July 2020
Bill 197, The COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act

2020-07-09 9:20:30 AM

On July 8, 2020, the Province introduced Bill 197, the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act. This omnibus bill includes 20 schedules which amends multiple Acts.

The Government has positioned the bill as addressing three critical needs Ontario faces: restarting jobs and development; strengthening communities and; creating opportunity for people.


There are several items of interest for municipalities, including proposed provisions for which AMCTO along with other municipal organizations have been advocating.

  • Electronic Participation in Meetings and Proxy Voting: Currently, virtual meetings may only be held during a Declaration of Emergency made by either the Province or the municipality under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. The proposed legislation would allow for meetings to occur virtually outside of an emergency. The legislation also proposes a permissive provision to allow members of council to vote by proxy if included in a municipality’s procedural by-law. 
  • Addressing Expiration of Marriage Licenses: As a result of COVID-19, many marriage ceremonies have had to be postponed or put on hold. The proposed legislation would allow for the extension of a marriage license validity period, under certain conditions, as a result of an emergency declared under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.


Other Areas of Interest for AMCTO members:

  • Changes to the Development Charges Act:  Including further expanding the list of eligible services funded through Development Charges. 
  • Changes to Community Benefits Charges under the Planning Act: including flexibility to fund any municipal service as long as it isn’t being recovered by another mechanism.
  • Municipal Court Administration under the Provincial Offences Act: Proposed amendments to the Act would allow court filings and proceedings to proceed by electronic means.


For further details, AMCTO members and municipal administrators can review the proposed legislation, available on the Ontario Legislature’s website . AMCTO staff will be reviewing the proposed bill in greater detail. Should members have any concerns with the proposals raised, they are encouraged to reach out to Alana Del Greco, Manager of Policy and Government Relations adelgreco@amcto.com with any issues or concerns. 



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