Resort Municipality - Municipal Government Act
The new Municipal Government Act sets out specific requirements for the Resort Municipality including annual meetings, budgeting, council composition and voter eligibility.
An annual meeting of residents will not be required, although municipalities could, through a procedural bylaw, determine that they would start or continue to hold this type of public meeting.
All municipalities will be on the same fiscal year of April to March. Financial plans that include an operating budget, capital budget, and 5-year capital plan will need to be approved by March 31 (prior to the start of each fiscal year) and submitted to the Province by April 15 of that fiscal year.
After a holding a public meeting to receive comments from the public, budgets will be approved by council without a requirement for public voting. Tax rates will be set by resolution after the approval of the financial plan and will be submitted to the Province by March 31.
Eligibility to vote will be extended to:
- Individuals over the age of 18 who are Canadian citizens, have lived in PEI for the six-month period before the day of the election, and who are ordinarily resident in the Resort on the day of the election; and
- Non-resident property electors (those who are not ordinarily resident but who are the registered owner of land in the municipality on or before the day of the election); or
- In the case of non-resident property electors who are a corporation or a co-operative association, the individual who has been designated as the voter on behalf of the corporation or co-operative association.
Eligibility for Candidates
The Resort Municipality will continue to be able to have regular residents and non-resident property electors as councillors. However, where a non-resident property elector is a corporation or an incorporated co-operative association, only an individual has an ownership or membership interest of at least 25 per cent in the corporation or incorporated co-operative association and meets all other nomination criteria for candidacy in the Resort Municipality is permitted to be nominated as a candidate.
At least half of the council members of the Resort Municipality will be required to be ordinarily resident in the municipality. Elections in the Resort Municipality will take place in August and the new council will take office in September.
Changes over Time
The Resort Municipality will be continued under the new Act, but no new resort municipalities will be permitted. If the number of qualified electors were ever to exceed 2,000 people, the Minister may recommend to the Lieutenant Governor in Council that the Resort Municipality be converted to a regular municipality.
Existing Legislation: What’s in Place Currently
The Resort Municipality holds elections in August and the new council takes office in September. At least two seats on council must be filled by full-time residents who are not ‘temporary residents.’
The Resort holds an annual meeting in August. During the meeting, the budget is approved on a service by service basis by residents and eligible temporary residents.
The voting privileges for qualifying residents are extended to ‘temporary residents’ including landowners in the resort area who are seasonal residents, operators of a business enterprise in the area, or farmers who live outside the area but who own and farm land in the area.
The Municipalities Act allows for the creation of new resort municipalities.