NOTED: Ottawa City Clerk Explains Board of Health Independence from Appointing Municipality

The report by Ottawa City Clerk Rick O’Connor reviewing that municipalities agencies, boards, and committees should be required reading in any Municipal Affairs 1A03 course.

I’ve already noted O’Connor, who holds a law degree, succinctly described the updated definition of Local Board following 2021’s Divisional Court decision in Kroetsch v. Integrity Commissioner for the City of Hamilton. [TPR Brief on the Ottawa report here.]

This same report document also explains the independence enjoyed by Ottawa’s Board of Health and public health department.

Ottawa’s Board of Health consists of six Ottawa city councillors and five members of the public.

“Under Subsection 1(1) of the Municipal Act, 2001, a board of health is a ‘local board.’ However, boards of health are subsequently exempted from some specific statutory requirements in the Municipal Act, 2001. Based on a review of relevant provisions and factors, it appears the following applies to the Board of Health for the City of Ottawa Health Unit:,” O’Connor writes before noting that Section 223.1 specifically excludes a local board of health for the purposes of Section 223 of the Municipal Act.

Section 223 is entitled the “Part V.I1 Accountability and Transparency” in the Act.

O’Connor’s interpretation is that an independent Board of Health will not fall under:

The Code of Conduct for members of local boards; the oversight role of the Integrity Commissioner (“with respect to the application of sections 5, 5.1 and 5.2 of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act”); and the oversight role of the municipal Auditor General. (O’Connor notes, “the board may request internal audits from the City’s Auditor General);


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Published: December 29, 2022
Last edited: December 29, 2022
Author: Joey Coleman
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