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Jody E. Johnson

Partner Admitted to the Ontario Bar: 2008

Jody brings an intimate knowledge of the issues that municipalities face on a daily basis. Her previous experience as a Chief Administrative Officer and Clerk and also as a Municipal Advisor with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing gives her a strategic understanding of her clients’ business. Her ability to tackle the unique and challenging issues has made her a go-to advisor and litigator in the areas of municipal and land use planning law.

As a member of the firm’s Municipal & Land Use Planning Group, Jody provides advice and representation to municipalities as well as to members of council and to property owners. Much of her practice is comprised of work in the areas of municipal governance, Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, by-law drafting and enforcement, defending challenges to by-laws, municipal finance, property tax matters, expropriations and municipal election law.

Jody’s municipal finance experience includes matters relative to property tax policy and tax assessment issues, development charges, municipal capital facilities, budgeting and capital/infrastructure project management.

She appears regularly before municipal authorities and administrative tribunals, including the Ontario Municipal Board, Assessment Review Board and Environmental Review Tribunal, and before all levels of the Ontario Courts. Jody also appeared at the Supreme Court of Canada on behalf of a municipality.

Prior to joining the firm, Jody was a municipal Chief Administrative Officer and Clerk where, among other things, she oversaw a municipal restructuring. As well, she spent several years as a municipal advisor with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. After her law school graduation, Jody articled at the City of Windsor, where she assisted with a variety of matters  Jody is a popular and regular speaker at municipal industry conferences and has enjoyed teaching Municipal Law at the law school at the University of Windsor. 

Awards & Recognition

  • AMCT designation (Accredited Municipal Clerk Treasurer) from the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario

Professional Involvement

Professional Activities

  • Chair, Cambridge Forums, “Planning and Development: The Emerging Leaders’ Forum” (November 2014 - November 2016)
  • Past President, UWO Local Government Program Alumni Society (November 2011 – November 2012)
  • Vice President, UWO Local Government Program Alumni Society (November 2010 – November 2011)
  • Secretary-Treasurer, UWO Local Government Program Alumni Society (November 2009 – November 2010)
  • Chair, 2009 UWO Local Government Alumni Conference Committee
  • Member, UWO Local Government Program Alumni Society Conference Committee (November 2007 – November 2009)
  • Member, AMCTO Municipal Elections Act Project Team (June 2006 – June 2008)
  • Member, AMCTO Legislative Committee (1996 – 2000)

Memberships

  • Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario (AMCTO)
  • Canadian/Ontario Bar Association (Municipal Law and Administrative Law Sections)
  • International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA)
  • Municipal Finance Officers’ Association (MFOA)
  • Ontario Expropriation Association (OEA)

Teaching Engagements

  • Sessional Instructor, Windsor University, Faculty of Law, “Municipal Law” (2015, 2016)
  • Lecturer, Ryerson University, Faculty of Urban and Regional Planning, “Planning Law” (2013, 2014, 2015)
  • Guest Lecturer, York University Faculty of Environmental Studies M.E.S. Program, “The Law of Land Use Planning” (2008, 2009)
  • Instructor, AMCTO Municipal Administration Program (2000, 2001)

Selected Speaking Engagement

“A Primer on Local Distribution Companies for Municipal Professionals,” co-speaker with Scott Stoll, 2017 AMCTO Annual Conference, June 2017.

“Compliance Audit Committees – Changes, Challenges and Cautions,” co-speaker with David Reiter, 2017 AMCTO Annual Conference, June 2017.

“Municipal Case Law Update” 2017 AMCTO Annual Conference, June 2017. 

“Michael J. Smither Memorial Question Box Panel,” Rural Ontario Municipal Association Conference, January 2017.

“Sign-Posts for Responsible Councillors: Tools to Help You Get it Right,” Rural Ontario Municipal Association Conference, January 2017.

“A Primer on LDCs for Municipal Professionals,” Aird & Berlis LLP Municipal Webinar, October 2016.

“The Applicability of Municipal Bylaws & the Federal Court: An SCC Update,” co-speaker with Christopher J. Williams, International Municipal Lawyers Association’s IMLA in Canada Seminar, June 2016.

"Case Law Update," 2016 AMCTO Annual Conference, June 2016.

"Municipal Finance, Keys to Success," co-speaker with Tom Halinski, 2016 AMCTO Annual Conference, June 2016.

"Releasing Councillors’ Personal Records – Has the IPC Opened Pandora’s Box?," Aird & Berlis LLP Municipal Webinar, March 2016.

“The Applicability of Municipal Bylaws & the Federal Court,” co-speaker with Christopher J. Williams, International Municipal Lawyers Association’s 80th Annual Conference, October 2015.
 
“Municipal Capital Facilities,” Ontario Municipal Tax and Revenue Association, Fall Conference 2015, September 2015.

“Environmental Risk – Practical Information & Strategies for Municipalities,” co-speaker with Scott Stoll, Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario (AMCTO) 77th Annual Conference, June 2015.

“Working with Aboriginal Communities,” AMCTO 77th Annual Conference, June 2015.

“Open and Closed Meetings,” Aird & Berlis LLP Municipal Webinar, March 2015.

“Michael J. Smither Memorial Question Box Panel,” Ontario Good Roads Association and Rural Ontario Municipal Association Combined Conference, February 2015.

“Top Ten ‘Legal’ Things a New Councillor Ought to Know […and an experienced Councillor reminded of!],” Ontario West Municipal Conference, December 2014.

Municipal Conflict of Interest Act,” Perth County/Huron County Council Orientation, November 2014.

“Dealing with Frivolous & Vexatious Complaints,” AMCTO Zone 3 Fall Meeting, November 2014.

“Election Finance Issues,” Current Issues in Municipal Elections, Ontario Bar Association, September 2014.

“Tax Sales: What You Won’t Find in Part XI of the Municipal Act,” co-speaker with Mary MacCallum, AMCTO Conference, June 2014.

“Tax Assessment: Issues and Updates,” co-speaker with Carla Y. Nell, AMCTO Conference, June 2014.

“Life After Passing your DC Bylaw,” co-speaker with Gary Scandlan, AMCTO Conference, June 2014.

“Municipal Law Update,” AMCTO Zone 7, May 2014.

“Municipal Law Update,” co-speaker with John Mascarin, Ontario Municipal Administrators’ Association, Annual Spring Workshop, April 2014.

“Municipal Election Enforcement (MEA),” co-speaker with David Reiter, Ontario Bar Association Institute 2014 Conference, February 2014.

“Sale of Municipal Property–How Land Selling Policies Work,” AMCTO 75th Annual Conference, Zone 3, June 2013.

“Development Charges in Small Municipalities,” AMCTO 75th Annual Conference, Zone 3, June 2013.

“The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA),” Peterborough Area Clerks, June 2013.

“Municipal Legislative Tools: Opportunities & Cautions,” Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM)/Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) Conference 2013, May 2013.

“Public Sector Digest City Wide Conference: A Legal Update,” Public Sector Digest, City Wide Ontario User Group Event, May 2013.

“Top 10 Current Issues Municipal Leaders Need to Understand,” District of Parry Sound Municipal Association, Fall Meeting, September 2012.

Municipal Act Review Panel,” “Development Charges: Emerging Trends and Strategies” & “Current Issues in Municipal Law,” AMCTO Annual Meeting and Professional Development Institute, June 2012.

“Municipal Case Law Update,” Ontario Municipal Administrators’ Association, April 2012.

“Development Charges in Canada: Approaches to Maximizing Funding of Growth-Related Infrastructure,” Municipal Finance Officers’ Association, April/May 2012.

“Municipal Case Law Update,” Ontario Municipal Administrators’ Association, October 2011.

“Top 10 “Legal” Things a New Councillor Ought to Know... and an Experienced Councillor Ought to be Reminded of,” FONOM/MMAH Northeastern Municipal Conference, May 12, 2011.

“Staying Out of Trouble is Easier than Getting Out of Trouble,” District of Parry Sound Municipal Association, October 1, 2010.

“Municipal Election Enforcement: Does it Really Exist,” International Municipal Lawyers Association Annual Conference, October 11, 2010, IMLA 2012 Canadian Scholarship Award Winner.

"Dealing with Problem Property Tax Arrears: An Examination of Legislative Tools and Their Application,” International Municipal Lawyers Association Canadian Conference, June 10, 2010.

Panellist, "Regulating Councillor (Mis)Behaviour" and "Revitalization Through Property Tax Tools," AMCTO Annual Meeting and Professional Development Institute, June 8, 2010.

"The Comedy of Errors: How to Avoid Common Municipal Mistakes and Their Legal Consequences," co-speaker with Leo Longo, 57th Annual Meeting of the Ontario Small Urban Municipalities, May 7, 2010.

"Development Charges 101," co-speaker with John Mascarin, Municipal Finance Officers of Ontario Seminars, April and May, 2010.

Chair, University of Western Ontario Local Government Alumni Society Annual Conference, November 6, 2009.

"Regulating Councillor (Mis)Behaviour – An Update on Codes of Conduct," AMCTO Zone 7 Fall Meeting, October 30, 2009.

"Economic Incentives in Tough Times," co-speaker with Bob Doumani, 56th Annual Ontario Small Urban Municipal Conference, May 8, 2009.

Moderator, Chief Administrative Officer's Panel, "Not Your Usual Suspects – The Changing Face of the Municipal Workforce," Western Ontario Local Government Alumni Society Annual Conference, October 17, 2008.

Selected Publications

“A New Frontier: Compliance Audit Committees and the New Changes to the Municipal Elections Act, 1996,” The Digest of Municipal and Planning Law, December 2016.

“A Legal Perspective on Asset Management Best Practices,” co-authored with Scott Stoll, Public Sector Digest, Winter 2014.

"Prosecution of Offences Under the Municipal Elections Act," co-authored with David Reiter, Town Hall, CBA National Municipal Law Section Newsletter, July 2014.

“The Privatization of Municipal Utility Assets: A Legal Perspective,” co-authored with Scott Stoll and Jonathan Bright, Public Sector Digest, Winter 2013.

“Municipal Conduct: Is Accountability Still Relevant,” Public Sector Digest, Summer 2013.

"Municipal Investment in Renewable Energy Generation," co-authored with Scott Stoll, Municipal World Magazine, January 2013.

“A Technical Analysis of CAO Appointments and Termination Considerations,” co-authored with Lorenzo Lisi, Public Sector Digest, June 2012.

“Development Charges & Opportunities Between Studies,” co-authored with Jason Bevan, Public Sector Digest, February 2012.

“Privilege, Confidentiality, and Closed Sessions of Municipal Council,” The Digest of Municipal and Planning Law, December 2011.

"Case comment Goodfellow v. Town of Lincoln," Communications Update, Canadian Property Tax Association Journal, March/April 2009.

"Provincial-Municipal Fiscal and Service Delivery Report: An Overview, Analysis and Suggestions for Municipalities," Digest of Municipal and Planning Law, January 2009.

"Open and Closed Meetings in Ontario," co-authored with John Mascarin, Municipal Liability Risk Management, January 2009.

"Development Charges: A Primer on Current Municipal and Planning Law Issues," co-authored with Robert G. Doumani and Lynda J. Townsend, OBA Institute, 2009.

"A Primer on the Law of Open & Closed Meetings," Aird & Berlis LLP Municipal & Planning Law Newsletter, October 2008.

"Case Law Update," Aird & Berlis LLP Municipal & Planning Law Newsletter, October 2008.

Education

  • LLB, University of Windsor, 2007
  • AMCTO Municipal Law Program, 2000
  • AMCTO Municipal Administration Program, 1995
  • MPA, Local Government, University of Western Ontario, 1994 
  • BA (Hons), Political Science, Laurentian University, 1993