Council moves closer to tougher code of conduct – Ontario News

Council moves closer to tougher code of conduct – Ontario News


City council has moved a step closer to toughening up the code of conduct that governs council members.

In a special meeting of council that lasted nearly four hours Wednesday evening, council gave first and second reading of a new code of conduct and a complaint protocol and establish an accountability framework.

Final passage of the code will be at a future council meeting.

Key to the new policies would be the appointing of an independent integrity commissioner who would report to council. The commissioner would be appointed for a fixed term in an effort to provide a consistent level of service.

Kingston established its first code of conduct in 2010, but while it was ahead of many other municipalities in doing so, interim integrity commissioner Janet Leiper said the lack of a permanent integrity commissioner did not provide councillors with a consistent source of ethical advice.

“Kingston is ahead of the curve in broad strokes,” she said.

Leiper said she sees about 80 per cent of the integrity commissioner’s workload as providing advice and 20 per cent investigating complaints. She said the emphasis should always be on resolving issues before they escalate.

Leiper and lawyer John Mascarin of Aird and Berlis LLP conducted the review.

In November, council instructed Leiper to review the code of conduct and policies and procedures related to conflict of interest.

The direction came on the heels of Leiper’s finding that Trillium District Coun. Adam Candon had violated the city’s code of conduct by promoting the downtown Capitol Condos project on his real estate website and taking part in a vote to approve that…

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