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The McCallion Letters

Examining The City of Mississauga’s Council Code of Conduct. (Part 13) Reprisals and Obstruction.

January 28th, 2012  

 

MISSISSAUGA GOOD GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE   January 23 2012
This blog is a continuation of the following blog entries:

Examining The City of Mississauga’s Council Code of Conduct. (Part 1) Line by line, word by word. Pages 1 through 5 of the Code.

Examining The City of Mississauga’s Council Code of Conduct. (Part 2) “upholding both the letter of the law and the spirit of the laws and policies” Page 6 of the Code.

Examining The City of Mississauga’s Council Code of Conduct. (Part 3) Beware “community events”, “volunteer services”, “arm’s length”… Pages 7 through 10 of the Code.

Examining The City of Mississauga’s Council Code of Conduct. (Part 4) “providing persons…with an understanding and appreciation of the City of Mississauga or the workings of its municipal government” Pages 11 through 13 of the Code.

Examining The City of Mississauga’s Council Code of Conduct. (Part 5) WTF?! “information deemed to be ‘personal information’ under the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act”?! Pages 14 through 15 of the Code.

City of Mississauga’s Elected Officials’ Records policy now online as a companion piece to the City’s Council Code of Conduct.

Examining The City of Mississauga’s Council Code of Conduct. (Part 6) Use of City Staff, Property, Services etc –and Election Campaigns Pages 16 through 18 of the Code.

Examining The City of Mississauga’s Council Code of Conduct. (Part 7) Improper Use of Influence and Business Relations. Pages 19 through 20 of the Code.

Examining The City of Mississauga’s Council Code of Conduct. (Part 8) Conduct at Meetings/When Representing the City and Media Communications. Pages 21 through 22 of the Code.

Examining The City of Mississauga’s Council Code of Conduct. (Part 9) CITIZEN ALERT! Avoid Kafkaesque Rule 12′s Respectful Workplace Policy. Pages 22 through 24 of the Code.

Examining The City of Mississauga’s Council Code of Conduct. (Part 10) Conduct Respecting Staff and the HUGE hidey-hole loophole. Pages 25 through 26 of the Code.

Examining The City of Mississauga’s Council Code of Conduct. (Part 11) Employment of Council Relatives/Family Members. Page 27 of the Code.

Examining The City of Mississauga’s Council Code of Conduct. (Part 12) Failure to Adhere to Council Policies and Procedures.  Page 28 of the Code.

Again, for the record, my goal is to go through The City of Mississauga Code of Conduct, line by line, word by word as preparation for future Council deputations.

Once again, I will cut-and-paste the City of Mississauga Code of Conduct directly into this blog entry and offer comment/criticism [bold italics square brackets] when the need arises.

Those interested in accessing the full version of City of Mississauga Council Code of Conduct April 2011 please click here.


The City of Mississauga Council Code of Conduct

Council Code of Conduct April, 2011 (Page 29 begins)

Rule No. 16

Reprisals and Obstruction:

1. It is a violation of the Code of Conduct to obstruct the Integrity Commissioner in the
carrying out of his/her responsibilities.

2. No Member shall threaten or undertake any active reprisal against a person initiating an
inquiry or complaint under the Code of Conduct, or against a person who provides
information to the Integrity Commissioner in any investigation.

3. It is also a violation of the Code of Conduct to destroy documents or erase electronic
communications or refuse to respond to the Integrity Commissioner where a formal
complaint has been lodged under the Code of Conduct.

[For the record: As far as I know, I’ve read all City of Mississauga corporate policies relating to elected officials/employee conduct and don’t ever recall seeing the statement, “It is also a violation of the Code of Conduct to destroy documents or erase electronic communications” in any of them. Not even in both the City’s two public complaints policies. And that serious omission needs to be addressed. Back to Page 29 of the Code.]

Commentary

Members of Council should respect the integrity of the Code of Conduct and investigations
conducted under it.)

 [As we’ve noted, combing through these 29 pages, Mississauga’s Council Code of Conduct protects Mayor/Councillors from an investigation conducted by the Integrity Commissioner .

In Rule 12 Item 2 of the Code, we saw how Mayor/Councillors are protected from an investigation by the Integrity Commissioner:

“2. Upon receipt of a complaint that relates to the City’s Respectful Workplace policy and involves a Member, the Integrity Commissioner shall forward the information subject to the complaint to Human Resources who will refer it for an independent investigation.”

The Respectful Workplace policy is the City’s most fundamental policy in that it addresses all behavioural expectations (elected officials, employees, volunteers, public) while on City property.

It is under the City’s Respectful Workplace policy that a member of the public would most likely launch a complaint to the Integrity Commissioner. And it’s under this policy that the public can’t get an investigation conducted by the Integrity Commissioner!

The Code then goes on to state:

“Upon receipt of a complaint that relates to the City’s Respectful Workplace policy and involves a Member, the Integrity Commissioner shall forward the information subject to the complaint to Human Resources who will refer it for an independent investigation.”

A “reasonably informed person” will discover that in Mississauga municipal governance, there’s always a huge loophole in a policy that shields Elected Officials and/or Staff from authentic accountability.

“Members of Council should respect the integrity of the Code of Conduct“? How, I ask you?

The Code states:

“As leaders in the community, Members are held to a higher standard of all behaviour and conduct and accordingly their behaviour should be exemplary.”

In fact the Code contains three (3) references to a “higher standard of behaviour and conduct”. As such citizens can be forgiven if they inferred that “Members are held to a higher standard of all behaviour and conduct” is the ethical foundation of the Code. Nope.

Example. Regarding “higher standard of behaviour and conduct” and “diligently”, the Code states:

“Members shall make every effort to participate diligently in the activities of the committees, agencies, boards, commissions and advisory committees to which they are appointed by the City or by virtue of being an elected official.”

And then defines “diligently” as regular attendance:

“to participate diligently means that a Member shall not be absent from Council or committee meetings…for more than three consecutive scheduled meetings or on a regular basis.”

Keep holding “diligently” to that “higher standard of behaviour and conduct”, MYTHissauga!

The Code states that the Mayor and Councillors:

“shall adhere to such by-laws, policies and procedures adopted by Council that are applicable to them”.

And then serves up:

“in exceptional circumstances, a Member may request Council grant an exemption from any policy”.

Add another dozen other loopholes and this Code sure hasn’t got my respect! It’s good for Mayor and Councillors though… Nothin’ in there that will hold them to a higher standard of conduct or behaviour!]


29

END OF PAGE 29 OF THE CODE.

 

 

Signed,

MISSISSAUGAWATCH

HAZEL MCCALLION'S LIE AT THE MISSISSAUGA INQUIRY. City Staff are "very professional and they follow the policies very, very, very diligently. "

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