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2nd Session, 40th Legislature

This version is based on the printed bill that was distributed in the Legislature after First Reading.   It is not the official version.   If accuracy is critical, you can obtain a copy of the printed bill from Statutory Publications or view the online bilingual version (PDF).

Bill 33

THE MUNICIPAL MODERNIZATION ACT (MUNICIPAL AMALGAMATIONS)


Table of Contents Bilingual version (PDF) Explanatory Note

(Assented to                                         )

WHEREAS municipal boundaries were first established more than 100 years ago;

AND WHEREAS the boundaries no longer reflect where people live, work and do business;

AND WHEREAS municipalities need to have adequate populations to provide essential infrastructure and services to their citizens;

THEREFORE HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

PART 1

INTRODUCTORY PROVISIONS

Definitions

1(1)        The following definitions apply in this Act.

"minister" means the minister appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council to administer this Act. (« ministre »)

"newly amalgamated municipality" means a municipality established by a regulation made under section 8. (« municipalité nouvellement fusionnée »)

Meaning of words and expressions

1(2)        Except as otherwise provided in this Act, words and expressions used in this Act and not defined in this Act have the meaning given to them in The Municipal Act.

Determining population

2           In this Act, the population of a municipality is to be determined by reference to the census of population taken by Statistics Canada in the year 2011.

PART 2

AMALGAMATIONS

PLANS AND PARTNERS

Amalgamation plan to be prepared by partners

3(1)        A municipality that consists of an area with fewer than 1,000 residents must — acting jointly with its amalgamation partner or partners as identified under section 4 — prepare an amalgamation plan respecting the amalgamation of the municipality and its partner or partners effective January 1, 2015.

Form and content of amalgamation plan

3(2)        An amalgamation plan must be in the form approved by the minister and must address the matters that are set out under subsection 8(2).

Public to be consulted

3(3)        In developing their amalgamation plan, the municipalities must provide a reasonable opportunity for members of the public to comment on the content of the proposed plan.

Deadline for amalgamation plan

3(4)        An amalgamation plan must be submitted to the minister no later than December 1, 2013.

Extension of deadline for plan

3(5)        The minister may, by written order, extend the deadline under subsection (4) if he or she is satisfied that a municipality's amalgamation presents significant complexities which cannot be adequately considered and addressed by the deadline. An extension may be made subject to the terms and conditions specified by the minister.

Extension of effective date of amalgamation

3(6)        For certainty, an order made under subsection (5) may extend the effective date of an amalgamation to a date no later than January 1, 2019.

Plan to be submitted by deadline in order

3(7)        A municipality and its partner or partners that are granted an extension must submit their amalgamation plan to the minister by the deadline specified in the order.

Amalgamation partners

4(1)        To determine the amalgamation partner or partners of a municipality that consists of an area with fewer than 1,000 residents (in this section called "A") the neighbouring municipalities must work cooperatively with A, and with each other, in identifying which of them is to act as A's amalgamation partner or partners.

Preference re community of interest

4(2)        In identifying A's amalgamation partner or partners, preference is to be given to the municipality or municipalities that have the strongest community of interest with A.

Guidelines

4(3)        The minister may issue guidelines to assist municipalities in determining the relative strength of the community of interest that exists among them, including guidelines that emphasize the importance of municipalities continuing to deliver programs and services to Manitoba's francophone population and other linguistic minorities.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Minister may recommend amalgamation

5(1)        The minister may recommend to the Lieutenant Governor in Council that a municipality that consists of an area with fewer than 1,000 residents be amalgamated with one or more of its neighbouring municipalities.

Considerations

5(2)        In making a recommendation, the minister is to have regard for

(a) the amalgamation plan submitted by the municipalities in accordance with section 3, if any, including the public comments obtained in the preparation of the plan; and

(b) the relative strength of the community of interest that exists among the municipalities.

Amalgamations where population exceeds 1,000

6(1)        Two or more municipalities, each of which consists of an area with at least 1,000 residents, may jointly submit an amalgamation plan to the minister by the deadline in subsection 3(4).

Recommendation — populations over 1,000

6(2)        If, no later than December 1, 2013, an amalgamation plan is submitted under subsection (1), the minister may recommend to the Lieutenant Governor in Council that the municipalities be amalgamated.

REFERRAL TO MUNICIPAL BOARD

Minister may refer matters to the board

7(1)        The minister may refer any matter respecting the amalgamation of a municipality to The Municipal Board, and the board must give the minister a written report of its findings and recommendations in accordance with any terms of reference the minister has specified.

Powers of board in formulating recommendations

7(2)        To assist the board in formulating its recommendations, the board

(a) may request a municipality to provide information to the board, and the municipality must provide the requested information in the form and within the time period specified by the board; and

(b) may, but is not required to, hold a public hearing.

Action by minister

7(3)        If the minister refers a matter respecting a particular municipality to The Municipal Board, the minister may not recommend that the municipality be amalgamated until he or she has received the board's report.

AMALGAMATION REGULATIONS

Amalgamation regulation made by LG in C

8(1)        The Lieutenant Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the minister made under section 5 or 6, may by regulation amalgamate two or more municipalities to establish a new municipality.

Content of regulation

8(2)        A regulation made under subsection (1) must

(a) name the newly amalgamated municipality, in accordance with subsection 30(2) of The Municipal Act, and describe its boundaries;

(b) specify the status of the newly amalgamated municipality as an urban municipality or a rural municipality;

(c) specify the effective date of the establishment of the newly amalgamated municipality, which must not be later than January 1, 2019;

(d) prescribe the organization and composition of the council of the newly amalgamated municipality, including

(i) establishing the number of members of the council of the newly amalgamated municipality,

(ii) establishing whether the members other than the head of council are to be elected by voters of the whole newly amalgamated municipality or on the basis of wards, and

(iii) if members, other than the head of council, are to be elected on the basis of wards, establishing wards, describing their boundaries and specifying the number of members to be elected in each of the wards;

(e) provide that

(i) the members of the council of the newly amalgamated municipality are to be elected at the general election prior to the amalgamation, but their terms of office do not begin until the date of the amalgamation, and

(ii) the terms of office of the members of the councils of the municipalities from which the newly amalgamated municipality is to be established are extended to the date of the amalgamation, without those members being re-elected; and

(f) designate a senior election official for the general election prior to the amalgamation, or specify the manner in which a senior election official is to be designated.

Timing of amalgamations re general election

8(3)        Clauses (2)(d) to (f) apply only if the date of an amalgamation is within three months after a general election. In other circumstances, a regulation under subsection (1) must

(a) dissolve one or more of the councils of the municipalities that are amalgamated; and

(b) provide for an interim council.

Local urban districts may be established

8(4)        A regulation made under subsection (1) may include provisions forming a local urban district in the newly amalgamated municipality, including

(a) prescribing the name of the district and its area; and

(b) dealing with one or more of the following:

(i) any matter required to properly deal with the formation, amendment or dissolution of the local urban district, whether transitional or otherwise,

(ii) the application, addition, change or substitution of a provision of The Municipal Act or any regulation under that Act.

Additional matters — general

8(5)        A regulation made under subsection (1) may, in relation to a newly amalgamated municipality, contain provisions dealing with one or more of the following:

(a) assessment and taxation, which may include

(i) phasing in increases or decreases in taxes that are directly attributable to the amalgamation, and

(ii) setting different rates of taxation for areas within the municipality based on their access to services provided by the municipality;

(b) property;

(c) employees;

(d) any matter required to properly deal with the amalgamation, whether transitional or otherwise;

(e) the application, addition, change or substitution of an Act of the Legislature or any regulation under an Act of the Legislature to give effect to the regulation.

Extent of regulation-making under subsection (5)

8(6)        The provisions referred to in subsection (5) may deal with rights, obligations, liabilities, assets and any other thing that the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers appropriate to be dealt with in the regulation.

Council to assume responsibility for organization and composition

8(7)        The provisions of a regulation referred to in clause (2)(d) are repealed on the earlier of the following:

(a) the date prescribed in the regulation;

(b) the day the council of the newly amalgamated municipality passes a by-law under section 79 (number of councillors) or section 87 (election on basis of wards) of The Municipal Act.

Effect of amalgamation

8(8)        On the effective date of the establishment of a newly amalgamated municipality,

(a) all the rights and property of the municipalities that are amalgamated become the rights and property of the newly amalgamated municipality;

(b) all the debts, obligations and liabilities of the municipalities that are amalgamated become the debts, obligations and liabilities of the newly amalgamated municipality;

(c) an existing cause of action, claim or liability to prosecution is unaffected;

(d) an action or proceeding pending by or against the municipalities that are amalgamated may be continued by or against the newly amalgamated municipality;

(e) a ruling, order or judgment in favour of or against the municipalities that are amalgamated may be enforced by or against the newly amalgamated municipality; and

(f) by-laws and resolutions of the municipalities that are amalgamated continue to apply to the newly amalgamated municipality until repealed or others are made in their place by the newly amalgamated municipality.

Retroactivity

8(9)        An amendment to a regulation (in this section called the "original" regulation) made under subsection (1) may be retroactive and be deemed to come into force on or after the day that the original regulation came into force.

Validity of recommendation and regulation

8(10)       For certainty, a recommendation under section 5 or a regulation made under this section is not invalid by reason only that

(a) an amalgamation plan was not submitted as required under section 3; or

(b) the regulation varies or does not give effect to an amalgamation plan.

Exclusion

9           A municipality that is surrounded by land that is not part of the area of any municipality is not subject to this Act.

EFFECT OF AMALGAMATIONS ON PLANNING DISTRICTS

Meaning of "planning district"

10(1)       In this section, "planning district" means a planning district established under The Planning Act.

Amalgamation of all members

10(2)       If, as a result of a regulation made under section 8, a planning district consists of only one municipality, then

(a) the planning district is deemed to be dissolved; and

(b) all the rights, property, debts, obligations, liabilities, and employees of the planning district are transferred to and vest in and belong to the newly amalgamated municipality.

Amalgamation of member and non-member

10(3)       Subject to subsection (2), if, as a result of a regulation made under section 8, a municipality that is a member of a planning district is amalgamated with a municipality that is not a member of the same planning district, then

(a) the newly amalgamated municipality is deemed not to be a member of the planning district;

(b) the boundaries of the planning district are deemed to be changed so as to remove the area of the newly amalgamated municipality from the planning district; and

(c) the minister may determine the manner in which the rights, property, debts, obligations, liabilities and employees of the planning district are to be distributed or allocated between the district and the newly amalgamated municipality.

CONFLICT

Conflict

11          If there is a conflict between a provision of this Part or a regulation made under this Part and The Municipal Act or The Planning Act, the provision of this Part or the regulation prevails.

PART 3

AMENDMENTS TO OTHER ACTS

C.C.S.M. c. M225 amended

12(1)        The Municipal Act is amended by this section.

12(2)        The following is added after section 46:

Amalgamation — policing services

46.1        If, prior to it being amalgamated, a municipality (in this section called the "old municipality") included in its operating budget an amount for policing services, the amalgamated municipality

(a) must

(i) include in its operating budget a comparable amount, or the amount determined in a comparable manner, and

(ii) expend the amount to pay or defray the costs of policing services in the old municipality; and

(b) may levy an additional tax against the property in the old municipality to meet the obligations under clause (a).

12(3)        Subsection 86(3) is repealed.

12(4)       The definition "campaign period" in subsection 93.1(1) is amended by replacing clause (a) with the following:

(a) in a general election, the period

(i) in the case of a candidate for head of council, beginning on May 1 in the year of the election and ending on March 31 of the year after the election, and

(ii) in the case of other candidates, beginning on June 30 in the year of the election and ending on March 31 of the year after the election; and

12(5)        The following is added after subsection 168(2):

Use of reserve funds after amalgamation

168(3)       A council of a municipality that is formed as a result of the amalgamation of two or more municipalities (in this subsection called the "old municipalities") may, by by-law, require that a reserve fund established by an old municipality be used only in relation to expenditures that primarily benefit the area of the old municipality.

C.C.S.M. c. P94.5 amended

13           The Police Services Act is amended by adding the following after section 14:

Policing in amalgamated municipalities

14.1(1)     If a municipality that has its own police service or that receives policing services from another police service amalgamates with another municipality that has its own police service or that receives policing services from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, each policing entity may — despite any provision of this Act — continue to operate within the area where the entity provided policing services before the amalgamation, subject to the application of subsection (3).

Decision on single policing provider

14.1(2)     An amalgamated municipality referred to in subsection (1) must make arrangements to have a single policing entity provide policing services in the municipality in accordance with section 13 or 14, as the case may be, no later than three years after amalgamation.

Consequences of failure to meet deadline

14.1(3)     If an amalgamated municipality fails to make policing arrangements as required by subsection (2) within three years after amalgamation, policing services in the municipality after that deadline are to be provided by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police under an agreement entered into under section 18. If the amalgamated municipality is an urban municipality, the municipality is responsible for all costs associated with the provision of such policing services.

PART 4

TRANSITIONAL, C.C.S.M. REFERENCE

AND COMING INTO FORCE

Transition — general elections in July

14          Subject to a regulation made under section 8, the terms of office of the members of councils of the municipalities listed in subsection 86(3) of The Municipal Act, as that provision read immediately before the coming into force of this section, are extended to 12 noon on the day following the October 22, 2014 general election, without the members being re-elected.

C.C.S.M. reference

15          This Act may be cited as The Municipal Amalgamations Act and referred to as chapter M235 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.

Coming into force

16          This Act comes into force on the day it receives royal assent.

Explanatory Note

This Bill enables the Lieutenant Governor in Council, on recommendation of the minister, to make regulations amalgamating municipalities.

The minister may recommend that a municipality be amalgamated if it has a population of fewer than 1,000 residents.

The Bill provides that those municipalities are to identify their amalgamation partners, and requires the partners, working cooperatively, to submit a plan to the minister for amalgamation effective January 1, 2015. The amalgamation plan is to be submitted by December 1, 2013.

The minister may extend the deadline for submitting plans where significant complexities exist. The effective date of an amalgamation may also be extended, but must be no later than January 1, 2019.

Municipalities with populations of at least 1,000 residents may also request that the minister recommend to the Lieutenant Governor in Council that they be amalgamated.

The minister may ask The Municipal Board to provide a report on a matter related to amalgamation.

A planning district may be altered by the amalgamation of its member municipalities. Provisions are included that address the impacts of those alterations.

Amendments are also made to The Municipal Act and The Police Services Act. As a result of the amendments to The Municipal Act, the general election presently scheduled to occur in July 2014 in Dunnottar, Victoria Beach and Winnipeg Beach will occur in October 2014 instead — which is the same time as general elections in the rest of the province. The amendments to The Police Services Act provide a mechanism for addressing situations where an amalgamation results in two police services operating within the same municipality.