July 2019
MAG Opens Consultations for Joint and Several Liability

2019-07-17 10:19:38 AM

Following the announcement at the end of January at the annual Rural Ontario Municipalities Association (ROMA) by Premier Doug Ford, the Ministry of the Attorney General for Ontario has opened up consultations on joint and several liability, insurance costs, and the affect ‘liability chill’ has on the delivery of public services.

On July 12th, following an initial announcement made at the annual Rural Ontario Municipalities Association (ROMA), Attorney General Doug Downey wrote to the province’s municipalities regarding joint and several liability consultations.

The consultations will be open until September 27th with the Attorney General welcoming delegations and written submissions to @magpolicy@ontario.ca.

Ontario’s municipalities are assumed to have substantial financial resources and thereby are unfairly targeted in civil suits. This has caused their insurance costs to skyrocket, which affects the amount of public services they can offer.

Reforming joint and several liability is a long-standing position for AMCTO and has been included in the association’s three previous Pre-Budget Submissions.

AMCTO has previously advocated for the 'Combined Model' to be implemented, which combines the Saskatchewan Model and the Multiplier Model. The former model is limited to road authority cases and is allocates damages among both defendants and plaintiffs if one defendant is unable to pay its full costs. The Multiplier model is applied to ensure that a municipality does not pay more than two times its liability. This model would only apply to road authority cases. 

The combined model is a combination of the Saskatchewan model and the multiplier model as it places reasonable limits on the damages that can be recouped depending on the circumstances. In this model, the Saskatchewan model would first be applied and then the multiplier model where it needs to be ensured that municipalities do not assume more than two times their proportion of damages. 

AMCTO will continue to monitor this file and will provide updates when they become available.

For more information, please see below:

AMCTO Pre-Budget Submissions

AMCTO: Premier Ford Announces Consultation on Joint and Several Liability

AMO: Liability Reform Paper


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