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Town of Wasaga Beach

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Integrity Commissioner

Council's Code of Conduct Information

Attaining an elected position within one's community is a privilege which carries significant responsibilities and obligations. Members of Council are held to a high standard as leaders of the community and they are expected to become well informed on all aspects of municipal governance, administration, planning and operations. They are also expected to carry out their duties in a fair, impartial, transparent and professional manner.

The purpose and intent of the Council Code of Conduct is to establish standards of conduct for Members of Council, Local Boards and Committee Members in the individual conduct of their official duties. The Code represents general standards. The Code does not replace Council Member's roles, responsibilities, actions and behaviours required by various statues, by-laws and policies.

A written Code of Conduct helps to ensure that the members of Council share a common basis of acceptable conduct. These standards are designed to supplement the legislative parameters within which the members must operate. These standards are intended to enhance public confidence that the Town of Wasaga Beach elected officials operate from a basis of integrity, justice and courtesy. The Town of Wasaga Beach's Code of Conduct is a general standard that augments the provincial laws and municipal policies and by-laws that govern the members' conduct.

Wasaga's Code of Conduct regulates a wide range of conduct by elected and appointed officials, such as:

  • improper receipt of gifts and benefits;
  • misuse and improper securing of confidential information;
  • inappropriate use of Town property, services and other resources, including using Town facilities for campaign purposes;
  • allowing employment prospects to influence the way in which a Councillor performs her or his role;
  • avoidance of waste;
  • business relations;
  • misbehaviour at Council meetings;
  • mistreatment of staff;
  • improper use of influence;
  • discreditable behaviour towards other Councillors, staff and members of the public; and,
  • failing to follow Council policies.

Integrity Commissioner

The Code of Conduct is administered by the Town's Integrity Commissioner. The Integrity Commissioner is an independent accountability officer given authority under the Ontario Municipal Act. It is the role of the Integrity Commissioner to:

  • Conduct investigations in response to complaints received for an alleged breach of the Code of Conduct;
  • Provide information to members as to their obligations under the Code of Conduct;
  • Provide advice to individual members regarding specific situations as they relate to the Code;
  • Provide advice to members on other policies and procedures relating to the ethical behaviour of members;
  • Provide information to the Public regarding the Code and the obligations of members under the Code;
  • Provide an annual report to Council on the activities of the Integrity Commissioner.

In addition, to conducting investigations regarding alleged breaches of the Code, the Integrity Commissioner shall have the following responsibilities:

  • Provide information to Council as to their obligations under the Code;
  • Provide advice to individual members regarding specific situations as they relate to the application of the Code;
  • Provide advice to Council on other policies and procedures that relate to the ethical behaviour of members;
  • Provide general advice on conflict of interest issues noting that this advice may not be used in defense of allegations related to conflict of interest;
  • Provide information to the public regarding the Code and the obligations of members under the Code; and
  • Provide an annual report to Council on the activities of the Integrity Commissioner.

Frequently Asked Questions                                                                 

Q - Who can file a complaint?

A - Members of the public, staff, an authorized individual representing an organization, Members of Council, or Council itself may file a complaint with the Integrity Commissioner.

Q - What is the process for filing a complaint?

A – Complaints may be filed by completing and submitting the complaint form with the Integrity Commissioner either by e-mailing a copy to postoffice@principlesintegrity.org or by mailing it to Principles Integrity, 30 Haddon Street, Toronto ON  M5M 3M9.   Arrangements may also be made with the Town Clerk to file the complaint on a confidential basis.

Q - How is the complaint investigated?

A – The Integrity Commissioner will first determine whether the complaint is within the Integrity Commissioner’s jurisdiction,  is clear and complete, and is within the public interest to pursue.  This may involve preliminary interviews with the complainant to clarify the essence of the complaint.   The Integrity Commissioner will also assess whether there is an opportunity to resolve matters without the need for a formal investigation.

If a formal investigation is undertaken, the Integrity Commissioner will provide a copy of the complaint to the Member of Council alleged to be in breach of the Code of Conduct, and the Member will have the opportunity to respond.   If necessary, the Integrity Commissioner may conduct interviews with additional people.  At the conclusion of the investigation the findings of the Integrity Commissioner will be reported to the complainant and the affected Member.  If there is a finding that the Code of Conduct has been breached, the Integrity Commissioner will also report to Council and will make recommendations on what if any sanctions should be imposed.