Code of Conduct for Members of Council and Local Boards

In 2016, the Province of Ontario introduced Bill 68, Modernizing Ontario’s Municipal Legislation Act, 2017,  that received Royal Assent on May 30, 2017. This legislation made amendments to various Acts, including the Municipal Act, 2001, as amended to require municipalities to establish Codes of Conduct for Members of the Council of the municipality and of its Local Boards effective March 1, 2019.

Ontario Regulation 55/18 provides that the Codes of Conduct must contain the following:

  1. Gifts, benefits and hospitality;
  2. Respectful conduct, including conduct toward officers and employees of the municipality or the local board, as the case may be;
  3. Confidential information; and
  4. Use of property of the municipality or of the local board, as the case may be.

Chapter 16 of the City of Brantford Municipal Code establishes the Code of Conduct for Members of the Council of The Corporation of the City of Brantford and of its Local Boards. Currently, the only Local Board in the City of Brantford to which a Code of Conduct is required is the Downtown Brantford Business Improvement Area Committee of Management. The Code of Conduct includes both an informal complaint procedure (optional) and a formal complaint process as outlined below.

Informal complaint procedure

Individuals including but not limited to Municipal Employees, Local Board Employees, members of the public, Members of Council, or Members of a Local Board who have identified or witnessed behaviour or an activity by a Member that they believe is in contravention of the Code of Conduct may address the prohibited behaviour or activity themselves as follows:

  1. Advise the Member that the behaviour or activity contravenes the Code of Conduct.
  2. Encourage the Member to stop the prohibited behaviour or activity.
  3. Keep a written record of the incident(s) including dates, times, locations, other persons present and any other relevant information.
  4. If applicable, advise the Member of your satisfaction with their response or, if applicable, advise the Member of your dissatisfaction with their response.
  5. Consider the need to pursue the matter in accordance with the formal complaint procedure or in accordance with another applicable judicial or quasi-judicial process or complaint procedure.

Formal complaint process

Individuals including but not limited to Municipal Employees, Local Board Employees, members of the public, Members of Council, or Members of a Local Board who have identified or witnessed behaviour or an activity by a Member that they believe is in contravention of the Code of Conduct may file a formal complaint and request an investigation by executing the following steps:

  1. The complainant shall submit the complaint in writing by completing the Code of Conduct – Formal Complaint Form to the City Clerk, or designate. The Form must be signed by an identifiable individual.
  2. The Form shall set out reasonable and probable grounds for the allegation that the Member has contravened the Code of Conduct and set out the evidence in support of the complaint.
  3. The complaint will be forwarded by the Clerk, or designate, to the Integrity Commissioner within 48 business hours of receipt, who will address it in accordance with Part V.1 of the Municipal Act, 2001, as amended.

Every request for an investigation shall be initiated through the submission of the Code of Conduct – Formal Complaint Form  a signed copy of which is to be returned to:

City Clerk
Brantford City Hall
100 Wellington Square
Brantford, ON N3T 2M2

Please note that a fee is not required when filing a Code of Conduct - Formal Complaint Form. Hard copies of the Code of Conduct and the required Complaint Form are also available at the front counter at Brantford City Hall.