Enhancing HRM’s ability to deliver programs and services

Natural Person Powers - The municipality wants the ability to have more opportunity and flexibility to deliver programs and services and to be more responsive to local needs. Enabling a legal power known as Natural Person Powers (NPPs), in the HRM Charter would help the municipality accomplish this.

The Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) Charter is the document that sets out what HRM can and cannot do – similar to a constitution. The Province of Nova Scotia created the HRM Charter and it includes lists of powers and responsibilities that the municipality either must or can undertake. If something is not included in the HRM Charter or other legislation that applies to HRM (e.eg, Motor Vehicle Act, Halifax Marketing Levy Act), then HRM cannot do it.

Natural Person Powers (NPPs) are legal powers that would allow HRM to do anything an individual can do. So instead of sections in the law that say what HRM can do - a “laundry list” of allowable actions – NPPs would instead take a more permissive approach by letting HRM do anything that a person can do under the law and then setting limitations on that.

Since NPPs would give HRM powers similar to the rights and abilities of individuals, they do not include the power to tax or make laws (as those are things individuals do not have the right to do). For example, an individual cannot impose a neighbourhood area rate or make a noise bylaw; but they can give grants and loans, issue shares, enter into mortgages, and lease or sell property. These are powers HRM currently does not have, or has in only a limited way subject to a number of restrictions in the HRM Charter.

Examples of Natural Person Powers (NPPs)
Example 1:
A person can buy, own and use property, buy shares or incorporate a business. These are Natural Person Powers (NPPS).

Example 2: Individuals can give grants and loans, create non-profit organizations, enter into mortgages, and lease or sell property. These are powers the municipality either does not currently have, or only has in a limited way.

What is not a Natural Person Power?
A person cannot create laws or legislation. Since NPPs cover the rights and abilities of individuals, they do not include the power to tax or make laws (as those are things individuals do not have the right to do).
Example 1: An individual cannot impose a neighbourhood area rate or make a noise By-Law.

Municipalities in many other parts of Canada have NPPs. A background paper explaining NPPs in more detail, including examples of how other municipalities have used them, has been developed as a resource.

Natural Person Powers - The municipality wants the ability to have more opportunity and flexibility to deliver programs and services and to be more responsive to local needs. Enabling a legal power known as Natural Person Powers (NPPs), in the HRM Charter would help the municipality accomplish this.

The Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) Charter is the document that sets out what HRM can and cannot do – similar to a constitution. The Province of Nova Scotia created the HRM Charter and it includes lists of powers and responsibilities that the municipality either must or can undertake. If something is not included in the HRM Charter or other legislation that applies to HRM (e.eg, Motor Vehicle Act, Halifax Marketing Levy Act), then HRM cannot do it.

Natural Person Powers (NPPs) are legal powers that would allow HRM to do anything an individual can do. So instead of sections in the law that say what HRM can do - a “laundry list” of allowable actions – NPPs would instead take a more permissive approach by letting HRM do anything that a person can do under the law and then setting limitations on that.

Since NPPs would give HRM powers similar to the rights and abilities of individuals, they do not include the power to tax or make laws (as those are things individuals do not have the right to do). For example, an individual cannot impose a neighbourhood area rate or make a noise bylaw; but they can give grants and loans, issue shares, enter into mortgages, and lease or sell property. These are powers HRM currently does not have, or has in only a limited way subject to a number of restrictions in the HRM Charter.

Examples of Natural Person Powers (NPPs)
Example 1:
A person can buy, own and use property, buy shares or incorporate a business. These are Natural Person Powers (NPPS).

Example 2: Individuals can give grants and loans, create non-profit organizations, enter into mortgages, and lease or sell property. These are powers the municipality either does not currently have, or only has in a limited way.

What is not a Natural Person Power?
A person cannot create laws or legislation. Since NPPs cover the rights and abilities of individuals, they do not include the power to tax or make laws (as those are things individuals do not have the right to do).
Example 1: An individual cannot impose a neighbourhood area rate or make a noise By-Law.

Municipalities in many other parts of Canada have NPPs. A background paper explaining NPPs in more detail, including examples of how other municipalities have used them, has been developed as a resource.