Code of Conduct for councillors one step closer

code of conductA Code of Conduct for City Councillors is one step closer after it narrowly won 4-3 support at the Community Services Committee May 12. Committee’s recommendation goes to council May 26 for a final vote.

Among other things, the Code limits gifts to councillors over $25, provides limits on councillors directly soliciting funds for Ward-based events or projects (disallowing gifts from anyone with a current development or other application) and outlines respectful treatment of staff. I’m supportive of all these measures, particularly the rules around accepting gifts and councillors soliciting funds for councillor-initiated projects. These activities were occurring without the benefit of guidelines or a requirement for reporting; the code provides a measure of projection for the council member, residents, and the city as a whole.

Staff are recommending that if there are complaints about code violations, these would be dealt with by contracting the services of an Integrity Commissioner as needed. If a violation is upheld, penalties could range from a censure up to suspension without pay.

There are restrictions in filing complaints during an election year, to prevent politically motivated mischief.

Read the code here:

Code of Conduct, Item 8

My Take:

I welcome the Code of Conduct to provide clarity, accountability and transparency and provide needed guidelines around matters involving money. I also welcome the restrictions on complaints during an election year, having  personally been subjected to baseless allegations during the last election by those supporting a challenging candidate.

Your Take:

Do you support a Code? Does it go far enough? Too far? Read the code and leave a comment below.

Written by Marianne Meed Ward

I was inspired to seek public office because I believe, like so many of you, “I can do something about that” on the issues we face. As councilor, my role is to take a stand on what’s best for residents and go to bat for it. Pushback is inevitable from those who don’t have the community’s interests at heart. I will stand with you and for you, to achieve the best interests of our city, without caving to unacceptable compromise in the name of consensus.

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