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File a Complaint

The Municipality of South Dundas manages complaints and compliments efficiently, fairly, effectively and uniformly across all departments.

All complaints should be filed as soon as possible to ensure that the individuals involved in the complaint are better able to properly address any concerns.

See below on how to address complaints or submit feedback.

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Customer Feedback

The Municipality of South Dundas values the input of the public and strive to maintain open communication. In order to provide residents with exceptional service and continuous improvement, the Municipality provides residents the opportunity to submit feedback that can be dealt with fairly and in a transparent manner.

Your feedback allows the Municipality to understand our successes and downfalls in servicing the community, and areas in need of improvement. Please use the customer feedback form below to submit your comments about the service you have experienced from the Municipality of South Dundas.

Customer Feedback Policy

Customer Feedback Form

Ombudsman Ontario

The Ombudsman resolves and investigates more than 20,000 public complaints every year about Ontario government organizations and municipalities, universities and school boards. The Ombudsman recommends solutions to individual and systemic administrative problems. Read about the Ombudsman’s values, mission and vision, and read about the type of work they do.

Closed Meeting Investigator

The Municipality has appointed Local Authority Services Limited (LAS) - Amberley Gavel Ltd. as the Closed Meeting Investigator for the municipality and authorized them to conduct investigations. All requests for a closed meeting investigation are submitted to LAS to review and investigate accordingly.

Members of the public, including corporations, may submit requests through the Clerk relating to compliance with the Municipal Act, 2001 for meetings or part of meetings that are closed to the public.

The identity of the requestor will be treated as confidential by the Municipality and the Investigator, unless authorization is given by the requestor to release his or her identity.

The Request Form for a closed meeting investigation is available online or at the Clerk’s office. Please note there is a $125.00 fee to submit a complaint.

Closed Meeting Investigation Complaint Form

All complaints must contain the following information:

-The name of the municipality

-Requestor's name, mailing address, telephone number, and email address

-Date of the closed meeting under consideration

-Nature and background of the particular occurrence

-Any activities undertaken to resolve the concern

-Any other relevant information

-Direction with respect to release of identity

-Original signature 

Once the request is received by the Clerk, the Clerk will enact the following procedure:

-Ensure that the requests remain confidential

-Assign a file number and record that number on the request

-Forward the request to the Municipal Closed Meeting Investigator by regular mail 

For all requests, the Municipality shall supply the Investigator with the following information or documentation as requested by the Investigator related to a complaint:

-Certified copy of Notice of Meeting

-Certified copy of the agenda

-Certified copy of the minutes of the meeting

-Relevant resolutions

-Municipal contact list

-Any other documents requested

Integrity Commissioner

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

As of 2019, the Municipality's Integrity Commissioner is Tony Fleming of Cunningham Swan. Mr. Fleming provides advice and counsel to numerous municipalities in eastern Ontario on all aspects of municipal governance, by-law drafting, freedom of information, conflicts of interest, servicing, procurement, strategic planning and media relations.

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 by email.

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.

Municipal Conflict of Interest Act

The Municipal Conflict of Interest Act requires Members of Council to declare any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in relation to a matter under consideration. A pecuniary interest in a matter is one where there is a reasonable likelihood or expectation of financial loss or gain of the Member or related persons as per the Act. The onus to declare a pecuniary interest rests with the member and time for this process is allocated on every meeting agenda.

Click here to view the Application for Inquiry Form/Affidavit for Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. M.50