The next meeting of Council Advisory Committee is October 9th, 2018 at 6:00 pm at Town Hall.
The next meeting of Town Council is September 24th, 2018 at 7:00 pm at Town Hall.
All meetings of Council are open to the public. Meeting minutes and agendas can be found on the Kentville website. Visit the minutes and agendas page here. Meetings are also live streamed on the Town of Kentville's Facebook page, and those videos are also available on the website the day after the meeting.
Governance Minute – Legislations and the Municipality
The actions by the current Progressive Conservative government in Ontario against the City of Toronto Council, have prompted many discussions and the use of the “Notwithstanding Clause” from the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
All Canadian Municipalities including those in Nova Scotia are the “creatures of province”. The only powers they have are those set out in provincial legislation and those implied or necessarily incidental to them.
Council member must have a grasp of the basics, to understand what the municipality can, cannot, must and must not do. Although members of council can rely on the CAO to provide information on the legislated requirements of the MGA, it is recommended that all members of council familiarize themselves with the legislation to understand why we are doing what we are doing.
The Municipal Government Act (MGA) is the most important Act a councillor should be familiar with. It lays the foundation for how municipalities operate, how municipal councils function, and how citizens can work with their municipalities. The MGA is the legislative framework in which all municipalities across the Province of Nova Scotia operate:
WHEREAS the Province recognizes that municipalities have legislative authority and responsibility with respect to the matters dealt with in this Act;
AND WHEREAS municipalities are a responsible order of government accountable to the people:
1. This Act may be cited as the Municipal Government Act.
2 The purpose of this Act is to:
(a) give broad authority to councils, including broad authority to pass by-laws, and to respect their right to govern municipalities in whatever ways the councils consider appropriate within the jurisdiction given to them;
(b) enhance the ability of councils to respond to present and future issues in their municipalities; and
(c) recognize that the functions of the municipality are to:
(i) provide good government,
(ii) provide services, facilities and other things that, in the opinion of the council, are necessary or desirable for all or part of the municipality, and
(iii) develop and maintain safe and viable communities.
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act provides the Government of Nova Scotia’s general policy on access to information and the protection of personal information in the public sector. It provides for public accountability through a right of access to records under the control of public bodies and mandates how a public body is to collect, use and disclose an individual’s personal information.
These are the two most important pieces of legislation that apply to municipalities. Understanding the relationships, roles and the responsibilities of an elected official and the associated limitations, is critical to our success as municipal councillors. Whether newly elected or a returning official, members of council should take every opportunity to learn about their municipality; key issues and legislation affecting the community; and governing processes and procedures. The conferences held throughout the year provide invaluable information and networking opportunities and are an excellent way to obtain the information to serve effectively.
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