Hamilton Mayor Andrea Horwath’s Strong Mayor veto appears to be the third use of a mayor’s veto since the implementation of Strong Mayor powers in Ontario.

Mayor Horwath is using her Strong Mayor veto after Hamilton Council deadlocked 8-8 on a proposal to sell portions of two municipal parking lots in Downtown Stoney Creek to be used for affordable housing.

In October 2023, then-Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie used a Strong Mayor veto in October after Mississauga Council deadlocked 5-5 against allowing fourplexes as-of-right. Allowing fourplexes is a requirement to receive federal Housing Accelerator Funds. (Days after Crombie’s fourplex mayoral bylaw was implemented, Mississauga received $112.9-million in HAF funds.)

In February 2024, Ajax Mayor Shaun Collier used a Strong Mayor veto in February to overrule Ajax Council’s 4-2 decision to impose a four percent land-value development charge on new purpose-built rental housing as a community benefits charge. (There are seven members on Ajax council, including the mayor. One was absent for the vote, they voted with the mayor on this matter earlier in the meeting.)

Strong Mayor Bylaw – 1/3rd+1 Vote to Carry

In September 2023, Ajax Mayor Shaun Collier used his Strong Mayor powers to introduce a bylaw to allow the construction of two 60-storey residential towers immediately south of the Ajax GO Station. Mayoral bylaws only require 1/3rd(+1) council support for implementation. (Collier explained his decision in a Twitter thread)

Collier’s bylaw passed 4-3, meaning he did not need to use his Strong Mayor powers.

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Published: April 2, 2024
Last edited: April 2, 2024
Author: Joey Coleman
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