About the By-Laws
By-laws implemented by a municipality are a continuation of the law and are necessary for the smooth running of the community. By-laws are the result of careful consideration and analysis and relate to the competences allocated to a city.
By-laws and the by-law adoption process may appear complex at first. Here is some information to learn more about by-laws.
Three types of by-laws can be implemented:
- general by-laws;
- urban planning by-laws;
- loan by-laws.
The by-law adoption process differs depending on the type of by-law.
Notice of motion and filing a draft by-law
In general, the adoption of any by-law must be preceded by a notice of motion and the filing of a draft by-law. Whereas the notice of motion announces an upcoming by-law and provides a brief description of the by-law, the draft by-law contains the text of the by-law that will be submitted for approval by the council. The notice of motion may be given and the draft by-law may be filed at the same meeting or at separate meetings.
The notice of motion is not submitted for a vote by the council and does not require a notice to be published.
Any draft by-law may be amended after being presented to the council without it being necessary to present it again. Amendments made to the by-law submitted for adoption must not change the subject stipulated in the filed draft.
Copies of the draft by-law are made available for consultation by the public as soon as possible after being filed with the council, including on the website under Current Draft By-Laws.
Adoption of the by-law
The adoption of the by-law must take place at a separate meeting from the meeting in which the notice of motion was given and the meeting in which the draft-law was filed. At least two days must lapse between the adoption of the by-law and the last meeting during which the notice of motion was given and/or the draft by-law was filed.
The clerk or a council member must, before adoption of the by-law, specify the subject and, if applicable, any amendments between the draft filed and the by-law submitted.
It is compulsory to keep a register when adopting loan by-laws, unless the law provides otherwise. This register enables each resident to object to a loan by-law by affixing his or her signature in the register.
If the number of signatories is lower than the number required for register-keeping, the by-law is considered to have been approved by the voters. However, if the number is reached, the clerk reports this to the council at the next meeting following the register-keeping, and the council may decide to hold a referendum vote on the by-law.
A minor variance is an objection procedure which enables work that does not comply with the provisions of urban planning by-laws to be authorized or standardized. It provides solutions to special situations which may not have been identified in advance in the by-law.
Conditions to be observed:
- the application does not relate to use or density of land use;
- the application is not located in a constraint area (flood-prone area, landslide-prone area, etc.);
- the application complies with the objectives of the urban planning plan;
- the application does not apply to damage to neighbouring properties;
- compliance with the by-law would cause serious damage to the applicant;
- if the work has already been carried out or is in the process of being carried out, a permit must have been obtained for such work and the work must have been carried out in good faith.
As a general rule, you should allow six to eight weeks for the administrative handling of this type of application.
Only official texts of by-laws have legal weight. To obtain an official copy, you must file an access to information request.
Residents have a fundamental right to present a petition to their elected representatives since this is a practical way for residents to raise grievances or concerns with the municipal council. Petitions encourage residents to express their wishes and needs and participate in the democratic process.
For a petition to be representative, it must have a significant number of signatures. It must also include the following information:
- Clearly set out the goal of the petition without being misleading. This information must be identically copied on each page of the petition.
- Be signed by individuals over 18 who:
- Are residents of Châteauguay or are directly affected by the subject of the petition as they work in Châteauguay, drive through the city, etc.
- Observe the maximum 90-day time limit to collect these signatures.
- State the name of the spokesperson (or “main petitioner”) and his or her contact details.
A petition must relate to an issue that falls under the municipal council’s remit. In other words, the subject must be a municipal competence rather than a provincial or federal competence.
Here is the information that must be provided by the signatories of the petition:
Name Address Signature Date In capital Letters 5, boul. D’Youville
Châteauguay (Québec) J6J 2P8
I confirm that I am over 18 ans live at the stated address January 1, 2020
It may be interesting to obtain signatures from residents, merchants and businesses in the municipality so that the project is supported by a representative group of the population.
Your petition must be handed over to the Service du greffe de la Ville. When you hand over the petition, you may request confirmation of receipt.
You may then file your petition with a municipal councillor who may support you before the municipal council.
Finally, you may attend a municipal council meeting to highlight the interests of the community in this project during the question session.