Hamilton’s senior land use and planning managers are preparing for the possibility of a “lame duck” during the 2022 municipal election period.
Today, at the Development Industry Liaison Committee, Hamilton’s Chief Planner Steve Robichaud said planning staff are working on getting as many planning applications in front of Council during the first half of 2022 in case of a “lame duck” council during the municipal elections period.
The Ontario Municipal Act states that if less than 75% of incumbent councillors seek reelection, council is restricted from passing any bylaw that allocates spending more than $50,000 or creates a liability for the municipal corporation greater than $50,000. [Section 275]
In Hamilton, this means if fewer than 12 members of city council seek reelection, council becomes lame-duck on August 19, 2022.
Most council planning and development approvals create potential liabilities to the city as a corporation.
If a developer is negligent, the city may become liable to fix damaged public infrastructure. The city requires developers to show proof of insurance, and the city bills the insurer.
Nonetheless, using a strict interpretation of legislation, council approving a development creates liability.
Nominations for the 2022 municipal election will open on May 2, 2022.
The last scheduled Council meeting before the potential lame-duck period is August 12, 2022.