Ontario Now Accepting Public Feedback to Strengthen Municipal Codes of Conduct

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 15th, 2021



The Ontario government has launched a 90-day consultation to obtain feedback on how to strengthen municipal codes of conduct. With the support of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO), the province is working to better ensure that municipalities, councillors and heads of council maintain a safe and respectful workplace.

Link to the survey is HERE

Jill Dunlop, the Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues is holding round tables with a variety of municipal stakeholders on how to strengthen accountability measures for members.

“Our government has been absolutely clear that we will not tolerate workplace harassment or discrimination of any kind,” said Associate Minister Dunlop. “It’s critical that everyone knows there are accountability measures in place for members who violate municipal codes of conduct. Our consultation will help determine what changes, if any, are required to ensure everyone can feel safe and respected in the workplace.”

The government is also collecting feedback on AMO’s recommendations for holding municipal councillors accountable, including increased financial penalties, suspension for certain violations, removal from office in certain circumstances, and better training and standards for integrity commissioners. This feedback is critical to ensuring effective accountability measures are put in place for members of council who violate their municipal code of conduct.

City council on innauguration Dec 3rd - 2018

It’s critical that everyone knows there are accountability measures in place for members who violate municipal codes of conduct.

“Municipal councils are looking for new tools and new measures to address modern challenges in local government,” said AMO President Graydon Smith. “Where there are serious code of conduct violations, municipal councils need the authority to take actions that are measured, appropriate and effective.”

Comments for the consultation are welcome through the online survey by July 15, 2021. Anyone can participate in the online survey to provide feedback. Municipalities are also encouraged to provide official feedback through the online survey. This is another step the Ontario government is taking to hold members who violate codes of conduct accountable for creating unsafe work environments.

“I encourage every Ontarian to participate in this process and share their thoughts and comments on how to bring effective accountability to municipal governments,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We must ensure that the right tools are available and that above all people feel safe and supported.”

The role of the Integrity Commissioners municipalities hire will be given a close look with the potential for much needed training.

Burlington had difficulty getting strong relevant codes of conduct in place.  The two Goldring Council’s were at times content with what they add or were quarreling amongst each other on what they could live with in terms of a Code of Conduct.

There came a point where the then city manager had to get council to adopt the model the province had created and was prepared to impose on Councils that did have a code in place.


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