The Clearview Township CODE OF CONDUCT for councillors and committee of council members is the latest way that STAFF and Principles Integrity have finally neutered our elected councillors against standing up for the rights of the electorate!
Interesting the extremely weak Code of Conduct written by staff for STAFF is not subject to oversight by an Integrity Commissioner, instead it is handled very conveniently by the same staff to which it applies!
If you were under the misunderstanding that the newly implemented Code of Conduct for councillors was in most part related to THEIR conduct or integrity – You are forgiven – it’s just the next step in protecting NON-ELECTED civil servants from any oversight attempts by ELECTED parties to ensure that Ontarians receive value for their tax dollars from “professional” public sector employees.
A layman’s read of the document proudly created by Principles Integrity and the “Township of Clearview” (Read – STAFF?) now handcuffs any councillor who DARES to question the actions or undefined “PROFESSIONALISM” of staff and leaves taxpayers open to writing open-ended checks to cover the costs of an investigation and ruling by Principles Integrity when a STAFF member cites “Breach of conduct”.
Sections of that Code of Conduct limiting the rights of our elected representatives to comment “against the majority decision” were REMOVED by many other councils (Springwater for example) adopting the same Principles Integrity generated Code of Conduct. As best can be determined only 4 councils left that section in place and as you can expect Clearview was one of those 4 councils, thereby taking away the last opportunity for our elected representatives to represent us openly and without fear of falling into the grasp of the Integrity Commissioner!.
What is needed is a COMMON Code of Conduct for BOTH STAFF and Council and put in place across ALL Ontario municipalities by the Province AFTER consulting with Ontarians as to what constitutes appropriate levels of “bribery and corruption”.
Having as many as 440 different codes of conduct being administered by different commissioners who have no common legal education means that every municipality operates under a non-standard set of Provincial values.
The Clearview Code of Conduct developed jointly by Principles Integrity (chosen by STAFF and council to be the Integrity Commissioner) effectively being the “judge and jury in any investigation” and the township who are the prospective “miscreants” breaching the code, is akin to letting our criminals choose their judge and then sit down with him/her to develop the laws to which they will be subject and over which the judges have jurisdiction! INSANITY for TAXPAYERS in an educated society!
What is “PROFESSIONALISM” as referenced in the Code? That seems to be left up to the Integrity Commissioner to determine. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines professionalism as “the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person”; and it defines a profession as “a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation”.
The closing sections of that Code of Conduct should be very concerning for taxpayers. It takes a majority of 2/3 of councillors to remove/replace Principles Integrity as the commissioner for Clearview which bodes the question –
WHY does that condition form and integral part of the Code and is that some form of “payoff” to Principles Integrity for developing the Code of Conduct?