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Council Code of Conduct

Background

In 2007, the Municipal Act was amended to include several provisions to assist municipalities in being more transparent and accountable to the public.

Section 270 of the Act requires every municipality to adopt and maintain policies for the sale and disposition of land; hiring of employees, procurement of goods and services, public notice, and transparency and accountability.

The Municipal Act also authorizes a municipality to establish a Code of Conduct for members of council and the local boards of the municipality as well as 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 the application of the Code of Conduct for members of Council and the application of any procedures, rules and policies of the municipality governing the ethical behaviour of members of Council.

The Act also requires a municipality to appoint a closed meeting investigator to investigate complaints as to whether a municipality has complied with the requirements of the Act regarding open meeting requirements.

The County of Oxford retains Mr. Gregory Stewart as Integrity Commissioner and to investigate closed meeting complaints.

Council Code of Conduct

On July 13, 2016, Council adopted the Code of Conduct, the purpose of which is to establish guidelines for the ethical behaviour of all members of Council, advisory committees and local boards of the municipality and to enhance public confidence that the County’s elected and appointed officials are held to a high standard of conduct. It is intended only to supplement the legislative parameters within which the members must already operate. It is not intended to replace personal ethics.

 Council Code of Conduct

Integrity Commissioner

The Integrity Commissioner is an independent and impartial position that reports directly to City Council and whose powers and duties are set out in the Municipal Act, 2001.

Responsibilities of the Integrity Commissioner:

  • Investigate complaints and alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct for Members of Council.
  • Review the Code of Conduct for Members of Council and make recommendations on an annual basis.
  • Provide written or oral advice to individual members of Council regarding general interpretation of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.
  • Serve as an advisor to individual Members of Council in relation to the Code of Conduct and any procedures, rules and policies of the municipality governing ethical behaviour, and act as a proactive educator for Council, the Civic Administration and the public.
  • Provide reports to Council, summarizing his activities.
  • Provide individual investigative reports, as required, which will include background concerning a complaint and recommendations to Municipal Council with respect to a complaint

Closed Meeting Investigator and Integrity Commissioner

Gregory F. Stewart

Gregory Stewart, of the law firm Donnelly Murphy, is an expert in municipal law and currently acts as the Integrity Commissioner for several area municipalities in Middlesex, Oxford and Perth Counties.

Greg Stewart joined Donnelly Murphy in 2000 after almost 20 years of practice in Windsor and Essex County. His practice is primarily in the areas of Municipal, Planning, Employment, Civil Litigation and Corporate Law as well as some work in the area of Estates and Wills. He acts for several municipalities in the area in addition to having been appointed as Closed Meeting Investigator and Integrity Commissioner for a number of municipalities in Middlesex, Oxford and Perth Counties. In addition to representing clients, Greg is also experienced in mediation and arbitration and available to assist parties in that manner.

Greg is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Ontario Bar Association, the Huron Law Association, and the Bayfield Historical Society. He is currently the Chairman of the local advisory committee for the Clinton Hospital and the Huron-Perth Hospital Alliance.

Greg is a graduate of the University of Windsor in Political Science and a graduate of the University of Windsor Faculty of Law. Mr. Stewart can be reached at gstewart@dmlaw.ca

For additional information contact the Clerk's Office