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Jan 27 2011

local government act

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The new Act provides for broad corporate powers, broad service powers and enhanced planning powers while ensuring strong accountability to citizens.

When the local government intends to incur a liability for more than five years, the public must be given the opportunity to counter petition.

Counter petitions are generally used in less controversial matters as a litmus test of public opinion. Under a counter petition, the local government may proceed with an action unless five per cent of the electors petition against it within a set deadline. If more than five per cent petition against,
the local government cannot proceed with the action until it has received elector approval through a vote.
Counter petitions are typically used for electoral approval of:
• exchange of parkland,
• long-term agreements,
• long-term capital borrowing, or
• long-term property tax exemptions.

The requirements for the use of counter petitions have been clarified, and the Act makes it an offense to knowingly provide misleading information.

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