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The Municipal Statutes Amendment Act

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If you need an official copy, use the bilingual (PDF) version.

S.M. 2021, c. 26

Bill 25, 3rd Session, 42nd Legislature

The Municipal Statutes Amendment Act

Explanatory Note

This note was written as a reader's aid to the Bill and is not part of the law.

This Bill amends eight Acts respecting municipal elections and governance in Manitoba.

The Municipal Act and The City of Winnipeg Charter are amended as follows.

Changes to campaign expenses and contributions by-laws must be made at least 180 days before an election.

Municipalities must make a by-law about the use of municipal resources during municipal elections.

An incumbent candidate for municipal office cannot use their current title in their campaign materials.

Effective July 1, 2021, a municipality is no longer required to pay interest on tax refunds. Interest on amounts paid under protest before that date ceases to accrue on June 30, 2021.

For municipalities other than the City of Winnipeg, Municipal Board approval is no longer required to enter into a lease of capital property other than real property.

The obligation to assign a tax sales certificate for real property in the City of Winnipeg is removed.

The Municipal Assessment Act is amended to exempt regional libraries from municipal taxation except for local improvements.

The Municipal Councils and School Boards Elections Act is amended to

require a voters list to be updated in an election year rather than annually;

change the definition for "voting place" to refer to a building rather than a place; and

impose greater control on ballot boxes for sealed envelope ballots when such boxes are not in the immediate care of a senior election official.

The council size provisions in The Brandon Charter, The Flin Flon Charter, The Portage la Prairie Charter and The Thompson Charter are repealed. Instead, the municipalities may determine their own council size in accordance with The Municipal Act.

(Assented to May 20, 2021)

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

PART 1

THE MUNICIPAL ACT

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

1

The Municipal Act is amended by this Part.

2

Subsection 93.1(1) is amended by striking out "93.18" and substituting "93.18.2".

3

Section 93.2 is amended by renumbering it as subsection 93.2(1) and adding the following as subsection 93.2(2):

Effective date of by-law

93.2(2)

A by-law under this section must be passed at least 180 days before the election in respect of which it is to take effect.

4

Clause 93.6(4)(c) is amended by striking out "clause 93.2(a)" and substituting "clause 93.2(1)(a)".

5(1)

Subsection 93.12(1) is amended

(a) in clause (d), by striking out "clause 93.2(b)" and substituting "clause 93.2(1)(b)"; and

(b) in clause (f), by striking out "subclause 93.2(d)(i)" and substituting "subclause 93.2(1)(d)(i)".

5(2)

Subsection 93.12(2) is amended by striking out "clause 93.2(e)" and substituting "clause 93.2(1)(e)".

6

Subsection 93.16(1) is amended

(a) in clause (a), by striking out "subclause 93.2(d)(ii)" and substituting "subclause 93.2(1)(d)(ii)"; and

(b) in clause (b), by striking out "clause 93.2(e)" and substituting "clause 93.2(1)(e)".

7

The following is added after section 93.18:

GENERAL MATTERS CONCERNING ELECTIONS

By-law on elections

93.18.1(1)

 A council must pass a by-law establishing rules and procedures for the use of municipal resources during the 42-day period before a general election or a by-election.

Content of by-law

93.18.1(2)

 A by-law under subsection (1) must include restrictions on the use of

(a) municipal resources by a registered candidate;

(b) municipal resources in communicating information about its programs or services, if the communication may reasonably be seen as providing an electoral advantage to a registered candidate; and

(c) the name, voice or image of a member of council in municipal communications.

Effective date of by-law

93.18.1(3)

 A by-law under this section must be passed at least 180 days before the election in respect of which it is to take effect.

Use of title in election communication restricted

93.18.2(1)

 A registered candidate who is a member of a council must not use their incumbent position as their title in an election communication.

Meaning of "election communication"

93.18.2(2)

 In this section, "election communication" means a communication that is a campaign expense incurred by a registered candidate under a by-law passed under section 93.2.

Information Note

A candidate cannot use

"Re-elect Mayor [candidate's name]"

"Re-elect Councillor [candidate's name]"

A candidate can use

"Re-elect [candidate's name] for Mayor"

"Re-elect [candidate's name] for Councillor"

8

The centred heading "ELECTION OFFENCES" is added before section 93.19.

9

Subsection 93.19(1) is replaced with the following:

Offence and penalty

93.19(1)

A person who contravenes any of the following is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of not more than $5,000:

(a) section 93.4, 93.6, 93.8 to 93.12, 93.15 or 93.18.2;

(b) a by-law passed under section 93.2 or 93.18.1.

10

Section 172 is amended in clause (c) of the definition "borrowing" by striking out "capital property" and substituting "real property".

11(1)

Clause 343(1)(c) is amended by striking out "pay" and substituting "subject to subsections (1.1) and (1.2), pay".

11(2)

The following is added after subsection 343(1):

No interest payable on or after July 1, 2021

343(1.1)

No interest is payable in respect of excess taxes paid under protest on or after July 1, 2021.

Interest for amounts paid before July 1, 2021

343(1.2)

For excess taxes paid under protest before July 1, 2021, the municipality must pay interest on the excess taxes to the taxpayer from the date the taxes were paid to June 30, 2021, at the annual rate prescribed by regulation by the minister.

PART 2

THE MUNICIPAL ASSESSMENT ACT

C.C.S.M. c. M226 amended

12

The Municipal Assessment Act is amended by adding the following after clause 22(1)(d):

(d.1) is used as a regional library, as defined in section 1 of The Public Libraries Act, to a maximum exemption of 0.81 hectare;

PART 3

THE MUNICIPAL COUNCILS AND SCHOOL BOARDS ELECTIONS ACT

C.C.S.M. c. M257 amended

13

The Municipal Councils and School Boards Elections Act is amended by this Part.

14

The definition "voting place" in section 1 is amended by striking out "place" and substituting "building".

15

Subsection 32(4) of the English version is amended by adding "building" after "apartment".

16

Subsection 34(2) and clause 34(3)(c) are amended by striking out "fax" and substituting "e-mail".

17

Section 36 is amended, in the part before clause (a),

(a) by striking out "At least annually, the" and substituting "The"; and

(b) by adding "in each year in which a general election occurs" after "give public notice".

18

Subsection 43(2) is amended by striking out "fax" and substituting "e-mail".

19(1)

Subsection 50(1) of the English version is amended by adding "building" after "apartment".

19(2)

Subsection 50(2) of the English version is amended

(a) in the section heading, by adding "multiple-unit" after "voting station in"; and

(b) by adding "building" after "apartment".

20

Subsection 51(5) is amended in the English version by replacing the section heading with "Restrictions — voting station".

21

Subsection 72(2) is amended by striking out "a voting place" and substituting "a voting station".

22

The following provisions are amended by striking out "fax" and substituting "e-mail":

(a) subsection 95(2);

(b) clause 95(3)(b) in the part before subclause (i);

(c) subsection 97(1) in the part before clause (a).

23(1)

Subsection 101(2) of the English version is amended by striking out "Certificate" and substituting "Ballot" in the section heading.

23(2)

The following is added after subsection 101(2):

Securing ballot box between uses

101(2.1)

When a ballot box for sealed envelope voting is not in the immediate care of the senior election official, the senior election official must secure the ballot box so that no ballots can be inserted into it without providing evidence of the box being opened or otherwise tampered with.

PART 4

THE CITY OF WINNIPEG CHARTER

S.M. 2002, c. 39 amended

24

The City of Winnipeg Charter is amended by this Part.

25

Clause 33.1(3)(c) is amended by striking out "clause 34(b)" and substituting "clause 34(1)(b)".

26

Section 34 is amended by renumbering it as subsection 34(1) and adding the following as subsection 34(2):

Effective date of by-law

34(2)

A by-law under this section must be passed at least 180 days before the election in respect of which it is to take effect.

27

Subsection 35(1) is amended

(a) in the part before clause (a), by striking out "clause 34(f)" and substituting "clause 34(1)(f)";

(b) in clause (b), by striking out "clause 34(c)" and substituting "clause 34(1)(c)"; and

(c) in clause (d), by striking out "clause 34(h)" and substituting "clause 34(1)(h)".

28

The following is added after subsection 44(3):

GENERAL MATTERS CONCERNING ELECTIONS

By-law on elections

44.1(1)

Council must pass a by-law establishing rules and procedures for the use of municipal resources during the 42-day period before a general election or a by-election.

Content of by-law

44.1(2)

A by-law under subsection (1) must include restrictions on the use of

(a) municipal resources by a registered candidate;

(b) municipal resources in communicating information about its programs or services if the communication may reasonably be seen as providing an electoral advantage to a registered candidate; and

(c) the name, voice or image of a member of council in municipal communications.

Effective date of by-law

44.1(3)

A by-law under this section must be passed at least 180 days before the election in respect of which it is to take effect.

Use of title in election communication restricted

44.2(1)

A registered candidate who is a member of council must not use their incumbent position as their title in an election communication.

Meaning of "election communication"

44.2(2)

In this section, "election communication" means a communication that is a campaign expense incurred by a registered candidate under a by-law passed under section 44.1.

Information Note

A candidate cannot use

"Re-elect Mayor [candidate's name]"

"Re-elect Councillor [candidate's name]"

A candidate can use

"Re-elect [candidate's name] for Mayor"

"Re-elect [candidate's name] for Councillor"

29

The centred heading "ELECTION OFFENCES" is added before section 45.

30

Subsection 45(1) is replaced with the following:

Offence and penalty

45(1)

A person who contravenes any of the following is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of not more than $5,000:

(a) section 33, 33.1, 33.3 to 43 or 44.2;

(b) a by-law passed under section 34 or 44.1.

31

Subsection 340(3) is replaced with the following:

Refunds

340(3)

If taxes for the year on the property or business in excess of the amount shown on the amended notice are paid, the city must

(a) refund the excess to the person in whose name the property or premises is assessed; and

(b) if the excess was paid before July 1, 2021, pay interest on the excess at the rate prescribed under clause 343(1)(c) (repayment of taxes paid under protest) of The Municipal Act, calculated for the period from the day the excess was paid to June 30, 2021.

32

Section 349 is replaced with the following:

Interest on refunds for amount paid before July 1, 2021

349

When, as a consequence of a revision of an assessment roll, the amount of taxes for a year payable by a person is reduced after the taxes have been paid, the city must, if the taxes were paid before July 1, 2021, pay interest on the refund of any excess paid at a rate prescribed under clause 343(1)(c) (repayment of taxes paid under protest) of The Municipal Act, calculated from the day the excess was paid to June 30, 2021.

33

Clause 363(2)(a) is amended by striking out "prescribed by regulation for the purposes of clause 343(1)(c) (repayment of taxes) of The Municipal Act" and substituting "established by council by by-law".

34

Section 385 is repealed.

35

Clauses 386(1)(b) and 390(e) are amended by striking out "prescribed by regulation for the purpose of clause 343(1)(c) (repayment of taxes) of The Municipal Act" and substituting "established by council by by-law".

PART 5

OTHER CITY CHARTERS

The Brandon Charter

S.M. 1989-90, c. 71 amended

36

Section 7 of The Brandon Charter, S.M. 1989-90, c. 71, is repealed.

The Flin Flon Charter

S.M. 1989-90, c. 72 amended

37

Section 8 of The Flin Flon Charter, S.M. 1989-90, c. 72, is repealed.

The Portage la Prairie Charter

S.M. 1989-90, c. 77 amended

38(1)

The Portage la Prairie Charter, S.M. 1989-90, c. 77, is amended by this section.

38(2)

Section 2 is amended by repealing the definitions "city" and ""mayor" and "alderman"".

38(3)

Section 5 is repealed.

The Thompson Charter

S.M. 1989-90, c. 83 amended

39

Section 5 of The Thompson Charter, S.M. 1989-90, c. 83, is repealed.

PART 6

COMING INTO FORCE

Coming into force — royal assent

40(1)

This Act, except Part 2, comes into force on the day it receives royal assent.

Coming into force — proclamation

40(2)

Part 2 comes into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation.