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BILL NO. 92

(as introduced)

2nd Session, 63rd General Assembly
Nova Scotia
68 Elizabeth II, 2019

 

Government Bill

 

Municipal Government Act (amended)
and
Halifax Regional Municipality Charter (amended)

 

The Honourable Chuck Porter
Minister of Municipal Affairs



First Reading: March 5, 2019

(Explanatory Notes)

Second Reading:

Third Reading:

Explanatory Notes

Clauses 1 and 2 restate the purposes of a municipality.

Clause 3 clarifies that the powers conferred by the Municipal Government Act must be interpreted broadly.

Clause 4 makes consequential amendments to reflect that municipalities will have separate operating and capital budgets.

Clause 5

(a) requires municipalities to adopt operating and capital budgets;

(b) repeals a specific list of allowed expenditures and replaces it with general expenditure powers; and

(c) requires councils to adopt procedures to authorize and verify non-budgeted expenditures and policies for the disclosure of grant recipients.

Clause 6 preserves the power for a municipality to borrow to contribute a capital grant to a hospital.

Clause 7 preserves the power for a municipality to contribute to a hospital.

Clause 8 preserves and expands the power of councils to make by-laws charging for the installation on private property of energy-efficiency equipment, renewable energy equipment and water conservation equipment with the consent of the property owner.

Clause 9 repeals a specific expenditure power which is no longer needed.

Clauses 10 and 11 restate the purposes of the Halifax Regional Municipality.

Clause 12 clarifies that the powers conferred by the Halifax Municipality Charter must be interpreted broadly.

Clause 13 makes consequential amendments to reflect that the Municipality will have separate operating and capital budgets.

Clause 14 repeals a specific expenditure power which is no longer needed.

Clause 15

(a) requires the Municipality to adopt operating and capital budgets;

(b) repeals a specific list of allowed expenditures and replaces it with general expenditure powers; and

(c) requires the Council to adopt procedures to authorize and verify non-budgeted expenditures and policies for the disclosure of grant recipients.

Clause 16 preserves the power for the Municipality to borrow to contribute a capital grant to a hospital.

Clause 17 preserves the power for the Municipality to contribute to a hospital.

Clause 18 preserves and expands the power of the Council to make by-laws charging for the installation on private property of equipment in respect of the Cogswell District Energy System, energy-efficiency equipment, renewable energy equipment and water conservation equipment with the consent of the property owner.

An Act to Amend Chapter 18
of the Acts of 1998,
the Municipal Government Act,
and Chapter 39 of the Acts of 2008,
the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter

Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:

MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT ACT

1 Section 2 of Chapter 18 of the Acts of 1998, the Municipal Government Act, is amended by striking out clause (c) and substituting the following clause:

    (c) recognize the purposes of a municipality set out in Section 9A.

2 Chapter 18 is further amended by adding immediately after Section 9 the following Section:

    9A The purposes of a municipality are to

    (a) provide good government;

    (b) provide services, facilities and other things that, in the opinion of the council, are necessary or desirable for all or part of the municipality; and

    (c) develop and maintain safe and viable communities.

3 Chapter 18 is further amended by adding immediately after Section 14 the following Section:

    14A The powers conferred on a municipality and its council by this Act must be interpreted broadly in accordance with the purpose of this Act as set out in Section 2 and in accordance with the purposes of a municipality as set out in Section 9A.

4 Subsection 31(1) of Chapter 18 is amended by

(a) striking out "budget is" in the first line of clause (b) and substituting "operating and capital budgets are"; and

(b) striking out "budget" in the second line of clause (c) and substituting "budgets".

5 Section 65 of Chapter 18 is repealed and the following Sections substituted:

    65 The council shall adopt an operating budget and a capital budget for each fiscal year.

    65A (1) Subject to subsections (2) to (4), the municipality may only spend money for municipal purposes if

    (a) the expenditure is included in the municipality's operating budget or capital budget or is otherwise authorized by the municipality;

    (b) the expenditure is in respect of an emergency under the Emergency Management Act; or

    (c) the expenditure is legally required to be paid.

    (2) The municipality may expend money provided for in an operating budget or capital budget for a purpose other than that set out in the operating budget or capital budget for that fiscal year if the expenditure does not affect the total of the amounts estimated for the operating budget and the capital budget.

    (3) The municipality may authorize expenditures from its operating budget or transfer money from the operating budget to its capital budget if the total amount of such expenditures and transfers for the fiscal year does not exceed the total amount of estimated revenue from all sources in excess of the amount estimated for those sources in the operating budget for that fiscal year.

    (4) The municipality may authorize capital expenditures that are not provided for in its capital budget if the total of such expenditures does not exceed the greater of

    (a) the amount authorized to be transferred from the operating budget to the capital budget under subsection (3);

    (b) the borrowing limits established for the municipality under Section 86; or

    (c) the amount withdrawn from a capital reserve fund under subsection 99(4).

    (5) In the event of ambiguity in whether or not the municipality has the authority under this or any other Act to spend money or to take any other action, the ambiguity may be resolved so as to include, rather than exclude, powers the municipality had on the day before this Section came into force.

    65B The council shall establish procedures to authorize and verify expenditures that are not included in an operating budget or capital budget.

    65C (1) The council shall adopt a policy that requires the municipality to disclose to the public a list of recipients of grants made by the municipality and the amounts of those grants.

    (2) A policy adopted under subsection (1) must include the

    (a) frequency and timing of disclosure;

    (b) content to be included in a disclosure; and

    (c) form in which the disclosure must be made.

    (3) A policy adopted under subsection (1) may include any other matter that the council considers necessary or advisable to carry out effectively the intent and purpose of the policy.

6 Subsection 66(4) of Chapter 18, as amended by Chapter 35 of the Acts of 2001, Chapter 7 of the Acts of 2004 and Chapter 55 of the Acts of 2005, is further amended by adding immediately after clause (da) the following clause:

    (db) to contribute a capital grant to a hospital to which the Hospitals Act applies;

7 Section 75 of Chapter 18, as amended by Chapter 9 of the Acts of 2005, is further amended by adding immediately after subsection (1) the following subsection:

    (1A) For greater certainty, an expenditure under subsection (1) may include a contribution to a hospital to which the Hospitals Act applies.

8 Subsection 81A(1) of Chapter 18, as enacted by Chapter 25 of the Acts of 2016, is amended by repealing clauses (a) and (b) and substituting the following clauses:

    (a) energy-efficiency equipment;

    (b) renewable energy equipment; and

    (c) equipment for the supply, use, storage or conservation of water.

9 Subsection 172A(6) of Chapter 18 is repealed.

HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY CHARTER

10 Section 2 of Chapter 39 of the Acts of 2008, the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter, is amended by striking out clause (c) and substituting the following clause:

    (c) recognize the purposes of the Municipality set out in Section 7A.

11 Chapter 39 is further amended by adding immediately after Section 7 the following Section:

    7A The purposes of the Municipality are to

    (a) provide good government;

    (b) provide services, facilities and other things that, in the opinion of the Council, are necessary or desirable for all or part of the Municipality; and

    (c) develop and maintain safe and viable communities.

12 Chapter 39 is further amended by adding immediately after Section 11 the following Section:

    11A The powers conferred on the Municipality and its Council by this Act must be interpreted broadly in accordance with the purpose of this Act as set out in Section 2 and in accordance with the purposes of the Municipality as set out in Section 7A.

13 Subsection 35(1) of Chapter 39 is amended by

(a) striking out "budget is" in the first line of clause (b) and substituting "operating and capital budgets are"; and

(b) striking out "budget" in the first line of clause (c) and substituting "budgets".

14 Subsection 62(6) of Chapter 18 is repealed.

15 Section 79 of Chapter 39 is repealed and the following Sections substituted:

    79 The Council shall adopt an operating budget and a capital budget for each fiscal year.

    79A (1) Subject to subsections (2) to (4), the Municipality may only spend money for municipal purposes if

    (a) the expenditure is included in the Municipality's operating budget or capital budget or is otherwise authorized by the Municipality;

    (b) the expenditure is in respect of an emergency under the Emergency Management Act; or

    (c) the expenditure is legally required to be paid.

    (2) The Municipality may expend money provided for in an operating budget or capital budget for a purpose other than that set out in the operating budget or capital budget for that fiscal year if the expenditure does not affect the total of the amounts estimated for the operating budget and the capital budget.

    (3) The Municipality may authorize expenditures from its operating budget or transfer money from the operating budget to its capital budget if the total amount of such expenditures and transfers for the fiscal year does not exceed the total amount of estimated revenue from all sources in excess of the amount estimated for those sources in the operating budget for that fiscal year.

    (4) The Municipality may authorize capital expenditures that are not provided for in its capital budget if the total of such expenditures does not exceed the greater of

    (a) the amount authorized to be transferred from the operating budget to the capital budget under subsection (3);

    (b) the borrowing limits established for the Municipality under Section 109; or

    (c) the amount withdrawn from a capital reserve fund under subsection 120(4).

    (5) In the event of ambiguity in whether or not the Municipality has the authority under this or any other Act to spend money or to take any other action, the ambiguity may be resolved so as to include, rather than exclude, powers the Municipality had on the day before this Section came into force.

    79B The Council shall establish procedures to authorize and verify expenditures that are not included in an operating budget or capital budget.

    79C (1) The Council shall adopt a policy that requires the Municipality to disclose to the public a list of recipients of grants made by the Municipality and the amounts of those grants.

    (2) A policy adopted under subsection (1) must include the

    (a) frequency and timing of disclosure;

    (b) content to be included in a disclosure; and

    (c) form in which the disclosure must be made.

    (3) A policy adopted under subsection (1) may include any other matter that the Council considers necessary or advisable to carry out effectively the intent and purpose of the policy.

16 Subsection 83(4) of Chapter 39 is amended by adding immediately after clause (da) the following clause:

    (da) to contribute a capital grant to a hospital to which the Hospitals Act applies;

17 Section 96 of Chapter 18 is amended by adding immediately after subsection (1) the following subsection:

    (1A) For greater certainty, an expenditure under subsection (1) may include a contribution to a hospital to which the Hospitals Act applies.

18 Subsection 104A(1) of Chapter 39, as enacted by Chapter 25 of the Acts of 2016 and amended by Chapter 9 of the Acts of 2018, is further amended by repealing clauses (a) to (b) and substituting the following clauses:

    (a) equipment installed in respect of a district energy system within the Cogswell District Energy Boundary;

    (b) energy-efficiency equipment;

    (c) renewable energy equipment; and

    (d) equipment for the supply, use, storage or conservation of water.

 


This page and its contents published by the Office of the Legislative Counsel, Nova Scotia House of Assembly, and © 2019 Crown in right of Nova Scotia. Created March 5, 2019. Send comments to legc.office@novascotia.ca.