The Integrity Commissioner is an independent and impartial position reporting directly to Council.

Jean-Jaques LaCombe is the Integrity Commissioner for the Township of Russell.

Responsibilities of the Integrity Commissioner

The Integrity Commissioner:

  • Investigates complaints and potential breaches to the Code of Conduct by Members of Council;
  • Reviews and make recommendations to the Code of Conduct;
  • Advises and educates Members of Council on the Code of Conduct;
  • Provides reports to Council, summarizing their activities;
  • Reports findings and recommended actions following an investigation of a complaint against the Code of Conduct.

 Integrity Commissioner By-Law and Protocol (By-Law 2019-038)

Corporation of the Township of Russell By-law #2019-038

Being a by-law to establish the office of the Integrity Commissioner and a complaint protocol for the Council Code of Council of the Corporation of the Township of Russell.

WHEREAS a municipality shall establish codes of conduct for Members of the Council of the municipality pursuant to section 223. 2 of the Municipal Act, 2001, S.0.2001, c. 25, as amended (the "Municipal Act); and

WHEREAS section223. 3 of the Municipal Act authorizes a municipality to appoint an Integrity Commissioner who reports to Council and who is responsible for performing in an independent manner the functions assigned by the municipality with respect to any or all of the responsibilities set out in section223.3 of the Municipal Act, and

WHEREAS the Code of Conduct for Members of Council of the Corporation of the Township of Russell ("Russell") was adopted on February 19, 2019, through By-law 2019-021; and

WHEREAS Russell desires to provide for an Integrity Commissioner to help ensure that Members of Council conform to ethical standards of behaviour in carrying out their duties and are held to account for the adherence to their Code of Conduct and any other applicable procedures, rules or policies governing the ethical behaviour of Members of Council; now therefore be it

RESOLVED THAT THE COUNCIL OF THE CORPORATION OF THE TOWNSHIP OF RUSSELL ENACTS AS FOLLOWS:

 

1. SHORT TITLE

  • 1. This By-law may be referred to as the "Integrity Commissioner By-law"


2. DEFINITIONS

  • 2. 1. "Clerk" means the Clerk of Russell;
  • 2. 2. "Code of Conduct" means By-law 2019-021 of Russell ("Council Code of Conduct") as approved by Council, and as it existed on the date of the event or events giving rise to a complaint;
  • 2. 3. "Complaint" means a request that the Integrity Commissioner conduct an inquiry into an event or series of events alleged to have contravened the Code of Conduct, or any other procedures, rules or policies governing the ethical behaviour of Members of Council;
  • 2. 4. "Complainant" means a legal person who makes a complaint;
  • 2. 5. "Council" means the elected officials who constitute Russell's Municipal Council;
  • 2. 6. "Employee" means a person employed by Russell, including those employed on personal service contracts and volunteers, but does not include Members of Council;
  • 2.7. "Good Faith" means accordance with standards of honesty, trust and sincerity;
  • 2. 8. "Integrity Commissioner" means the person appointed by Council to provide independent and consistent complaint investigation and resolution services with respect to the application of the Code of Conduct, being By-law 2019-021, and any other applicable procedures, rules or policies governing the ethical behaviour of Members of Council;
  • 2. 9. "Member of Council" means any Member of Council and includes the Mayor;
  • 2. 10. "Municipal Act" means the Municipal Act, 2001, S.O. 2001 , c. 25, as amended;
  • 2. 11. "Municipal Conflict of Interest Acf means Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, R. S. O. 1990, c. M. 50, as amended;
  • 2. 12. "MFIPPA" means the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R. S.O 1990, c. M56, as amended;
  • 2. 13. "Public Inquiries Act" means the Public Inquiries Act, 2009, S.O. 2009, c. 33, Sched. 6, as amended; and
  • 2. 14. "Russell" means the Corporation of the Township of Russell or the geographic area of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell, as the context requires.

 

3. APPOINTMENT OF AN INTEGRITY COMMISSIONER

 

  • 3. 1. Council shall appoint an Integrity Commissioner to investigate alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct, and any other procedures, rules or policies governing the ethical behaviour of Members of Council. The appointment shall be for a period of two (2) years with an option to renew for two (2) additional years. The recommended candidate for the Integrity Commissioner position will be referred to Council for its approval.
  • 3. 2. The Integrity Commissioner may be:
  • retained by Council on a term contract consisting of "fee for service"; or
  • cross-appointed by Council together with one or other municipal councils as the Integrity Commissioner for all of the municipalities.
  • 3. 3. The Integrity Commissioner shall complete any inquiries begun during his or her term notwithstanding the expiry of the term and this By-law shall continue to apply with all the necessary modifications.
  • 3. 4. If the Integrity Commissioner is unable to complete an inquiry in accordance with section 3. 3 of this By-law, the Integrity Commissioner next appointed shall complete the inquiry.
  • 3. 5. The Integrity Commissioner may be removed before the expiry of his or her term of office only for cause. Council shall first receive legal advice from external legal counsel to determine if cause exists.

 

4. ROLE OF THE INTEGRITY COMMISSIONER

 

  • 4. 1. The role of the Integrity Commissioner is to help ensure that Members of Council perform their functions in accordance with the Code of Conduct, or any other procedures, rules or policies governing their ethical behaviour, and the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. In addition, the Integrity Commissioner may, upon request of Council or a Member of Council, provide advice and rulings on ethical challenges, issues and dilemmas, as detailed by subsections 5. 1(c) and 5. 1 (d) of this By-law

 

5. DUTIES OF THE INTEGRITY COMMISSIONER


5. 1. The Integrity Commissioner shall:

  • a) conduct inquiries in response to complaints regarding whether a Member of Council has contravened the Code of Conduct, or any other procedures, rules and policies of Russell governing the ethical behaviour of Members of Council;
  • b) conduct inquiries in response to complaints regarding whether a Member of Council has contravened sections 5, 5. 1. and 5.2 of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act,
  • c) upon request from a Member of Council, provide written advice regarding his or her obligations under the Code of Conduct, and any other procedures, rules or policies governing his or her ethical behaviour. This advice can include recommendations on the appropriate course of action where a Member of Council seeks guidance based on specific factual circumstances. Requests must be made by completing the Request for Advice Form (see Appendix "A" to this By-law) and submitting it directly to the Integrity Commissioner, Chief Administrative Officer or Clerk;
  • d) upon request from a Member of Council, provide written advice and recommendations to Council regarding amendments to the Code of Conduct and any other procedures, rules or policies governing the ethical behaviour of Members of Council. Requests
  • must be made by completing the Request for Advice Form (see Appendix "A" to this By-law) and submitting it directly to the Integrity Commissioner, Chief Administrative Officer or Clerk;
  • e) at least once per term of Council, prepare and provide educational information for Members of Council, Russell and the public about the Code of Conduct, any other procedures, rules or policies governing their ethical behaviour, and the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act; and
  • f) prepare and deliver an annual report to Council containing a summary of activities, if any, during the previous calendar year.

 

6. COMPLAINTS FILED UNDER THE MUNICIPAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST ACT

 

  • 6. 1. Notwithstanding the provisions of this By-law, any complaints filed under section 223.4.1 of the Municipal Act concerning an alleged contravention of section 5, 5. 1 or 5.2 of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act by a Member of Council, and any inquiries conducted by the Integrity Commissioner in response to these complaints shall comply with section 223.4. 1 of the Municipal Act and the provisions of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.

 

7. MAKING A COMPLAINT

 

  • 7. 1. Any legal person may act as a complainant.
  • 7. 2. Complaints must be made by completing the Breach of Council Conduct Form (see Appendix "A" of the Code of Conduct for Members of Council By-law 2019-021) and submitting it directly to the Integrity Commissioner, Chief Administrative Officer or Clerk.
  • 7. 3. Complaints filed with the Chief Administrative Officer or Clerk will be forwarded to the Integrity Commissioner without delay and without added comments.

 

8. FEE

 

  • 8. 1. A complainant shall pay to the Clerk a refundable fee in the amount of $250.00 upon the filing of a complaint.
  • 8.2. The fee payable under section 8. 1 of this By-law shall be refunded to the complainant when the Integrity Commissioner files his or her report under section 11. 1 of this By-law.
  • 8.3. Where a complaint is found to be frivolous, vexatious, or not made in good faith under subsection 10. 1(b) of this By-law, the fee shall not be refunded.

 

9. LIMITATION PERIOD

 

  • 9. 1. The Integrity Commissioner shall only proceed with an inquiry about a complaint filed less than 180 days after the date when the event or the last event of a series of events which are the subject matter of the complaint occurred.
  • 9. 2. Notwithstanding section 9. 1 of this By-law, the Integrity Commissioner may proceed with an inquiry in regard to a complaint that is filed after the expiry of the time limit under section 9. 1 of this By-law if the Integrity Commissioner is satisfied that:
  • a) the delay was incurred in good faith; b) it is in the public interest to proceed with an inquiry; and c) no substantial prejudice will result to any person because of the delay.
  • 9. 3. A complainant is deemed to have known the matters referred to in section 9. 1 of this By-law at the time the event or the last event of a series of events have occurred, unless the contrary is proven. The onus of proof lies upon the complainant.

 

10. CONDUCT OF INQUIRY

 

  • 10. 1. The Integrity Commissioner may refuse to investigate if he or she determines that:
    • a) the complaint is outside of the jurisdiction of the Integrity Commissioner;
    • b) the complaint is frivolous or vexatious in nature;
    • c) the complainant fails to demonstrate that the complaint is meaningful; or
    • d) the complainant fails to provide requested additional information or clarifications.
  • 10.2. Where, pursuant to section 10. 1 of this By-law, the Integrity Commissioner decides not to proceed with an inquiry, he or she shall prepare and file a report under section 11.1 of this By-law setting out that decision.
  • 10. 3. If the complainant provides new information after an inquiry is stayed under section 10.1 of this By-law and there is sufficient information to set out an apparent contravention of the Code of Conduct, or any other procedures, rules or policies governing the ethical behaviour of Members of Council, the Integrity Commissioner shall reopen the inquiry.
  • 10 4 Where the Integrity Commissioner has determined that it is appropriate to investigate, the Integrity Commissioner shall conduct an inquiry promptly and thoroughly. The Member of Council who is the subject of the complaint shall be given the opportunity to know the nature of the complaint against him or her and to provide input about the complaint to the Integrity Commissioner. Notice of the investigation shall be given to the Member of Council outlining the complaint and including an initial opportunity to respond before the investigation commences formally.
  • 10.5. Information given to the Member of Council about the nature of the complaint will be used by the Member of Council only to make representations about the complaint to the Integrity Commissioner.
  • 10.6 In conducting an inquiry into a complaint regarding a Member of Council, the Integrity Commissioner may exercise any power given under this By-law or under Part V. 1 of the Municipal Act, including the power to compel witnesses to testify and to compel the production of documents under the Public Inquiries Act.
  • 10.7 If the Integrity Commissioner, when conducting an inquiry, determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a contravention of any other Act or of the Criminal Code of Canada, R. S.C-, 1985, c. C-46, the Integrity Commissioner shall immediately refer the matter to the appropriate authorities and suspend the inquiry until any resulting police investigation and charge have been finally disposed of, and shall report the suspension of the inquiry to Council.
  • 10.8. As per the Code of Conduct, the Member of Council who is the subject of the complaint may be provided an opportunity to comment the Integrity Commissioner's report prior to Council deciding on any sanctions to be applied.

 

11. MEMBERS' RESPONSIBILITIES DURING INVESTIGATIONS

 

  • 11. 1. Where the Integrity Commissioner has received a complaint regarding a Member of Council, he or she shall, on the earliest date after he or she has made a decision and no later than 60 days after receiving the complaint, prepare and file with the Clerk a report to Council regarding his or her inquiry into the complaint.
  • 11. 2. Where, in the opinion of the Integrity Commissioner, it is not possible to prepare and file a report with Council within the time set out in section 11. 1 of this By-law, the Integrity Commissioner shall advise Council of this, together with:
    • a) the reasons for his or her inability to prepare and file the report; and
    • b) the date on or before which the report will be prepared and filed.
  • 11. 3. The report filed under section 11. 1 of this By-law shall include:
    • a) the nature of the complaint;
    • b) if the complaint was filed after the expiry of the time limit under section 9. 1 of this By-law, the Integrity Commissioner's findings regarding sections 9.2 and 9.3 of this By-law, which findings shall be in accordance with the civil standard of the balance of probabilities;
    • c) the evidence gathered from the complaint and from the inquiry;
    • d) the Integrity Commissioner's findings of fact regarding the complaint, which findings shall be made in accordance with the civil standard of the balance of probabilities;
    • e) the Integrity Commissioner's decision, based on the findings of fact that the Member of Council contravened or did not contravene his or her obligations under the Code of Conduct, or under any other procedures, rules or policies governing his or her ethical behaviour; and
    • f) where the Integrity Commissioner decides that the Member of Council has contravened the Code of Conduct, or any other procedures, rules or policies governing the ethical behaviour of Members of Council, the recommended penalty to be imposed under section 12. 1 of this By-law, if any. The Integrity Commissioner may make interim reports to Council, where necessary, to address any issues of interference, obstruction, delay or retaliation encountered during the investigation.
  • 11.4. The Integrity Commissioner shall provide a copy of his or her report filed under section 11. 1 of this By-law to the complainant, to the Member of Council who is the subject of the complaint and to all other Members of Council at the same time as filing the report with the Clerk.
  • 11.5. Where the Integrity Commissioner's delegate under section 15. 1 of this By-law decides that a Member of Council has contravened the Code of Conduct, or any other procedures, rules or policies governing the ethical behaviour of Members of Council, but that the Member of Council was acting in accordance with the Integrity Commissioner's advice given under subsection 5. 1 (c) of this By-law and had, before receiving this advice, disclosed to the Integrity Commissioner all the relevant facts, the delegate shall so state in the report under section 11. 1 of this By-law and no penalty shall be imposed.
  • 11.6. Where the Integrity Commissioner has filed a report in respect of an inquiry with the Clerk under section 11.1 of this By-law, the Clerk shall add the report on the next available Council Agenda for information purposes.

 

12. PENALTIES

 

  • 12. 1. The penalties for a Member of Council who contravenes the Code of Conduct, or any other procedures, rules or policies governing the ethical behaviour of Members of Council shall be those authorized under subsection 223.4(5) of the Municipal Act, including either:
    • a) a reprimand; or
    • b) suspension of remuneration paid to the Member of Council in respect of his or her services as a Member of Council for a period of up to 90 days.

The Member of Council may request a revision of such sanction(s) within a specific time limit as per the revision provision in the Code of Conduct.

 

13. COMPLAINT AND LEGAL CONFIDENTIALITY

 

  • 13. 1. Pursuant to subsection 223. 4(4) of the Municipal Act, the Integrity Commissioner is entitled to have free access to all books, accounts, financial records, electronic data processing records, reports, files and all other papers, things or property belonging to or used by the Township of Russell that the Integrity Commissioner believes to be necessary for an inquiry.
  • 13.2. The Integrity Commissioner and any delegates under section 15. 1 of this By-law shall preserve secrecy with respect to all matters that come to their knowledge in the course of carrying out any of the duties of the Integrity Commissioner, except as required by law in a criminal proceeding or in accordance with section 223. 5 of the Municipal Act.
  • 13.3. The Integrity Commissioner and any delegates under section 15. 1 of this By-law acknowledge that Russell is an institution for the purposes of the MFIPPA. Accordingly, the Integrity Commissioner and any delegates under section 15. 1 of this By-law undertake not to disclose information subject to the MFIPPA except as may be necessary in the proper discharge of their functions and duties pursuant to the terms of this By-law and in accordance with the MFIPPA and the Municipal Act.
  • 13.4. Pursuant to subsection 223. 5(3) of the Municipal Act, section 223. 5 of the Municipal Act prevails over the MFIPPA.
  • 13. 5. The Integrity Commissioner and any delegates under section 15. 1 of this By-law shall comply with the Council's Procedure By-law in terms of personal or privileged information.

 

14. COMPLAINT AND REPORTING EXCLUSION PERIOD

 

  • 14. 1. Despite any other provisions of this By-law, no complaints nor requests for advice shall be submitted to the Integrity Commissioner during the period of time starting on nomination day for a regular election, as set out in section 31 of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996, S. O. 1996, c. 32, Sched, as amended, and ending on voting day in a regular election, as set out in section 5 of the Municipal Act.
  • 14. 2. During the exclusion period, the Integrity Commissioner shall not make any reports to Council about whether, in his or her opinion, a Member of Council has contravened the Code of Conduct, or any other procedures, rules or policies governing the ethical behaviour of Members of Council.

 

15. CONFLICT OF INTEREST

 

  • 15. 1. If the Integrity Commissioner becomes aware of a situation where a conflict of interest could arise, the Integrity Commissioner shall advise the Clerk and Members of Council in writing and delegate in writing his functions and duties to conduct an inquiry, including the exercise of powers under the Public Inquiries Act and the duty to report on an inquiry.
  • 15.2. In making a delegation under section 15. 1 of this By-law, the Integrity Commissioner shall first satisfy himself or herself that the person to whom the duties are to be delegated is fully capable of carrying out these duties.
  • 15.3. The Integrity Commissioner and any delegates under section 15. 1 of this By-law shall be impartial and neutral and shall perform all duties skillfully, competently, independently and in accordance with all applicable law.

 

16. GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

  • 16. 1. If the Integrity Commissioner, when conducting an inquiry, determines that the complaint is more appropriately addressed under the MFIPPA, the complainant shall be referred to the Clerk to have the matter reviewed under that Act.
  • 16. 2. This English version of this By-law prevails over the French version with respect to its interpretation.

 

17. FORMS

 

  • 17. 1. The following Appendix is attached to this By-law and form part of it:

Appendix "A" - Council Code of Conduct - Request for Advice Form

 

READ A FIRST, SECOND AND THIRD TIME AND FINALLY PASSED THIS 4TH DAY OF MARCH, 2019.

 

Signed by Pierre Leroux, Mayor

Signed by Joanne Camire Laflamme, Clerk

Declarations of Pecuniary Interest

Declarations of Pecuniary Interest can be found on our Council page.

Code of Conduct for Members of Council (Consolidated By-Law 2019-021)

The Code of Conduct is a set of rules for Council that outline the behavior expected, from access to information and confidentiality, staff relations, gifts, political activity, participation in community groups and organizations, use of social media, and more. The Integrity Commissioner is appointed to uphold the Council Code of Conduct and review any complaints.

 

Office Consolidation of By-law 2019-021 as amended by the following by-law 2019-132


PURPOSE

 

  • The purpose of a Code of conduct is to provide guidelines to council members and local boards, to create a safe and healthy workplace that promotes a high level of job satisfaction and respectful environment. The Township believes that it is the shared responsibility of all employees and council members to work towards the constant improvement of our workplace environment. Council members can assist the Township in maintaining an exemplary work environment, by conducting themselves in an ethical and professional manner at all times.


APPLICATION

 

  • All Members of Council and of local boards of the municipality are expected to follow this Code, the Council Procedural By-law, the Committees’ By-law and other sources applicable procedural law. They are also subject to other sources of law such as the Municipal Act, 2001, the Conflict of Interest Act, the Municipal Elections Act, the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Act (violence and harassment in the workplace) 2009; the Human Rights Code and the Criminal Code of Canada.


COVERAGE

 

  • All members whom this Code applies to are required to be knowledgeable about the Code of conduct. As such, each council member is required to address any situation of actual or potential non-compliance. A breach of the Code of conduct should be disclosed to the Clerk and should include a written detailed description of the actual or potential breach. An actual or potential breach may arise without any intentional wrongdoing or improper conduct on the part of the council member. In those circumstances, Council members will not be treated adversely for making prompt and full disclosure. However, council members are expected to make every effort to avoid such circumstances. They are to use sound judgment and apply the Code in a proactive fashion in order to maintain the public’s trust in the members of council of the Township of Russell.


PREAMBLE

 

  • The Township of Russell is committed to the principles of integrity, accountability and openness and endeavors to maintain the highest level of public confidence in all that we do. Through staff and council members’ commitment and effort, we are able to demonstrate our corporate values set out below, deliver quality public service and strive to achieve the Township’s vision to make the Township “the best choice when planning your future”.


RESPONSABILITIES


COUNCIL MEMBER RESPONSIBILITY

 

  • Council members of the Township must follow the highest standards of ethical behaviour in the course of their work to ensure that public confidence and trust is maintained. They must be above suspicion and beyond reproach, and must be perceived in this manner.

 

MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITY

 

  • It is the Clerk’s responsibility to ensure that Council is aware of this Code and its related policies.
  • Upon receiving written disclosure of an actual or potential breach of the Code, the Clerk shall inform the CAO.
  • It is the responsibility of the CAO to ensure that each incident of suspected wrongdoing is investigated by the Integrity Commissioner.


REPORTING ALLEGATIONS (By-law 2019-132)

 

  • All complaints pursuant to this Code of Conduct shall be made by completing the form attached hereto as Appendix “A” and filing the completed form with the Clerk.
  • Every effort will be made to protect the confidentiality of such information. Confidential information, including but not limited to the name of any complainant(s), which in the opinion of the Integrity Commissioner is necessary for the purposes of his/her report, may be disclosed in such report.
  • All Council members must co-operate fully during an investigation of suspected wrongdoing in relation to any articles outlined in this Code. Reprisal against someone who is a witness or is involved in such investigations is prohibited.
  • When in doubt about the interpretation or application of this Code, clarification should be sought from the Clerk or the CAO.

 

COMPLIANCE WITH THE CODE OF CONDUCT

 

  • The Council shall appoint an Integrity Commissioner to investigate alleged breaches of this Code.
  • Members of Council are expected to adhere to the provisions of the Code of Conduct. The Municipal Act, 2001 authorizes Council, where it has received a report by its Integrity Commissioner that, in his or her opinion, there has been a violation of the Code of Conduct, to impose either of the following penalties:
    • A reprimand.
    • 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.
    • The Integrity Commissioner may recommend one or more of the following sanctions as a reprimand:
    • Written or verbal public apology;
    • Return of property or reimbursement of its value or of monies spent;
    • Removal from membership of a committee; and
    • Removal as chair of a committee.
  • The Integrity Commissioner has the final authority to recommend any of the sanctions above or other remedial action at his or her discretion.
  • Council may choose to invite the member of Council in question to comment or provide a response to the Integrity Commissioner’s report prior to making its decision on sanctions to be applied.
  • Once Council has decided on the application of any sanctions, the member in question has a right to request the review of such decision within the following 15 calendar days. The member in question will have to submit a written report to the Mayor. If the Mayor is the member in question, then it shall be handled by the Acting Mayor. Council shall review and may determine to either submit to the Integrity Commissioner for further consideration and report or proceed directly with the review and confirm any further decision on the matter.


POLICY


1. TOWNSHIP VALUES

 

  • These guidelines, referred to as the Code, explain the expected rules of behaviours required and support of the following Township’s values :

 

  • a. ACCOUNTABILITY is the acknowledgement and assumption of responsibility for our actions, decisions and performance.
  • We will…
    • Be transparent, honest, and open in our dealings with others;
    • Abide by policies and procedures of the corporation;
    • Take corrective actions;
    • Encourage the reporting of violations of regulations, policies and procedures;
    • Meet our commitments;
    • Respect any public consultation process where applicable.

 

  • b. EXCELLENCE is striving to be the best.
  • We will…
    • Be proactive in the delivery of services;
    • Effective and efficient in our work to get desired results;
    • Be assertive to achieve our goals;
    • Assure our work reflects our commitment to the corporation;
    • Approach our work innovatively in order to ensure continuous improvement;
    • Be results driven;

 

  • c. INTEGRITY is adherence to moral and ethical principal, respect good work ethics.
  • We will…
    • Treat employees and council members equally and consistently;
    • Be consistent in the application of our policies and by-laws in our community and at our workplace;
    • Deliver on our promises;
    • Put into practice what you preach;
    • Be transparent in our decision making;
    • Demonstrate discipline in our work;
    • Conduct ourselves in ways that we are trusted.

 

  • d. LEADERSHIP and Innovation is the ability to inspire or influence the efforts of others towards the achievements of common goals.
    • We will…
      • Lead by example;
      • Provide constructive feedback;
      • Foster a healthy and positive workplace;
      • Be decisive;
      • Assume all responsibilities that come with our role;
      • Stand by the decisions that we make;<
      • Be open to other people’s suggestions, feedback and criticism;
      • Accept responsibilities for poor decisions;
      • Acknowledge that we might sometimes make mistakes;
      • Build on success;
      • Value the expertise of managements’ recommendations and decision making;
      • Adapt our leadership style to different circumstances and people’s needs;
      • Empower people by building on their skills and strengths;
      • Be inclusive, dynamic, gatherer, engaging.

 

    • We will not…
      • Be aggressive with others;
      • Abuse our power to demean or belittle others.

 

  • e. PROFESSIONALISM is the level of excellence or competence that is expected of a professional.
    • We will…
      • Abide to the procedural by-law in effect;
      • Commit to always act as ambassadors of the Township;
      • Be concerned of and protect the Township’s image;
      • Be punctual for meetings and other Township activities;
      • Set and meet realistic deadlines;
      • Use respectful language in the workplace and in public;
      • Respect confidentiality obligations when applicable;
      • Be mindful of their attire and dress professionally.
    • We will not…
      • Use profanity in the workplace.

 

  • f. RESPECT is behaving with dignity and expecting diversity of colleagues and/or stakeholders.
    • We will…
      • Value a respectful workplace;
      • Make every effort to create a positive work environment;
      • Comply to the chain of command and the organizational structure;
      • Be courteous amongst ourselves and our residents;
      • Be attentive and good listeners to other people’s point of view;
      • Seek and attend to the public’s opinion in the best interest of the organization;
      • Be honest in our dealings with others;
      • Treat people with kindness and courtesy;
    • We will not…
      • Dismiss issues raised by a colleague;
      • Gossip or bash about workplace issues or staff;
      • Adopt an improper behaviour such as bullying, intimidation, harassment, excessive noise, inappropriate office decorations, potentially offensive pictures and jokes, profanity and demonstrating little or no respect for other’s personal belongings;
      • Denigrate staff in front of others or in a public setting.

 

  • g. TEAM WORK is the effective and efficient combination of action of a group of individuals.
    • We will…
      • Encourage open and frank discussion;
      • Respect and accept the decisions democratically adopted;
      • Actively participate in discussions;
      • Respect each other’s opinions;
      • Seek and expect to receive advice from our colleagues;
      • Proactively offer and provide support;
      • Offer and share expertise.
    • We will not…
      • Withhold information from others;
      • Interrupt others.

 

  • h. TRUST is reliance on and confidence in others and them in us.
  • We will…
    • Create an environment in which trust can be built and maintained;
    • Be able to be different and share different views;
    • Provide reliable information to the best of our knowledge;
    • Understand and respect the roles and responsibilities of others;
    • Behave in ways to earn, grow and sustain trust;
    • Communicate and try to work out our differences;
    • Address and make an attempt to resolve with the other person any breach of trust;
  • Respect the confidentiality of information.

 

2. IMPROPER USE OF INFLUENCE

 

  • All Members whom this Code of Conduct applies shall serve their constituents in a conscientious and diligent manner. Members shall not use the influence of office for any purpose other than the exercise of his or her official duties.
  • Examples of prohibited conduct are the use of one’s status as a member of Council to improperly influence the decision of another person to the private advantage of oneself, or one’s parents, children or spouse, staff members, friends, or associates, business or otherwise. This would include attempts to secure preferential treatment beyond activities in which members normally engage on behalf of their constituents as part of their official duties. Also prohibited is the holding out of the prospect or promise of future advantage through a member’s supposed influence within Council in return for present actions or inaction.
  • For the purposes of this provision, “private advantage” does not include a matter:
    • (a) that is of general application;
    • (b) that affects a member of Council, his or her parents, children or spouse, staff members, friends, or associates, business or otherwise as one of a
    • broad class of persons; or
    • (c) that concerns the remuneration or benefits of a member of Council.

 

3. MEETINGS, CONFERENCES, SEMINARS AND DELEGATIONS

  • Every council member shall conduct himself or herself properly and in a civil manner at council meetings, committee meetings, conferences, delegations and other functions in accordance with the provisions of the Procedural By-law in effect as amended from time to time and this Code of Conduct.
  • Members’ active participation is expected in committees by attending meetings, be well prepared and assume his/her role and responsibilities assigned on the committee. If acting as Chair, be responsible for decorum and order of meetings.
  • In the event of a delegation, the Mayor shall act as the official spokesperson for Council and the Chief Administrative Officer shall act as the official spokesperson for the Administration of the Township of Russell.
  • Council members attending delegations shall:
    • Be prepared and read up on material provided by the Administration prior to attending the delegation;
    • Address delegation only when requested by any of the two (2) corporate spokesperson.
  • When travelling, not more than two (2) members of Council should be travelling together in the same vehicle or transportation mode.
  • Council members should seek to receive answers to clarification or background questions prior to meetings through the CAO or the Department Head responsible of the report.
  • A maximum of two (2) Council members should attend at the same time at events such as but not limited to meetings with Ministers, Delegations, Committee meetings, Open Houses and Public Meetings. Additional Council members may attend but should refrain from speaking or asking questions so to avoid creating quorum of Council.
  • Upon being elected, members shall be available and attend orientation sessions as required.

 

4. CONFLICT OF INTEREST

 

  • Members shall conduct themselves in accordance with the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act as amended from time to time.
  • A conflict of interest occurs when, in the course of a Council members duties, he or she is called upon to deal with a matter in which he or she has a direct and indirect personal and/or financial interest as per the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. A direct interest can occur when the member may derive, or be seen to derive, some financial or personal benefit or avoid financial or personal loss. An indirect interest may arise when the potential benefit or loss would be experienced by another person or corporation having a relationship with the member. The member is to declare his conflict of interest as per the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act and the Procedural By-Law in effect.
  • If in doubt, it is the responsibility of individual Members of Council to obtain independent legal advice with respect to any situation that might arise whereby there is a potential for a conflict of interest.
  • It is considered a breach of this policy to require or to attempt to burden staff members to assist in the determination of a conflict of interest for individual Members of Council.
  • Furthermore, Council members may not make a personal bid for the procurement of goods and services by the Township of Russell. (Refer to policies and procedures of the Procurement Policy By-Law in effect.

 

5. ALCOHOL AND DRUG USE

 

  • Council members must abide by applicable laws and regulations governing the possession or use of alcohol or drugs. The illegal use, sale, purchase, transfer or possession of any restricted or controlled drug, narcotic or any other substance while on Township premises, or during working hours is prohibited.
  • It is not permissible for Council members to attend to their duties and responsibilities having consumed alcohol, be under the influence of drugs or other similar substances, which might adversely affect their performance and/or judgement in their decision making process.

 

6. FRAUD/THEFT

 

  • In general, fraud is an act committed which, through deceit, falsehood and other such behaviour, either deprives the Township of its assets, property or other resources (this includes theft), or causes the Township to act to its own detriment or prejudice.
  • Fraud may include acts committed with the intent to deceive, involving either misappropriation of Township assets, property or other resources or misrepresentation of financial or other information to conceal such misappropriation, by such means as:
    • Manipulation, falsification or alteration of records or documents;
    • Suppression of information, transactions or documents;
    • Recording of transactions without substance, or;
    • Misapplication of accounting principles.
  • All Council members shall work in accordance with both the Township controls established to prevent fraudulent misconduct and all applicable laws, by-laws regulations and government guidelines. All Council members shall exercise honesty, integrity, objectivity and diligence and shall not knowingly be a party to any fraudulent activity, including theft. Each Council members is encouraged to report, in writing, any knowledge or suspicion of fraud to the CAO.
  • All confirmed incidents of fraud of theft committed against the Township will be viewed as acts of criminal activity and will be treated accordingly.

 

7. GIFTS, BENEFITS AND HOSPITALITY

 

  • A Council member may pay for, accept advance, gift, personal benefit or hospitality that is connected directly or indirectly with the performance of his or her duties of office, provided:
    • The expenses involved are at a reasonable level;
    • They are infrequent;
    • They can clearly be seen as legitimately serving a definite business purpose;
    • They are appropriately related to the responsibilities of the individual;
  • By way of example, promotional items of nominal value (e.g. mugs, hats, shirts, pens) are considered acceptable.
  • Christmas gifts are acceptable and shall be remitted to the Human Resources Coordinator in order for these gifts to be raffled off during Corporate Christmas activities.
  • Similarly, Council members who are asked to speak publicly to an organization or professional association may accept a small honorarium or gift provided it is reasonable under all of the circumstances. In cases where Council members are asked to speak or make presentations to share information with colleagues, it may also be permissible to accept the offer of travel and/or accommodations.

 

8. COMMUNICATIONS

  • Council shall refrain from advancing Township’s business through emails, social media and telephone/fax. The Clerk and CAO should be copied on any email sent and/or exchanged to every Council members as a group.
  • Members of Council will attempt to accurately and adequately communicate the attitudes and decisions of Council, even if they disagree with a majority decision of Council, so that:
    • a) There is respect for the decision making process of Council.
    • b) Official information related to decisions and resolutions made by Council will normally be communicated in the first instance to the community and the media in an official capacity by the Mayor, when not available by the Acting Mayor, or the CAO or his/her designate.
    • c) The Mayor shall be the official spokesperson for the Township. If the Mayor is not available, then the Acting Mayor and/or the CAO shall assume that role.
  • Nothing in this section or policy prevents any member of Council to submit a motion to reconsider as per our procedural by-law if he/she wishes to contest any decision of Council.

 

9. MEDIA AND PUBLIC RELATIONS

 

  • Communications with the media and the public will be conducted so that all information originates from an authoritative source within the Township.
  • Similarly, Council members must use caution to ensure that the Township’s interests are not compromised in any way, either by use of Township letterhead, E-mail addresses or by any other implication.
  • When participating personally in external or internal social media, Council members should do so responsibly as they could be considered to represent the Township both inside and outside of work. Council members should consider the potential impact their comments may have on the Township’s reputation, and be guided by the values and the standards set out in the Code of Conduct.

 

10. POLITICAL AND COMMUNITY ACTIVITY

 

  • Council members may participate in political activities at the federal and provincial levels providing they do not conduct such activity during Council meetings or utilize Township assets, resources or property. Notices, posters or similar material in support of a particular candidate or political party are not to be displayed or distributed by Council members on Township work sites or on Township property.

 

11. ELECTION-RELATED ACTIVITIES

 

  • Members are required to conduct themselves in accordance with the Municipal Elections Act, 1996. The use of municipal resources, both actual municipal property and staff time, for election-related activity is strictly prohibited. The prohibition applies to both the promotion and opposition to the candidacy of a person for elected office. Election-related activity applies not only to a member’s personal campaign for office, but also other campaigns for municipal, provincial and federal office.

 

12. PROTECTION OF INFORMATION

 

  • Personal information controlled by the Township must be used or disclosed in compliance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA). The MFIPPA allows Council members to use personal information if they require that information to carry out their duties, and if the affected individual reasonably expects that their personal information would be used this way.
  • Members of Council have a duty to hold information received at closed meetings in strict confidence for as long and as broadly as the confidence applies. These guidelines extend beyond a Council members’ current relationship with the Township. They must not, either directly or indirectly, release, make public or in any way divulge any such information or any confidential aspect of the closed deliberations to anyone, unless authorized by Council or required by law.
  • Members of Council must not disclose, use or release information in contravention of applicable privacy law. They are only entitled to information in the possession of the municipality that is relevant to matters before the Council or a committee. Otherwise, they enjoy the same level of access rights to information as any other member of the community and must follow the same processes as any private citizen.
  • Members of Council must not release information subject to solicitor-client privilege, unless expressly authorized by council or required by law.

 

13. SECURITY OF TOWNSHIP INFORMATION

 

  • Information acquired through employment with the Township may not be used or disclosed in any personal external activity.
  • No Council members shall benefit, either directly or indirectly, from the use of information acquired during the course of official duties that is not generally available to the public.
  • Only with proper authority will Council members give or release to anyone, confidential information acquired in the course of that person’s duties within the Township.
  • The following information must not be used or disclosed, except in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and the Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA):
    • Information which is personal;
    • Information that constitutes the proprietary information of a third party, individual or group;
    • Might reasonably be regarded as having been disclosed to the member in confidence;
    • Is of a sensitive nature, or;
    • Imparts to the person in possession of such information an advantage not available to the public generally.
  • The following information must not be used or disclosed, except in accordance with the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA):
    • Information relating to the physical or mental health of the individual, including information that consists of the health history of the individual’s family;
    • Information relating to the providing of health care to the individual, including the identification of a person as a provider of health care to the individual;
    • Information relating to payments or eligibility for health care, or eligibility for coverage for health care, in respect of the individual.
  • Council members should consult with the Clerk’s Department if clarification is required.

 

14. USE OF TOWNSHIP PROPERTY, ASSETS AND SERVICES

  • No member of Council shall, except when acting in same fashion as any public user, use or permit the use of municipal land, facilities, equipment, supplies, services, staff or other resources, including any municipally-owned information, website.

 

15. STATUTES REGULATING THE CONDUCT OF COUNCIL MEMBERS

  • In addition to this Code of Conduct, the following Ontario legislation also governs the conduct of member of Council;
    • the Municipal Act, 2001, as amended;
    • the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act;
    • the Municipal Elections Act, 1996; and
    • the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
  • The Criminal Code of Canada also governs the conduct of members of Council.
  • A member may become disqualified and lose his or her seat by operation of law, including being convicted of an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada or being found to have failed to comply with the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, whether or not the conduct in question involves contravention of this Code of Conduct.
  • In the case of any inconsistency between this Code and a Federal or Provincial statute or regulation, the statute or regulation shall prevail.

 

16. EXPENSES

 

  • Members of Council are required to adhere to the Council Members’ Remuneration and Expense By-law and related procedures and guidelines in effect and ensure that conditions related to each expense are met.
  • Falsifying of receipts or signatures by a Member of Council or their staff is a serious breach of this Code of Conduct and the Criminal Code of Canada and could lead to prosecution.

 

17. HARASSMENT

 

  • Members of Council are required to adhere to the Workplace Harassment Policy & Violence By-law in effect.

 

Breach to the Council Code of Conduct

Members of the public, Council members and other Township employees can file a complaint to the Integrity Commissioner if they believe or witness a member of council not following the Code of Conduct.

Submit a Complaint to the Integrity Commissioner

Members of the public, Council members and other Township employees can file a complaint to the Integrity Commissioner if they believe or witness a member of council not following the Code of Conduct.

A complaint must be submitted using the Breach of Council Code of Conduct Form. You will find the form below or you can ask for a printed copy at Town Hall.

 Breach of Council Code of Conduct Form 

Council members are to contact the Clerk’s Office to obtain a copy of the Request for Advice Form.

Required Documents

Your complaint must be submitted in a sealed envelope marked “private and confidential” and have the following information:

  • Your name, mailing address, telephone number, and email address;
  • An original copy of your completed Breach of Council Code of Conduct Form;
  • An original copy of the Additional Information Form (if it applies);
  • Any relevant documentation; and,
  • A cheque for $250 made payable to “The Corporation of the Township of Russell”.

Submit your complaint by regular mail, the outdoor drop box to the left of the Town Hall entrance, or to the reception desk at Town Hall, addressed to:

The Corporation of the Township of Russell, Clerk's Office
Attention: Mr. Jean-Jaques LaCombe, Integrity Commissioner
717 Notre Dame Street
Embrun, ON K0A 1W1

Important: If you will be submitting your form in-person, please ask the receptionist at the front desk of Town Hall to speak to the Clerk or the Chief Administrative Officer without mentioning you want to file a complaint to the Integrity Commissioner. This is to help us keep your identity confidential. Your complaint filed with the Clerk or Chief Administrative Officer will be forwarded to the Integrity Commissioner without delay or added comments.