Delegation of Municipal Powers and Duties Policy

Related procedures

Alterations to Designated Heritage Properties Procedure

Policy statement

The Council of the Town of Oakville is directly accountable for all municipal powers and duties as legislated under the Municipal Act, 2001 or any other Act and at the same time recognizes that the delegation of powers and duties may provide for improved efficiencies, the utilization of a particular expertise or enhanced engagement.

In determining any delegation of its powers and duties, Council shall abide by the legislative restrictions and shall also ensure that such delegation will be accomplished maintaining the principles of accountability and transparency.


The Municipal Act, 2001 requires that all municipalities adopt and maintain a policy with respect to the delegation of municipal powers and duties.  The purpose of this policy is to set out the scope of the powers and duties which Council may delegate and to establish principles governing such delegation.

Policy Requirements:

  1. Delegations of municipal powers and duties shall be authorized by by-law, except where deemed minor in nature, in which case the delegation may be authorized by resolution of Council. All delegations by-law shall be in accordance with the provisions and restrictions established under the Municipal Act, 2001.
  2. A delegation of a municipal power or duty to a person or body shall establish the scope of power applicable to the delegation in accordance with the Municipal Act, 2001.
  3. A person or body to whom a municipal power or duty has been delegated has no authority to further delegate any such power or duty, unless such sub-delegation is expressly permitted within the scope of the initial delegation.
  4. Delegation of a municipal power or duty shall include, where appropriate, a determination of whether such delegated authority will be subject to an appeal process and if so, a determination of the individual or body which will address such appeals.
  5. Procedures shall be established for all delegations of a municipal power or duty , including but not limited to:
    a. the manner in which the delegate’s actions and decisions will be transparent to the public; and
    b. the manner in which the delegate will provide ongoing reports to Council which shall confirm compliance with the delegated authority and advise of the status of the business of the delegation.
  6. In exercising any delegated power, the delegate shall ensure:
    a. Any expenditure related to the matter has been provided for in the current year’s budget (or authorized by the purchasing by-law);
    b. The scope of the delegated authority shall not be exceeded by the delegate;
    c. Compliance with all Corporate policies, including those relating to purchasing, insurance and risk management; and
    d. The consistent and equitable application of council policies and guidelines.
  7. Delegation of a power or duty to an officer, employee or agent of the municipality shall be subject to the approval of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).
  8. All delegations of municipal powers and duties shall be listed in Schedule A which shall be amended as required to incorporate ongoing determinations of Council with respect to such delegations.

Corporate Values
This policy is also aligned with the corporate values of the town to be accountable, dedicated, honest, innovative, respectful, and to work as a team.


Council may choose to delegate administrative powers and duties to:

  • Individuals (including town staff);
  • Committees of Council;
  • Local boards;
  • Municipal Service Boards; or
  • Municipal Service Corporations (but not legislative or quasi-judicial powers).

Council may choose to delegate legislative and quasi-judicial powers and duties to:

  • One or more members of the municipal Council or a Council committee;
  • A body having at least 2 members, of which at least half are Council members, Council appointees, or combination of Council members or Council appointees;
  • An individual who is an officer, employee or agent of the municipality (if the power delegated is of a “minor nature” as it applies to legislative powers).

Council is not authorized to delegate any of the following powers:

  • The power to appoint or remove from office, statutory officers of the municipality
  • The power to pass a by-law and deal with issues relating to taxes.
  • The power to incorporate municipal corporations.
  • The power to adopt an Official Plan or an amendment to the Official Plan.
  • The power to pass a zoning by-law.
  • The power to pass a by-law related to small business counselling and municipal capital facilities.
  • The power to adopt a community improvement plan.
  • The power to adopt or amend the budget of the municipality.
  • Any other power or duty that may be prescribed.

Council may choose to revoke a delegation of power at any time or Council may delegate a power and specify that it cannot be revoked during the term of Council.


Legislative Powers - Includes all matters where council acts in a legislative or quasi judicial function including enacting by-laws, setting policies, and exercising decision making authority.

Administrative Powers - Includes all matters required for the management of the corporation which do not involve discretionary decision making.

Policy details

Policy Number: G-GEN-010
Section: Governance
Sub-Section: General
Author: Clerk's Department
Authority: Council
Effective Date: 2007 Dec 03
Review by Date: 2017
Last Modified: 2012 Jul 09