Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Factual basis need not be established for valid bylaw

Seguin (Township) v. Hamer, 2014 ONCA 108:

[7]          We agree with the comments of Twaddle J.A. of the Manitoba Court of Appeal in Mr. Pawn Ltd. v. Winnipeg (City), 2002 MBCA 2, 170 Man. R. (2d) 1, at para. 11:

City Council is a legislative body, not a court. It must, of course, act within the authority conferred on it and, in doing so, enact its by-laws in good faith and not for an improper purpose. There is, however, no requirement that Council have evidence of anything before enacting a by-law. In particular, there is no requirement that Council have evidence of potential harm before enacting a by-law designed to prevent such harm. Council can enact laws within its authority on whatever information it chooses, be that information placed before it by evidence or representation or even information within councillors' own knowledge.

[8]          As Laskin J.A. explained in Equity Waste Management of Canada v. Halton Hills (Town) (1997), 35 O.R. (3d) 321 (C.A.), at p. 340:

Bad faith by a municipality connotes a lack of candour, frankness and impartiality. It includes arbitrary or unfair conduct and the exercise of power to serve private purposes at the expense of the public interest…

James Morton
Of the Law Societies of Nunavut and Upper Canada 

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