Navigating the complex challenges in Municipal Law.
Drafting, Interpreting, and Enforcing By-laws
We regularly act as prosecutors under the Municipal Act, Planning Act, Building Code Act, Fire Protection and Prevention Act, Health Protection and Promotion Act, Conservation Authorities Act and many municipal by-laws. Through this practice, we seek to continually reflect Council’s priorities in plain English within an enforceable by-law.
Specifically, we draft by-laws and amendments to by-laws on the following topics:
- Tree preservation
- Fill and site alteration
- Property standards
- Brownfield redevelopment
- Highways and encroachments
- Waste management
- Sewer use and utility fees
- Animal control
- Economic development
- Procurement and pesticides
Strategic Advice on Municipal Agreements
If you are seeking advice in the creation or negotiation of agreements related to municipal governments, our Municipal team can support you.
With years of experience, we have successfully supported clients in the strategic negotiation of agreements in the following matters:
- Cost sharing
- Front-ending services
- Municipal responsibility agreements for communal services
- Local services agreements
- Easements and leases
Land Use Planning and Property Matters
Are you looking to take the next steps in a land use planning project? Our municipal team routinely supports clients in resolving a wide variety of matters that arise in land use planning and property projects.
Specifically, we regularly appear before the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal for land use planning appeals which include but are not limited to:
- Minor Variances
- Official Plan Amendments
- Zoning By-Law Amendments
- Expropriation Matters
Our expertise extends to applications before the Superior Court of Justice on a variety of planning matters, such as:
- Building Code Act Violations
- Municipal Act Proceedings
- Challenges to municipal by-laws
We work on these matters routinely, ensuring that we are up to date on any process or legal changes that may affect your project. Our extensive experience allows us to efficiently and promptly get to the root of your matter.
Municipal Election Support
We work closely with clients to provide timely opinions and experienced advice on all aspects of municipal elections. Further, we regularly act as special prosecutors for Municipal Election Act prosecutions. These combined skillsets allow us to best support our clients with strategic advice tailored to their situation.
Our service offerings in election support include but are not limited to:
- Lame Duck solutions
- Eligibility opinions
- Contested Elections
We routinely provide advice to and advocate for a number of municipal governments on tax sales, collection matters, and the tax sale process. We have extensive experience in assessment appeals, having appeared before the Assessment Review Board and all levels of courts. Our team will work with you to address your property tax needs with efficiency and skill. We are committed to developing long-term relationships with you and your governing body to ensure that you always have support, just a phone call away.
We regularly provide advice and opinions on all legislation that impacts municipal governments. In doing this, we focus on identifying specific risks and providing a complete understanding of a municipality’s obligations. We do this work diligently and ensure that our recommendations will arm Council with the information they need to govern effectively.
Specifically, we provide advice on the following governance-related matters:
- Municipal Act
- Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
- Development Charges Act
- Municipal Conflict of Interest Act
- Municipal Elections Act
Cunningham Swan’s Municipal Team is appointed as Integrity Commissioner to more than 45 municipalities in Southeastern Ontario. As an Integrity Commissioner, we draft Codes of Conduct and Staff/Council Relations Policies.
We train councillors and board and committee members on their ethical obligations to the extent of their needs. Further, we conduct investigations of complaints under the Code of Conduct as well as the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act to make appropriate recommendations to Councils. As part of our mandate, we also provide advice to members to aid them in avoiding conflicts and breaches of their ethical obligations.