The Financial Plan
The Municipal Act requires council to adopt a financial plan for each year consisting of:
an operating budget, a capital budget, an estimate of operating revenue and expenditures for the following fiscal year, a five-year capital expenditure program. Council is required to give public notice and hold a public hearing before adopting the plan. A signed copy of the plan is to be filed with the Provincial Minister each year in a form approved by the minister. Please view the folder below for our Financial Plans and presentations.
Purpose of the Public Hearing
The purpose of the public hearing on the financial plan is to help municipalities inform the public about the financial situation of the municipality and to assist the public to understand how tax dollars are being spent. The public hearing gives the public the opportunity to speak to the plan and ask questions about the plan, and also gives council the opportunity to respond to those questions.
The Municipal Act requires Council to appoint an auditor each year and inform the Minister. Subsection 186(1) sets out the scope of the auditor’s examination respecting the financial statements, financial information returns, records, books of account and other information relating to the financial affairs of the municipality including (but not limited to):
- any funds of the municipality held in trust for the municipality
- any board, committee or other body that is established or appointed by the council and that administers funds of the municipality, and
- any organization or other body to which the municipality has made a grant or a loan of $5,000 or more, and on which the municipality is represented by at least one person appointed by council.
The auditor is required to report to Council each year following the year for which the audit is prepared. The auditor is required to ensure that a copy of the audit report is given to the head of council and the minister. The Municipality is required to give public notice that the audit has been received and is available for public viewing.
Approvals of Deficits and Transfers
- Councils are required to obtain written approval of the Minister (or the Minister’s designate) for all budgeted deficits and for all actual deficits in the General Operating Fund. These budgeted deficits will occur when total estimated expenditures exceed total estimated revenues and transfers in the annual budget of the General Operating Fund.
- Councils are required to obtain approval of The Public Utilities Board for all budgeted deficits in the Utility Operating Fund and for all actual deficits in the Utility Operating Fund.
- The Accumulated Surplus and General Reserve Regulation (Regulation 49/97) establishes limitations on amounts which may be transferred from accumulated surplus or general reserves without approval from the minister (or the minister’s designate).