Whereas Section 369 of The Municipalities Act allows municipalities to add specific unpaid charges to tax rolls and Section 370 of The Municipalities Act allows municipalities to apply to the courts for an injunction or other order for specific bylaw contraventions; and
Whereas small urban municipalities are beginning to hire outside companies to perform bylaw enforcement services instead of doing the enforcement themselves; and
Whereas small urban municipalities do not have the same monetary and administrative resources as larger urban municipalities to effectively collect fines issued for bylaw infractions, which includes spending general municipal funds for legal fees and making applications to the court, as outlined in Section 370 of The Municipalities Act; and
Whereas the dollar amount of certain fines for bylaw infractions would be used up to pay for legal fees, which would defeat the purpose of fine issuance; and
Whereas ratepayers who commit bylaw infractions need more motivation to take corrective action; and
Whereas there are an increasingly large number of rental homes within smaller municipalities, and some tenants cause bylaw infractions without any consequence or motivation for landlords to ensure that their tenants are abiding by municipal bylaws;
Therefore be it resolved that the SUMA encourage the provincial government to amend Section 369 of The Municipalities Act to allow municipalities to add the cost of unpaid fines related to bylaw enforcement to the tax roll, and to add unpaid fines of a tenant to the tax roll of the owner, given proper notice.
Smaller urban communities have been hiring bylaw enforcement officers more frequently in an attempt to clear up issues that tend to plague small towns, such as junked vehicles, parking infractions, untidy yards, etc. The Municipalities Act allows for municipalities to issue Orders to Remedy for properties, and further, allows for associated costs related to the remediation of properties to be added to the tax roll. However, other bylaw infractions, such as parking violations, nuisance animals, noise violations, and many other infractions are issued fines. Unfortunately, fines tend to go unpaid, and without the municipality spending the administrative time and money to retrieve the money from the ratepayer by legal means, the fine will most likely remain unpaid. Larger urban centres have many more resources at their disposal to effectively enforce their bylaws, and more capacity to make use the court system to receive fine payment and bylaw compliance.