The Council of the County of Middlesex acknowledges that it is responsible to provide good government for its stakeholders in an accountable and transparent manner.
Integrity Commissioner - Code of Conduct
The Integrity Commissioner is an independent accountability officer given authority under the Ontario Municipal Act, 2001 including Ontario Regulation 55/18 Codes of Conduct and the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, 1990. The Integrity Commissioner is an impartial council appointee who investigates complaints and alleged breaches of Council's Code of Conduct and who advises, ensures compliance and educates Council members on its provisions.
Code of Conduct for Members of Council
The County of Middlesex is committed to achieving the highest quality of municipal administration and governance by encouraging high standards of conduct on the part of all elected officials. A Code of Conduct aims to ensure public trust and confidence in the County's decision making and operations. Members of Council are expected to adhere to the provisions of the Code of Conduct.
For informal and formal complaint procedures, please refer to the Code of Conduct.
Complaints about the conduct of Council shall be referred to the Legislative Services Manager/Clerk.
Closed Meeting Investigator
The Municipal Act requires the County to appoint a closed meeting investigator to investigate complaints as to whether the County has complied with the requirements of Section 239 of the Act regarding open meeting requirements. Any person may request an investigation as to whether the County has complied with the statutory requirements outlined in the Municipal Act or its procedural by-law with respect to meetings being held in Public.
The Municipal Act, 2001 requires that all municipalities have a process to investigate closed meeting complaints, including an officer to undertake the investigation. County Council appointed Mark McDonald as the Closed Meeting Investigator.
The investigator is completely independent and arms-length from the County of Middlesex and County Council and will report on their findings directly to County Council.
Please consult the Code of Conduct before submitting a request for an investigation directly to the Closed Meeting Investigator in writing.
The Municipal Act, 2001 authorizes municipalities to appoint an Ombudsman who reports to Council and is responsible for investigating in an independent manner any decision or recommendation made or act done or omitted in the course of the administration of the municipality, its local boards and specified municipally-controlled corporations. County Council appointed Mark McDonald as the Municipal Ombudsman.
The municipal Ombudsman will:
- Independently receive, review and investigate complaints when all other avenues have been exhausted; and
- Act at an arm's length from the County and Council but will provide an annual report of its activities as well as reports resulting from investigations.
Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA)
The County of Middlesex is committed to public transparency and accountability under the terms of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA). MFIPPA establishes a general right of access to records created and maintained by the County under the following guiding principles:
- The public has the right to information held by the County, and that information should be made available to the public;
- Any person can make a request for information held by the County under the Act;
- Any exemptions from the right of access to information should be limited and specific;
- Individuals have a right to the protection of personal information held by the County under the Act;
- Any decisions relating to access to information can be reviewed by the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.
Full MFIPPA Guidelines and Procedure for filing a request with the County under MFIPPA can be found under the Middlesex County Freedom of Information Requests.
Declaration of Pecuniary Interest
Pursuant to Subsection 5.1 of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act R.S.O. 1990 (In force and effect on March 1, 2019), Council members must declare their pecuniary interest in writing.
All members of Council have important ethical and statutory obligations outlined in the Code of Conduct to ensure avoidance of any conflict of interest in connection with carrying out the obligations of the Member's office. Each Member must declare the conflict of interest and general nature thereof verbally at the beginning of each Council, Board or Committee meeting and provide the Clerk with the signed declaration in accordance with the Conflict of Interest Form.
Public Registry of Pecuniary Interest
As per 6.1(1) of the Act, every municipality and local board shall establish and maintain a registry. As per 6.1(2), the registry shall be available for public inspection in the manner and during the time that the municipality or local board, as the case may be, may determine.
The Middlesex County registry of declared conflict of interests can be found in the Agenda and Minutes calendar by selecting "Conflicts Registry".