Special Powers and Duties of the Head of Council pursuant to the Municipal Act (Strong Mayors Powers)

Powers and Duties

The Mayor has special powers and duties under Part VI.1 of the Municipal Act, 2001 S.O. 2001, c. 25 and in accordance with O. Reg. 530/22 and O. Reg. 580/22. These powers include the ability to:

  • Appoint/dismiss the Chief Administrative Officer; *
  • Hire/dismiss or exercise any other prescribed employment powers with respect to City staff; *
  • Establish or dissolve committees comprised solely of Members of Council, assign the committee’s functions, and appoint the Chairs and Vice Chairs; *
  • Prepare and propose the City’s budget, subject to possible Council amendments, and the Mayor’s ability to veto such amendments, which are subject to an override process that may be accomplished by two-thirds of the Council;
  • Require Council to consider matters that could potentially advance a prescribed provincial priority;
  • Require Council to consider and vote on a by-law that in the Mayor’s opinion could potentially advance a prescribed provincial priority and such by-law is deemed to be passed if more than one third of the Members of Council vote in favour of the by-law;
  • Veto by-laws, if in the opinion of the Mayor, such by-law could potentially interfere with a prescribed provincial priority; and,
  • Direct City staff, in writing, to undertake research and provide advice to the Mayor and the municipality, on policies and programs as they relate to the Mayor’s powers and duties under Part VI.1, and direct staff to carry out such duties and implement any decisions made by the Mayor.

*The Mayor may choose to delegate these specific powers and duties.

The Mayor is required to exercise these powers in writing and make them available to the public, subject to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Mayoral decisions to date are available below.

Legislative Framework

The following provides a more detailed overview of the legislative framework governing the Mayor’s special powers and duties under Part VI.1 of the Municipal Act, 2001 S.O. 2001, c. 25.

Bill 3, Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act, 2022, S.O. 2022, c. 18

The Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act, 2022, S.O. 2022, c. 18 - Bill 3, received Royal Assent on September 8, 2022, and came into force on November 23, 2022 which provided special powers and duties to the mayors of the City of Toronto and the City of Ottawa. On June 16, 2023, the Ontario Government announced that the Mayoral Special Powers and Duties, as outlined in the Municipal Act, would be expanded to mayors in 26 municipalities, including the City of Pickering, effective July 1, 2023.

This legislation and associated regulations (O. Reg. 530/22 and O. Reg. 580/22) provide the Mayor with additional powers beyond those previously set out in the Municipal Act, 2001 S.O. 2001, c. 25.

Bill 3 provides the Mayor, as the head of Council, with the ability to veto certain by-laws approved by Council if the Mayor “is of the opinion that all or part of the by-law could potentially interfere with a prescribed provincial priority.” The Mayor is required to provide written notice of intent to consider vetoing the by-law within a prescribed time period. City Council may override the Mayor’s veto if two-thirds of Members vote in favour of such an override.

Bill 3 and the associated O. Reg. 530/22 also grant the Mayor, as head of Council, powers related to preparing and proposing the annual budget and initiating in-year budget amendments. Under O. Reg. 530/22, the Mayor is required to propose the budget by February 1st. After the Mayor proposes the budget, Council can pass resolutions to amend the budget within 30 days. The Mayor may veto a Council budget resolution and Council may then override a mayoral veto with a two-thirds majority vote. At the end of this process, the resulting budget is “deemed” to be adopted by the municipality.

Bill 39, Better Municipal Governance Act, 2022, S.O. 2022, c. 24

Better Municipal Governance Act, 2022, S.O. 2022, c. 24 - Bill 39, received Royal Assent on December 8, 2022. With respect to Mayoral powers, Bill 39 amends the Municipal Act, 2001 S.O. 2001, c. 25, to allow the Mayor to propose, and require Council to consider and vote on a by-law if in the Mayor’s opinion could potentially advance a prescribed Provincial Priority (O. Reg. 580/22: Provincial Priorities). The by-law is considered passed if more than one third of Members of Council vote in favour of the by-law.

Mayoral Decisions
DateDecision NumberSubject Matter
July 1, 2023  01-2023 Delegation of Mayor’s powers pertaining to organizational structure, hiring, dismissing and exercising any other prescribed employment powers with respect to City staff.
July 1, 2023 02-2023 Delegation of Mayor’s powers pertaining to Committees comprised solely of Members of Council.
August 16, 2023 03-2023 Decision to give written approval of By-laws passed at the August 16, 2023 Special Meeting of City Council.
September 5, 2023 04-2023 Decision to give written approval of By-laws passed at the September 5, 2023 Special Meeting of City Council.
September 25, 2023 05-2023 Decision to give written approval of By-laws passed at the September 25, 2023 Regular Meeting of Council.
October 23, 2023 06-2023 Decision to give written approval of By-laws passed at the October 23, 2023 Meeting of City Council.
November 6, 2023 07-2023

Decision to give written approval of By-laws passed at the November 6, 2023 Special Meeting of City Council.

November 16, 2023 08-2023

Decision to give written approval of By-laws passed at the November 16, 2023 Special Meeting of City Council

November 27, 2023 09-2023 Decision to give written approval of By-laws passed at the November 27, 2023 Meeting of Council
December 11, 2023 10-2023 Decision to give written approval of By-laws passed at the December 11, 2023 Meeting of Council
January 8, 2024 01-2024 Decision to give written approval of By-laws passed at the January 8, 2024 Special Meeting of City Council
January 18, 2024 02-2024 Decision to give written approval of By-laws passed at the January 18, 2024 Special Meeting of Council
January 22, 2024 03-2024 Decision to give written approval of By-laws passed at the January 22, 2024 Meeting of Council
January 30, 2024 04-2024 Decision to give written approval of By-laws passed at the January 30, 2024 Special Meeting of Council
February 5, 2024 05-2024 Decision to give written approval of By-laws passed at the February 5, 2024 Special Meeting of Council
Mayoral Directions
DateDecision NumberSubject Matter
August 14, 2023  01-2023

Direction to the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and the Director, Finance & Treasurer pertaining to the 2024 City of Pickering Budget.

September 19, 2023 02-2023

Direction to the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and the Director, City Development & CBO pertaining to a Response to the Housing Affordability Task Force’s Recommendations.

September 25, 2023 03-2023

Direction to the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and the Director, Finance & Treasurer, to compile information regarding costs incurred with respect to the proposed development of Cherrywood.

October 26, 2023 04-2023

Direction to the Director, Human Resources to Coordinate the 2023 Annual Performance Review for the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) 

October 27, 2023 05-2023

Direction to the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and Director, Finance & Treasurer, pertaining to an engagement strategy for the 2024 City of Pickering Budget 

January 9, 2024 01-2024 Direction to the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and Director, Human Resources to change the staff complement in the City Development Department
January 25, 2024 02-2024

Direction to the Chief Planner to prepare a Memorandum pertaining to a proposed change in designation to certain lands in the Durham Region Official Plan