News & Media Releases
The latest news and media releases from the Integrity Commissioner are listed below.
Integrity Commissioner Contributes to the Municipal Legislation Review (October 30, 2015)
Welcome to the refreshed website of the Office of the Integrity Commissioner. In this update, I want to tell you about the changes to the website, a new Twitter account and how both of these developments relate to one of this Office’s core functions – education and outreach.
Education and outreach is a key component of the work of this Office. Citizens rightly expect their elected and appointed public officials to meet the highest standards of conduct. Those who must meet the standards must therefore have easy ways to understand and adhere to the standards.
Outreach and training occurs on an ongoing basis throughout the year. For example, as soon as the election was over, I began meeting with new councillors to raise awareness about the Code of Conduct and, in particular, a new policy that addresses the conduct of their staff. Apart from these one-on-one meetings and other presentations, the website is one of the main tools I have to provide education and outreach.
Frequent users to the website will not notice significant changes to the content. But, there are changes to how the information is organized. There is a hub for each of my main stakeholder groups: members of council, members of local boards (restricted definition) and members of adjudicative boards.
One of the priorities for my term is to raise awareness of the Code of Conduct and the role of my office among the local and adjudicative board sectors. As you will see, there is ample information available for members of council but less information for members of local boards. My goal is to build up the resources for the latter group.
Another outreach tool that I will use is Twitter. Twitter is an efficient and vital tool for keeping up to date with news. I hope that members of council, local boards and their staff, as well as citizens, will find the Office’s Twitter feed useful and informative. Because I exercise an adjudicative function when investigating complaints, my Twitter account will be neutral and information-focused. It will not be a forum in which to discuss complaints. The Twitter account will be used in accordance with the Office’s Twitter Use Principles.
If there is information that you’re looking for that you can’t find, please get in touch. I plan to make periodic updates in this space throughout my term. So, check back often for updates and follow the Office on Twitter.
I began my work as Integrity Commissioner on September 8, 2014. The first several weeks of my term will be focused on transition activities, which include:
- becoming familiar with City of Toronto resources, policies and procedures;
- becoming fully conversant and expert with the Codes of Conduct and all relevant policies and procedures applicable to members of Council and Local and Adjudicative Board appointees;
- working closely with former Commissioner Leiper to review the status of all files, including open formal complaints, requests for advice, corporate and policy matters;
- attending to matters related to office operations and establishing an office with a full-time commissioner; and,
- finalizing plans and goals for the term.
In carrying out my duties in the transition phase, my first priority is to become fully conversant and expert about the Codes of Conduct and the City’s policies and procedures and responding to requests for advice from members of Council, Local and Adjudicative board members. The reason for this priority is because my focus will be, consistent with my predecessors, encouraging compliance with the Codes of Conduct by providing accurate, timely and clear advice.
I am available to provide advice and information to members of Council, Board appointees, citizens and City staff for information about compliance with the Codes of Conduct. I can be reached at: email@example.com or 416.397.7770.
No new complaints at this time
Due to the upcoming election and the Complaint Protocol, no new complaints can be filed with this Office alleging that a member has contravened the Code of Conduct until a new council is formed. However, as noted above, any person is free to contact me to obtain information and advice about Code compliance.
Open Complaint Files
I will be reviewing each open complaint file and carrying out appropriate investigation or assessment activities (as applicable). When my assessment and investigation activities commence, they will proceed in the ordinary course as required for this Office under the City of Toronto Act, 2006 and the Complaint Protocols for Members of Council, Local Boards (restricted definition) and Adjudicative Boards. I am not permitted to provide any specific updates about the status of any particular matter to the public.
I am mindful of the upcoming election and that both complainants and respondents are keen to have certainty as to the status of formal complaints that have been filed with this Office. At this time, I do not anticipate completing any investigations between now and election day. As a consequence, there will be no reports provided to complainants or respondents prior to the election.
At this time, I will follow the past practice of the Office of the Integrity Commissioner for Toronto and issue reports about breaches of the Code of Conduct only to a sitting City Council. For this reason, I can advise you that the earliest time I will be reporting to City Council on any violation of the Code of Conduct (if any is found in any case) will be when a new City Council is organized.
It is a great privilege for me to take on this role. I intend to build on the solid foundation established by Commissioners Leiper, Sossin and Mullan. The work of the Office helps build confidence and trust in our government – an objective worth pursuing with vigour. I look forward to this work.
TORONTO, May 20, 2014 – The City of Toronto’s Integrity Commissioner is proposing changes to the Code of Conduct for Members of Council and is inviting members of the public to provide comments, either at the next Executive Committee meeting or directly to her office.
The Integrity Commissioner’s report, Integrity by Design: Report on the Review of the Code of Conduct for Members of Council, will be considered at the May 27 Executive Committee meeting. The report was released today with the Executive Committee agenda and is available here.
The Code of Conduct for Members of Council contains principles and expected conduct for City of Toronto elected officials and is part of the City’s ethical infrastructure. The Office of the Integrity Commissioner is proposing some changes to improve the provisions of the Code of Conduct.
The public is invited to make deputations or provide written comments at the May 27 Executive Committee meeting. Details on how you can speak at the meeting or provide written comments are available on the City website: http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/tmmis/have-your-say.htm
Members of the public who wish to provide comments directly to the Integrity Commissioner’s office may do so in writing by e mail to Wendy Wilson at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by letter to the Integrity Commissioner, 375 University Avenue, Suite 202, Toronto, ON M5G 2J5