Dillon's Rule Legal Definition:

A rule of judicial interpretation that a municipality may exercise only those powers expressly conferred by statute, necessarily or fairly implied by the expressed power in the statute, or essential and not merely convenient.

In R v Greenbaum, Justice Iacobucci of Canada's Supreme Court adopted these words:

"The courts, as a result of this inferior legal position of municipalities, have traditionally interpreted narrowly statutes respecting grants of powers to municipalities. This approach may be described as Dillon's rule, which states that a municipality may exercise only those powers expressly conferred by statute, those powers necessarily or fairly implied by the expressed power in the statute, and those indispensable powers essential and not merely convenient to the effectuation of the purposes of the corporation."

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