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Laws and Procedures

In Canada, the legislative framework for municipalities is a Provincial responsibility, and municipalities only have the powers and authorities set out in their provincial legislation.  Municipalities cannot act without legislative authority, and can be challenged if they try to do so. 

In Ontario, The Municipal Act  governs most municipal matters.  That Act provides direction on a broad range of topics; the individual responsibilities of council members; council’s responsibilities as a whole; the responsibilities of the Chief Administrative Officer; certain procedures that must be followed to pass by-laws; the types of matters about which a council can make by-laws; the financial planning and accountability requirements; and taxation powers.