The Municipal Act authorizes Council to appoint an Integrity Commissioner to perform specified functions regarding the application of the Council Code of Conduct andto promote accountability and transparency in municipal governance. Members of Council agree to serve their community in an open and transparent manner and to be guided by the highest ethical standards of behaviour in decision-making and conduct.
On May 6, 2019, Mr. Harold Elston was appointed as the Integrity Commissioner for the Municipality of Whitestone.
Harold Elston Curriculum Vitae
Role of the Integrity Commissioner
The Integrity Commissioner is responsible for providing policy advice, complaint resolution and education to Members of Council on issues of ethics and integrity. The Integrity Commissioner performs his duties in an impartial and independent manner and reports directly to Council.
The Integrity Commissioner:
- Conducts confidential inquiries and investigations into alleged contraventions of the Council Code of Conduct, make findings with respect to the alleged contravention and recommend penalties to Council, where the Integrity Commissioner finds that the code has been breached;
- Serves as an advisor to individual Members of Council in relation to the Council Code of Conduct and any procedures, rules and policies of the municipality governing ethical behaviour;
- Provides educational information to the public, staff and members of Council about the Council Code of Conduct and Municipal Conflict of Interest Act;
- Reports annually to Council on the activities of the Integrity Commissioner.
Integrity Commissioner Reports:
Should there be a complaint lodged and it is investigated, the report will be listed here. An annual report from the Integrity Commissioner will be listed here as well.
If a Council Member appears to have violated a section of the Code, any member of the public, staff, any organization, as well as council, can file complaints under the Code. Complainants may use the informal or formal procedure to file complaint.
As of January 1, 2016, the new Public Sector and MPP Accountability and Transparency Act, 2014 takes effect. The Ontario Ombudsman has the power to investigate and resolve complaints about municipalities, universities and school boards. This means that the Ontario Ombudsman can help Ontarians who have problems with these bodies, just as they help them with the 500+ provincial government organizations they oversee.
However, this does not mean that the Ombudsman's office replaces existing complaint mechanisms; they just ensure they work as they should.
If you have a complaint about the conduct of a member of Council, you should still be using the complaint mechanism already in place. Please review the links located above in order to lodge your complaint. All complaints will go to the Clerk and then be directed to the Integrity Commissioner Harold Elston.