Code of Conduct and Integrity Commissioner

Who does it apply to?  

Members of Council and local boards

Why was it developed?

The Code of Conduct is designed to provide a reference guide and a supplement to the legislative parameters within which Members of Council, advisory committees and local boards must operate.

A Code of Conduct is a requirement in the Municipal Act.

What does it cover?

The Code of Conduct provides guidance with respect to:

  • accepting gifts and benefits
  • confidentiality
  • use of city property
  •  work of a political nature
  • conduct respecting current and prospective employment
  • business relations
  •  influence on staff
  • improper use of influence

How is it enforced?

The Code of Conduct is signed by each member of Council at the beginning of the term of office.

Any person who feels that a member of Council has contravened the Code of Conduct can submit a formal complaint to the Integrity Commissioner.

Who is the Integrity Commissioner?

The Integrity Commissioner reports to Council and is responsible for performing the functions assigned by the municipality regarding the Code of Conduct for Members of Council, advisory committees and for local boards. 

What happens if a contravention is reported by the Integrity Commissioner?

Council may impose either of the following penalties on a member if the Commissioner reports to the municipality that, in his or her opinion, the member has contravened the code of conduct:

  1. A reprimand.
  2. Suspension of the remuneration paid to the member in respect of his or her services as a member of council or of the local board, as the case may be, for a period of up to 90 days.

In addition to any penalties provided in the legislation, Council may also consider the following actions:

  • request the member involved to return any gift or benefit received in contravention of the Code of Conduct
  • request the member involved to repay the value of the benefit
  • remove the member from committee appointments
  • request an apology
  • withhold confidential materials/matters for a period of time

This is the third in a series of posts on Accountability.

About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

View all posts by Karen Farbridge

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