“Bylaw” – means a law of the municipality passed by the municipal council. “Municipal Acts” or “Municipal Legislation” – refers to The Municipalities Act. Authority to Pass By-laws Under the Canadian Constitution, the Provinces have the authority to create municipalities and to delegate to them certain law-making powers. Laws which municipalities are permitted to pass are called by-laws. Municipalities may pass by-laws within the authority provided through legislation.
The authority to pass by-laws is limited in some cases by requiring the approval of a Provincial Government Ministry or agency (ex. zoning by-laws). In other cases, the authority is limited by the fact that some bylaws must be advertised before taking effect (ex. closing of streets). The authority of council to pass by-laws may be further controlled or limited. Electors may require the council to submit a by-law to a vote of the electors. When a by-law is put to a vote in this fashion, the results of the vote are binding. A by-law passed under these circumstances can only be amended or repealed by following very specific procedures.
Municipal by-laws shall not conflict with or infringe upon legislation or regulations enacted by government. Provincial and Federal levels of Government have passed many laws dealing with public order, health, safety, and so on. These provincial and federal rules (ex. The Criminal Code of Canada) would take precedence over any local by-laws.