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Potential ‘strong mayor’ powers listed in municipal report

Although he will have the power to use it, Greater Sudbury Mayor Paul Lefebvre said he has no intention of using so-called ‘strong mayor’ powers offered to him by the province
powerful woman flexing muscles stock
(Stock)

In a report to Thunder Bay city council, that municipality’s city clerk, Krista Power, highlighted several potential things a mayor can now do under the provincial legislation.

Many of the powers are complex, Power wrote in a media release issued this week, noting that many of them require only one-third support of city council.

“Some of the legislative changes have not been confirmed by the province, such as what local boards could be impacted,” Power noted.

The potential powers include:

  • Appoint, dismiss and assign “other duties” to the City Manager
  • Determine the organizational structure of the City
  • Hire or dismiss the “head of any other part of the organizational structure” of the City
  • Direct municipal employees to undertake research, provide advice, as well as carry out duties and implement decisions
  • Appoint chairs and vice-chairs of prescribed local boards
  • Establish or dissolve Committees of Council, appoint Chairs and Vice-Chairs and assign functions to Committees
  • Require council to consider any matter that could advance a provincial priority
  • Veto a bylaw that could interfere with a provincial priority
  • Propose, prepare and adopt the annual budget, and propose amendments to the budget throughout the year

The province has clarified that city council has the ability to override mayor vetoes with a two-thirds vote, including the mayor as a voting party.

These powers have not been extended to Thunder Bay Mayor Ken Boshcoff, but have been extended to Greater Sudbury Mayor Paul Lefebvre.

In August, Lefebvre told Sudbury.com he doesn’t “have any intention of using it,” and that he would strive to lead by consensus and collaboration. 

Although he doesn’t intend to use it, he can, which is clarified in a recent municipal report by Greater Sudbury staff which clarifies the upcoming budget process could be impacted by a veto.

The key area of provincial priority targeted via strong mayor powers is housing, as well as infrastructure to support housing, such as transit, roads, utilities and servicing.

Greater Sudbury’s provincially set housing target is 3,800 units by 2031, which Lefebvre said he is “optimistic” they will achieve.

Encompassing nine years, the target breaks down to an average of approximately 422 units per year. Last year, the city reported that 457 new housing units were built in Greater Sudbury.


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