Mayor now has to state why she didn’t use Strong Powers she now has but has said she would never use. Huh!

By Pepper Parr

July 10th, 2023



From the Mayor’s web site page:

In a public Council Information Package published on July 7, 2023, there is an item from our City Clerk breaking down the Strong Mayor Powers recently announced by the Province of Ontario.

Now we know just how much clout that Chain of Office has.

As part of these new tools, the City also has a new bylaw approval process. The Mayor has the ability to veto any new bylaws and as a result, if the Mayor does not exercise this veto, they must make a note stating so that would need to be signed.

The City Clerk’s memo notes: “This practice will allow staff to waive the two-day cooling off period, and action by-laws immediately. The written approval constitutes a decision of the Mayor and will be posted to the City’s Mayoral Decision webpage.”

Provincial legislation states the decisions made by the Mayor are captured in writing, and are to made publicly available. As part of this, staff have created a Mayoral Decisions webpage to support transparency in this process, and make the information accessible to the public. Staff will be updating this webpage as they receive Mayoral decisions. Link to Mayoral Decision Webpage:

Since the rules dictate I must make a note in the event I do not exercise a veto to any new bylaw, you will begin seeing this reflected on the new City webpage created, starting after Council approves any new bylaws at our meeting next Tuesday (July 11).

Staff are also working on a report to present at the Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk & Accountability (CSSRA) Committee meeting on Sept. 11, 2023. The report will provide a fulsome review of the provincial legislation, how it will affect the City of Burlington, and further information on implementation.

This is all getting very very bureaucratic – never a good sign


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1 comment to Mayor now has to state why she didn’t use Strong Powers she now has – but has said she would never use. Huh!

  • Gary Scobie

    OK, I’m confused. If the Mayor uses her veto it must be noted in the decision and on a new website at so citizens can see it (forever I guess). That makes sense to me.
    But this article seems to say that if she doesn’t use her veto, that too must be recorded for posterity. Am I reading this right? Why would we citizens need to know when democracy has prevailed? Is it because democracy is no longer a given in Ontario?
    But maybe that’s a rhetorical question.

    Editor’s note: You read the report – the Mayor must report when she doesn’t use the power she has. It is, interestingly, a channel of communication the Mayor cannot control. The City Clerk posts the information