Council Code of Conduct, Closed Meetings, and Conflicts of Interest
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School Board Trustees - Upper Grand District School Board
Council Code of Conduct
The Council Code of Conduct forms the basis of integrity, justice, and courtesy from which the Town's elected representatives operate. The standards are designed to provide a reference guide and to supplement the legislative parameters within which the members must operate.
While the Code of Conduct is meant to provide a shared understanding of how elected representatives are supposed to operate, it is not intended to replace personal ethics.
Alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct will be investigated by the Town's Integrity Commissioner.
All meetings of Council and Boards must be open to the public. A meeting or part of a meeting may be closed to the public if the subject matter being considered is:
- the security of the property of the municipality or local board;
- personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees;
- a proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land by the municipality or local board;
- labour relations or employee negotiations;
- litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board;
- advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose;
- a matter in respect of which a council, board, committee or other body may hold a closed meeting under another Act;
- information explicitly supplied in confidence to the municipality or local board by Canada, a province or territory or a Crown agency of any of them;
- a trade secret or scientific, technical, commercial, financial or labour relations information, supplied in confidence to the municipality or local board, which, if disclosed, could reasonably be expected to prejudice significantly the competitive position or interfere significantly with the contractual or other negotiations of a person, group of persons, organization;
- a trade secret or scientific, technical, commercial or financial information that belongs to the municipality or local board and has monetary value or potential monetary value; or
- a position, plan, procedure, criteria or instruction to be applied to any negotiations carried on or to be carried on by or on behalf of the municipality or local board.
The Municipal Act also allows for meetings to be closed to the public if the subject matter being considered is:
- a request under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, if the council, board, commission or other body is the head of an institution for the purposes of that Act;
- an ongoing investigation respecting the municipality, a local board or a municipally-controlled corporation by the Ombudsman appointed under the Ombudsman Act;
- the meeting is held for the purpose of educating or training the members;
A person may request that an investigation of whether a municipality or local board has contravened the provisions of the Municipal Act pertaining to closed meetings. The Town's closed meeting investigator is the Association of Municipalities of Ontario's (AMO) Local Authority Services (LAS).
Municipal Conflict of Interest Act
The main principles of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act set out by the Province of Ontario includes the following:
- The importance of integrity, independence and accountability in local government decision-making
- The importance of certainty in reconciling the public duties and pecuniary interests of members
- Members are expected to perform their duties of office with integrity and impartiality in a manner that will bear the closest scrutiny.
- There is a benefit to municipalities and local boards when members have a broad range of knowledge and continue to be active in their own communities, whether in business, in the practice of a profession, in community associations, and otherwise.
The act pertains to Council and Boards/committees that have decision making authority. It does not apply to advisory committees as they do not have decision making authority.
Conflicts of interest may be direct or indirect. A direct conflict of interest would be a member, spouse, parent or child who has a pecuniary interest in a matter in which Council or local board is concerned.
Indirect: any of the following has a pecuniary interest in a matter in which Council or local board is concerned:
- Employer of Member, spouse, parent or child
- Partner of Member, spouse, parent or child
- Body to which Member, spouse, parent or child belongs
- Private corporation of which Member, spouse, parent or child is shareholder
- Director or senior officer
- Publicly-traded company that Member, spouse, parent or child of which is a director or senior officer.
If a Conflict of Interest Exists
If a conflict of interest exists, Council/board member must:
- Disclose interest prior to it being discussed in a meeting
- Do not take part in discussion or vote
- Before, during and after, do not attempt to influence voting
- If a meeting is closed, leave the meeting
- Do not attempt in any way to influence decision or recommendation of an officer or employee of the municipality
- If absent from the meeting, disclose conflict at first meeting when present
Where to Find Conflicts of Interests
Conflicts of interest will be recorded in the minutes of the meeting and posted online.
The integrity commissioner reports to Council and is responsible for independently performing functions assigned by the municipality with respect to:
- The application of the Code of Conduct for members of Council and the Code of Conduct for members of local boards or of either of them;
- The application of any procedures, rules, and policies of the municipality and local boards governing the ethical behaviour of members of Council and of local boards or of either of them; or
- Both of clauses (a) and (b).
Potential conflicts of interest are investigated by the Town's integrity Commissioner.
Town of Mono Integrity Commissioner
Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP
Barristers and Solicitors
Bay Adelaide Centre
333 Bay Street, Suite 2400
P.O. Box 20
Toronto, ON M5H 2T6
Code of Conduct Complaints
All complaints should be made to the Town's Integrity Commissioner. Complaints may be made by members of the public, employees of the Town, any organization, and members of Council.
- Commissioner classifies complaint and decides whether to proceed to investigation stage within 3 days after receiving complaint
- Commissioner gives notice to member and to Complainant
- Member has seven business days to respond
- Commissioner shares member's reply with Complainant within 3 days of receiving Member's response
- Complainant has seven business days to reply
- Commissioner determines whether interview and further investigation and/or settlement attempts are required within a week of receiving the Complainant's reply
- Interviews, further investigation and draft of proposed findings and recommendations are provided within 4 weeks to Member
- Commissioner delivers general findings (without recommendations) to Member and Complainant and delivers report and recommendations to Council (via Clerk)
The full Work Schedule for processing complaints can be found online.
To submit a complaint, fill out the Code of Conduct Complaint Form and follow the instructions included. It is recommended that you provide any supporting documentation that will help verify your complaint. You may attach the documentation either in your e-mail or attach physical copies in mailed and faxed forms.
The Ombudsman is an independent officer of the Ontario Legislature who investigates complaints from the public about Ontario public sector bodies, including municipalities, within his jurisdiction, recommending improvements for governance and resolving individual issues.
Anyone with an unresolved concern about a municipality including citizens, councillors, or special interest groups can contact the Ombudsman by using the online complaint form. Complaints can also be filed by phone (1-800-263-1830), or email email@example.com.
Complaints regarding Code of Conduct (Integrity Commissioner), Municipal Conflict of Interest (Integrity Commissioner) or Closed Meetings (Closed Meeting Investigator) should be directed to the applicable investigator prior to filing a complaint with the Ontario Ombudsman.
- Bylaw 2017-43: Bylaw to Appoint an Integrity Commissioner
- Closed Meeting Complaint Form
- Conflicts of Interest
- Council and Local Board Code of Conduct Bylaw (Bylaw 2019-11)
- Declaration of Pecuniary Interest Form
- Municipal Conflict of Interest Act
- Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
- Ombudsman Act
- Ontario Ombudsman
- Work Schedule for Processing Code of Conduct Complaints
Dean Smith, president of Intelivote Systems Inc., gave a presentation on the Internet and telephone election process that will be used during the upcoming municipal election. This was followed by Cynthia Unwin, a member of the, who spoke on the status of hi-speed Internet service in Mono.
Town Hall Meeting Questions and Responses
When will the sewage costs for residents of the Fieldstone/Brookfield Subdivision be reviewed and will it incorporate a usage rate structure, similar to water meters, in lieu of the current flat rate?
When the subdivision was agreed to by the Town to build a communal septic system for the 343 new homes, Brookfield was required to build the plant to the Town’s engineering specifications and provide a letter of credit to be held by the Town until it was assumed. C.N. Watson & Associates consulting firm was engaged by the Town, at Brookfield’s cost, to develop an estimated operating and capital cost associated with the plant’s operation, to bill to Brookfield and the property owners. This was an estimated costing as there needed to be a history of operating costs at full build-out related to operations to better understand the plant’s requirements. The Town has not taken ownership of the system and Brookfield continue to be responsible for all operating costs. The Town has been monitoring the costs & reimbursing Brookfield for the operating charges collected and the Town is retaining the capital costs associated with the life-time maintenance schedule.As of early 2018, the subdivision has been built out. As part of the subdivision agreement with the Town, Brookfield is required to have the water and wastewater fees reviewed prior to the Town assuming the subdivision. This will have to be provided along with operational records that the plant is functioning effectively before the Town will assume the plant and the letter of credit released to Brookfield.Brookfield has begun the assumption process and determining compliance with the subdivision agreement. It is expected this may take up to 2 years to convey the plant and reach final assumption. The study will have to be completed and the plant will have to be properly functioning before the Town will assume it.Options other to a flat rate was investigated in the first study and will be investigated as part of the report to be prepared at assumption.
How many events are scheduled for the Island Lake Amphitheatre this summer and will the Town be enforcing its Noise Bylaw?
Credit Valley Conservation presented a request asking that they be exempt from the provision of the Town's noise bylaw that prohibits amplified sound after 5 p.m. for eleven events to be held at Island Lake Conservation Area. One event, Celebrate Your Awesome on June 23rd, has been cancelled. The Authority have agreed to rigorously monitor noise conditions during these events and enforce adjusting or shutting off the audio system if the sound at five predetermined points of reception exceeds 55 decibels. 55 dB is the level stated in the Novus Environmental report as the "General objective for outdoor events" and is considered between "Quiet suburb or conversation at home (50 dB)" and "Conversation in restaurant, office, or background music (60 dB)".
What is the Town doing about truck traffic on French Drive?
The Town will pursue with the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) installation of traffic lights at the intersection of 2nd Line EHS and Hwy 9. Even though the lights would be paid for by the Town, it can be a slow process often taking years before MTO agrees to install lights. The Town has also considered installing “No Trucks” signs however enforcement is an issue.
Why has Orangeville Chrysler been allowed to install wash bays when at Committee of Adjustment they claimed that these doors were for storage?
The Committee of Adjustment meeting was solely related to a requirement by Orangeville Chrysler to obtain a minor variance to grant a reduced side yard setback necessitated by the planned expansion. While there was dialogue with Orangeville Chrysler regarding the nature of the planned expansion, the mandate of the committee’s deliberations at this meeting was to address the merits of the reduced side yard setback.
Is there anything that the Town can do to encourage residents to use blue bags instead of blue bins in an effort to reduce trash that blows around on windy days?
Waste collection is a County responsibility. The Mayor & Deputy Mayor will raise this at an upcoming County Council meeting. Blue bags have generally been discouraged at the County since the blue bag is not recyclable.
Are there any plans to build a park in the Brookfield subdivision (French Drive)?
The Town is in the process of completing a Parkland Needs Study which should be completed by summer. Based on that study’s findings, Council will develop a plan for a Town wide plan on new recreation facilities including parks.
Can speed bumps be installed along French Drive to reduce speeding?
The Town’s snow ploughs are not compatible with speed bumps and it would be prohibitively expensive to replace the ploughs. The Town is considering instituting a Community Safety Zone in this area which would double the fines for speeding which should deter many drivers from speeding.
Why did the Town not inform residents of the new prime agricultural mapping and hold public meetings?
The new agricultural mapping was implemented by the Province with one consultation province wide. The Town commented at this time that municipal designations of prime agricultural land should form the basis for the province wide agricultural mapping. The Province released their mapping and policies on February 9, 2018, effective the same date.
Lyle Wood of the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA) gave a presentation on changing weather patterns and the affect those changes are having locally. Lyle noted that summers are getting hotter and dryer but that the greatest change is occurring during winter with average daily winter temperature (within the NVCA watershed) having increased by 1.3° C over the last 30 years.
- Climate Change in the Nottawasaga Valley presentation
- Rural Landowner Stewardship Guide for the Ontario Landscape
- Invasive Species in Ontario
Well and water specialist Bob Shirley spoke on the proper care of private wells, addressing the key issues that homeowners need to be aware of when it comes to the taking care of their wells.
Town Hall Meeting Questions and Responses
With the anticipated dryer summers as pointed out by Lyle Woods, should the Town be promoting the use of rain barrels?
The Town use to offer a program where they sold rain barrels to residents at below market cost. That program has since ended; however, the Town will add a section about the benefits of rain barrels to its Wise Water Use web page.
Several residents from Fieldstone (Brookfield subdivision) asked what the Town was doing to address noise complaints they have with two nearby car dealerships.
This issue also came up recently at Council (see October 24th, 2017 Council Highlights). The Town has been working with affected residents and the businesses in question for several weeks in an attempt to find a solution to the problem. Primarily at issue is the dealerships' use of an outdoor public address system.Council is continuing to work on finding a resolution acceptable to both the residents and the businesses.
What can be done about the trucks that are using French Drive to get from 2nd Line to 1 Line EHS to take advantage of the traffic lights at 1st Line & Hwy 9?
A letter was sent to the car dealerships on Hwy 9 earlier this year advising them of residents' concerns. A letter will also be sent to the businesses in the Coles subdivision. Public Works will continue to monitor the situation as part of their routine road safety patrols.
What do I do if someone is hunting on my property without my permission?
It is an offence under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997 for anyone to trespass for the purpose of hunting or fishing.People should report abuse via the Natural Resources Violation Reporting Line: 1-877-847-7667.
According to MNR's Ontario Hunting Regulations Summary Guide:
A person is trespassing if the person, without appropriate permission, enters onto property or engages in an activity on property where notice has been given that entry or the activity is not allowed. Notice may be given in a variety of ways; some of the common ones are verbally, signs, symbols or fences. Lands under cultivation are also considered to be notice against entry. A hunting licence does not give a hunter the right to enter private property.Not all land is signed. Unsigned lands may be private land as well. (For example if the property is fenced, no access is permitted without permission of the occupier.) It is your responsibility to find out who owns the land you wish to hunt on and obtain permission. If unsure, stay out. If a wounded animal runs onto private property where you do not have permission to enter, you must seek the landowner’s or occupier’s permission to retrieve the animal.
As well as the Natural Resources Violation Reporting Line, you may also report cases of trespass or suspected poaching to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Has the Town considered installing electric vehicle recharging stations?
Headwaters Tourism is investigating the possibility of placing re-charging stations throughout the Headwaters region.
Are there any plans to make the paths in the Mono Pollinator Garden accessible?
The walking paths at the Mono Pollinator Garden are currently topped with wood chips which are not easily used by those with mobility concerns including wheelchairs. Council hopes to upgrade these paths to aggregate screenings which would be more wheelchair friendly. The Town has been soliciting donations to continue the development of the Mono Pollinator Garden and will upgrade the paths as funds become available.
Will Mono Community Centre be upgraded to improve the acoustics?
A study was undertaken earlier this year to assess how to improve the acoustics in the banquet hall at Mono Community Centre. Based on that study, installation of sound remediation measures should be completed in the first quarter of 2018.
The Director of Public Works Michael Dunmore gave a presentation on water quality; and Mono resident John Ito and Bo Cheyne from Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health spoke about the health risks of radon gas accumulating in buildings including people's homes. The presentations were followed by an open forum.
Town Hall Meeting Questions and Responses
The waste water system has been operational for 2 years. With the delay in closings of Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the Fieldstone site, has the council reviewed the operating costs and provided an update to the residents regarding the excessive flat rate fee for waste water.
The applicant is actually ahead of schedule on completion of the development. The Town has committed to completing a review of the fees for the system when build-out is complete and operational costs are better established
If ever there was a constant drought for our area, and the wells of Orangeville became extremely low, would the solution be for the Town of Orangeville to truck in water to replenish the wells? After last year's drought, and not that much snow this winter, we're both concerned about the long term effects of water usage and the growing population using the resources up more and more.
Neither the Town of Mono nor the Town of Orangeville had any short term effects on their municipal water supplies last year, even during the drought conditions. If the Town of Orangeville systems were stressed, it would be expected that the Mono systems would also be stressed. If necessary, the Towns would implement water conservation techniques, ranging initially from voluntary usage restrictions to mandatory water bans if problems persist. Importation from other sources (e.g. areas where drought is not occurring, lake based sources) would be a last resort option.
I realize that the County deals with housing yet I'm wondering what we can do as a town to support reasonable housing given the extreme cost of housing (both ownership and most rentals) in our time. I'm thinking especially about those who are single and young. Are there bylaws we can look at to allow for example, tiny homes on properties that cannot be severed? Is there land where there could be some co-housing built that is geared to income? Can we think creatively in a way that is environmentally responsible and allows for more people to have a home?
Affordable housing is a problem that extends beyond municipal boundaries. It has been recently addressed in the Federal Budget this week, and must be addressed by all levels of governments. With the significant land prices in Mono and without available development land on full water and sewer services it is difficult for Mono to realistically provide affordable housing as set out by the Province.
Will the Town of Mono provide locking blue boxes to prevent recyclables blowing in the neighborhood?
Mayor Ryan advised that the garbage matter would be referred back to County Waste Management.
Will the Town enforce bylaws against Brookfield for blowing debris?
The Town will contact Brookfield to monitor clean up on the property and stormwater management ponds.
Can the Town develop "kiddie parks" in the Brookfield community?
CAO Mark Early advised that both major residential areas were developed with larger regional style parks and that the Town had no plans to build smaller parks in the area.
Will the Town support the Township of Mulmur's resolution to prohibit the trial of motorized vehicles in County forests?
Mayor Ryan advised that she did not feel that the trial of motorized vehicles would be moving forward.
Can the Town utilize the Strategic Plan 3 E's to discourage or prohibit unwanted development proposals?
CAO Mark Early advised that municipalities must process all applications; however, he is looking at a standardized report to Council which would take into account the 3 E's to assist Council in its deliberations.
Will the Town be providing the costs of the Cox, Singer and Greenwood hearings and/or applications?
Mayor Ryan noted that the cost of the Cox Normal Farm Practices Protection Board hearing was already reported to Council, that the Singer matter is currently awaiting a decision, and that the Greenwood costs will be borne by the applicant during the planning process.
Why did Council object to the Singer application? Mayor Ryan stated that Council objected because the application lacked clarity and was not supported by neighbours due to noise and environmental concerns.
Is the Town aware of fill being moved onto the Greenwood Aggregate proposal property?
This was the first time the Town had heard this concern. A neighbour indicated that it is manure being brought onto the land for agricultural use.
Please provide an update on the status of the Greenwood Aggregates application including any responses to any of the objection letters.The letters have been filed with MNR under the Aggregates Resources Act and the applicant (Greenwood) has up to 2 years to resolve the concerns.
I would like to enquire about the issue of dust, speeding & safety on 25 Sideroad.
The speeding and safety issue will be forwarded to the police services board.
Is Council putting pressure on the County to have Mono Centre Road re-paved?Those works are in the 2017 County budget.
Town Hall Meeting Questions and Responses
Resident’s concern re: neighbour property uses and enforcement.
It was suggested that documented file received from the resident be reviewed and by-law enforcement would be required if appropriate.
Spreading of sewage sludge and proper documentation on properties especially well head protection areas.
Council will follow up with current enforcement and book time with MOECC to ensure compliance with regulations is documented. Staff will investigate with OMAFRA and MOECC on follow-up enforcement on specific properties.
The Town’s involvement in monitoring water quality.
Annual reports are circulated on monitoring of Town water systems and are posted on our website. The Town is responsible for the water system and the proper maintenance standards being performed. Protecting Source Water Areas is on the current agendas and Council will be attending upcoming conferences to speak with Ministry staff on the issue.
When will the first meeting with Adamo Winery take place?
The meeting is being scheduled to include OMAFRA reps, staff, member from Council and citizen reps. It will be scheduled in the New Year.Post Script: This meeting was held on January 13th, 2017 details of which can be found on the Adamo Winery page of the Town's website.
Should NVCA be involved in sludge spreading issue?
Council will ensure that NVCA is contacted with any concerns or discussions required when permits are issued by MOECC or OMAFRA.
Community Centres are costing too much in tax payer dollars to maintain. What options are being discussed to lower the cost to maintain these facilities?
Council continues to monitor the costs for these centres and have asked the Director of Recreation to investigate further opportunities to increase rental revenues to try to balance maintenance costs.
Why were trees cut on private property?
The Director of Public Works will be asked to do a site visit to investigate the property in question.
Has a ward system in the Town for municipal elections been considered?
Yes. All members of Council prefer to be elected “at large” as it balances the view at the Council table. All residents have to be considered in decisions for services and all 5 members have to represent all residents with the current system.
Where are we at with High Speed Internet service?
The County is a member in the new SWIFT project that will bring fibre-optic cabling into the region though we still need to complete the “last mile” to connect our rural residents. It is a costly and difficult process and Council continues to investigate options with Internet Service Providers.
Post Script: You can test the quality of your Internet connection at https://performance.cira.ca/.
Citizen Engagement is still a problem. What can be done to further involve residents with the decisions for the Town?
Council has started these Town Hall meetings to provide information and exchange of ideas. We are looking into social media and our website is worked on regularly to enhance the information provided. Regular briefs are provided after each Council meeting.
» Sign-up for Council Highlights
Why are the youth of our community not involved with Council business?
Council acknowledged that this is a concern and are looking for opportunities to include the youth in the community. Any suggestions would be appreciated. » Send us your ideas
Traffic concerns on Mono-Amaranth Townline and speeding.
Council will refer this to Mono Police Services Board for monitoring.
General Comments were heard regarding the format of Town Hall meetings and that a sound system needs to be used. General consensus asked for regular meetings and more informative speakers. It was suggested that there are more ways to communicate with citizens than just the website. Advertising of meetings in future would help attendance.