New rules regarding conflicts of interest by members of Municipal Council;

Prior to this year, if a member of the public wished to file a legal complaint alleging that a member of a municipal Council had violated provincial laws, pertaining to financial conflict of interest, the process involved submitting a formal complaint to a judge in Ontario. The costs for that initial complaint would be incurred by the person filing the complaint. This is sometimes meant that members of the public were reluctant to file a complaint because of the costs they would be required to pay.

The new law now in effect beginning March 1, 2019 changes that process. Each municipality in Ontario must now have an independent Integrity Commissioner. One of their responsibilities is to investigate complaints made by members of the public regarding possible conflicts of interest. This Integrity Commissioner is not a member of the municipal staff but is hired independently as third party. Bonfield last year hired such an individual and his name is David King. Contact information for Mr. King can be provided on request at the municipal office.

There is no cost to the individual alleging the complaint which will be investigated by the Integrity Commissioner. At the end of the investigation the Commissioner will determine whether the complaint is enough to submit to a provincial judge.

The process for declaring a conflict of interest by members of Council now must be made in writing and included in a registry kept by the municipality, which is available for inspection by members of the public. The process and applicable form can be viewed by clicking on this link. CONFLICT OF INTEREST FORM.

Link for registry            

Municipal councils in Ontario must also adopt a Code of Conduct for Members of Council which can now be viewed on this website.