The Municipal Act, 2001 (the Act) provides that the Town may establish a Council Code of Conduct (the "Code") which outlines ethical standards of behaviour for Members of Council. The Act also provides that a municipality may appoint an Integrity Commissioner who, among other duties, may investigate potential breaches of the Code and recommend penalties to Council where he or she has found the Member of Council to have contravened the Code. On October 5, 2015, Robert J. Swayze was appointed as the Integrity Commissioner for the Town of Newmarket.
The Town of Newmarket adopted By-law 2016-10 as a new Code of Conduct for Members of Council on February 29, 2016. The Code sets out and identifies the Town's expectations for its Members and establishes rules for appropriate conduct. The Code addresses Council Member conduct relative to access to information and confidentiality, staff relations, gifts, political activity, participation in community groups and organizations, and use of social media among others.
Under the Code the Integrity Commissioner has authority to determine whether or not they will investigate any complaints received. Complaints about matters that are outside their jurisdiction, are frivolous, not made in good faith, or that the Integrity Commissioner determines has no grounds or insufficient grounds for conducting an investigation, may be dismissed.
On conclusion of a complaint investigation the Integrity Commissioner will issue a report to Council on their findings, which will contain any recommended sanctions if applicable. At a public meeting Council will, where the Integrity Commissioner has determined there was a violation of the Code:
- issue a reprimand; or
- impose a suspension of remuneration paid to the Member for up to ninety (90) days.
Filing a Complaint
A complaint that a member has contravened the Code may be initiated by any person, any Member of Council, or by Council as a whole. The complainant must be an identifiable individual (complaints may not be submitted by any group, organization or corporation). The alleged violation must have taken place within sixty (60) days of filing the complaint with the Integrity Commissioner.
Step 1: Complete the Code Complaint Form
A complaint must be made by completing the Code Complaint Form and the form must be signed and dated by the complainant. The complaint must include:
- an explanation, with specific reference to sections of the Code, as to why the issue raised is alleged to be a contravention of the Code; and
- any witnesses in support of the allegation must be identified.
Step 2: Attach any evidence
Step 3: Send the Complaint and attached evidence to the Integrity Commissioner
The Complaint package is to be sent directly to the Integrity Commissioner by mail, e-mail, fax or courier (if required, pre-addressed and postage paid envelopes are available from the Legislative Services Department).
Contacting the Integrity Commissioner
Robert J. Swayze Integrity Commissioner
Town of Newmarket
20736 Mississauga Road,
Caledon, Ontario, L7K 1M7
Phone: 519 942 0070
Fax: 519 942 1233
Other Complaint Protocols
The Integrity Commissioner does not have jurisdiction over matters where other complaint protocols are already established by legislation.