Background

The Municipal Act, 2001 permits Council to appoint an Integrity Commissioner who performs specified functions regarding the application of the Council Code of Conduct (the Code) in the Municipality of South Dundas

Council has appointed Robert J. Swayze as its Integrity Commissioner.

All elected officials (the Mayor and Councillors) are subject to the Code.

Role

The role of the Integrity Commissioner is to:

  1.  Keep elected officials aware of the requirements of the Code;
  2.  Respond to requests from members of Council for advice regarding their obligations and compliance;
  3.  Conduct investigations into formal complaints received for contraventions of the Code, make decisions and  impose penalties where he finds that the Code has been breached; and,
  4.  Report annually to Council on the activity of the Office.

How to Submit a Complaint

To submit a complaint, please complete the Complaint Review Request Form or for more information contact the Municipal Clerk at 613-543-2673 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the Integrity Commissioner get involved?
What is the extent of the Integrity Commissioner's Authority?
Who can file a complaint?
What is the process for filing a complaint?
How is the complaint investigated?
Does the Integrity Commissioner investigate complaints about Municipal employees?
Can an anonymous complaint be filed?
How is the public informed of the Commissioner's activity?

How does the Integrity Commissioner get involved?

Members of Council can ask the Integrity Commissioner for advice.  Generally, this is to ensure that members of Council have availablility a resource to assist them in determining how to comply with the requirements of the Code.  Council, any member of the Council or members of the public can request the Integrity Commissioner to launch an investigation into an alleged contravention of the Code by an individual member or members.

What is the extent of the Integrity Commissioner's Authority?

The Code sets out the scope of the Integrity Commissioner's authority and describes several types of complaints that would be covered by existing legislation and therefore not subject to the Integrity Commissioner's mandate.  The first step in the process will involve the Integrity Commissioner determining whether the complaint falls within his mandate.

For example, an allegation that may involve a contravention of the Criminal Code of Canada is a police matter, and would not be investigated by the Integrity Commissioner. A complaint of alleged conflict of interest involving a contravention of the Criminal Code of Canada is a police matter, and would not be investigated by the Integrity Commissioner.  

Likewise, the Integrity Commissioner would not consider a complaint of a alleged conflict of interest involving a member of Council because a process is provided under the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.  The Integrity Commissioner, in conducting his inquiry and investigation, has the power to review all pertinent Town files and records that have a bearing on the allegation, and access to anyone who is relevant to the complaint. On completion of his inquiry and investigation, the Commissioner will submit a final report to Council outlining his findings, the terms of any settlement of the complaint, recommended corrective action and/or penalty imposed.

Who can file a complaint?

Members of the public as well as members of Council can file a complaint under the Code.

What is the process for filing a complaint?

Members of the public and Council can file a complaint by following the Code and completing a Complaint Review Request Form.  The complaint is filed with the Clerk together with the applicable fee.  The Clerk will formally forward the complaint to the Integrity Commissioner and advise Council of the complaint through submission of an open report to Council which outlines the following:

  1. Name of the alleged offender
  2. Name of the complaint
  3. The provision of the Code allegedly contravened
  4. Facts constituting the alleged contravention
  5. File number of the request
  6. Date of request

The fee payable will be refunded except where the Integrity Commissioner determines the following:

  1. That the complaint is frivolous, vexations or not made in good faith, or that there are no grounds or insufficient grounds for an inquiry.
  2. That there has been no contravention of the Code or that a contravention occurred although a contravention occurred although a Member took all reasonable measures to prevent it, or that the  contravention occurred which was trivial or committed through inadvertence or an error of judgement made in good faith.

How is the complaint investigated?

The elected official is given a copy of the complaint and asked to respond in writing to the complaint, with a copy of the response being provided to the complainant.  The process may include an interview with anyone considered relevant to the complaint by the Integrity Commissioner.  Within ninety (90) days of filing the complaint, the Integrity Commissioner submits a report to Council, detailing any contravention of the Code and any recommendations, corrective action and/or penalty.

Does the Integrity Commissioner investigate complaints about Municipal employees?

The Integrity Commissioner does not have any authority over Municipal employees.  The activities of the Integrity Commissioner relate only to members of Council and their compliance with the Council Code of Conduct.

Can an anonymous complaint be filed?

The Code of Conduct forbids any anonymous complaint and the anonymous complaint will not be accepted.

How is the public informed of the Commissioner's activity?

The Integrity Commissioner is required to submit an annual report on complaints filed.  These reports may be obtained by contacting the Clerk at 613-543-2673.