As of July 1, 2023, the Ontario government has expanded strong mayor powers to the mayors of 26 large and fast-growing municipalities, including the City of Cambridge, that have committed to a housing pledge as part of the province's work to build 1.5 million homes by 2031.

Strong mayor powers offer resources to heads of council to accelerate the implementation of key shared municipal-provincial priorities such as housing, transit, and infrastructure. 

Mayoral Special Powers and Duties under the Municipal Act, 2001

The Mayor has special powers and duties under Part VI.1 of the Municipal Act, 2001. These include powers to:

  • Appoint the municipality’s Chief Administrative Officer;*
  • Hire certain municipal department heads and establish and reorganize departments;*
  • Create committees of Council, assign their functions and appoint the chairs and vice-chairs of committees of Council;*
  • Propose the municipal budget, which would be subject to Council amendments and a Mayoral veto and Council override process;
  • Veto certain by-laws if the Mayor is of the opinion that all or part of the by-law could potentially interfere with a provincial priority; and
  • Bring forward matters for Council consideration if the Mayor is of the opinion that consideration of the matter could potentially advance a provincial priority.

*The Mayor may choose to delegate these specific powers and duties.

The Mayor is required to exercise these powers in writing and make them available to the public, subject to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA). Mayoral decisions are available for viewing in the table below.

Legislative Framework

The following provides a more detailed overview of the legislative framework governing the Mayor's special powers and duties under Part VI.1 of the Municipal Act, 2001. 

Bill 3, Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act, 2022

Bill 3, the Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act, 2022, received Royal Assent on September 8, 2022, and came into force on November 23, 2022. This power was extended by regulation on July 1, 2023 to 26 municipalities, including Cambridge. 

This legislation and associated regulations O. Reg. 530/22 and O. Reg. 580/22 provide the Mayor with additional powers beyond those previously set out in the Municipal Act, 2001.

Bill 3 provides the Mayor, as the head of Council, the ability to veto certain by-laws approved by Council if the Mayor "is of the opinion that all or part of the by-law could potentially interfere with a prescribed provincial priority." The Mayor is required to provide written notice of intent to consider vetoing the by-law within a prescribed period of time. Council may override the Mayor's veto if two-thirds (6 out of 9) of Members vote in favour of such an override. 

Bill 3 and the associated O. Reg. 530/22 also grant the Mayor, as head of Council, powers related to proposing the annual budget and initiating in-year budget amendments. Under O. Reg. 530/22 under the Municipal Act, 2001, the Mayor is required to propose the budget by February 1. After the Mayor proposes the budget, Council can pass resolutions to amend the budget within 30 days. The Mayor may veto a Council budget resolution and Council may then override a mayoral veto with a two-thirds majority vote. At the end of this process, the resulting budget is "deemed" to be adopted by the municipality. 

Under the new legislation, the Mayor's powers include:

  • Appointing and dismissing the Chief Administrative Officer/City Manager, as well as various senior managers;
  • Bringing matters forward for Council consideration if the Mayor "is of the opinion that considering a particular matter could potentially advance a prescribed provincial priority";
  • Vetoing certain by-laws approved by Council if the Mayor "is of the opinion that all or part of the by-law could potentially interfere with a prescribed provincial priority";
  • Proposing and preparing the municipal budget; and 
  • Directing City staff in writing.

Bill 39, Better Municipal Governance Act, 2022

Bill 39, the Better Municipal Governance Act, 2022, received Royal Assent on December 8, 2022. With respect to Mayoral powers, Bill 39 amends the Municipal Act, 2001to allow the Mayor to propose, and require Council to consider and vote on, certain by-laws related to prescribed Provincial Priorities (e.g. O. Reg. 580/22: Provincial Priorities). The by-law is considered passed if more than one third of Members of Council vote in favour of the by-law.

Mayoral Decisions
Mayoral Decisions made pursuant to the Municipal Act, 2001
DateNumberSubject Matter
July 4, 2023 2023.01 Delegation - Chief Administrative Officer
July 4, 2023 2023.02 Delegation - Organizational Structure
July 4, 2023 2023.03

Confirmation of Committees of Council

July 18, 2023 2023.04

To give written approval of by-laws passed at the July 18, 2023, meeting of City Council

August 17, 2023 2023.05

To give written approval of by-laws passed at the August 15, 2023, meeting of City Council

August 30, 2023 2023.06

To give written approval of by-laws passed at the August 29, 2023, meeting of City Council

September 12, 2023 2023.07

To give written approval of by-laws passed at the September 12, 2023, meeting of City Council

September 27, 2023 2023.08

To give written approval of by-laws passed at the September 26, 2023, meeting of City Council

October 12, 2023 2023.09

To give written approval of by-laws passed at the October 10, 2023, meeting of City Council

October 25, 2023 2023.10

To give written approval of by-laws passed at the October 25, 2023, meeting of City Council

November 7, 2023 2023.11

To give written approval of by-laws passed at the November 7, 2023, meeting of City Council

November 28, 2023 2023.12

To give written approval of by-laws passed at the November 28, 2023, meeting of City Council

December 7, 2023 2023.13

To give written approval of by-laws passed at the December 5, 2023, meeting of City Council

December 19, 2023 2023.14

To give written approval of by-laws passed at the December 19, 2023, meeting of City Council

January 30, 2024 2024.01

To give written approval of by-laws passed at the January 30, 2024, meeting of City

Council

February 13, 2024 2024.02

To give written approval of by-laws passed at the February 13, 2024, meeting of City

Council

February 13, 2024 2024.03

To give written approval of by-laws passed at the February 13, 2024, meeting of City

Council

February 27, 2024 2024.04

To give written approval of by-laws passed at the February 27, 2024, meeting of City Council

March 5, 2024 2024.05

To give written approval of by-laws passed at the March 5, 2024 meeting of of City Council

March 19, 2024 2024.06

To give written approval of the by-laws passed at the March 19, 2024 meeting of City Council

April 16, 2024 2024.07

To give written approval of the by-laws passed at the April 16, 2024 meeting of City Council

April 23, 2024 2024.08

To give written approval of the by-laws passed at the April 23, 2024 meeting of City Council

April 30, 2024 2024.09

To give written approval of the by-laws passed at the April 30, 2024 meeting of City Council

May 15, 2024 2024.10

To give written approval of the by-laws passed at the May 14, 2024 meeting of City Council