City Hall – Oct. 1-5, 2012


Oct. 1, 4:00 pm. Civic works Cte. Full agenda:
Nothing controversial on the agenda.
#3 – Update on compliance issues with recycling – plan recommended.
#4 – Update on the green bin pilot project.
#5 – Cutting edge water monitoring system recommended as a pilot project.

Oct. 1, 7:00 pm. Community Services Cte. Full agenda:
#5 & 6 – Update on Ontario Works caseload stats and profile.
#8 – 7:00 pm. Public participation meeting on possible options to reduce smoking in municipal outdoor spaces.

Oct. 2, 4 – 6:00 pm. Town Hall Mtg. on Value of Water. Wolf Performance Hall, Central Public Library, 251 Dundas St. . Registration:

Oct. 4, 1:30 pm. Lake Huron Primary Water Supply System Board Mtg:
#12 – Operating & Capital budget.
Oct. 4, 5:00 pm Elgin Area Primary Water Supply System Board Mtg:
#11 – Operating & Capital Budget.

City Hall – Sept 24-28, 2012


Sept. 24, 1:00 pm. Finance & Admin.
Cte. Full agenda:
#2 – Employee absenteeism update. Downward trend continues.
#8 – Annual report on development charges reserve fund. This is an extraordinarily difficult issue to understand. Concerns regarding claims awaiting payment and approved but unauthorized debt.

Sept. 24, 4:00 pm. Planning & Environment Cte. Full agenda:
#4 – Update on the McCormick Area Study
#19 – Complex planning item with history & environ. concerns.
#20 – Refusal of development at 260 Sarnia Rd.
#21 – Refusal of development at 754 Maitland St.
#22 – UTRCA report about development in flood plain – Blackfriars
#23 – Demolition of priority 2 heritage property at 199 Queens Ave.
#26 – Delegation from developer rep. debating parkland credits.

Sept. 25, 3:30 pm. Investment & Economic Prosperity Cte. Full agenda:
#3 – Letter from Chamber of Commerce concerning due diligence with potential projects requesting city funding.

Sept. 27, 3:30 pm. Audit Cte. Full agenda:
#4 – PricewaterhouseCoopers Internal Audit report on (a) Development Services – building control (b) Park & Rec. (c) Corporate finance – purchasing











































































































































































































































































City Hall – Sept. 17-21, 2012


Sept. 17, 3:30 pm. Finance & Administrative Cte. Full agenda:
#2 – approval to issue $70M in debentures.
Sept. 17, 4:00 pm. Strategic Priorites & Policy Cte. Full agenda:
#2 – Revisions to the governance structure is proposed. For the most part minor changes.
Sept. 18, 5:00 pm. Council. Full agenda:
Most items are not controversial.
Finance & administrative Report:
#11 – I expect some discussion around the issue of an Integrity Commissioner, Lobbyist registry and voluntary disclosure of items as reflected in the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.
#12 – Cncllr Orser may try to get support of his motion re:election ballot questions.

City Hall – Sept. 10-14 2012


Sept. 10, 4:00 pm. Civic Works Cte. Full agenda:
Items are straightforward – nothing controversial.
#2 – information item on water rate review process.
#4 – update on Highway 401 & Highbury interchange reconstruction.
#14 – Public meeting to allow bicycles on sidewalks if rider is 14 years or younger.

Sept. 10, 7:00 pm. Community Services Cte. Full agenda:
There are some very important policy reports around new housing/homelessness and child care.
#5 Policy changes to implement the Housing Services Act rules and standards.
#7 – Modernizing child care policy to reflect Provincial direction and funding.
#8 Regulation amendments for homelessness prevention and homelessness social assistance.

Sept. 11, 3:30 pm. Investment & Economic Prosperity Cte. Full agenda:
#2 – Strategy for utilizing municipal rooftops for solar PV systems.
#4 – Correspondence from National Research Council on their Digital Technology Adoption Pilot Program

Integrity Commissioner Needed

The Ontario Municipal Act, 2001 as amended in 2006, granted broad and sweeping powers to municipalities and balanced the expanded power of local government with requirements for improved accountability and limpid conduct. Section 224 (d.1) of the Ontario Municipal Act 2001, summarizes the role of Council and explicitly includes “accountability and transparency”. The Act outlines potential actions municipalities may take in ensuring their obligations of accountability are fulfilled. These include: engaging an Integrity Commissioner, a municipal Ombudsman, an Auditor General, a lobbyist registry.

The Integrity Commissioner independently reviews the application of procedures, rules and policies governing the ethical behavior of members of council. If council follows the rules then an investigation by the Integrity Commissioner is not needed and furthermore no financial expenses are incurred. Most Integrity Commissioners are lawyers who allow municipalities to retain them on stand-by.

The lobbyist registry establishes a public registration system for those wishing to meet with members of council to further their private initiatives. The registry would allow the public to know who is meeting with councillors and why. The lobbyist registry applies to private meetings with members of council regarding private business interests. Lobbyist registries do not apply to anyone expressing opinions through public meetings such as council, committee, neighbourhood, boards and commission meetings.

By supporting an Integrity Commissioner, members of council are advising their constituents that they will hold themselves to the high ethical standard, expected of an elected official. Yes complaints concerning conduct may be filed with the Integrity Commissioner and this aspect is critically important to ensuring accountability. It is easy to say ethical conduct is always adhered to, but words don’t assuage public perception. To put in place the independent protocol to ensure council members are held to account provides taxpayers with direct accountability.

There will always be differences of opinion on council, and sometimes these will be expressed more forcibly than others. Strong opinions do not reflect a lack of integrity. It is about putting in place the mechanisms that will assist in ensuring public confidence in open and accountable government.

.A quick search (not extensive) shows the following municipalities use an Integrity Commissioner: Toronto, Mississauga, Vaughan, Ottawa, Kitchener, Waterloo, Windsor, Hamilton, Oakville, Brantford, Carleton Place, Port Hope, Caledon.

City Hall – Sept. 4-7 2012

Sept. 4, 1:00 pm. Finance & Administrative Services Cte.
Full agenda:
# 6 & 7 – Operating & Capital Budget Secobd Quarter Status Report
#11 – Request from Cncllr. Baechler for establishment of an Integrity Commissioner, voluntary disclosure of council members potential pecuniary interests and a lobbyist registry.
#12 – Cncllr. Orser’s request for three questions to be added to the ballot for next municipal election.
Sept. 4, 4:00 pm. Planning & Environment Cte. Full agenda:
Agenda doesn’t have any controversial items.
#10 – Interesting letter from the Ontario Human Rights Commission with respect to methodone clinic by-law.