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Bylaw Development Using Your Powers Wisely. Presented by: Ministry of Municipal Affairs Advisory Services. Ministry Overview Programs and Services Growth and Development Funding Municipal Administration Health and Safety Legislation.

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bylaw development using your powers wisely

Bylaw Development Using Your Powers Wisely

Presented by:

Ministry of Municipal Affairs

Advisory Services

www municipal gov sk ca
  • Ministry Overview
  • Programs and Services
  • Growth and Development
  • Funding
  • Municipal Administration
  • Health and Safety
  • Legislation
canadian constitution
Underthe Canadian Constitution, provinces have the authority to create municipalities and to delegate to them certain law-making powers.

Laws passed by municipalities are called BYLAWS.

Canadian Constitution
the cities act the municipalities act
The Cities ActThe Municipalities Act
  • Natural person powers
    • similar legal powers/responsibilities as other business entities
  • Governmental powers
    • bylaws, levying taxes, etc
power to pass a bylaw
Power to pass a bylaw

The power of a municipality to pass a bylaw is to be interpreted broadly for the purpose of:

a) providing a broad authority to its council and respecting council’s right to govern the municipality in whatever manner the council considers appropriate, within the jurisdiction provided to the council by law; and

b) enhancing the council’s ability to respond to present and future issues in the municipality.

council sets policy
Council Sets Policy
  • A municipality acts through Council.
  • A council exercises power through the passing of bylaws and resolutions.
bylaw vs resolution
Bylaw vs Resolution
  • Formalities for passing resolution are less restrictive than a bylaw
  • Resolutions deal with matters of a minor, administrative nature
  • Legislation may state when a bylaw is required
  • Bylaw used for important ongoing matters or where a penalty is involved
  • Municipal law
  • Require legislative authority
  • Administrative
  • Regulatory
limitations to municipality s authority
Limitations to Municipality’s Authority
  • When statutory authority does not support a bylaw, expressed or implied, it is ultra vires
  • Where provisions in a local bylaw conflict with a provincial Act, the provincial statutory provision normally takes precedence
limitations to municipality s authority1
Limitations to Municipality’s Authority
  • Approval of a provincial government ministry or agency.
  • Public notice may be required.
points to consider when drafting a bylaw
Points to consider when drafting a bylaw
  • If the bylaw is long, break it up into numbered sections and use headings;
  • Try to stick to terms, phrases and wording used in the statute or in the definition section of the bylaw;
  • Avoid legal jargon and words other than from the English language;
  • Use “shall” to show that a certain action must or must not be done;
  • Use “may” to show an action that is permissive;
points to consider when drafting a bylaw1
Points to consider when drafting a bylaw
  • Use only those clauses that are necessary
  • Schedules and forms should be designated with numbers or letters
  • Distribute copies of the draft bylaw to all members of council.
  • Public participation may be a wise option before the final reading.
structure of a bylaw
Structure of a Bylaw
  • Provincial municipal legislation does not require bylaws to be adopted in any particular form, content or ordering of content.
content of a bylaw
A. Corporate name of municipality

B. Bylaw number

C. Bylaw title

D. Enactment clause

E. Citation clause

F. Interpretation clause

G. Operative clause

H. Schedule clause

I. Penalty clause

J. Repeal clause

K. Effective date clause

L. Signing and sealing

M. Dating the bylaw

Content of a Bylaw
content of a bylaw a name of municipality
Content of a BylawA. Name of Municipality
  • The entire corporate name of the local government should be set out at the top of the bylaw.
  • Examples:

“Village of ____________________.”

“Town of _____________________.”

“City of ______________.”

“Northern Village of_____________.”

content of a bylaw b bylaw number
Content of a BylawB. Bylaw Number

The bylaw should include the number of the bylaw and the year it was passed. Bylaws should be numbered consecutively.

“Bylaw No. 4/2008” means the fourth bylaw passed in 2008

content of a bylaw c bylaw title
Content of a BylawC. Bylaw Title

States the purpose of the bylaw

content of a bylaw d enactment clause
Content of a BylawD. Enactment Clause

This clause states that the council is the body that enacts the bylaw.

“The council of the Town of _______, in the Province of Saskatchewan, enacts as follows: …”.

content of a bylaw e citation clause optional
Content of a BylawE. Citation Clause (optional)

This bylaw may be cited as “The Nuisance Abatement Bylaw”.

content of a bylaw f interpretation clause
Content of a BylawF. Interpretation Clause

This clause contains a statement of the meaning of a word or a group of words.

content of a bylaw g operative clause s
Content of a BylawG. Operative Clause(s)

The operative clause or clauses state what the bylaw is intending to do and how it is to be done.

content of a bylaw h schedule clause
Content of a BylawH. Schedule Clause

Matters that are customarily included in schedules include application forms, fees, and so on.

content of a bylaw i penalty clause
Content of a BylawI. Penalty Clause
  • Legislation limits penalties
  • May refer to The General Penalty Bylaw
  • No provision to set minimum penalties
content of a bylaw j repeal clause
Content of a BylawJ. Repeal Clause


“Bylaw No.21/1952, passed March 15, 1952, being a bylaw to license dogs, is hereby repealed.”

content of a bylaw k effective date clause
Content of a BylawK. Effective Date Clause


“This bylaw shall come into force and take effect on September ,.”


“This bylaw shall come into force and take effect when approved by the Minister of (applicable Provincial department).”


“This bylaw shall come into force and take effect when approved by the Saskatchewan Municipal Board.”

content of a bylaw l signing and sealing
Content of a BylawL. Signing and Sealing

Example: __________________


Seal __________________



  • Every proposed bylaw must have three distinct and separate readings.
  • A “reading” means “a stage of consideration”.
adoption procedures
Adoption Procedures

The procedure to adopt a bylaw shall involve the

following steps:

(a) The Administrator prepares the bylaw for council to consider

(b) First reading of the bylaw is moved, discussed and a vote is taken;

(c) Second reading of the bylaw is moved, discussed and again a vote is taken;

(d) Amendments after first/second reading are proposed by resolution which, if carried, becomes part of the proposed bylaw;

adoption procedures1
Adoption Procedures

(e) If all three readings are to be given at the same meeting, a resolution must be introduced to allow three readings at that meeting. This resolution must be passed unanimously;

(f) Third reading of the bylaw is moved and if the vote is carried the bylaw is considered passed and adopted;

(g) Signing and sealing of the bylaw should take place immediately or very soon after the adoption of the bylaw.

adoption procedures2
Adoption Procedures
  • If any of the resolutions authorizing first, second or third readings are not carried, the bylaw does not proceed beyond that point. If council wishes to reintroduce the bylaw, the entire adoption procedure must start over.
  • A proposed draft bylaw is defeated if it does not receive the third reading within two years after the first reading.
retention of bylaws
Retention of Bylaws
  • The original bylaw should be included as an attachment to form part of the minutes at the meeting where the bylaw received the third and final reading.
  • A certified copy is kept in bylaw register
amending or repealing bylaws
Amending or Repealing Bylaws
  • The same process that applies to the passage of bylaws also applies to amending or repealing bylaws.

The Amending Bylaw

  • A bylaw that is in effect may only be amended via another bylaw.
  • The purpose of an amending bylaw is to reflect a desired change in an existing bylaw.
the repealing bylaw
The Repealing Bylaw
  • Bylaws may be repealed at the time it is replaced by another.
  • A bylaw that is in effect may only be cancelled by passing a repealing bylaw.
  • Some bylaws, for example lease agreements, are for a fixed period of time. Upon expiration, they should be repealed to officially remove them from the bylaw register.

Bylaw is adopted as a whole.

quashing a bylaw
Quashing a Bylaw

A voter may apply to the court to quash a bylaw:

  • Ultra Vires
  • Bad faith
  • Discretion
  • Discrimination
  • Improper delegation
  • Uncertainty

An application to quash must be taken within 60 days of the bylaw passing.

bylaw enforcement
Bylaw Enforcement
  • Enforcement is an area which perplexes many councils.
  • Municipalities have not only the right, but the duty, to enforce bylaws.
  • Council may decide which offenders to prosecute.
  • Resource for case law
bylaw enforcement1
Bylaw Enforcement
  • Education and information is a form of bylaw enforcement.
  • Encouraging voluntary compliance is preferable to prosecution.
  • Enforcement includes inspection and issuing remedial orders.
  • Prosecution should be a municipality's final option.
bylaw enforcement2
Bylaw Enforcement
  • Remedial orders must meet technical requirements:
    • Recipient must be advised of the right to appeal.
    • Remedial action must be specific, including the deadline to complete the work.
    • Order includes consequences of non-compliance.
      • The municipality will perform the required work.
      • The recipient will be charged the cost of the work.
      • If the costs are not paid, the amount will be added to taxes.
bylaw enforcement3
Bylaw Enforcement
  • Municipalities may, on their own or with other municipalities, appoint a bylaw enforcement officer.
  • Municipal administrators may provide limited bylaw enforcement services.
  • Municipalities may contract to provide limited bylaw enforcement services.
bylaw enforcement4
Bylaw Enforcement
  • Bylaws create offences and establish penalties for non-compliance.
  • Municipalities cannot impose fines.
    • Fines are imposed by the courts.
    • Fines cannot be added to taxes.
      • Limited exceptions exist

Thank you for participating in today's workshop!

Contact information:

Regina 787-2680

Saskatoon 933-6922