The Municipal Act, 2001 (the Act) provides that the County must establish a Council Code of Conduct which outlines ethical standards of behaviour for Members of Council. The Act also provides that a municipality may appoint an Integrity Commissioner who, among other duties, may investigate potential breaches of the Code and recommend penalties to Council where he or she has found the Member of Council to have contravened the Code. On March 1st, 2019, Tony Fleming – Cunningham Swan was appointed as the Integrity Commissioner for the United Counties of SDG.
The County adopted By-law 5151 as a new Code of Conduct for Members of Council. The Code sets out and identifies the County's expectations for its Members and establishes rules for appropriate conduct. The Code addresses Council Member conduct relative to access to information and confidentiality, staff relations, gifts, political activity, etc.
Under the Code the Integrity Commissioner has authority to determine whether or not they will investigate any complaints received. Complaints about matters that are outside their jurisdiction, are frivolous, not made in good faith, or that the Integrity Commissioner determines has no grounds or insufficient grounds for conducting an investigation, may be dismissed.
On conclusion of a complaint investigation the Integrity Commissioner will issue a report to Council on their findings, which will contain any recommended sanctions if applicable.
Filing a Complaint
A complaint that a member has contravened the Code may be initiated by any person, any Member of Council, or by Council as a whole. The complainant must be an identifiable individual (complaints may not be submitted by any group, organization or corporation). The alleged violation must have taken place within sixty (60) days of filing the complaint with the Integrity Commissioner.
Step 1: Complete the Code Complaint Form
A complaint must be made by completing the Code of Conduct Complaint Form and the form must be signed and dated by the complainant. The complaint must include:
- an explanation, with specific reference to sections of the Code, as to why the issue raised is alleged to be a contravention of the Code;
- any witnesses in support of the allegation must be identified; and
- prescribed fee of $125.00, which will be returned if determined the complaint had merit.
Step 2: Attach any evidence
Step 3: Deliver the Complaint, attached evidence and prescribed fee of $125 to the Director of Council Services/Clerk