|Brief Historic of Municipal Legislation (Histoire abrégée de la législation municipale)||
In 1855, there is the creation, through a general law, of the institution of the municipality (Baldwin Law). At that time, there were already two levels: Parishes/Villages/Cities. Nowadays: local municipality and township equivalent today to the regional municipality (MRC), with certain responsibilities inter-municipal). In 1870, adoption of a municipal code (that still exists today) for the rural world. In 1876, adoption of the Act of the cities and towns for the urban world (Cities and towns are not distinct nowadays). These two laws conferred different powers (ex. aqueduct in the cities, agricultural inspectors in the countryside). Often amended since, there are many connections but also fewer distinctions although less and less, we predict the overhaul of both laws into one. Institutions created to control municipal institutions: In 1918, creation of the Minister of Municipal Affairs. In 1932, creation of the Municipal Commission (administrative and quasi-judiciary organism surveying the application of certain laws). In 1971, creation of the Bureau de révision de l’évaluation foncière (BREF), now integrated to the Tribunal administratif du Québec (TAQ). Several cities have a Charter (old meaning) including Montreal, which may confer some additional special powers. These are so-called "private", laws which are not of general application. The rule nowadays is that a municipality is governed by its Charter interpreted strictly and otherwise by relevant law interpreted more broadly, to which the Charter is often referred to. There are also patent letters, which are based on a slightly different model.
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