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CBO's Authorities and Independence

January 2023

CBO’s Author­i­ties:

  • Issue an order to uncov­er under cer­tain con­di­tions, if he/​she has rea­son to believe that part of the build­ing that is cov­ered or enclosed has not been con­struct­ed in com­pli­ance with the BCA or the Build­ing Code (sub­sec­tion 13(6) of the BCA)
  • Issue a stop work order if an order made under sec­tion 12 or 13 of the BCA is not com­plied with (sub­sec­tion 14(1) of the BCA)
  • Amend, rescind and enforce a stop work order and any asso­ci­at­ed order made by a reg­is­tered code agency (sub­sec­tions 14(7) and (8) of the BCA)
  • Issue an order pro­hibit­ing use or occu­pan­cy of a build­ing, if an unsafe order made by an inspec­tor is not com­plied with (sub­sec­tion 15.9(6) of the BCA)
  • Author­i­ty to repair or demol­ish a build­ing to remove an unsafe con­di­tion for the pro­tec­tion of the pub­lic (clause 15.9(6)(b) of the BCA)
  • Issue an emer­gency order if an inspec­tor is sat­is­fied that a build­ing pos­es an imme­di­ate dan­ger to the health and safe­ty of any per­son (sub­sec­tion 15.10(1) of the BCA)
  • Take any mea­sures nec­es­sary to ter­mi­nate the imme­di­ate dan­ger regard­ing the sub­ject of an emer­gency order and enter upon the land and into the build­ing any time with­out a war­rant (sub­sec­tion 15.10(3) of the BCA)

CBO’s inde­pen­dence:

  • The del­e­ga­tion of author­i­ty to the chief build­ing offi­cial (CBO) comes direct­ly from provin­cial statute; it is not a del­e­ga­tion from the province to or through the munic­i­pal coun­cil. There­fore, once the CBO is appoint­ed to the posi­tion by munic­i­pal coun­cil the respon­si­bil­i­ties relat­ing to the issuance of per­mits are sole­ly those of the CBO.
  • The duties car­ried out by the CBO in rela­tion to the issuance of build­ing, con­di­tion­al, demo­li­tion and change in use per­mits are imposed direct­ly by the provin­cial Leg­is­la­ture and they are con­sid­ered to be for the ben­e­fit of the pub­lic, unlike those of a munic­i­pal employ­ee whose duties are sole­ly for the ben­e­fit of the municipality.
  • A CBO is quite dif­fer­ent from oth­er munic­i­pal employ­ees. Under sec­tion 3 of the BCA, a munic­i­pal coun­cil is respon­si­ble for the enforce­ment of the statute and is oblig­ed to appoint a CBO and such oth­er inspec­tors as are required. There­fore, by virtue of sub­sec­tions 3(1) and (2) of the BCA, a CBO is imbued with a unique legal sta­tus as a per­sona des­ig­na­ta. A CBO is con­sid­ered to be a statu­to­ry offi­cial by virtue of his or her role rel­a­tive to the BCA.
  • A CBO is con­sid­ered a statu­to­ry offi­cer, or per­sona des­ig­na­ta, rather than a munic­i­pal employ­ee by virtue of the nature of his or her posi­tion, which allows for the exer­cise of dis­cre­tionary author­i­ty and to direct the activ­i­ties of oth­ers who are under his or her control.
  • The Build­ing Code Act is clear in the duties and pow­ers assigned to the Chief Build­ing Offi­cial. The Act was revised and strength­ened in 2017 after the Elliot Lake Com­mis­sion of Inquiry report clar­i­fy­ing the inde­pen­dence of chief build­ing offi­cials from munic­i­pal council.