend Chapter 3

of the Acts of 1995,

the Halifax Regional Municipality Act



Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:


1 Section 2 of Chapter 3 of the Acts of 1995, the Halifax Regional Municipality Act, is amended by


(a) adding immediately after clause (i) the following clause:


(ia) "commissioner" means the head of a department appointed pursuant to subsection 52(2);


and


(b) adding immediately after clause (n) the following clause:


(na) "derelict vehicle" includes a vehicle that has been left on a property, with or without lawful authority, and that appears to the Administrator, by reason of its age, appearance, mechanical condition or lack of a licence plate or current vehicle registration, to be disused or abandoned;


2 Subsection 15(4) of Chapter 3 is repealed and the following subsection substituted:


(4) The Council may, by administrative order, prescribe the duties and responsibilities of the Deputy Mayor.


3 (1) Subclause 19(1)(d)(i) of Chapter 3 is amended by striking out "when acting as Mayor" in the second and third lines.


(2) Subsection 19(2) of Chapter 3 is amended by


(a) adding "nominated or" immediately after "is" in the first line; and


(b) adding "or is otherwise appointed as a representative of the Regional Municipality" immediately after "position" in the second line.


4 Subsection 38(3) of Chapter 3 is repealed and the following subsection substituted:


(3) Where an agreement approved by a community council purports to commit the Regional Municipality to the expenditure of any capital funds, the Regional Municipality is not so committed until the expenditure is approved by the Council.


5 Subsection 40(2) of Chapter 3 is repealed and the following subsections substituted:


(2) The Chief Administrative Officer shall


(a) co-ordinate and direct the preparation of plans and programs to be submitted to the Council for the construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of all municipal property and facilities;


(b) ensure that the annual budget is prepared and submitted to the Council;


(c) be responsible for the administration of the budget after adoption;


(d) review the drafts of all proposed by-laws and administrative orders and make recommendations to the Council with respect to them; and


(e) carry out such additional duties and exercise such additional responsibilities as the Council may, from time to time, prescribe.


(2A) The Chief Administrative Officer may


(a) attend all meetings of the Council and any board, committee, commission or corporation of the Regional Municipality and make observations and suggestions on any subject under discussion;


(b) appoint, suspend and remove all employees of the Regional Municipality, except commissioners, with power to further delegate this authority;


(c) suspend any commissioner if a written report of the reasons for the suspension is delivered to each member of the Council as soon as may be after the suspension takes effect, and subject to the right of the Council to confirm, vary or cancel the suspension;


(d) act, or appoint a person to act, as bargaining agent for the Regional Municipality in the negotiation of contracts between the Regional Municipality and any trade union or employee association and recommend to the Council agreements with respect to them;


(e) subject to administrative orders adopted by the Council, make or authorize expenditures and enter into contracts on behalf of the Regional Municipality for anything required for the Regional Municipality where the amount of the expenditure has been budgeted or within the amount determined by the Council by administrative order, with power to delegate this authority to employees of the Regional Municipality;


(f) subject to administrative orders adopted by the Council, enter into contracts for the acquisition of real property and interests therein where the purchase price is less than an amount set forth in administrative orders and the property or interest therein is required to complete a capital project that has been approved by the Council;


(g) subject to administrative orders adopted by the Council, sell any personal property belonging to the Regional Municipality that, in the opinion of the Chief Administrative Officer, is obsolete, unsuitable for use, surplus to requirements or no longer needed by the Regional Municipality, with power to delegate this authority to employees of the Regional Municipality;


(h) subject to administrative orders adopted by the Council, personally or by an agent, negotiate and execute leases of real property owned by the Regional Municipality that are for a term not exceeding one year, including renewals;


(i) authorize, in the name of the Regional Municipality, the commencement of or the defence of any legal action or proceedings before any court, board or tribunal and report the commencement of the legal action, defence or other proceedings to the Council, with power to delegate this authority to an employee of the Regional Municipality if so provided by the Council by administrative order;


(j) make recommendations to the Council respecting any proposed expenditures for any purpose in excess of ten thousand dollars and respecting any contract involving any such expenditure.


(2B) The Council shall not make any expenditure in excess of ten thousand dollars or enter into any contract for the same until a recommendation from the Chief Administrative Officer in respect thereof has been received pursuant to clause (2A)(j), but the Council is not bound to adopt the recommendation.


6 Section 61 of Chapter 3 is amended by adding immediately after clause (c) the following clauses:


(ca) fixing and regulating, altering and amending the fees to be paid for any inspection required or conducted pursuant to an enactment or any by-law of the Regional Municipality;


(cb) setting and amending fees to be paid for permits, applications or approvals required, pursuant to any by-law of the Regional Municipality or pursuant to an enactment, to be obtained from the Regional Municipality or any employee of the Regional Municipality;


7 Section 68 of Chapter 3 is amended by adding immediately after subsection (8) the following subsection:


(9) Where land owned by the Regional Municipality is of insufficient size or dimension to be capable of any reasonable use by the Regional Municipality, all or any part of the land may be sold to the owner of any lot abutting that land to be consolidated with such lot and the sale price of the land so sold may be set by the Chief Administrative Officer at less than the actual value of the land at the time of the sale, but subject to such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Council by administrative order.


8 Chapter 3 is further amended by adding immediately after Section 75 the following Section:


75A Notwithstanding Section 179 of the Motor Vehicle Act, the use of a red light on a vehicle operated by a special constable employed by the Regional Municipality, in the course of the constable's duties, is permitted within all municipal parks.


9 Chapter 3 is further amended by adding immediately after Section 94 the following Sections:


94A For greater certainty, the Council may levy commercial and business occupancy rates and taxes against the property and assets of the Halifax Regional Water Commission situated within the geographical boundaries of the Regional Municipality.


94B Notwithstanding Section 94A and the Assessment Act, the Regional Municipality may enter into agreements with the Halifax Regional Water Commission providing for the payment of grants in lieu of commercial and business occupancy taxes and rates against the property and assets of the Halifax Regional Water Commission within the geographic boundaries of the Regional Municipality in such amount annually as is agreed upon between the Council and the Halifax Regional Water Commission.


94C In any matter in which an action may be or has been brought by or against the Regional Municipality in respect of any claim for which, if such claim were proved to the satisfaction of the court, the Regional Municipality could recover a judgment against any person or would be liable to have a judgment entered against it, the Council may, by a resolution passed by an affirmative majority vote of the total number of members of Council, determine to effect a settlement of such claim on such basis as the Council may decide, and the Chief Administrative Officer may effect a settlement of any claims of an amount not exceeding such amount as the Council by administrative order may determine.


94D The Regional Municipality may apply to the credit of and set off against the account of any person indebted to or owing money to the Regional Municipality or any board or commission thereof, whether for taxes or otherwise, any debts or money owing by the Regional Municipality or by any of its boards or commissions to such person, and the Regional Municipality may do such acts and make such entries as are necessary to effect the application of such debt or money to such account and, when such debt or money is so applied, the Regional Municipality is relieved from any liability to pay such money to such person and such application relieves such person pro tanto from that person's indebtedness to the Regional Municipality.



10 Subsection 110(1) of Chapter 3 is amended by


(a) striking out the period at the end of clause (t) and substituting a semicolon; and


(b) adding immediately after clause (t) the following clauses:


(u) the regulating and licensing of persons owning or operating rooming houses or boarding houses and regulating the maintenance, administration, operation and occupancy of buildings used as rooming houses or boarding houses and the land on which they are located;


(v) the regulating of the storage, transportation, sale, application, spraying and use of herbicides, insecticides, pesticides, chemical fertilizers and other similar products and, without restricting the generality of the foregoing,


(i) requiring the posting of notices when such products are being used on any property, with power to regulate the form and time of notice, and


(ii) establishing by by-law a registration scheme whereby residents of the Regional Municipality may register with the Municipal Clerk their objection to the use of such products within the vicinity of the property on which they reside and providing that, upon the registration of such property, the use of such products in an area surrounding the registered property as prescribed by Council by by-law is prohibited, with power to establish requirements respecting notices to property owners within the prescribed area, the effective date of the prohibition and all other matters necessary and incidental to the establishment of such a registration scheme.


11 Clause 117(1)(a) of Chapter 3 is amended by striking out "system frontages" in the third and fourth lines and substituting "systems".


12 Subsection 118(3) of Chapter 3 is amended by adding immediately after clause (c) the following clauses:


(ca) provide that it is an offence to engage in any activity that unreasonably disturbs or tends to disturb the peace and tranquility of a neighbourhood;


(cb) provide that in any prosecution for violation of the by-law, evidence that one neighbour is disturbed by a noise is prima facie evidence that the neighbourhood is disturbed by the noise;


13 Subsection 120(1) of Chapter 3 is amended by


(a) adding immediately after clause (a) the following clause:


(aa) "dating service" or "escort service" means any business that offers to provide or does provide introductions, for a person or persons with another person or persons for a period of companionship of short duration for which service or introduction a fee is charged, levied or otherwise imposed for each occasion the dating service or escort service is provided or each occasion an introduction is made;


(b) striking out the period at the end of subclause (h)(ii) and substituting a semicolon; and


(c) adding immediately after subclause (h)(ii) the following subclause:


(iii) dating services and escort services.


14 Section 121 of Chapter 3 is amended by adding immediately after subsection (2) the following subsection:


(2A) The Council may make by-laws respecting the registration and licensing of plumbers.


15 Chapter 3 is further amended by adding immediately after Section 122 the following Section:


122A Every person who makes a false statement in an application for a licence to be issued by the Regional Municipality is guilty of an offence.


16 Chapter 3 is further amended by adding immediately after Section 129 the following Sections:


129A (1) The Regional Municipality may, by by-law, adopt a system for assigning civic numbers to buildings.


(2) The Council may, by by-law, require owners of property to post the correct civic number prominently on their property.


129B The Regional Municipality may name or rename any public or private street.


129C The Council may, by by-law, require the owner of lands abutting a street to maintain any area of vegetation between the boundary of the street and the main travelled way.


17 Section 134 of Chapter 3 is amended by adding immediately after subsection (4) the following subsection:


(5) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Section, the Council may by by-law regulate encroachments for a stipulated period of time upon, under or over a street, including the power to set licence fees and to enter into agreements for particular encroachments.



18 Section 146 of Chapter 3 is repealed and the following Section substituted:


146 (1) No road or allowance for a road becomes a street until the Council formally accepts the road or allowance or the road or allowance is vested in the Regional Municipality according to law.


(2) Possession, occupation, use or obstruction of a street, or any part of a street, does not give any estate, right or title to the street.


19 Section 147 of Chapter 3 is amended by striking out "resolution" wherever it appears in the Section and substituting in each case "administrative order".


20 Section 171 of Chapter 3 is amended by adding immediately after subsection (6) the following subsection:


(7) In addition to any remedies afforded to the Regional Municipality for the collection of the pollution control charge pursuant to subsection (6), the Halifax Regional Water Commission, as the agent of the Regional Municipality in collecting the pollution control charge, may exercise any remedies it has available to it in respect of the non-payment of water rates for the non-payment of the pollution control charge.


21 Clause 182(a) of Chapter 3 is amended by adding ", derelict vehicles" immediately after "yards" in the fourth line.


22 Section 183 of Chapter 3 is amended by adding immediately after subsection (1) the following subsections:


(1A) The Council may, by administrative order, delegate its authority under this Part, except the authority to order demolitions, to the Administrator.


(1B) The Council may, by administrative order, delegate its authority under this Part, or such of its authority as is not delegated to the Administrator, to a community council or to a standing committee.


23 Subsection 188(3) of Chapter 3 is amended by adding ", a derelict vehicle" immediately after "refuse" in the fourth line.


24 Section 204 of Chapter 3 is amended by adding immediately after subsection (1) the following subsection:


(1A) Notwithstanding the Planning Act, a person who contravenes or fails to comply with any provisions of a land-use by-law, made by the Regional Municipality pursuant to the Planning Act, in respect of which no penalty is specifically provided is, for each offence, liable on summary conviction to a penalty not exceeding five thousand dollars and, in default of payment, to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months.



25 Chapter 3 is further amended by


(a) striking out "director" wherever it appears in Chapter 3, except in subsection 120(6), and substituting in each case "commissioner"; and


(b) striking out "directors" wherever it appears in Chapter 3 and substituting in each case "commissioners".


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