City Council has an array of powers and can assume many roles, even for a single project, including:
- Legislative: enacting bylaws and making resolutions
- Business: managing municipal assets (including real estate) and their purchase and sale
- "Quasi-judicial": sitting as an administrative tribunal
There are situations where Council's legislative decisions, such as enacting a zoning bylaw, will affect the City's business interests, such as the sale of land. The Courts have ruled that these conflicts are inevitable and that Council must carefully separate its business and legislative functions to manage the potential conflict.
For example, where Council is considering a project involving a sale of land, and there may be a financial benefit to the City if the land is rezoned, Council must act in good faith and consider the proposal with an open mind. Each councillor must determine whether they believe the purchase or sale of land is in the best interests of the City. For details, read about public hearings.