Municipal Monitor Q1 2017 | Page 15

municipal act

“ Increasing the role of integrity commissioners should not have the unintended consequence of diminishing the perception of integrity that the public has in their municipal councils .”

we want to ensure legislation continues to support Ontario ’ s local governments in being open and accountable to the people they serve .”
While supportive in principle , Abrams is also concerned about potential increased costs to Ontario ’ s municipalities incurred by the proposed legislation , which also includes amendments to the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act and to the City of Toronto Act , 2006 .
Abrams ’ fears are exacerbated by what he sees as the lack of clearly defined standards for the integrity commissioners ’ enhanced role and safeguards to ensure procedural fairness .
“ Indeed , the establishment of standards may allow greater latitude for
integrity commissioners to impose sanctions rather than just recommend sanctions ,” said Abrams . “ This is particularly important for their new municipal conflict-of-interest powers — because the proposal to allow integrity commissioners the power to apply to a judge for the imposition of sanctions may be tremendously costly for municipalities .
“ So by setting the bar for how integrity commissioners carry out their duties and how the courts should deal with their findings , the public could be better served through more agile reporting , timely sanctions that are more meaningful in the circumstances , and lower costs .”
AMCTO was disappointed to see that the legislation failed to
introduce any new revenue tools to assist municipalities .
The Municipal Finance Officers ’ Association of Ontario ( MFOA ) also expressed frustration at the legislation ’ s failure to introduce new revenue streams for municipalities , which could potentially lead to fiscal challenges .
“ MFOA is disappointed that the Municipal Act , 2001 was not amended to include a broad power to impose taxes beyond the property tax as is found in section 267 of the City of Toronto Act , 2006 and a hotel / accommodation tax ,” the MFOA said in a statement .
“ MFOA continues to believe that the Province should issue regulations under subsection 40 ( 3 ) of the Municipal Act ,
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