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What we do
Legal, Realty and Court Services offer strategic legal advice and guidance to City Council and City staff, ensure accountability and transparency, protect the City’s interests, manage corporate risk, and provide realty services for the corporation. This department also delivers the administrative, prosecutorial and court support functions as prescribed under the Provincial Offences Act.
Why we do it
In line with the City’s Working Together for Our Future Strategic Plan priority, we continue to develop strong, productive and collaborative relationships with City Council, Executive Team, Corporate Management Team, and client departments in order to support the delivery of municipal services.
We also support the Building our Future pillar by providing mandatory court services under our agreement with the Province of Ontario. These services are provided in accordance with the principles of justice and legislative and provincial policy requirements and ensure public access to justice.
2021 to 2024+ initiatives
- Update and modernize the City’s contract templates to protect the City’s interests in its dealings with external contractors in collaboration with the Finance department.
- Purchase and implement a new corporate contract management software solution to improve the process and technology, in collaboration with the Information Technology Department.
- Provide advice and support to the Baker District Redevelopment Project Steering Committee and project manager regarding legal agreements and property acquisitions.
- Provide advice and support regarding required changes to the City’s Development Charges Bylaw and Parkland Dedication Bylaw, and the drafting and implementation of a new community benefits charge bylaw, in light of the Bill 108 amendments.
- Complete a governance review of the Guelph Cemetery Commission, propose a new corporate structure, and modernize the partnership agreement.
- Provide realty-related advice and support for the negotiations and sale of City-owned property within the Hanlon Creek Business Park.
- Review of various applications governed by the Provincial Offences Act, reviewing Part I offences, and registering convictions with the passing of Bill 177, Stronger, Fairer Ontario Act, 2017.
- Migrate the court system to a virtual platform to allow for remote appearances for any party to a court proceeding, enhancing accessibility, innovating the court environment and driving the future of the judicial system for Provincial Offences Act courts.
- Transfer the Part III charges from the Province to the City of Guelph pursuant to Bill 177, Stronger, Fairer Ontario Act, 2017.
- Participate in the implementation and administration of red light cameras at six intersections throughout the City of Guelph, enhancing road safety.
Operating budget—Revenues and expenses
2021 budget impacts
$19,400 or 1.2% net decrease in budget in 2021 due :
- $150,000 increase in fine revenue related to the implementation of red light cameras partially offset by expected increased claim processing expenses; the balance of revenue is transferred to the Traffic department to fund remaining costs of implementation.
- $75,000 decrease in parking fine revenue offset by decrease in chargeback to Corporate and Community Security due to the closure of one parking lot and legislative change in fine structure.
- Remaining budget changes are inflationary in nature.
2022 to 2024 budget impacts
$65,970 net budget increase in 2022 to 2024 mainly due to:
- Inflationary cost pressures.
- Part-time permanent Prosecutor position in Court Services due to Bill 177 changes.
- Red light camera clerk position expected in 2022 once this program is annualized and volume claims are known.
- Increasing fine revenue, most notably from the red light camera implementation, used to fund this program.