A by-law is the municipal version of an Act of the provincial legislature or federal parliament; it reflects the law within the territory of the municipality. The Municipal Act provides that if a council is expressly required or authorized to do something by by-law, it may do it only by by-law.
- does council have the authority to deal with the matter (is it within the power of municipal government to legislate);
- what does the by-law propose to accomplish;
- is the by-law necessary and reasonable;
- how is it to be implemented and enforced (is council prepared to enforce it consistently; can it be reasonably enforced);
- what cost will be involved in administering the by-law (can existing staff reasonably be expected to absorb the additional responsibilities or will additional staff be required);
- what will the impact be on the community; and
- will it impose restrictions or hardships on particular areas or groups of people, and how will council deal with the public reaction.