BILL NO. 138
(as passed, with amendments)
2nd Session, 60th General Assembly
57 Elizabeth II, 2008
Municipal Government Act
CHAPTER 25 OF THE ACTS OF 2008
The Honourable Jamie Muir
Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations
First Reading: April 28, 2008 (LINK TO BILL AS INTRODUCED)
Second Reading: May 5, 2008
Third Reading: May 27, 2008 (WITH COMMITTEE AMENDMENTS)
Royal Assent: May 27, 2008
Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:
1 Subsection 66(3) of Chapter 18 of the Acts of 1998, the Municipal Government Act, as amended by Chapter 35 of the Acts of 2001, is further amended by adding "or inter-municipal corporation" immediately after "party" in the fifth line.
2 Section 71 of Chapter 18, as amended by Chapter 14 of the Acts of 2001, Chapter 35 of the Acts of 2001 and Chapter 9 of the Acts of 2005, is further amended by striking out "by-law" wherever it appears in Section 71 and substituting in each case "policy".
(2) The council of a municipality may acquire a property that contains a vacant building if the building is boarded up for a period of time that exceeds the length of time that it may be boarded up under a by-law made pursuant to subclause 172(1)(ja)(iii).
(3) Before deciding to acquire a property under subsection (2), the council shall provide seven days' notice in writing to the owner, setting out the date, time and place of the meeting at which the decision to acquire the property will be discussed, and the owner must be given an opportunity to appear and be heard before any order is made.
7 Subsection 236(1) of Chapter 18 is amended by striking out "thirty metres" in the fourth line and substituting "the greater of thirty metres and the distance set by the land-use by-law or by policy".
(2) A hearing must begin within forty-five days from the filing of the appeal record unless the Board determines that it is necessary for the interests of justice for the hearing to begin at some later time or unless all the parties agree that the hearing may begin at some later time.
(3) The Board shall render its decision within sixty days after the close of submissions by the parties, unless the Board otherwise states at the close of the hearing or unless it is necessary for the interests of justice.
(5) In the event that the Board directs the filing of post-hearing written submissions, such submissions must be filed with the Board within fourteen days after the close of the hearing unless the Board determines that it is necessary for the interests of justice for such submissions to be submitted at some later time or unless all the parties agree that the submissions may be filed at some later time.
(b) the Board may, by order, impose costs on any party to an appeal that fails to meet any deadline or time limit established pursuant to this Section or otherwise established or imposed by the Board.
(7) When imposing costs pursuant to subsection (6), the Board shall consider, in addition to what the Board considers relevant, the financial ability of the party to pay and the conduct of the party in the appeal.
457B (1) The Municipal Auditor General is responsible for assisting a council in holding itself and the municipality's administrators accountable for the quality of stewardship over public funds and for achievement of value for money in the municipality's operations.
(2) The Municipal Auditor General shall examine in the manner and to the extent the Municipal Auditor General considers necessary, the accounts, procedures and programs of the municipality and any municipal body, as that term is defined in Section 461, or person or body corporate receiving a grant from the municipality, to evaluate
(a) whether the rules and procedures applied are sufficient to ensure an effective control of sums received and expended, adequate safeguarding and control of public property and appropriate records management;
(4) The Municipal Auditor General shall report annually to the council in a public meeting and shall file such report with the Minister and, where the municipality has a chief administrative officer, the Municipal Auditor General shall inform the chief administrative officer of the contents of the report in advance of its submission to the council, except when such report or such contents address issues involving the chief administrative officer.
(7) The authority of the Municipal Auditor General to exercise powers and perform duties extends to any person, body corporate or association who or that receives a grant directly or indirectly from a municipality and such authority applies only in respect of grants received by the grant recipient directly or indirectly from a municipality or a municipal body, as that term is defined in Section 461, after the date on which this Section comes into force.
457C (1) A municipality, a municipal body, as that term is defined in Section 461, and grant recipients referred to in subsections 457B(2) and (7) shall give the Municipal Auditor General such information regarding their powers, duties, activities, organization, financial transactions and methods of business as the Municipal Auditor General believes to be necessary to perform the Municipal Auditor General's duties under Section 457B.
(2) The Municipal Auditor General is entitled to have free access to all books, accounts, financial records, electronic data processing records, reports, files and all other papers, things or property belonging to or used by a municipality, a municipal body, as that term is defined in Section 461, or a grant recipient, as the case may be, that the Municipal Auditor General believes to be necessary to perform the Municipal Auditor General's duties under Section 457B.
(2) The Municipal Auditor General has, in the performance of the Municipal Auditor General's duties, the same powers, privileges and immunities as a commissioner appointed under the Public Inquiries Act.
457E (1) The Municipal Auditor General, and every person acting under the instructions of the Municipal Auditor General, shall preserve secrecy with respect to all matters that come to the Municipal Auditor General's knowledge in the course of the Municipal Auditor General's duties under this Act.
(2) The Municipal Auditor General, or a person to whom powers are delegated pursuant to subsection 457B(8), shall keep in confidence all information obtained in the exercise of a power or in the performance of a duty of the Municipal Auditor General and shall not communicate this information to any person except
(3) A person required to preserve secrecy under subsection (1) shall not disclose any information or document disclosed to the Municipal Auditor General under Section 457C that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, litigation privilege or settlement privilege unless the person has the consent of each holder of the privilege.
457F Neither the Municipal Auditor General nor any person acting under the instructions of the Municipal Auditor General is a competent or compellable witness in a civil proceeding in connection with anything done under Sections 457A to 457E.
11 Section 513 of Chapter 18 is amended by striking out "or village" wherever it appears in Section 513 and substituting in each case ", village or inter-municipal corporation created pursuant to Section 60".
12 Section 514 of Chapter 18 is amended by striking out "or village" wherever it appears in Section 514 and substituting in each case ", village or inter-municipal corporation created pursuant to Section 60".
13 Section 515 of Chapter 18 is amended by striking out "or village" wherever it appears in Section 515 and substituting in each case ", village or inter-municipal corporation created pursuant to Section 60".
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