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Municipal - Toronto

As Toronto as a city is essentially half of the population of Ontario, it has a separate municipal act: [City of Toronto Act, 2006].

. Karygiannis v. Toronto (City)

In Karygiannis v. Toronto (City) (Ont CA, 2020) the Court of Appeal canvasses the City of Toronto election campaign financial rules and related legal sanctions for breach:
2. THE RULES GOVERNING CANDIDATES’ CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENSES

A. LIMITS ON CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENSES

[11] The Act includes rules governing a City Council candidate’s campaign income and expenses and penalties for contravening those rules.

[12] There is no rule against raising more income than required to cover the candidate’s allowable expenses, but all surplus funds must be paid to the City at the end of the election campaign period.

[13] The Act prohibits candidates from exceeding the spending limits allowed under the formulae prescribed by the Minister.

[14] For the purposes of this appeal, there are three relevant categories of expenses: general spending, expressions of appreciation, and fundraising.

[15] Spending allocations are tied to the number of electors in the ward. According to the prescribed formula, the respondent was informed that he was allowed:
(a) General expenses of up to $61,207.80;

(b) Expressions of appreciation expenses of up to 10% of the general spending limit, or $6,120.80; and

(c) Fundraising expenses that are not subject to any spending limit.
[16] Section 88.8(2) of the Act provides that a candidate can only receive contributions during a campaign period, which, in the case of this election, ended on December 31, 2018. However, under subparagraph 5 of s. 88.24(1), the election campaign period is deemed to re-commence if, among other things, the candidate incurs expenses related to a compliance audit.

B. FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE TO THE CITY

[17] Section 88.25 provides that all campaign expenses are required to be listed in a financial statement provided to the City Clerk. A campaign expense is defined in s. 88.19 as the cost of goods or services used in the campaign.

[18] If a candidate files a supplementary financial statement, the supplementary financial statement may update what was in the first financial statement but cannot change the information in the first financial statement: s. 88.25(6).

[19] Councillors may make corrections to a financial statement provided those corrections are made before the filing deadline: s. 88.25(3).

C. PROCESS FOR ELECTOR COMPLAINTS

[20] An elector may file an application with the City Clerk for a compliance audit if the elector believes on reasonable grounds that a candidate has contravened a provision of the Act relating to election campaign finances. The City Clerk is then required to forward the application to a three-member compliance audit committee comprised of members of the public appointed before the election.

[21] Within 30 days of the committee’s receipt of the application, the committee must decide whether to grant the application and provide brief written reasons for their decision. The decision to grant the application may be appealed to the Superior Court of Justice within 15 days after the decision is made, and the court may make any decision the committee could have made: ss. 88.33(7)-(9).

[22] If the committee decides to grant the application for an audit, it appoints an auditor licensed under the Public Accounting Act, 2004, S.O. 2004, c. 8, to conduct a compliance audit of the candidate's election campaign finances. The auditor must provide a report to the compliance audit committee outlining any apparent contravention of the Act by the candidate.

[23] If the auditor’s report finds there was an apparent contravention of the Act, the compliance audit committee is required to decide whether to commence a legal proceeding against the candidate. The committee must provide brief reasons for the decision: ss. 88.33(17)-(18).

[24] Legal proceedings for Municipal Elections Act offences are brought before the Ontario Court of Justice: s. 92(2).

D. TWO DIFFERENT PROCESSES AND TWO DIFFERENT PENALTIES

[25] Sections 88.23(1)(c) and (2) of the Act provide that when a candidate files a document that shows on its face that the candidate incurred expenses exceeding the allowable expenses, the candidate forfeits his or her office and is ineligible to be elected again until the next election has taken place.

[26] The full section reads as follows:
Effect of default by candidate

88.23 (1) A candidate is subject to the penalties listed in subsection (2), in addition to any other penalty that may be imposed under this Act,

(a) if the candidate fails to file a document as required under section 88.25 or 88.32 by the relevant date;

(b) if a document filed under section 88.25 shows on its face a surplus, as described in section 88.31, and the candidate fails to pay the amount required by subsection 88.31 (4) to the clerk by the relevant date;

(c) if a document filed under section 88.25 shows on its face that the candidate has incurred expenses exceeding what is permitted under section 88.20; or

(d) if a document filed under section 88.32 shows on its face a surplus and the candidate fails to pay the amount required by that section by the relevant date.

Penalties

(2) Subject to subsection (7), in the case of a default described in subsection (1),

(a) the candidate forfeits any office to which he or she was elected and the office is deemed to be vacant; and

(b) until the next regular election has taken place, the candidate is ineligible to be elected or appointed to any office to which this Act applies.
[27] The compliance audit committee may also decide to commence legal proceedings where a candidate appears to have committed an offence pursuant to s. 92(1). Section 92(1) reads as follows:
92 (1) A candidate is guilty of an offence and, on conviction, in addition to any other penalty that may be imposed under this Act, is subject to the penalties described in subsection 88.23 (2),

(a) if the candidate incurs expenses that exceed the amount determined for the office under section 88.20; or

(b) if the candidate files a document under section 88.25 or 88.32 that is incorrect or otherwise does not comply with that section.
[28] Legal proceedings are brought before the Ontario Court of Justice. In such case, the candidate may be subject not only to the penalties listed above, but also a fine of up to $25,000, repayment of any excess amount, and/or up to six months’ imprisonment.

[29] In a prosecution under s. 92, if the judge finds that the candidate, acting in good faith, committed the offence inadvertently or simply made an error in judgment (together referred to as “the good faith exception”), the penalties described in subsection 88.23(2) do not apply: s. 92(2). The good faith exception affords additional protection in circumstances where a candidate faces greater jeopardy from penalties that can be imposed upon conviction for a s. 92 Act offence.
. Weisdorf v. Toronto

In Weisdorf v. Toronto (Ont CA, 2020) the Court of Appeal usefully sets out the legal basis of the current (2020) parking regime in Toronto:
(1) The parking bylaw is not ultra vires, nor does it conflict with either the Provincial Offences Act or the Statutory Powers Procedure Act

[6] The City of Toronto enacted the parking bylaw under explicit statutory authority. Section 81(1) of the City of Toronto Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, c. 11, Sched. A, authorizes the City “to require a person to pay an administrative penalty if the City is satisfied that the person has failed to comply with any by-laws respecting the parking, standing on stopping of vehicles”. Administrative Penalties, O. Reg. 611/06 was enacted in 2006, allowing the City to exercise its powers under s. 81(1) to establish an administrative penalty system. In 2017, the City enacted the parking bylaw pursuant to O. Reg. 611/06.

[7] The appellant recognizes that there is express statutory authority for the making of the bylaw. His concern, however, is not the adoption of the administrative penalty system for parking infractions, but that parking infractions were previously dealt with under the Provincial Offences Act. A major feature of several of his arguments is the fact that the substantive and procedural rights under the Provincial Offences Act are no longer available and have been replaced by an administrative system.

[8] He submits that subordinate legislation cannot remove rights without express language showing that is the legislature’s intent. He does not consider the express language of s. 81 of the Act to be explicit enough. He submits that it was necessary that s. 81 include a provision that, upon the adoption of the administrative penalty system, the Provincial Offences Act would no longer apply to parking infractions. He is mistaken in that submission. The unambiguous and explicit language of s. 81(1) of the City of Toronto Act, 2006 demonstrates the legislative intent to authorize the adoption of the administrative penalty system. The legislative intent is also readily apparent from the enactment of s. 102.1(1) of the Municipal Act, 2001, S.O. 2001, c. 25, which authorizes all municipalities to adopt an administrative penalty system for parking infractions.

[9] He is similarly mistaken in his other arguments. He argues that the parking bylaw is inconsistent with the Provincial Offences Act and the Statutory Powers Procedure Act and that these statutes are paramount over the parking bylaw.

[10] As the application judge explained, the Provincial Offences Act does not apply to the parking bylaw, and the bylaw is expressly made compliant with the Statutory Powers Procedure Act. Chapter 610 of the City of Toronto Municipal Code, as amended by the parking bylaw, directs that all reviews conducted by a hearing officer “shall be in accordance with the Statutory Powers and Procedures Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. S.22, [sic] as amended”: § 610-2.3(K).



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