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Code of Conduct and related policies

The Code of Conduct includes provisions related to a broad range of conduct. In addition to the Code of Conduct, a couple of related policies, including the Council Expense Policy, the Election-Related Resources Policy, and the Community, Fundraising and Special Events Policy, set out additional guidelines for Members of Council.  An Employee Code of Conduct forms a key piece in the foundation of the organization by outlining core values employees use to inform decisions and interactions.

Code of Conduct for Members of Council

By-law 2018-400

A by-law of the City of Ottawa to establish a code of conduct for Members of Council. 

The Council of the City of Ottawa enacts as follows:

Part I

Statutory Provisions Regulating Conduct

1. 

  1. This Code of Conduct is a complement to the existing legislation governing the conduct of Members of Council.
  2. The following federal, provincial legislation governs the conduct of Members of Council:
    1. the Municipal Act, 2001;
    2. the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act;
    3. the Municipal Elections Act,1996;
    4. the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act;
    5. the Provincial Offences Act;
    6. the Occupational Health and Safety Act;
    7. the Ontario Human Rights Code;
    8. the Criminal Code of Canada; and
    9. the by-laws and policies of Council as adopted and amended from time to time.

Application

2. This Code of Conduct applies to Members of Ottawa City Council and citizen members of the Transit Commission, when acting in their official capacity.

Definitions

3. In this by-law, 

“Integrity Commissioner”  means the Integrity Commissioner appointed by the City who is responsible for performing in an independent manner all of the functions described in Subsection 223.3(1) of the Municipal Act, 2001;  

the terms “child”, “parent” and “spouse” have the same meanings as in the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act:

(a) “child” means a child born within or outside marriage and includes an adopted child and a person whom a parent has demonstrated a settled intention to treat as a child of his or her family;

(b) “parent” means a person who has demonstrated a settled intention to treat a child as a member of his or her family whether or not that person is the natural parent of the child;

(c) “spouse” means a person to whom the person is married or with whom the person is living in a conjugal relationship outside marriage.

Part II

General Integrity

4. 

  1. Members of Council are committed to performing their functions with integrity, accountability and transparency.
  2. Members of Council are responsible for complying with all applicable legislation, by-laws and policies pertaining to their position as an elected official.
  3. Members of Council recognize that the public has a right to open government and transparent decision-making.
  4. Members of Council shall at all times serve and be seen to serve the interests of their constituents and the City in a conscientious and diligent manner and shall approach decision-making with an open mind.
  5. Members shall avoid the improper use of the influence of their office and shall avoid conflicts of interest, both apparent and real.
  6. Members of Council shall not extend in the discharge of their official duties preferential treatment to any individual or organization if a reasonably well-informed person would conclude that the preferential treatment was solely for the purpose of advanc­ing a private or personal interest.
  7. For greater clarity, this Code does not prohibit members of Council from prop­erly using their influence on behalf of constituents.

Confidential Information

5. 

  1. By way of their office, Members of Council acquire confidential information from a variety of different sources including confidential personal information related to constituents who have contacted their office. Confidential information includes information in the possession of, or received in confidence by the City, that the City is either prohibited from disclosing, or is required to refuse to disclose under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“MFIPPA”). Members of Council shall not use information that is obtained in his or her capacity as a member and that is not available to the general public to further or seek to further the member’s private interest or improperly to further or seek to further another person’s private interest.
  2. In accordance with the rules under MFIPPA and the Procedure By-law, Members of Council shall not:
    1. Where a matter has been discussed in camera, and where the matter remains confidential, disclose the content of the matter or the substance of the deliberations of the in camera meeting (Subsection 42 (1) (d) of the Procedure By-law); and
    2. Disclose or release by any means to any member of the public, any confidential information acquired by virtue of their office, in either oral or written form, except when required by law or authorized by Council to do so.

Conduct at Council/Committee Meetings

6. 

  1. Members of Council shall conduct themselves with decorum at all City Council and Committee meetings in accordance with the provisions of the Procedure By-law (Section 42) being:
  2. No member shall:
    1. Speak disrespectfully of the Reigning Sovereign or the Lieutenant-Governor of any province, or of a fellow member of Council or staff;
    2. Use offensive words or unparliamentary language;
    3. Speak on any subject other than the subject in debate;
    4. Where a matter has been discussed in camera, and where the matter remains confidential, disclose the content of the matter or the substance of the deliberations of the in camera meeting;
    5. Disobey the Rules of Procedure, or a decision of the Mayor or of the Council on questions of order or practice or upon the interpretation of the Rules of Procedure.

Discrimination and Harassment

7. All members of Council have a duty to treat members of the public, one another and staff with respect and without abuse, bullying or intimidation, and to ensure that their work environment is free from discrimination and harassment. The Ontario Human Rights Code applies and, where applicable, the City’s Violence and Harassment in the Workplace Policy.

Improper Use of Influence

8. 

  1. As an elected official, Members of Council are expected to perform their duties of office with integrity, accountability and transparency. Members of Council should not use the status of their position to influence the decision of another individual to the private advantage of oneself, or one’s parents, children or spouse, staff members, friends, or associates, business or otherwise.
  2. In the same manner, and as outlined in the Provincial Offences Act – Conflict of Interest Policy, Members of Council shall not attempt to influence or interfere, either directly or indirectly, financially, politically or otherwise with employees, officers or other persons performing duties under the Provincial Offences Act.

Use of Municipal Property and Resources

9. 

  1. In order to fulfill their roles as elected representatives, Members of Council have access to municipal resources such as property, equipment, services, staff and supplies. No member of Council shall use, or permit the use of City land, facilities, equipment, supplies, services, staff or other resources (for example, City-owned materials, websites, or a Member of Council Constituency Services Budget) for activities other than purposes connected with the discharge of Council duties or City business.
  2. No Member shall obtain financial gain from the use or sale of City-developed intellectual property, computer programs, technological innovations, or other patent, trademark, copyright held by the City.

Conduct Respecting Staff

10. 

  1. The Municipal Act, 2001 sets out the roles of Members of Council and the municipal administration, including specific roles for statutory officers such as the Chief Administrative Officer, Clerk, Treasurer, Auditor General and the Integrity Commissioner.
  2. Members of Council are expected to:
    1. represent the public and to consider the well-being and interests of the municipality;
    2. develop and evaluate the policies and programs of the municipality;
    3. determine which services the municipality provides;
    4. ensure that administrative policies, practices and procedures and controllership policies, practices and procedures are in place to implement the decisions of council;
      1. ensure the accountability and transparency of the operations of the municipality, including the activities of the senior management of the municipality;
    5. maintain the financial integrity of the municipality; and
    6. carry out the duties of council under the Municipal Act, 2001 or any other Act.
  3. Municipal staff is expected to:
    1. implement council’s decisions and establish administrative practices and procedures to carry out council’s decisions;
    2. undertake research and provide advice to council on the policies and programs of the municipality; and
    3. carry out other duties required under the Municipal Act, 2001 or any Act and other duties assigned by the municipality.
  4. City Council as a whole has the authority to approve budget, policy, governance and other such matters. Under the direction of the City Manager, city staff, and the staff of the Offices of the Auditor General and the Integrity Commissioner, serves Council as a whole and the combined interests of all members as evidenced through the decisions of Council.
  5. Members of Council shall be respectful of the role of staff to provide advice based on political neutrality and objectivity and without undue influence from an individual Member or group of Members of Council.
  6. Members of Council should not:
    1. Maliciously or falsely injure the professional or ethical reputation, or the prospects or practice of staff;
    2. Compel staff to engage in partisan political activities or be subjected to threats or discrimination for refusing to engage in such activities; or
    3. Use, or attempt to use, their authority or influence for the purpose of intimidating, threatening, coercing, commanding or influencing any staff member with the intent of interfering in staff’s duties.

Expenses

11. 

  1. Members of Council are provided with a Constituency Services Budget with which to run their offices. Expenses include items such as: community events, contributions and sponsorship, office supplies and staffing. The Council Expense Policy outlines the specifics of how expenses, contributions and sponsorships are to be handled and disclosed.
  2. Members of Council are required to adhere to the Council Expense Policy and related procedures and guidelines and ensure that conditions related to each expense are met.
  3. 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.

Conduct Respecting Lobbying

12.

  1. Members of Council, as public office holders, are routinely approached by various individuals attempting to influence decisions before Council or under the delegated authority of the Ward Councillor. While lobbying is an acceptable practice, disclosure of lobbying activities enhances the transparency and integrity of City business.
  2. In accordance with the City’s Lobbyist Registry, Members of Council shall review the Lobbyist Registry on a monthly basis to confirm that instances where they have been lobbied on a particular matter, including the specific matter and date, have been registered. Where lobbying activity has not been disclosed, the Member shall first remind the lobbyist of the requirement to disclose and, should the activity remain undisclosed, advise the Integrity Commissioner of the failure to disclose.
  3. Further, Members of Council should ensure that individuals who are lobbying them are aware of their requirement to register as required under the requirements of the Lobbyist Registry. Members of Council should not knowingly communicate with a lobbyist who is acting in violation of the requirements of the Registry. If a Member of Council is or at any time becomes aware that a person is in violation of the rules related to lobbying, the Member should either refuse to deal with the lobbyist or, where appropriate, either terminate the communication with the lobbyist at once or, if in the Member’s judgment it is appropriate to continue the communication, at the end of the communication, draw that person’s attention to the obligations imposed by the Registry and report the communication to the City Clerk and Solicitor and to the Integrity Commissioner.
  4. Unless pre-approved by the Integrity Commissioner, the acceptance of any gift, benefit, or hospitality from lobbyists with active lobbying registrations or from their registered clients or their employees by Members of Council or their staff is prohibited.
  5. The principle here is to ensure that companies and individuals who may be seeking to do business with the City do not do so by giving gifts or favours to people in a position to influence vendor approval or decision-making.
  6. The acceptance of sponsorships for events supported or organized by Members of Council is governed by the Community, Fundraising and Special Events Policy.

Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality

13. 

  1. Members of Council are expected to represent the public and the interests of the municipality and to do so with both impartiality and objectivity. The acceptance of a gift, benefit or hospitality can imply favouritism, bias or influence on the part of the Member. At times, the acceptance of a gift, benefit or hospitality occurs as part of the social protocol or community events linked to the duties of an elected official and their role in representing the municipality.
  2. Members of Council shall not accept gifts that would, to a reasonable member of the public, appear to be in grati­tude for influence, to induce influence, or otherwise to go beyond the necessary and appropriate public functions involved. For these purposes, a gift, benefit or hospitality provided with the Member’s knowledge to a Member’s spouse, child, or parent, or to a Member’s staff that is connected directly or indirectly to the performance of the Member’s duties is deemed to be a gift to that Member.
  3. To enhance transparency and accountability with respect to gifts, benefits and hospitality, Members of Council will file a quarterly disclosure statement that will be added to a public Gifts Registry. Members of Council are required to disclose all gifts, benefits, hospitality and sponsored travel received which individually exceed $100 from one source in a calendar year.
  4. The disclosure statement must indicate:
    1. The nature of the gift, benefit or hospitality;
    2. Its source and date of receipt;
    3. The circumstances under which it was given or received;
    4. Its estimated value;
    5. What the recipient intends to do with the gift; and
    6. Whether the gift will at any point will be left with the City.
  5. In the case of requirement (f) of the disclosure statement, those gifts received by Members of Council which have significance or historical value for the City of Ottawa shall be left with City Archives when the Member ceases to hold office. 

 Acceptance of Event Tickets                         

  1. The City of Ottawa is home to many types of festivals, community, cultural and sports events. The City is also the host site for many federal, provincial, National Capital Commission events. Consequently, Members of Council are often expected to attend or are frequently encouraged to attend by being provided with tickets or invitations.
  2. As with gifts, the acceptance of this kind of benefit can appear to be a means of undue influence. While the choice of venues and events they attend is entirely at the discretion of Members of Council, when accepting tickets as a gift or benefit, Members of Council shall observe the following limits:
    1. To further enhance transparency all tickets of a value exceeding $30 shall be disclosed quarterly in the Gifts Registry, along with the disposition thereof (e.g. who attended with the Member, or if donated, to whom or what organization).
    2. A limit of two tickets for up to two events from one source in a calendar year is permitted and requires disclosure;
    3. Accepting any tickets for subsequent events from the same source is prohibited.
  3. On receiving a disclosure statement, the Integrity Commissioner, shall examine it to ascertain whether the receipt of the gift or benefit might, in his or her opinion, create a conflict between a private interest and the public duty of the Member or in consultation with the City Archivist whether the gift has significance or historical value for the City.
  4. In the event that the Integrity Commissioner makes that preliminary determination, he or she shall call upon the Member to justify receipt of the gift or benefit.
  5. Should the Integrity Commissioner determine that receipt was inappropriate, he or she may direct the Member to return the gift or remit the value of any gift or benefit already consumed to the City.
  6. The following are recognized as exceptions and do not require registration:
    1. compensation authorized by law;
    2. such gifts or benefits that normally accompany the responsibilities of office and are received as an incident of protocol or social obligation;
    3. a political contribution otherwise reported by law, in the case of members running for office;
    4. services provided without compensation by persons volunteering their time;
    5. a suitable memento of a function honouring the member;
    6. food, lodging, transportation and entertainment provided by provincial, regional and local governments or political subdivisions of them, by the federal government or by a foreign government within a foreign country, or by a conference, seminar or event organizer where the member is either speaking or attending in an official capacity;
    7. food and beverages consumed at banquets, receptions or similar events, if:
      1. attendance serves a legitimate business purpose;
      2. the person extending the invitation or a representative of the organization is in attendance; and
      3. the value is reasonable and the invitations infrequent;
    8. communication to the offices of a member, including subscriptions to newspapers and periodicals;
    9. sponsorships and donations for community events organized or run by a Member or a third party on behalf of a member, subject to the limitations set in the Council Expense Policy;
    10. gifts of a nominal value (e.g. baseball cap, t-shirt, flash drive, book, etc.); and
    11. any other gift or personal benefit, if the Integrity Commissioner is of the opinion it is unlikely that receipt of the gift or benefit gives rise to a reasonable presumption that the gift or benefit was given in order to influence the Member in the performance of his or her duties.
  7. The Gifts Registry will be updated on a quarterly basis and posted on the City’s website for public viewing.

Election-Related Activity

14. Members of Council are required to conduct themselves in accordance with the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 and the City’s Election-Related Resources Policy.  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.

Part III

Compliance with the Code of Conduct

15. 

  1. 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 one of the following sanctions:
    1. A reprimand; and
    2. Suspension of the remuneration paid to the member in respect of his or her services as a member of Council or a local board, as the case may be, for a period of up to 90 days.
  2. The Integrity Commissioner may also recommend that Council impose one of the following sanctions:
    1. Written or verbal public apology;
    2. Return of property or reimbursement of its value or of monies spent;
    3. Removal from membership of a committee; and
    4. Removal as chair of a committee.
  3. The Integrity Commissioner has the final authority to recommend any of the sanctions above or other remedial action at his or her discretion.

Short Title

16. This By-law may be referred to as the “Code of Conduct for Members of Council”.

Effective Date

17. This by-law shall be effective as of March 1, 2019.

ENACTED AND PASSED on the 12th day of December 2018.

Appendix "A"
Complaint Protocol

Part I
Informal Complaint Procedure

Informal Complaint

1. Any individual who identifies or witnesses behaviour or activity by a sitting Member of Council or a citizen member of the Transit Commission, that appears to be in contravention of the Code of Conduct for Members of Council (the “Code of Conduct”) may address the prohibited behaviour or activity themselves in the following manner:

(a) Advise the Member that the behaviour or activity appears to contravene the Code of Conduct;

(b) Encourage the Member to acknowledge and agree to stop the prohibited behaviour or activity and to avoid future occurrences of the prohibited behaviour or activity;

(c) Document the incidents including dates, times, locations, other persons present, and any other relevant information;

(d) Request the Integrity Commissioner to assist in informal discussion of the alleged complaint with the Member in an attempt to resolve the issue;

(e) If applicable, confirm to the member your satisfaction with the response of the Member; or, if applicable, advise the Member of your dissatisfaction with the response; and

(f) Consider the need to pursue the matter in accordance with the formal complaint procedure outlined in Part II, or in accordance with any other applicable judicial or quasi-judicial process or complaint procedure.

2. Individuals are encouraged to pursue this informal complaint procedure as the first means of remedying behaviour or an activity that they believe violates the Code of Conduct. With the consent of both the complaining individual and the Member, the Integrity Commissioner may participate in any informal process. The parties involved are encouraged to take advantage of the Integrity Commissioner’s potential role as a mediator/conciliator of issues relating to a complaint. However, the informal process is not a precondition or a prerequisite to pursuing the formal complaint procedure outlined in Part II.

Part II
Formal Complaint Procedure

Formal Complaints

3. Any individual who identifies or witnesses behaviour or an activity by a sitting Member of Council or a citizen member of the Transit Commission, that they believe is in contravention of the Code of Conduct for Members of Council, may file a formal complaint in accordance with the following conditions:

(a) All complaints shall be made in writing and shall be dated and signed by an identifiable individual.

(b) The complaint must set out reasonable and probable grounds for the allegation that the Member has contravened the Code of Conduct. A supporting affidavit setting out the evidence in support of the allegation must also be included.

(c) If the complainant is a Member of Council, a citizen member of the Transit Commission or the staff person of a Member of Council, their identity shall not be protected if the Integrity Commissioner finds that the complaint was not made in good faith.

(d) City Council and the Transit Commission may also file a complaint and/or request an investigation of any of its membership by public motion.

Filing of Complaint and Classification by Integrity Commissioner

4. 

  1. The complaint shall be filed with the City Clerk and Solicitor who shall forward the matter to the Integrity Commissioner for initial classification to determine if the matter is, on its face, a complaint with respect to non-compliance with the Code of Conduct and not covered by other legislation or other Council policies as described in Section 5.
  2. If the complaint does not include a supporting affidavit, the Integrity Commissioner may defer the classification until an affidavit is received.

Complaints Outside Integrity Commissioner Jurisdiction

5. If the complaint, including any supporting affidavit, is not, on its face, a complaint with respect to non-compliance with the Code of Conduct or the complaint is covered by other legislation or complaint procedure under another Council policy, the Integrity Commissioner shall advise the complainant in writing as follows:

Criminal Matter

(a) If the complaint on its face is an allegation of a criminal nature consistent with the Criminal Code of Canada, the complainant shall be advised that if the complainant wishes to pursue any such allegation, the complainant must pursue it with the appropriate Police Service.

Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

(b) If the complaint is more appropriately addressed under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the complainant shall be advised that the matter must be referred to the City Clerk and Solicitor for Access and Privacy review.

Other Policy Applies

(c) If the complaint seems to fall under another policy, the complainant shall be advised to pursue the matter under such policy.

Lack of Jurisdiction

(d) If the complaint is, for any other reason not within the jurisdiction of the Integrity Commissioner, the complainant shall be so advised and provided with any additional reasons and referrals as the Integrity Commissioner considers appropriate.

Matter Already Pending

(e) If the complaint is in relation to a matter which is subject to an outstanding complaint under another process such as a Human Rights complaint or similar process, the Integrity Commissioner may, in his/her sole discretion and in accordance with legislation, suspend any investigation pending the result of the other process.

Periodic Reports to Council

6. The Integrity Commissioner shall report to Council semi-annually during the first year, and annually thereafter. In his/her report to Council, he/she shall report on all complaints received and, on their disposition, (including complaints deemed not to be within the jurisdiction of the Integrity Commissioner).

Refusal to Conduct Investigation

7. If the Integrity Commissioner is of the opinion that the referral of a matter to him or her is frivolous, vexatious or not made in good faith, or that there are no grounds or insufficient grounds for an investigation, the Integrity Commissioner shall not investigate and, where this becomes apparent in the course of an investigation, shall terminate the investigation.

Opportunities for Resolution

8. 

  1. Following receipt and review of a formal complaint, or at any time during the investigation, where the Integrity Commissioner believes that an opportunity to resolve the matter may be successfully pursued without a formal investigation, and both the complainant and the Member agree, efforts may be pursued to achieve an informal resolution.
  2. The Integrity Commissioner may also decide during his investigation that complaints relating to the following matters may not be Code of Conduct issues and may more appropriately be dealt with through other channels. With the consent of the complainant, the Integrity Commissioner may refer complaints as follows:
    1. Formal complaints related to the interaction of municipal staff and Members of Council may be handled by the City Manager and the City Clerk and Solicitor, in consultation with the Mayor’s Office.
    2. Formal complaints pertaining to matters involving current and former Councillors’ Assistants may be handled by the City Clerk and Solicitor.
    3. Formal complaints concerning matters between one or more Members of Council may be handled by the Member Services Sub-Committee.

Investigation

9. 

  1. The Integrity Commissioner will proceed as follows, except where otherwise required by the Public Inquiries Act:
    1. Provide the complaint and supporting material to the member whose conduct is in question with a request that a written response to the allegation be provided within ten business days; and
    2. Provide a copy of the response provided to the complainant with a request for a written reply within ten business days.
  2. If necessary, after reviewing the submitted materials, the Integrity Commissioner may speak to anyone, access and examine any other documents or electronic materials and may enter any City work location relevant to the complaint for the purpose of investigation and potential resolution.
    1. The Member who is the subject of the investigation may consult with a lawyer and charge this to their office budget. If the complaint is determined to have merit, the Integrity Commissioner may require the Member to reimburse these expenses to the City. If the subject of the investigation of a citizen member of the Transit Commission, the costs may be expensed to the Council administration budget through the Clerk’s office.
  3. The Integrity Commissioner may make interim reports to Council where necessary and as required to address any instances of interference, obstruction, delay or retaliation encountered during the investigation.
  4. If the Integrity Commissioner has not completed an investigation before Nomination Day for a regular election, as set out in the Municipal Elections Act, 1996, the Integrity Commissioner shall terminate the inquiry on that day.
    1. If an investigation is terminated in accordance with Subsection 9(4), the Integrity Commissioner shall not commence another inquiry in respect of the matter unless, within six weeks after Voting Day in a regular election, the complainant who made the request or the member or former member whose conduct is concerned makes a written request to the Integrity Commissioner that the investigation be commenced.
  5. The Integrity Commissioner shall retain all records related to the complaint and investigation.

No Complaint Prior to Municipal Election

10. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Protocol, no complaint may be referred to the Integrity Commissioner, or forwarded by the Clerk for review and/or investigation during the period of time starting on Nomination Day and ending on Voting Day in any year in which a regular municipal election will be held, as set out in the Municipal Elections Act, 1996.

Recommendation Report

11. 

  1. The Integrity Commissioner shall report to the complainant and the member generally no later than 90 days after the intake process has been completed and an investigation has been commenced. If the investigation process takes more than 90 days, the Integrity Commissioner shall provide an interim report and must advise the parties of the date the report will be available.
  2. Where the complaint is sustained in whole or in part, the Integrity Commissioner shall report to Council outlining the findings, the terms of any settlement and/or any recommended corrective action.
  3. The City Clerk shall give a copy of the report to the complainant and the Member whose conduct is concerned. The Member shall have the right of reply when the report is considered by Council.
  4. Where the complaint is not sustained, except for in exceptional circumstances, the Integrity Commissioner shall not report to Council the result of the investigation except as part of an annual or other periodic report.

Member not Blameworthy

12. If the Integrity Commissioner determines that there has been no contravention of the Code of Conduct or that a contravention occurred although the Member took all reasonable measures to prevent it, or that a contravention occurred that was trivial or committed through inadvertence or an error of judgment made in good faith, the Integrity Commissioner may so state in the report and may make appropriate recommendations pursuant to the Municipal Act, 2001.

Report to Council

13. Upon receipt of a report, the Clerk shall indicate, on the next regular agenda of City Council, Notice of Intent from the Integrity Commissioner to submit a report for consideration at the following regular meeting of City Council.

No Reports Prior to Municipal Election

14. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Protocol, the Integrity Commissioner shall not make any report to Council or to any other person during the period of time starting on Nomination Day and ending on Voting Day in any year in which a regular municipal election will be held, as set out in the Municipal Elections Act, 1996.

Duty of Council

15. Council shall consider and respond to the report at the next meeting of Council after the day the report is laid before it.

(a) Council shall not consider whether to impose sanctions on a Member, where the Integrity Commissioner makes a report to Council regarding a contravention of the Code of Conduct, during the period of time starting on Nomination Day and ending on Voting Day in any year in which a regular municipal election will be held, as set out in the Municipal Elections Act, 1996.

Public Disclosure

16. 

  1. The Integrity Commissioner and every person acting under his or her jurisdiction shall preserve confidentiality where appropriate and where this does not interfere with the course of any investigation, except as required by law and as required by this complaint protocol.
  2. The Integrity Commissioner shall retain all records related to the complaint and investigation.
  3. At the time of the Integrity Commissioner’s report to Council, the identity of the person who is the subject of the complaint shall not be treated as confidential information if the Integrity Commissioner finds that a breach has occurred.
  4. All reports from the Integrity Commissioner to Council will be made available to the public on ottawa.ca.

Code of Conduct for Members of Local Boards

By-Law No. 2018-399

A by-law of the City of Ottawa to establish a code of conduct for members of local boards.

The Council of the City of Ottawa enacts as follows:

Part I

Statutory Provisions Regulating Conduct

1. 

  1. This Code of Conduct is a complement to the existing legislation governing the conduct of members of local boards.
  2. The following federal, provincial legislation governs the conduct of members of local boards:
    1. the Municipal Act, 2001;
    2. the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act;
    3. the Municipal Elections Act,1996;
    4. the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act;
    5. the Ontario Human Rights Code;
    6. the Criminal Code of Canada; and
    7. the by-laws and policies of the local board as adopted and amended from time to time.

Application

2. 

  1. This Code of Conduct applies to members of the City of Ottawa’s local boards, including adjudicative boards.
    1.  Sections 15 and 16 in Part II apply only to members of adjudicative boards.
  2. Members of Council are bound by the Code of Conduct for Members of Council.

Definitions

3. In this by-law,

“adjudicative board” means a local board as defined in Section 223.1 of the Municipal Act, 2001 which has the statutory power or right to make a decision;

“local board” means a local board as defined in Section 223.1 of the Municipal Act, 2001;

“Integrity Commissioner”  means the Integrity Commissioner appointed by the City who is responsible for performing in an independent manner all of the functions described in Subsection 223.3(1) of the Municipal Act, 2001;

“member” means a member of an adjudicative board or local board;

the terms “child”, “parent” and “spouse” have the same meanings as in the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act:

(a) “child” means a child born within or outside marriage and includes an adopted child and a person whom a parent has demonstrated a settled intention to treat as a child of his or her family

(b) “parent” means a person who has demonstrated a settled intention to treat a child as a member of his or her family whether or not that person is the natural parent of the child;

(c) “spouse” means a person to whom the person is married or with whom the person is living in a conjugal relationship outside marriage. 

Part II

General Integrity

4. 

  1. Members of local boards are committed to performing their functions with integrity, accountability and transparency.
  2. Members of local boards are responsible for complying with all applicable legislation, by-laws and policies pertaining to their position.
  3. Members of local boards recognize that the public has a right to open government and transparent decision-making.
  4. Members of local boards shall at all times serve and be seen to serve the interests of the City in a conscientious and diligent manner and shall approach decision-making with an open mind.
  5. Members of local boards shall avoid the improper use of the influence of their position and shall avoid conflicts of interest, both apparent and real.
  6. Members of local boards shall not extend in the discharge of their official duties preferential treatment to any individual or organization if a reasonably well-informed person would conclude that the preferential treatment was solely for the purpose of advanc­ing a private or personal interest.

Confidential Information

5. 

  1. Members of local boards may acquire confidential information from a variety of different sources in the course of their work. Confidential information includes information in the possession of, or received in confidence by the local board, that the local board is either prohibited from disclosing, or is required to refuse to disclose under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“MFIPPA”).
  2. Members of local boards shall not use information that is obtained in their capacity as a member, and that is not available to the general public, to further or seek to further the member’s private interest or to further or seek to further another person’s private interest.

Conduct at Local Board Meetings

6. Members of local boards shall conduct themselves with decorum at all local board meetings in accordance with the provisions of the local board’s procedure by-law (as required under Section 238 of the Municipal Act, 2001).

Discrimination and Harassment

7. All members of local boards have a duty to treat members of the public, one another and staff of the local board with respect and without abuse, bullying or intimidation, and to ensure that their work environment is free from discrimination and harassment. The Ontario Human Rights Code applies as well as any other applicable board policy on the matter.

Improper Use of Influence

8. Members of local boards are expected to perform their duties of office with integrity, accountability and transparency. Members of local boards should not use the status of their position to influence the decision of another individual to the private advantage of oneself, or one’s parents, children or spouse, staff members, friends, or associates, business or otherwise.

Use of Board Property and Resources

9. 

  1. In order to fulfill their roles as appointed officials, members of local boards have access to board resources such as property, equipment, services, staff and supplies. No member of a local board shall use, or permit the use of such resources for activities other than purposes connected with the discharge of local board duties.
  2. No member shall obtain financial gain from the use or sale of board-developed intellectual property, computer programs, technological innovations, or other patent, trademark, copyright held by the board.

Conduct Respecting Staff

10. 

  1. Members shall be respectful of the role of staff of the local board, or City staff where applicable, to provide advice based on political neutrality and objectivity and without undue influence from an individual member of the local board or group of members.
  2. Members should not:
    1. Maliciously or falsely injure the professional or ethical reputation, or the prospects or practice of board staff;
    2. Compel board staff to engage in partisan political activities or be subjected to threats or discrimination for refusing to engage in such activities; or
    3. Use, or attempt to use, their authority or influence for the purpose of intimidating, threatening, coercing, commanding or influencing any board staff member with the intent of interfering in staff’s duties.

Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality

11. 

  1. Members of local boards shall not accept gifts that would, to a reasonable member of the public, appear to be in grati­tude for influence, to induce influence, or otherwise to go beyond the necessary and appropriate public functions involved. For these purposes, a gift, benefit or hospitality provided with the member’s knowledge to a member’s spouse, child, or parent, that is connected directly or indirectly to the performance of the member’s duties is deemed to be a gift to that member.
  2. To enhance transparency and accountability with respect to gifts, benefits, tickets to events and hospitality, members will file an annual disclosure statement that will be added to the public Gifts Registry. Members of local boards are required to disclose all gifts, benefits, hospitality, tickets to events and sponsored travel received which individually exceed $100 from one source in a calendar year.
  3. The disclosure statement must indicate:
    1. The nature of the gift, benefit, tickets to events or hospitality;
    2. Its source and date of receipt;
    3. The circumstances under which it was given or received;
    4. Its estimated value;
    5. What the recipient did with the gift; and
    6. Whether the gift will at any point will be left with the local board or the City.
  4. On receiving a disclosure statement, the Integrity Commissioner, shall examine it to ascertain whether the receipt of the gift, benefit, tickets to events or hospitality might, in his or her opinion, create a conflict between a private interest and the public duty of the member.
  5. In the event that the Integrity Commissioner makes that preliminary determination, he or she shall call upon the Member to justify receipt of the gift or benefit.
  6. Should the Integrity Commissioner determine that receipt was inappropriate, he or she may direct the Member to return the gift or remit the value of any gift or benefit already consumed to the City.
  7. The following are recognized as exceptions and do not require registration:
    1. compensation authorized by law;
    2. such gifts, benefits tickets to events or hospitality that normally accompany the responsibilities of office and are received as an incident of protocol or social obligation;
    3. a political contribution otherwise reported by law, in the case of members running for office;
    4. services provided without compensation by persons volunteering their time;
    5. a suitable memento of a function honouring the member;
    6. food, lodging, transportation and entertainment provided by provincial, regional and local governments or political subdivisions of them, by the federal government or by a foreign government within a foreign country, or by a conference, seminar or event organizer where the member is either speaking or attending in an official capacity;
    7. food and beverages consumed at banquets, receptions or similar events, if:
      1. attendance serves a legitimate business purpose;
      2. the person extending the invitation or a representative of the organization is in attendance; and
      3. the value is reasonable and the invitations infrequent;
    8. communications connected with the role of a member, including subscriptions to newspapers and periodicals;
    9. gifts of a nominal value (e.g. baseball cap, t-shirt, flash drive, book, etc.); and
    10. any other gift or personal benefit, if the Integrity Commissioner is of the opinion it is unlikely that receipt of the gift or benefit gives rise to a reasonable presumption that the gift or benefit was given in order to influence the Member in the performance of his or her duties.
  8. The Gifts Registry will be updated on an annual basis and posted on the City’s website for public viewing.

Election-Related Activity

12.

  1. Members of local boards are required to conduct themselves in accordance with the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 and the local board’s policy regarding use of board resources during the election campaign period (as required under Section 88.18 of the Municipal Elections Act, 1996).
  2. The use of board resources, both actual 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 to campaigns for municipal, provincial and federal office.

Outside Activities

13. Members shall not be a director or hold an executive position with any organization whose objectives and mandates are in conflict with, or may reasonably be perceived to be in conflict with, the objectives and mandates of the local board. Before taking on a new executive position, the member shall inform the Chair of the local board and the Integrity Commissioner to obtain advice about the new circumstances.

Communications with Adjudicative Boards

14. 

  1. Communications with members of an adjudicative board by a party or their representative must be through the board administrator and/or during the appropriate proceeding.
  2. Written communications to the adjudicative board shall be made through the board administrator and shall be copied to all parties or their representatives as appropriate. Oral communications with the adjudicative board shall take place during formal proceedings of the adjudicative board and in the presence of all parties.

Independent Nature of Adjudicative Boards

15. Members of adjudicative boards operate at arms-length from and independently of City Council and the City administration. Members should maintain the board’s independence and ensure their actions are consistent with the arms-length, quasi-judicial nature of an adjudicative board.

Part III

Compliance with the Code of Conduct

16. 

  1. Members of local boards are expected to adhere to the provisions of the Code of Conduct. The Municipal Act, 2001 authorizes the local board, 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 one of the following sanctions:
    1. A reprimand; and
    2. Suspension of the remuneration paid to the member in respect of his or her services as a member of a local board for a period of up to 90 days, where the member is remunerated as a member of the local board.
  2. The Integrity Commissioner may also recommend that the local board impose one of the following sanctions:
    1. Removal from membership of a committee of the local board;
    2. Removal as chair of the local board or a committee of the local board;
    3. Written or verbal public apology; and
    4. Return of property or reimbursement of its value or of monies spent;
  3. The Integrity Commissioner may also recommend that City Council revoke the member’s appointment to the local board.
  4. The Integrity Commissioner has the final authority to recommend any of the sanctions above or other remedial action at his or her discretion.

Short Title

17. This By-law may be referred to as the “Code of Conduct for Members of Local Boards”.

Effective Date

18. This by-law shall be effective as of March 1, 2019.

ENACTED AND PASSED on the 12th day of December 2018. 

Appendix "A"
Complaint Protocol

Part I
Informal Complaint Procedure

Informal Complaints

1. Any individual who identifies or witnesses behaviour or activity by a member of a local board, that appears to be in contravention of the Code of Conduct for Members of Local Boards (the “Code of Conduct”) may address the prohibited behaviour or activity themselves in the following manner:

(a) Advise the member that the behaviour or activity appears to contravene the Code of Conduct;

(b) Encourage the member to acknowledge and agree to stop the prohibited behaviour or activity and to avoid future occurrences of the prohibited behaviour or activity;

(c) Document the incidents including dates, times, locations, other persons present, and any other relevant information;

(d) Request the Integrity Commissioner to assist in informal discussion of the alleged complaint with the member in an attempt to resolve the issue;

(e) If applicable, confirm to the member your satisfaction with the response of the member; or, if applicable, advise the member of your dissatisfaction with the response; and

(f) Consider the need to pursue the matter in accordance with the formal complaint procedure outlined in Part II, or in accordance with any other applicable judicial or quasi-judicial process or complaint procedure.

2. Individuals are encouraged to pursue this informal complaint procedure as the first means of remedying behaviour or an activity that they believe violates the Code of Conduct. With the consent of both the complaining individual and the member, the Integrity Commissioner may participate in any informal process. The parties involved are encouraged to take advantage of the Integrity Commissioner’s potential role as a mediator/conciliator of issues relating to a complaint. However, the informal process is not a precondition or a prerequisite to pursuing the formal complaint procedure outlined in Part II.

Part II
Formal Complaint Procedure

Formal Complaints

3. Any individual who identifies or witnesses behaviour or an activity by a member of a local board, that they believe is in contravention of the Code of Conduct for Members of Local Boards, may file a formal complaint in accordance with the following conditions:

(a) All complaints shall be made in writing and shall be dated and signed by an identifiable individual.

(b) The complaint must set out reasonable and probable grounds for the allegation that the member has contravened the Code of Conduct. A supporting affidavit setting out the evidence in support of the allegation must also be included. 

(c) If the complainant is a member of the local board, their identity shall not be protected if the Integrity Commissioner finds that the complaint was not made in good faith.

(d) City Council and the local board may also file a complaint and/or request an investigation of any of the local board membership by public motion.

Filing of Complaint and Classification by Integrity Commissioner

4. 

  1. The complaint shall be filed with the City Clerk and Solicitor who shall forward the matter to the Integrity Commissioner for initial classification to determine if the matter is, on its face, a complaint with respect to non-compliance with the Code of Conduct and not covered by other legislation or other Council policies as described in Section 5.
  2. If the complaint does not include a supporting affidavit, the Integrity Commissioner may defer the classification until an affidavit is received.

Complaints Outside Integrity Commissioner Jurisdiction

5. If the complaint, including any supporting affidavit, is not, on its face, a complaint with respect to non-compliance with the Code of Conduct or the complaint is covered by other legislation or complaint procedure under another board policy, the Integrity Commissioner shall advise the complainant in writing as follows:

Criminal Matter

(a) If the complaint on its face is an allegation of a criminal nature consistent with the Criminal Code of Canada, the complainant shall be advised that if the complainant wishes to pursue any such allegation, the complainant must pursue it with the appropriate Police Service.

Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

(b) If the complaint is more appropriately addressed under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the complainant shall be advised that the matter must be referred to the City Clerk and Solicitor for Access and Privacy review.

Other Board Policy Applies

(c) If the complaint seems to fall under another board policy, the complainant shall be advised to pursue the matter under such board policy.

Lack of Jurisdiction

(d) If the complaint is, for any other reason not within the jurisdiction of the Integrity Commissioner, the complainant shall be so advised and provided with any additional reasons and referrals as the Integrity Commissioner considers appropriate.

Matter Already Pending

(e) If the complaint is in relation to a matter which is subject to an outstanding complaint under another process such as a court proceeding related to the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, a Human Rights complaint or similar process, the Integrity Commissioner may, in his/her sole discretion and in accordance with legislation, suspend any investigation pending the result of the other process.

Annual Report to Council

6. The Integrity Commissioner shall report to City Council annually on all complaints received and, on their disposition, (including complaints deemed not to be within the jurisdiction of the Integrity Commissioner).

Refusal to Conduct Investigation

7. If the Integrity Commissioner is of the opinion that the referral of a matter to him or her is frivolous, vexatious or not made in good faith, or that there are no grounds or insufficient grounds for an investigation, the Integrity Commissioner shall not conduct an investigation and, where this becomes apparent in the course of an investigation, shall terminate the investigation.

Opportunities for Resolution

8. 

  1. Following receipt and review of a formal complaint, or at any time during the investigation, where the Integrity Commissioner believes that an opportunity to resolve the matter may be successfully pursued without a formal investigation, and both the complainant and the member agree, efforts may be pursued to achieve an informal resolution.
  2. The Integrity Commissioner may also decide during his investigation that complaints relating to the following matters may not be Code of Conduct issues and may more appropriately be dealt with through other channels. With the consent of the complainant, the Integrity Commissioner may refer complaints as appropriate.

Investigation

9. 

  1. The Integrity Commissioner will proceed as follows, except where otherwise required by the Public Inquiries Act:
    1. Provide the complaint and supporting material to the member whose conduct is in question with a request that a written response to the allegation be provided within ten business days; and
    2. Provide a copy of the response provided to the complainant with a request for a written reply within ten business days.
  2. If necessary, after reviewing the submitted materials, the Integrity Commissioner may speak to anyone, access and examine any other documents or electronic materials and may enter any City work location relevant to the complaint for the purpose of investigation and potential resolution.
  3. The Integrity Commissioner may make interim reports to the local board or to Council where necessary and as required to address any instances of interference, obstruction, delay or retaliation encountered during the investigation.
  4. If the Integrity Commissioner has not completed an investigation before Nomination Day for a regular election, as set out in the Municipal Elections Act, 1996, the Integrity Commissioner shall terminate the inquiry on that day.
    1. If an investigation is terminated in accordance with Subsection 9(4), the Integrity Commissioner shall not commence another inquiry in respect of the matter unless, within six weeks after Voting Day in a regular election, the complainant who made the request or the member or former member whose conduct is concerned makes a written request to the Integrity Commissioner that the investigation be commenced.
  5. The Integrity Commissioner shall retain all records related to the complaint and investigation.

No Complaint Prior to Municipal Election

10. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Protocol, no complaint may be referred to the Integrity Commissioner, or forwarded by the Clerk for review and/or investigation during the period of time starting on Nomination Day and ending on Voting Day in any year in which a regular municipal election will be held, as set out in the Municipal Elections Act, 1996.

Recommendation Report

11. 

  1. The Integrity Commissioner shall report to the complainant and the member generally no later than 90 days after the intake process has been completed and an investigation has been commenced. If the investigation process takes more than 90 days, the Integrity Commissioner shall provide an interim report and must advise the parties of the date the report will be available.
  2. Where the complaint is sustained in whole or in part, the Integrity Commissioner shall report to the local board and/or Council outlining the findings, the terms of any settlement and/or any recommended corrective action.
  3. The secretary of the local board shall give a copy of the report to the complainant and the member whose conduct is concerned. The member shall have the right of reply when the report is considered by the local board and/or Council.
  4. Where the complaint is not sustained, except for in exceptional circumstances, the Integrity Commissioner shall not report to the local board and/or Council the result of the investigation except as part of an annual or other periodic report.

Member not Blameworthy

12. If the Integrity Commissioner determines that there has been no contravention of the Code of Conduct or that a contravention occurred although the member took all reasonable measures to prevent it, or that a contravention occurred that was trivial or committed through inadvertence or an error of judgment made in good faith, the Integrity Commissioner may so state in the report and may make appropriate recommendations pursuant to the Municipal Act, 2001.

Report to Council

13. Upon receipt of a report, the secretary of the local board or the City Clerk, as appropriate, shall indicate, on the next regular agenda of the local board and/or City Council, Notice of Intent from the Integrity Commissioner to submit a report for consideration at the following regular meeting of the local board and/or City Council.

No Reports Prior to Municipal Election

14. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Protocol, the Integrity Commissioner shall not make any report to the local board, Council or to any other person during the period of time starting on Nomination Day and ending on Voting Day in any year in which a regular municipal election will be held, as set out in the Municipal Elections Act, 1996.

Duty of the Local Board

15. The local board shall consider and respond to the report at the next meeting of the local board after the day the report is laid before it. The member who is the subject of the complaint shall have the right of reply at the meeting where the report is considered

(a) The local board shall not consider whether to impose sanctions on a member, where the Integrity Commissioner makes a report to the local board regarding a contravention of the Code of Conduct, during the period of time starting on Nomination Day and ending on Voting Day in any year in which a regular municipal election will be held, as set out in the Municipal Elections Act, 1996.

Public Disclosure

16.

  1. The Integrity Commissioner and every person acting under his or her jurisdiction shall preserve confidentiality where appropriate and where this does not interfere with the course of any investigation, except as required by law and as required by this complaint protocol.
  2. The Integrity Commissioner shall retain all records related to the complaint and investigation.
  3. At the time of the Integrity Commissioner’s report to the local board and/or Council, the identity of the person who is the subject of the complaint shall not be treated as confidential information if the Integrity Commissioner finds that a breach has occurred.
  4. All reports from the Integrity Commissioner to the local board will be made available to the public on the local board’s website ottawa.ca.

Code of Conduct for Citizen Members of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee

By-Law No. 2018-401

A by-law of the City of Ottawa to establish a code of conduct for citizen members of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee.

WHEREAS the mandate of the City of Ottawa’s Built Heritage Sub-Committee (BHSC), as a municipal heritage committee, is to advise and assist Council on matters relating to Parts IV and V of the Ontario Heritage Act, 1990, and such other heritage matters as Council may specify by by-law or as specified in the City’s Official Plan. BHSC reports through the Planning Committee to City Council; however, it may also report to another Standing Committee where appropriate, depending on the issue.

AND WHEREAS the Sub-Committee has a membership comprised of four Members of Council and three citizen members, having appropriate experience, that are appointed to the Sub-Committee by Council. Efforts are made to engage with local heritage experts, including Heritage Ottawa, to identify and recruit highly qualified individuals sensitive to Ottawa’s unique built heritage context.

AND WHEREAS this Code recognizes that in the same manner as Members of Council, citizen members appointed to a Committee of Council have an obligation to uphold the ethical standards of an elected official when acting in their official capacities. BHSC can influence municipal policy by way of making recommendations to Committee or Council and therefore, the same principles of accountability and transparency should apply to citizen members.

AND WHEREAS decisions of citizen members of the Sub-Committee should be made with an open mind and concern for the public good and not personal benefit, and without giving preferential treatment to family, friends and supporters. Citizen members should perform their role on BHSC as a neutral entity regardless of property classification, employment or affiliation with any community association or local group;

AND WHEREAS this document is a modified version of the Code of Conduct for Members of Council;

THEREFORE the Council of the City of Ottawa enacts as follows:

Part I

Statutory Provisions Regulating Conduct

1. 

  1. This Code of Conduct is a complement to the existing legislation governing the conduct of members of a Committee of Council.
  2. The following federal, provincial legislation may govern the conduct of members of a Committee of Council:
    1. the Municipal Act, 2001;
    2. the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act;
    3. the Municipal Elections Act,1996;
    4. the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act;
    5. the Provincial Offences Act;
    6. the Ontario Human Rights Code;
    7. the Criminal Code of Canada; and
    8. the by-laws and policies of Council as adopted and amended from time to time.
  3. The Ontario Heritage Act, 1990 and the City of Ottawa’s Official Plan set out the role of a municipal heritage committee.

Application

2. This Code of Conduct applies to citizen members of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee when acting in their official capacity. Members of Council who sit on the Built Heritage Sub-Committee are subject to the Code of Conduct for Members of Council.

Definitions

3. In this by-law, 

the terms “child”, “controlling interest”, “elector”, “interest in common with electors generally”, “parent”“senior officer” and “spouse” have the same meanings as in the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act:

“child” means a child born within or outside marriage and includes an adopted child and a person whom a parent has demonstrated a settled intention to treat as a child of his or her family;

“controlling interest” means the interest that a person has in a corporation when the person beneficially owns, directly or indirectly, or exercises control or direction over, equity shares of the corporation carrying more than 10 per cent of the voting rights attached to all equity shares of the corporation for the time being outstanding;

“elector” means a person entitled to vote at a municipal election in the municipality;

“Integrity Commissioner” means the Integrity Commissioner appointed by the City who is responsible for performing in an independent manner all of the functions described in Subsection 223.3(1) of the Municipal Act, 2001;

“interest in common with electors generally” means a pecuniary interest in common with the electors within the area of jurisdiction and, where the matter under consideration affects only part of the area of jurisdiction, means a pecuniary interest in common with the electors within that part; 

“parent” means a person who has demonstrated a settled intention to treat a child as a member of his or her family whether or not that person is the natural parent of the child;

“senior officer” means the chair or any vice-chair of the board of directors, the president, any vice-president, the secretary, the treasurer or the general manager of a corporation or any other person who performs functions for the corporation similar to those normally performed by a person occupying any such office;

“spouse” means a person to whom the person is married or with whom the person is living in a conjugal relationship outside marriage.

Part II

General Integrity

4. 

  1. Citizen members of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee (“citizen members”) are committed to performing their functions with integrity, accountability and transparency.
  2. Citizen members are responsible for complying with all applicable legislation, by-laws and policies pertaining to their position as an appointed member of a Committee of Council.
  3. Citizen members recognize that the public has a right to open government and transparent decision-making.
  4. Citizen members shall at all times serve and be seen to serve the interests of the City in a conscientious and diligent manner and shall approach decision-making with an open mind.
  5. Citizen members shall avoid the improper use of the influence of their appointment to a Committee of Council and shall avoid conflicts of interest, both apparent and real.
  6. Citizen members shall not extend in the discharge of their official duties preferential treatment to any individual or organization if a reasonably well-informed person would conclude that the preferential treatment was solely for the purpose of advancing a private or personal interest.

Confidential Information

5. 

  1. By way of their appointment, citizen members of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee may acquire confidential information from a variety of different sources. Confidential information includes information in the possession of, or received in confidence by the City, that the City is either prohibited from disclosing, or is required to refuse to disclose under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“MFIPPA”). A citizen member shall not use information that is obtained in his or her capacity as a member of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee and that is not available to the general public to further or seek to further the member’s private interest or improperly to further or seek to further another person’s private interest.
  2. In accordance with the rules under MFIPPA and the Procedure By-law, citizen members shall not:
    1. Where a matter has been discussed in camera, and where the matter remains confidential, disclose the content of the matter or the substance of the deliberations of the in camera meeting (Subsection 42 (1) of the Procedure By-law); and
    2. Disclose or release by any means to any member of the public, any confidential information acquired by virtue of their appointment, in either oral or written form, except when required by law or authorized by Council to do so.

Conduct at Sub-Committee Meetings

6. 

  1. Citizen members of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee shall conduct themselves with decorum at all Sub-Committee meetings in accordance with the provisions of the Procedure By-law (Section 42) being:
  2. No citizen member shall:
    1. Speak disrespectfully of the Reigning Sovereign or the Lieutenant-Governor of any province, or of a Member of Council, a fellow member of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee or staff;
    2. Use offensive words or unparliamentary language;
    3. Speak on any subject other than the subject in debate;
    4. Where a matter has been discussed in camera, and where the matter remains confidential, disclose the content of the matter or the substance of the deliberations of the in camera meeting;
    5. Disobey the Rules of Procedure, or a decision of the Sub-Committee Chair or of the Sub-Committee on questions of order or practice or upon the interpretation of the Rules of Procedure.

Discrimination and Harassment

7. All citizen members of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee have a duty to treat members of the public, one another, Members of Council and staff with respect and without abuse, bullying or intimidation, and to ensure that their work environment is free from discrimination and harassment. The Ontario Human Rights Code applies and, where applicable, the City’s Violence and Harassment in the Workplace Policy.

Improper Use of Influence

8. 

  1. As an appointed member of a Committee of Council, citizen members of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee are expected to perform the duties of their appointment with integrity, accountability and transparency. Citizen members should not use the status of their position to influence the decision of another individual to the private advantage of oneself, or one’s parents, children or spouse, staff members, friends, or associates, business or otherwise.
  2. In the same manner, and as outlined in the Provincial Offences Act – Conflict of Interest Policy, citizen members of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee shall not attempt to influence or interfere, either directly or indirectly, financially, politically or otherwise with employees, officers or other persons performing duties under the Provincial Offences Act.

Use of Municipal Property and Resources

9. 

  1. In order to fulfill their roles as appointed members of a Committee of Council, citizen members have access to municipal resources such as property, equipment, services, staff and supplies. No citizen member shall use, or permit the use of City land, facilities, equipment, supplies, services, staff or other resources (for example, City-owned materials, websites, or expenses permitted under the Participation Expense Policy) for activities other than purposes connected with the discharge of Sub-Committee duties or City business.
  2. No citizen member shall obtain financial gain from the use or sale of City-developed intellectual property, computer programs, technological innovations, or other patent, trademark, copyright held by the City.
  3. With respect to expenses, falsifying of receipts or signatures by a citizen member is a serious breach of this Code of Conduct and the Criminal Code of Canada and could lead to prosecution.

Conduct Respecting Staff

10. 

  1. The Municipal Act, 2001 sets out the roles of Members of Council and the municipal administration, including specific roles for statutory officers such as the Chief Administrative Officer, Clerk, Treasurer, Auditor General and the Integrity Commissioner. The Ontario Heritage Act, 1990, as well as the City’s Official Plan, set out the role of municipal heritage committee.
  2. The Built Heritage Sub-Committee is expected to advise and assist Council on matters relating to Parts IV and V of the Ontario Heritage Act, 1990, and such other heritage matters as Council may specify by by-law or as specified in the City’s Official Plan.
  3. Municipal staff is expected to:
    1. implement council’s decisions and establish administrative practices and procedures to carry out council’s decisions;
    2. undertake research and provide advice to council on the policies and programs of the municipality; and
    3. carry out other duties required under the Municipal Act, 2001 or any Act and other duties assigned by the municipality.
  4. City Council as a whole has the authority to approve budget, policy, governance and other such matters. Under the direction of the City Manager, city staff, and the staff of the Offices of the Auditor General and the Integrity Commissioner, serves Council as a whole and the combined interests of all members as evidenced through the decisions of Council.
  5. Citizen members of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee shall be respectful of the role of staff to provide advice based on political neutrality and objectivity and without undue influence from an individual Member of Council or citizen member, or a group consisting of Members of Council and/or citizen members.
  6. Citizen members of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee should not:
    1. Maliciously or falsely injure the professional or ethical reputation, or the prospects or practice of staff;
    2. Compel staff to engage in partisan political activities or be subjected to threats or discrimination for refusing to engage in such activities; or
    3. Use, or attempt to use, their authority or influence for the purpose of intimidating, threatening, coercing, commanding or influencing any staff member with the intent of interfering in staff’s duties.

Conflict of Interest

11. 

  1. In addition to the provisions stated in Part I of this By-law with respect to conflict of interest, improper use of influence and preferential treatment, a citizen member of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee shall not:
    1. Engage in any business or transaction or have a financial or personal interest that is incompatible with the discharge of his or her official duties;
    2. Place herself or himself in a position where s/he is under obligation to any person who might benefit from special consideration or favour on their part or who might seek in any way preferential treatment;
    3. Accord, in the performance of his or her official duties, preferential treatment to relatives or to organizations in which s/he or his or her relatives have an interest, financial or otherwise;
    4. Deal with an application to the City for a grant, award, contract or other benefit involving his or her spouse, live-in partner, child or parent;
    5. Place herself or himself in a position where s/he could derive any direct or indirect benefit or interest from any matter about which s/he can influence decisions; and
    6. Benefit from the use of information acquired during the course of his or her official duties which is not generally available to the public.
  2. For the purposes of this Code, a citizen member has an indirect pecuniary interest in any matter in which the Built Heritage Sub-Committee is concerned, if,
    1. the citizen member or his or her nominee,
      1. is a shareholder in, or a director or senior officer of, a corporation that does not offer its securities to the public,
      2. has a controlling interest in or is a director or senior officer of, a corporation that offers its securities to the public, or
      3. is a member of a body that has a pecuniary interest in the matter; or
    2. the citizen member is a partner of a person or is in the employment of a person or body that has a pecuniary interest in the matter.
  3. For the purposes of this By-law, the pecuniary interest, direct or indirect, of a parent or the spouse or any child of the member shall, if known to the member, be deemed to be also the pecuniary interest of the member.
  4. The following protocol shall apply to citizen members of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee:
    1. Where a citizen member of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee, either on his or her own behalf or while acting for, by, with or through another, has any pecuniary interest, direct or indirect, in any matter and is present at a meeting of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee at which the matter is the subject of consideration, the member,
      1. shall, prior to any consideration of the matter at the meeting, disclose the interest and the general nature thereof;
      2. shall not take part in the discussion of, or vote on any question in respect of the matter; and
      3. shall not attempt in any way whether before, during or after the meeting to influence the voting on any such question or recommendation.
    2. Where the meeting referred to in Subsection (a) is not open to the public, in addition to complying with the requirements of that subsection, the citizen member shall forthwith leave the meeting or the part of the meeting during which the matter is under consideration.
    3. Where the interest of a citizen member has not been disclosed as required by subsection (a) by reason of the citizen member’s absence from the meeting referred to therein, the citizen member shall disclose the interest and otherwise comply with subsection (a) at the first meeting of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee, as the case may be, attended by the citizen member after the meeting referred to in subsection (a).
  5. The abovementioned protocol does not apply to a pecuniary interest in any matter that a citizen member may have,
    1. as a user of any public utility service supplied to the citizen member by the City in like manner and subject to the like conditions as are applicable in the case of persons who are not members;
    2. by reason of the citizen member being entitled to receive on terms common to other persons any service or commodity or any subsidy, loan or other such benefit offered by the City;
    3. by reason of the citizen member purchasing or owning a debenture of the City;
    4. by reason of the citizen member having made a deposit with the City, the whole or part of which is or may be returnable to the member in like manner as such a deposit is or may be returnable to all other electors;
    5. by reason of having an interest in any property affected by a work under the Drainage Act or by a work under a regulation made under Part XII of the Municipal Act, 2001, relating to local improvements;
    6. by reason of having an interest in farm lands that are exempted from taxation for certain expenditures under the Assessment Act;
    7. by reason of the citizen member being eligible for election or appointment to fill a vacancy, office or position in the council when the council is empowered or required by any general or special Act to fill such vacancy, office or position;
    8. by reason only of the citizen member being a director or senior officer of a corporation incorporated for the purpose of carrying on business for and on behalf of the City or by reason only of the citizen member being a member of a board, commission, or other body as an appointee of a council;
    9. in respect of an allowance for attendance at meetings, or any other allowance, honorarium, remuneration, salary or benefit to which the citizen member may be entitled by reason of being a member or as a member of a volunteer fire brigade, as the case may be;
    10. by reason of the citizen member having a pecuniary interest which is an interest in common with electors generally; or
    11. by reason only of an interest of the citizen member which is so remote or insignificant in its nature that it cannot reasonably be regarded as likely to influence the member.

Conduct Respecting Lobbying

12.

  1. Citizen members of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee, as members of a Committee of Council, may be approached by various individuals attempting to influence decisions before Committee and Council. While lobbying is an acceptable practice, disclosure of lobbying activities enhances the transparency and integrity of City business.
  2. In accordance with the City’s Lobbyist Registry, citizen members of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee shall review the Lobbyist Registry on a monthly basis to confirm that instances where they have been lobbied on a particular matter, including the specific matter and date, have been registered. Where lobbying activity has not been disclosed, the citizen member shall first remind the lobbyist of the requirement to disclose and, should the activity remain undisclosed, advise the Integrity Commissioner of the failure to disclose.
  3. Further, citizen members should ensure that individuals who are lobbying them are aware of their requirement to register as required under the requirements of the Lobbyist Registry. Citizen members should not knowingly communicate with a lobbyist who is acting in violation of the requirements of the Registry. If a citizen member is or at any time becomes aware that a person is in violation of the rules related to lobbying, the citizen member should either refuse to deal with the lobbyist or, where appropriate, either terminate the communication with the lobbyist at once or, if in the citizen member’s judgment it is appropriate to continue the communication, at the end of the communication, draw that person’s attention to the obligations imposed by the Registry and report the communication to the City Clerk and Solicitor and to the Integrity Commissioner.
  4. Unless pre-approved by the Integrity Commissioner, the acceptance of any gift, benefit, or hospitality from lobbyists with active lobbying registrations or from their registered clients or their employees by citizen members of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee is prohibited.
  5. The principle here is to ensure that companies and individuals who may be seeking to do business with the City do not do so by giving gifts or favours to people in a position to influence vendor approval or decision-making.

Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality

13.

  1. Through their work on the Built Heritage Sub-Committee, citizen members are expected to provide advice and assistance to Committee and Council and to do so with both impartiality and objectivity. The acceptance of a gift, benefit or hospitality can imply favouritism, bias or influence on the part of the citizen member. At times, the acceptance of a gift, benefit or hospitality occurs as part of the social protocol or community events linked to the duties of a Committee of Council.
  2. Citizen members shall not accept gifts that would, to a reasonable member of the public, appear to be in gratitude for influence, to induce influence, or otherwise to go beyond the necessary and appropriate public functions involved. For these purposes, a gift, benefit or hospitality provided with the citizen member’s knowledge to a citizen member’s spouse, child, or parent that is connected directly or indirectly to the performance of the citizen member’s duties is deemed to be a gift to that citizen member.
  3. To enhance transparency and accountability with respect to gifts, benefits and hospitality, citizen members will file a quarterly disclosure statement that will be added to the public Gifts Registry. Citizen members are required to disclose all gifts, benefits, hospitality and sponsored travel received which individually exceed $100 from one source in a calendar year.
  4. The disclosure statement must indicate:
    1. The nature of the gift, benefit or hospitality;
    2. Its source and date of receipt;
    3. The circumstances under which it was given or received;
    4. Its estimated value;
    5. What the recipient intends to do with the gift; and
    6. Whether the gift will at any point will be left with the City.
  5. In the case of requirement (f) of the disclosure statement, those gifts received by citizen members which have significance or historical value for the City of Ottawa shall be left with City Archives at the end of a citizen member’s term on the Sub-Committee.

Acceptance of Event Tickets

  1. The City of Ottawa is home to many types of festivals, community, cultural and sports events. The City is also the host site for many federal, provincial, National Capital Commission events. Consequently, citizen members of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee may be expected to attend or may be frequently encouraged to attend by being provided with tickets or invitations.
  2. As with gifts, the acceptance of this kind of benefit can appear to be a means of undue influence. While the choice of venues and events they attend is entirely at the discretion of citizen members of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee, when accepting tickets as a gift or benefit, citizen members shall observe the following limits:
    1. To further enhance transparency all tickets of a value exceeding $30 shall be disclosed quarterly in the Gifts Registry, along with the disposition thereof (e.g. who attended with the citizen member, or if donated, to whom or what organization);
    2. A limit of two tickets for up to two events from one source in a calendar year is permitted and requires disclosure;
    3. Accepting any tickets for subsequent events from the same source is prohibited.
  3. On receiving a disclosure statement, the Integrity Commissioner shall examine it to ascertain whether the receipt of the gift or benefit might, in his or her opinion, create a conflict between a private interest and the public duty of the citizen member or in consultation with the City Archivist whether the gift has significance or historical value for the City. In the event that the Integrity Commissioner makes that preliminary determination, he or she shall call upon the citizen member to justify receipt of the gift or benefit.
  4. Should the Integrity Commissioner determine that receipt was inappropriate, he or she may direct the citizen member to return the gift or remit the value of any gift or benefit already consumed to the City.
  5. The following are recognized as exceptions and do not require registration:
    1. compensation authorized by law;
    2. such gifts or benefits that normally accompany the responsibilities of office and are received as an incident of protocol or social obligation;
    3. a political contribution otherwise reported by law, in the case of members running for office;
    4. services provided without compensation by persons volunteering their time;
    5. a suitable memento of a function honouring the member;
    6. food, lodging, transportation and entertainment provided by provincial, regional and local governments or political subdivisions of them, by the federal government or by a foreign government within a foreign country, or by a conference, seminar or event organizer where the member is either speaking or attending in an official capacity;
    7. food and beverages consumed at banquets, receptions or similar events, if:
      1. attendance serves a legitimate business purpose;
      2. the person extending the invitation or a representative of the organization is in attendance; and
      3. the value is reasonable and the invitations infrequent;
    8. communication to a member, including subscriptions to newspapers and periodicals;
    9. sponsorships and donations for community events organized or run by a member or a third party on behalf of a member, subject to the limitations set in the Council Expense Policy;
    10. gifts of a nominal value (e.g. baseball cap, t-shirt, flash drive, book, etc.); and
    11. any other gift or personal benefit, if the Integrity Commissioner is of the opinion it is unlikely that receipt of the gift or benefit gives rise to a reasonable presumption that the gift or benefit was given in order to influence the citizen member in the performance of his or her duties.
  6. The Gifts Registry will be updated on a quarterly basis and posted on the City’s website for public viewing.

Election-Related Activity

14. 

  1. Citizen members of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee are required to conduct themselves in accordance with the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 and the City’s Election-Related Resources Policy. 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 any citizen member’s personal campaign for office, but also other campaigns for municipal, provincial and federal office.
  2. A citizen member shall not engage in political campaigning of any sort (municipally, provincially or federally) on behalf of the Sub-Committee or as a member of the Sub-Committee.

Part III

Compliance with the Code of Conduct

15.

  1. Citizen members of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee 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 sanctions:
    1. A reprimand.
    2. Suspension of the remuneration paid to the member in respect of his or her services as a member of Council or a local board, as the case may be, for a period of up to 90 days.
  2. The Integrity Commissioner may also recommend that Council impose one of the following sanctions:
    1. Written or verbal public apology;
    2. Return of property or reimbursement of its value or of monies spent;
    3. Removal from membership of a committee; and
    4. Removal as chair of a committee.
  3. The Integrity Commissioner has the final authority to recommend any of the sanctions above or other remedial action at his or her discretion.

Short Title

16. This By-law may be referred to as the “Code of Conduct for Citizen Members of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee”.

Effective Date

17. This by-law shall be effective as of March 1, 2019.

ENACTED AND PASSED on the 12th day of December 2018. 

 

Appendix "A"
Complaint Protocol

Part I
Informal Complaint Procedure

Informal Complaints

1. Any individual who identifies or witnesses behaviour or activity by a citizen member of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee, that appears to be in contravention of the Code of Conduct for Citizen Members of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee (the “Code of Conduct”) may address the prohibited behaviour or activity themselves in the following manner:

(a) Advise the member that the behaviour or activity appears to contravene the Code of Conduct;

(b) Encourage the member to acknowledge and agree to stop the prohibited behaviour or activity and to avoid future occurrences of the prohibited behaviour or activity;

(c) Document the incidents including dates, times, locations, other persons present, and any other relevant information;

(d) Request the Integrity Commissioner to assist in informal discussion of the alleged complaint with the member in an attempt to resolve the issue;

(e) If applicable, confirm to the member your satisfaction with the response of the member; or, if applicable, advise the member of your dissatisfaction with the response; and

(f) Consider the need to pursue the matter in accordance with the formal complaint procedure outlined in Part II, or in accordance with any other applicable judicial or quasi-judicial process or complaint procedure.

2. Individuals are encouraged to pursue this informal complaint procedure as the first means of remedying behaviour or an activity that they believe violates the Code of Conduct. With the consent of both the complaining individual and the Member, the Integrity Commissioner may participate in any informal process. The parties involved are encouraged to take advantage of the Integrity Commissioner’s potential role as a mediator/conciliator of issues relating to a complaint. However, the informal process is not a precondition or a prerequisite to pursuing the formal complaint procedure outlined in Part II.

Part II
Formal Complaint Procedure

Formal Complaints

3. Any individual who identifies or witnesses behaviour or an activity by a citizen member of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee, that they believe is in contravention of the Code of Conduct for Citizen Members of the Built-Heritage Sub-Committee, may file a formal complaint in accordance with the following conditions:

(a) All complaints shall be made in writing and shall be dated and signed by an identifiable individual.

(b) The complaint must set out reasonable and probable grounds for the allegation that the member has contravened the Code of Conduct. A supporting affidavit setting out the evidence in support of the allegation must also be included.

(c) If the complainant is a citizen member of the Built-Heritage Sub-Committee, their identity shall not be protected if the Integrity Commissioner finds that the complaint was not made in good faith.

(d) City Council and the Built Heritage Sub-Committee may also file a complaint and/or request an investigation of any of its membership by public motion.

Filing of Complaint and Classification by Integrity Commissioner

4 .

  1. The complaint shall be filed with the City Clerk and Solicitor who shall forward the matter to the Integrity Commissioner for initial classification to determine if the matter is, on its face, a complaint with respect to non-compliance with the Code of Conduct and not covered by other legislation or other Council policies as described in Section 5.
  2. If the complaint does not include a supporting affidavit, the Integrity Commissioner may defer the classification until an affidavit is received.

Complaints Outside Integrity Commissioner Jurisdiction

5. If the complaint, including any supporting affidavit, is not, on its face, a complaint with respect to non-compliance with the Code of Conduct or the complaint is covered by other legislation or complaint procedure under another Council policy, the Integrity Commissioner shall advise the complainant in writing as follows:

Criminal Matter

(a) If the complaint on its face is an allegation of a criminal nature consistent with the Criminal Code of Canada, the complainant shall be advised that if the complainant wishes to pursue any such allegation, the complainant must pursue it with the appropriate Police Service.

Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

(b) If the complaint is more appropriately addressed under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the complainant shall be advised that the matter must be referred to the City Clerk and Solicitor for Access and Privacy review.

Other Policy Applies

(c) If the complaint seems to fall under another policy, the complainant shall be advised to pursue the matter under such policy.

Lack of Jurisdiction

(d) If the complaint is, for any other reason not within the jurisdiction of the Integrity Commissioner, the complainant shall be so advised and provided with any additional reasons and referrals as the Integrity Commissioner considers appropriate.

Matter Already Pending

(e) If the complaint is in relation to a matter which is subject to an outstanding complaint under another process such as a Human Rights complaint or similar process, the Integrity Commissioner may, in his/her sole discretion and in accordance with legislation, suspend any investigation pending the result of the other process.

Periodic Reports to Council

6. The Integrity Commissioner shall report to Council semi-annually during the first year, and annually thereafter. In his/her report to Council, he/she shall report on all complaints received and, on their disposition, (including complaints deemed not to be within the jurisdiction of the Integrity Commissioner).

Refusal to Conduct Investigation

7. If the Integrity Commissioner is of the opinion that the referral of a matter to him or her is frivolous, vexatious or not made in good faith, or that there are no grounds or insufficient grounds for an investigation, the Integrity Commissioner shall not investigate and, where this becomes apparent in the course of an investigation, shall terminate the investigation.

Opportunities for Resolution

8. 

  1. Following receipt and review of a formal complaint, or at any time during the investigation, where the Integrity Commissioner believes that an opportunity to resolve the matter may be successfully pursued without a formal investigation, and both the complainant and the member agree, efforts may be pursued to achieve an informal resolution.
  2. The Integrity Commissioner may also decide during his investigation that complaints relating to the following matters may not be Code of Conduct issues and may more appropriately be dealt with through other channels. With the consent of the complainant, the Integrity Commissioner may refer complaints as appropriate.

Investigation

9. 

  1. The Integrity Commissioner will proceed as follows, except where otherwise required by the Public Inquiries Act:
    1. Provide the complaint and supporting material to the member whose conduct is in question with a request that a written response to the allegation be provided within ten business days; and
    2. Provide a copy of the response provided to the complainant with a request for a written reply within ten business days.
  2. If necessary, after reviewing the submitted materials, the Integrity Commissioner may speak to anyone, access and examine any other documents or electronic materials and may enter any City work location relevant to the complaint for the purpose of investigation and potential resolution.
    1. The member who is the subject of the investigation may consult with a lawyer and the costs may be expensed to the Council administration budget through the Clerk’s office.
  3. The Integrity Commissioner may make interim reports to Council where necessary and as required to address any instances of interference, obstruction, delay or retaliation encountered during the investigation.
  4. If the Integrity Commissioner has not completed an investigation before Nomination Day for a regular election, as set out in the Municipal Elections Act, 1996, the Integrity Commissioner shall terminate the inquiry on that day.
    1. If an investigation is terminated in accordance with Subsection 9(4), the Integrity Commissioner shall not commence another inquiry in respect of the matter unless, within six weeks after Voting Day in a regular election, the complainant who made the request or the member or former member whose conduct is concerned makes a written request to the Integrity Commissioner that the investigation be commenced.
  5. The Integrity Commissioner shall retain all records related to the complaint and investigation.

No Complaint Prior to Municipal Election

10. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Protocol, no complaint may be referred to the Integrity Commissioner, or forwarded by the Clerk for review and/or investigation during the period of time starting on Nomination Day and ending on Voting Day in any year in which a regular municipal election will be held, as set out in the Municipal Elections Act, 1996.

Recommendation Report

11. 

  1. The Integrity Commissioner shall report to the complainant and the member generally no later than 90 days after the intake process has been completed and an investigation has been commenced. If the investigation process takes more than 90 days, the Integrity Commissioner shall provide an interim report and must advise the parties of the date the report will be available.
  2. Where the complaint is sustained in whole or in part, the Integrity Commissioner shall report to Council outlining the findings, the terms of any settlement and/or any recommended corrective action.
  3. The City Clerk shall give a copy of the report to the complainant and the member whose conduct is concerned. The member shall have the right of reply when the report is considered by Council.
  4. Where the complaint is not sustained, except for in exceptional circumstances, the Integrity Commissioner shall not report to Council the result of the investigation except as part of an annual or other periodic report.

Member Not Blameworthy

12. If the Integrity Commissioner determines that there has been no contravention of the Code of Conduct or that a contravention occurred although the member took all reasonable measures to prevent it, or that a contravention occurred that was trivial or committed through inadvertence or an error of judgment made in good faith, the Integrity Commissioner may so state in the report and may make appropriate recommendations pursuant to the Municipal Act, 2001.

Report to Council

13. Upon receipt of a report, the Clerk shall indicate, on the next regular agenda of City Council, Notice of Intent from the Integrity Commissioner to submit a report for consideration at the following regular meeting of City Council.

No Reports Prior to Municipal Election

14. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Protocol, the Integrity Commissioner shall not make any report to Council or to any other person during the period of time starting on Nomination Day and ending on Voting Day in any year in which a regular municipal election will be held, as set out in the Municipal Elections Act, 1996.

Duty of Council

15. Council shall consider and respond to the report at the next meeting of Council after the day the report is laid before it.

(a) Council shall not consider whether to impose sanctions on a member, where the Integrity Commissioner makes a report to Council regarding a contravention of the Code of Conduct, during the period of time starting on Nomination Day and ending on Voting Day in any year in which a regular municipal election will be held, as set out in the Municipal Elections Act, 1996.

Public Disclosure

16.

  1. The Integrity Commissioner and every person acting under his or her jurisdiction shall preserve confidentiality where appropriate and where this does not interfere with the course of any investigation, except as required by law and as required by this complaint protocol.
  2. The Integrity Commissioner shall retain all records related to the complaint and investigation.
  3. At the time of the Integrity Commissioner’s report to Council, the identity of the person who is the subject of the complaint shall not be treated as confidential information if the Integrity Commissioner finds that a breach has occurred.
  4. All reports from the Integrity Commissioner to Council will be made available to the public on ottawa.ca.

Community, Fundraising and Special Events Policy

1.Scope

This policy supplements the Code of Conduct for Members of Council and the Council Expense Policy and is not intended to affect the entitlement of a Member of Council to:

  • Use her or his Constituency Services Budget to run or support community events subject to the terms of the Council Expense Policy;
  • Urge constituents, businesses and other groups to support community events staged by others in the Member’s Ward or elsewhere in the City;
  • Play an advisory or membership role in any organization staging community events in the Member’s Ward; and
  • Participate with the City and its agencies in staging of community events.

2.Council Member-Organized Community Events

There are cases where Members seek and receive donations or sponsorships to organize events that benefit their ward, the city or a local charity. For the purposes of this and related policies, these are termed ‘benevolent activities’. Where Members undertake a benevolent activity, Members shall:

  • Open a City account with the Manager, Council Support Services;
  • Account for all funds, goods and services donated, including a list of all individuals and organizations who donated;
  • Account for all expenses and distributions undertaken for that activity;
  • Not solicit or accept donations from lobbyist or their clients or their employees with active registrations in the Lobbyist Registry without pre-approval from the Integrity Commissioner;
  • Not use any funds, goods or services received for the benevolent activity for any other purpose;
  • Report on these activities as part of Public Disclosure on an annual basis in recognition of the fact that preparation for a benevolent activity can take several months; and
  • In an election year, a Member of Council must not seek donations and sponsorships for any event that has not been staged in the previous two years nor accept donations or stage any new event supported by donations and sponsorships after he or she has filed nomination papers for election to any office in the City of Ottawa.
    An event is considered to have been staged in the previous two years if it meets the following criteria:
    • has a very similar, if not the same, event name/title
    • takes place at approximately the same time
    • has the same general purpose;
  • In the case of repeat annual events, a reasonable operational amount may carry over to a subsequent year; and
  • At end of a Member’s term, any funds remaining in such accounts shall revert to the appropriate charity or organization or to the Council Administration Budget in the same manner as a surplus of a Member’s Constituency Budget as the case may be.

3.Support for Benevolent Activities and Events

Members of Council are called upon to assist and support various charities, service clubs, and other non-profit and community-based associations. For example, Members support their communities in a variety of ways including, but not limited to:

  • accepting honourary roles in organizations;
  • lending their names to organization and events to assist in fundraising; and
  • encouraging community and corporate donations to registered charitable, not-for-profit, or other community-based groups.

As civic leaders and public office holders, Members of Council supporting community endeavours and projects must also exhibit transparency with their involvement and carry out their community service in a manner that promotes public confidence. Members of Council shall not use the influence their office for any other purpose than the lawful exercise of their official duties and for municipal purposes.

When considering whether to support a third party by organizing a fundraiser or benevolent event Members of Council shall disclose all material facts to the Integrity Commissioner and obtain a written opinion from the Integrity Commissioner approving the activity, which concludes that the Member does not have a conflict between his/her private interest and public duty.

In circumstances where the Integrity Commissioner has provided a written opinion approving the activity, the Member shall:

  • Ensure that they or their staffs do not directly solicit any funds, nor that they receive any funds that are solicited by the organization;
  • Ensure that all donations shall be payable directly the organization and all in kind donations will go directly to the organization;
  • Ensure that their commitment and support does not require significant staff time and/or City resources;
  • Not participate directly in decisions on the disbursement of funds or in the determination of the beneficiaries of the funds and remain at arm’s length from the financial aspects of these external events without pre-approval from the Integrity Commissioner; and
  • Ensure that if more than $25,000 in funds net of expenses is raised, the organization is encouraged to publicly disclose audited statements, which should include a list of receipts, expenses, donors and disbursements to beneficiaries.

Council Expense Policy

1. Policy Overview

The Council Expense Policy provides guidance to Members of Council on expenditures that support the Member in fulfilling his or her statutory duties as an elected official. A Constituency Services Budget is intended to provide Members of Council (Members) with the resources to:

  • Administer their offices at City Hall and in their wards to support their role;
  • To conduct meetings and communicate with their constituents and other stakeholders;
  • Support and promote activities or community groups within their ward and in the community at large; and
  • Represent the City at functions, events or conferences.

The policy is intended to:

  • Provide Members of Council with the flexibility to allocate resources in the most efficient way to meet their own particular requirements;
  • Clarify the processes that Members and their staff use to administer their budgets by simplifying and outlining the rules; and
  • Recognize Members’ accountability for managing City resources allocated to them.

The following principles should be applied when interpreting this policy:

(a) Autonomy of Council

  • City Council, as the decision-making body of the City, is separate and distinct from the City administration; and
  • The autonomy of Council is provided for in the Municipal Act, 2001.

(b) Integrity of Council

  • The integrity of City Council as a whole and the offices of the Members must be protected; and
  • The interest of City Council as a whole takes precedence over the personal interest of individual Members of Council.

(c) Accountability

  • Members are the stewards of City resources and are ultimately accountable to the public and their constituents for the type and level of expenses they incur;
  • Since Members use public funds when they perform their duties, the public expects public funds to be used solely for fulfillment of their public duties;
  • Members’ expenses should be reasonable and reflect what the public expects of an elected official; and
  • Members’ business expenses and personal expenses must be kept separate.

(d) Transparency

  • The public has a right to know how public funds allocated to Members are spent; and
  • The public’s right to Members’ expense information must be balanced against the need to protect privacy and personal information, and allow time for proper accounting and reconciliation of expenses.

(e) Flexibility and Limits

  • Members require flexibility to perform their roles, operate their offices and pursue their public interests;
  • Members engage their communities differently;
  • Expenditures must not conflict with rules set out in other related legislation and polices (e.g. Election-Related Resources Policy); and
  • All accounting, audit and Income Tax Act principles and rules must be followed.

Exemptions to this Policy may be granted in writing by the City Clerk and Solicitor and/or the Deputy City Clerk, in consultation with the Integrity Commissioner as necessary.

2. Guiding Legislation

The guiding legislation for the Council Expense Policy is the Municipal Act, 2001. Section 224 of the Act describes the role of City Council:

  • To represent the public and to consider the well-being and interests of the municipality;
  • To develop and evaluate the policies and programs of the municipality;
  • To determine which services the municipality provides;
  • To ensure that administrative policies, practices and procedures and controllership policies, practices and procedures are in place to implement the decisions of council;
  • To ensure the accountability and transparency of the operations of the municipality, including the activities of the senior management of the municipality;
  • To maintain the financial integrity of the municipality; and
  • To carry out the duties of council under this or any other Act. 

Section 225 further describes the role of the Mayor as Head of Council:

  • To act as Chief Executive Officer of the municipality;
  • To preside over council meetings so that its business can be carried out efficiently and effectively;
  • To provide leadership to the council;
  • To provide information and recommendations to the council with respect to the role of council to ensure administrative, accountability and transparency policies are in place;
  • To represent the municipality at official functions; and
  • To carry out the duties of the head of council under this or any other Act.

3. Budget Allocation and Administration

3.1 Budget Allocation

Constituency Services Budget for Members of Council

Members of Council are provided with a Constituency Services Budget with which to run their offices. Expenses include items such as: community events, contributions, donations and sponsorship, office supplies and staffing. Members of Council cannot exceed their annual Constituency Services Budget. Any over-expenditure is the personal responsibility of the Member and to be paid personally by the Member. There is no carry-over of deficits or surpluses from one year to the next. This is particularly important in an election year since sufficient funds must remain for the newly elected representatives to operate their offices.

Where it appears that a Member’s Constituency Services Budget may be overspent, the Deputy City Clerk will advise the Member in writing as soon as a risk is identified and, in conjunction with the Manager, Council Support Services or the Manager, Mayor Support Services, as appropriate, work towards resolving the matter with the Member.

Council Administration Budget

The budget for the Elected Officials is overseen by the City Clerk and Solicitor. Under the supervision of the Deputy City Clerk, the Council Administration Budget is used to finance a range of items commonly used in the operation of each Office, as well as cover certain other expenses supporting the Council or required by the Municipal Act, 2001.

The salary, benefits and transportation allowance of all Members of Council will be drawn from the Council Administration Budget. The Council Administration Budget may also fund travel by Members of Council to conferences, Board or committee meetings of municipal organization or similar events in accordance with relevant, approved policies and procedures.

3.2 Spending Guidelines and Accounting Procedures

Members’ claims for expenses must follow basic accounting and audit principles and the following guidelines:

  • Expenses must relate to the business of the City of Ottawa; Members and their staff cannot claim expenses of a personal nature;
  • Expenses must be consistent with what is permitted in the Office Manual;
  • No expense shall create a conflict of interest, or the appearance of such a conflict, that may arise through the purchase of goods or services from a family member or a family member of one of a Member’s staff;
  • Members or their staff must incur the expenses. Expenses incurred by third parties cannot be claimed;
  • Members’ budgets shall not be used to provide a personal benefit to specific individual citizens or businesses (i.e. payment of tax penalties, parking tickets, sponsorship of personal travel, etc.);
  • Members and their staff must provide proper documentation, including detailed original receipts and a breakdown of taxes, for all expense claims. Credit card receipts or statements alone are not sufficient and will not be accepted. In the case of any on-line purchases, a copy of the confirmation must be attached to the claim. Members or their authorized staff must sign off on all receipts or invoices with original signatures. Documentation with only signature stamps or electronic signatures will not be accepted;
  • Delegation of signing authority to staff must be documented on the appropriate form and remitted to the Manager, Council Support Services or the Manager, Mayor Support Services with samples of signatures prior to the transaction;
  • Invoices must include a description of the goods purchased or services rendered, the cost, applicable taxes and GST Registration Number. In the event a GST Registration Number is not provided, Members’ Assistants are required to contact the vendor to obtain the information;
  • The City of Ottawa is exempted from GST. GST paid to vendors will not be included in the amount charged to the Member’s Constituency Services Budget;
  • Any material and intellectual assets purchased through the use of the Constituency Services Budget are the property of the office, not the Member. Original receipts and a photograph of the purchase are required for inventory purposes;
  • All donations to charities funded by the Constituency Services budget shall be accomplished by means of a cheque or purchasing card payment and any charitable receipt shall be made out to the City of Ottawa. Charitable receipts shall be given to the Manager, Council Support Services or the Manager, Mayor Support Services. Neither Members nor their staff will be reimbursed for charitable donations provided in cash unless accompanied by the charitable receipt;
  • Direct mail and direct marketing expenses for a geographic area outside of a Member’s ward will not be permitted without prior approval from the City Clerk and Solicitor or the Deputy City Clerk, in consultation with the Integrity Commissioner. Notwithstanding, it is recognized that advertising in mass media and broader circulation publications and some unaddressed postal walks will cross ward boundaries and these are exempt where outside the control of the Member seeking to direct mail/direct market to his/her ward residents;
  • Expenses must be charged to the year in which they occurred. Expenses cannot be carried forward to different years;
  • Members who charge for goods against the current year must have received the goods and/or services from the vendor before December 31 of that year;
  • Original receipts must be submitted within 90 days of purchase and no later than the final date for processing payments within a budget year as determined by the Finance Department;
  • At the end of the year, when expenses have been incurred but invoices are not yet received, Members must inform the Manager, Council Support Services or the Manager, Mayor Support Services, as appropriate, so that a proper liability can be set up. Invoices from previous years that have not been set up as liabilities will not be paid or reimbursed from the previous year’s budget. Payment may be made against the current year’s budget;
  • To ensure financial integrity, Members of Council must sign off on disbursements/reimbursements directly payable to their staff. Further, the City Clerk and Solicitor or the Deputy City Clerk must sign off on disbursements/reimbursements directly payable to Members of Council;
  • Where a Member of Council or their staff is requesting reimbursement for an expense, proof of payment must also be submitted; and
  • Members of Council can obtain a Corporate Card or a Purchasing Card, which provides more flexibility with respect to purchasing goods and services, including travel expenses. Both cards are accompanied with specific reporting and accountability requirements;

4. Public Disclosure

Expense reports are prepared on a monthly basis for each Member of Council. The reports are broken down into a series of categories for ease of reference. An itemized report is provided for expenses related to donations and sponsorships, hospitality, special events and travel. Members of Council must take note of the specific documentation requirements of certain allowable expenses and ensure that the appropriate details are provided. An annual release of each Member of Council’s final budget figures will also be disclosed.

Further, and in accordance with the legislated requirements of the Municipal Act, 2001, a Statement of Remuneration, Benefits and Expenses Paid to Council Members and Council Appointees, and Police Services Board members, will be reported to Council each year.

In the spirit of accountability and transparency, the individual office expenses for Members of City Council are publicly disclosed on the City’s website.

Conditions and Requirements for Public Disclosure

Contributions and Sponsorship
  • Contributions must be accompanied by a request from the organization with details about the group and the purpose of the contribution
Hospitality offered by Members
  • Identify business purpose and date for the meeting expense;
  • Original itemized receipt indicating items consumed and total cost;
  • The name and location of establishment; and
  • Full name of all participants attending meeting must be provided, as well as their affiliation if they are representing an organization or business. The names of individuals receiving hospitality are not confidential.
  • Members are not required to list the names of attendees for community events of a social, protocol or ceremonial nature or events involving large groups (over 10 people), school events or similar events where no City business is transacted or the names of any minors receiving hospitality.
Special Events attended by Members
  • Exact name of event must be provided;
  • Date and location of the event;
  • The name of any individual who attended with the Member must be provided;
  • Detailed receipts and invoices of any expenses incurred; and
  • A copy of tickets purchased
Travel
  • Identify all City-funded travel, including travel funded by the City’s Boards and Agencies, as well as Members’ travel funded by external bodies such as boards, conservation authorities and municipal associations;
  • Identify where the meeting was held, the duration, and the purpose;
  • Travel reimbursement must include any itinerary confirming travel dates and airline booking, an original hotel invoice itemizing room costs and other incidentals, conference brochure confirming the cost and conference date and taxi / parking receipts;
  • Members must report to the Integrity Commissioner, before the first date of travel, all travel costs funded by an eligible body under the Code of Conduct; and
  • Members who undertake City-funded travel must submit a report detailing their experiences, what they learned at the conference and how the City’s position or interests were advanced. The report shall be accomplished in writing, either as an information report or as an Information Previously Distributed report, listed on the agenda for the appropriate Standing Committee.

5. Restrictions on Expenses

5.1 Contributions

  • Unless otherwise approved by motion of Council, contributions are limited to 3.5% of the Members annual Constituency Services Budget;
  • Contributions shall be made via City of Ottawa cheques to a community group or organization, not by Councillor or staff personal cheques;
  • Unless otherwise approved by motion of Council, contributions to individuals, businesses or City funded services and departments are prohibited; and
  • The purchase of material assets as contributions is prohibited.

5.2 Expenses

  • No expense shall create a conflict of interest, or the appearance of such a conflict, that may arise through the purchase of goods or services from a family member;
  • Alcohol is not a permitted expense;
  • Personal expenses (i.e. clothing, etc.) are not eligible expenses; and
  • Gifts for Members’ staff or other employees of the City, its agencies, boards, commissions and special purpose bodies are not eligible expenses.

5.3 Interpretation and Exemptions

The Deputy City Clerk and Councillors may consult with the Integrity Commissioner for guidance with respect to individual Councillor expenses or any interpretation on the application of this policy.

Where the Deputy City Clerk and the Integrity Commissioner have been consulted and a determination has been made that expense is appropriate, an exemption may be granted in writing.

6. Election Year Budget Restrictions

In a municipal election year, and in relation to a municipal by-election, certain restrictions are placed on Member’s Office Budgets and the allowable expenses that can be incurred. These restrictions are set out in the Election-Related Resources Policy.