Casselman adopts Code of Conduct for Members of Council

By Gabrielle Vinette

The Casselman municipal council brought forward a by-law to adopt a Code of Conduct for councillors and its local boards. 

The Code of Conduct comes one month after a damning report from the Onario ombudsman admonishing the council for a ‘”clandestine” meeting that was called a “flagerent violation” of the province’s policies around openness and transparency of governance. 

Voted into force at the Feb. 20 regular council meeting, the code of conduct touches upon key principles reaffirming the councillors committment to “the principal that democracy is best achieved when the operation of goverment is made as transparent and accountable” to the public as possible. 

Members, which includes councillors and those sitting on the muncipality’s local boards, are to serve the interests of the municipality and its constituents “in an ethical, conscientious and diligent manner”, and be committed to integrity while avoiding conflicts of interest and improper use of influence from their office. 

The code of conduct also outlines how members are to comport themselves towards each other and residents – in a civil manner, without abuse, bullying, or intimidation, and to support a work environment without discrimination and harassment. 

Beyond outlining the comportment of councillors, the code of conduct also descibes acceptable behaviour around gifts and personal benefits, handling of confidential information and materials, the use of municipal property for personal benefit, and the use of allocated funds for expenses. 

If a member of council is found to have breached the code of conduct they could be punished by reprimand, including a suspension for a period of up to 90 days. The Integrity Commissioner may also recommend for the removal from membership, removal as chair, repayment or reimbursement of monies received, return of property or reimbursement of its value, request an apology from council to the complainant. 

The full code of conduct can be found on the Casselman website. 

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