Accountability and transparency are fundamentally important to the operations of municipal government.
Council and staff of the Municipality of Bluewater acknowledge the importance of the transparency of its proceedings and accountability for its actions and is committed to conducting business in this manner.
Ontario municipalities and members of council operate under a legislated accountability and transparency framework that include rules for the municipality and rules for members of council and local boards.
A Code of Conduct for Council was adopted in 2019 and applies to members of Bluewater Council, committees, and local boards. Please contact the Corporate Services Department if you wish to obtain a copy of the Bluewater Council Code of Conduct.
A Code of Conduct serves as a reference guide on ethical behaviour when members are acting in their official capacity, and supplements legislative standards and parameters within which members are obligated to conduct themselves.
A Code of Conduct encourages the public's right to expect that its representatives adhere to the highest standards of conduct. Adherence to such standards will in turn help to protect and maintain a municipality's reputation and integrity.
Municipal councils, local boards and their committees must meet behind closed doors on occasion to deal with some matters. For example, if a municipality is involved in legal proceedings or if Council is considering purchasing a piece of land or if Council must deal with a labour relations issue then it is appropriate that it be able to do so at a closed meeting. The purpose of such a closed meeting is to receive information or give direction.
Local government in Ontario must be transparent and accountable. To this end, the Province has set the rules for a council, local board or a committee to go into a closed meeting.
These rules are found in section 239 of the Municipal Act 2001 and they must be strictly followed.
Anyone may make a complaint.
The informal and formal complaint protocol is Appendix “B” to the Code of Conduct and applies to complaints and requests under the Code of Conduct and the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.
Formal complaints can be made by filing a sworn/affirmed affidavit, as provided in Appendix B to the Code of Conduct, directly with the Integrity Commissioner or Clerk. Please request these documents from the Manager of Corporate Services, Chandra Alexander, at 519-236-4351 ext 223 or via email.
Where a formal complaint is filed with the Clerk, that individual is to forward the complaint to the attention of the Integrity Commissioner, without added comment, as soon as possible.
A complaint shall not be made available to the public except as may be required under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) or as completed by Order of Court.
The Municipality of Bluewater has appointed Aird Berlis LLP as the Municipal Integrity Commissioner and Closed Meeting Investigator. The role of the Integrity Commissioner is to help ensure that Members of Council perform their functions in accordance with a Code of Conduct, and other procedures, rules or policies governing their ethical behaviour.