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BYLAW - Adopt Code of Ethics for Members of Council - 20130625 - 553213 (2)THE CORPORATION OF THE TOWN OF AURORA By-law Number 5532-13 BEING A BY-LAW to adopt a Code of Ethics for Members of Council. WHEREAS paragraph 2 of subsection 11(2) of the Municipal Act, 2001, R.S.O.2001, c. 25, as amended, provides that a lower -tier municipality may pass by-laws respecting the accountability and transparency of the municipality and its operations and of its local boards and their operations; AND WHEREAS on November 22, 2011, the Council of The Corporation of the Town of Aurora (the "Town") enacted By-law Number 5387-11 to adopt a Code of Ethics for Members of Council; AND WHEREAS on February 26, 2013, the Council of the Town passed a resolution to combine the Council Code of Conduct and the Code of Ethics into a new Code of Ethics; AND WHEREAS on May 14, 2013, the Council of the Town enacted By-law Number 5506-13 to repeal the Council Code of Conduct (By-law Number 5036-08.C, as amended) and the Advisory and Statutory Committees Code of Conduct (By-law Number 5037-08.C); AND WHEREAS the Council of the Town has deemed it necessary and expedient to formally adopt a new Code of Ethics for Members of Council; NOW THEREFORE THE COUNCIL OF THE CORPORATION OF THE TOWN OF AURORA ENACTS AS FOLLOWS: 1. THAT the Code of Ethics attached as Schedule "A" to this By-law be and is hereby adopted and shall govern over Members of Council. 2. THAT By-law Number 5387-11 be and is hereby repealed. 3. THAT this By-law shall come into full force and effect on the date of final passage hereof. READ A FIRST AND SECOND TIME THIS 2e DAY OF JUNE, 2013. READ A THIRD TIME AND FINALLY PASSED THIS 25th DAY OF JUNE 2013. App medos to fom Byz, S Mj s 9lrryr IJnO 91 90(; JOHI)O0JLEACF , TOWN CLERK By-law Number 5532-13 Page 2 of 6 Schedule "A" to By-law Number 5532-13 Town of Aurora CODE OF ETHICS for Members of Council The Town of Aurora expects its Members of Council to adhere to the highest standards of personal and professional competence, integrity and impartiality to ensure public confidence and trust is maintained. The Town of Aurora's Members of Council fundamentally understand that: a) The proper operation of democratic and representative municipal government requires that they be independent, impartial and responsible to the people; b) There are open, proper and appropriate channels of government structure for decision making and approval of policy which is transparent, accessible and equitable; c) Conflicts between private interests and public responsibilities are unacceptable and must be avoided as public office is not to be used for personal gain; d) As leaders of the community, they are held to a higher standard of behaviour and conduct; e) Attaining an elected position within the community is a privilege which carries significant responsibilities and obligations; f) No member shall use the influence of office for any purpose other than for the exercise of his/her official duties; and g) There is fairness and respect for the differences and a duty to work together for goodwill and common good. Although areas of ethical exposure are generally consistent and understood in municipal governance, the following areas and guidelines have been specifically identified in our community, as being paramount to the municipal political process: 1. Roles and Obligations 2. Use of Information 3. Communications and Media Relations 4. Relationships with Staff and Other Members of Council 5. Gifts, Hospitality and Benefits 6. Conflicts of Interest 7. Use of Town Property 8. Transparency and Openness in Decision Making 9. Public Input 10. Conduct at Meetings 11. Harassment 12. Professional Development Accordingly, this document will provide a guideline for elected officials in exercising their policy making role having regard to the statements and ideals as enunciated hereunder. 1. Roles and Obligations Council Members recognize their mandate incorporates tasks to include: Fairly representing the diversity of community views in developing an overall strategy for the future of the Town; By-law Number 5532-13 Page 3 of 6 • Setting objectives and determining strategies to achieve Council's Corporate objectives in the Strategic Plan; • Achieving sound financial management, planning and accountability; • Being responsible stewards of the Town's assets, services, public places and natural environment; and • Being aware of and conversant with the statutory obligations imposed on Council as a whole, as well as each individual Member of Council. 2. Use of Information In their decision -making process, Members of Council are sometimes privy to information which may be confidential or controversial such as, but not limited to "In Camera" meetings. It is expected that they will: • Use "insider" information appropriately, so as not to be used to their personal advantage; Use confidential information appropriately so as not to cause loss or damage to the Town or detriment or benefit to others; Respect the status of confidential information (including documentation and/or deliberation) until the matter ceases to be confidential as determined by Council; Understand that confidential information as provided to them by the. Town belongs to the Town not to members of Council; Understand that they enjoy the same access rights to municipal information as any other member of the community, unless it is specifically relevant to a matter before the Council; Only release information in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. M.56, as amended; and Continue their obligation to keep information confidential even if they cease to be a member of Council. Particular care should be exercised in ensuring confidentiality of the following: • Information relating to the security of the property of the Town; • Personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal employees; • Proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land by the municipality; • Labour relations or employee negotiations including collective bargaining; • Litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality; Advice that is subject to solicitor -client privilege, including communication necessary for that purpose; Sources of complaints where the identity of the complainant is given in confidence; Information about suppliers provided for evaluation which is of a proprietary nature or might be useful to other suppliers; Any information in relation to a tender or RFP that has or will be issued but that has not been awarded; and • Schedules of prices in contract tenders. 3. Communications and Media Relations Members of Council will accurately and adequately communicate the attitudes and decisions of Aurora's Council, even if they disagree with a majority decision of Council so that: There is respect for the decision making processes of Council; By-law Number 6532-13 Page 4 of 6 • Official information related to decisions and resolutions made by Council will normally be communicated in the first instance to the community and the media in an official capacity by the Mayor or designate; • Information concerning adopted policies, procedures and decisions of the Council is conveyed openly and accurately; and Confidential information will be communicated only when and after determined by Council. 4. Relationships with Staff and Other Members of Council Members of Council will: • Acknowledge that only Council as a whole has the capacity to direct staff members to carry out specific tasks or functions; • Refrain from using their position to improperly influence members of staff in their duties or functions or to gain an advantage for themselves or others; • Refrain from publicly criticizing individual members of staff in a way that casts aspersions on their professional competence and credibility; and 5. Gifts, Hospitality and Benefits Members of Council will only: • Accept gifts, hospitality or entertainment of a nominal value that are received as an incident of protocol or social obligations that normally accompany the responsibilities of office, but could not be reasonably construed as being given in anticipation or recognition of special consideration by the Town; and • Accept hospitality or entertainment if the offer is infrequent (less than 2 or 3 times a year) and appropriate to the occasion. In these circumstances it is assumed that the nature of the business discussed is important enough to the Town that reciprocal arrangements should openly be made and charged to the Town. Any gifts, benefits or hospitality that exceeds these guidelines shall be returned with an explanation of this Code of Ethics. Gifts, souvenirs or mementos accepted with a greater than nominal value, shall be the property of the Town. Members of Council will: Acknowledge that the Mayor will in his/her role, periodically receive and distribute ceremonial or other similar items. Members of Council may accept the following: • Municipal election campaign contributions that are offered, accepted and reported in accordance with the Municipal Elections Act, 1996, S.O. 1996, c. 32, as amended; Services provided by a person volunteering their time; • Food, lodging, transportation and entertainment provided by other levels of government or boards or commissions; and Reimbursement of reasonable expenses incurred and honorariums received in the performance of activities connected with municipal associations or agencies. 6. Conflicts of Interest Members of Council will recognize their obligations to: Follow and respect both the letter and spirit of the provisions of the Municipal Act, 2001, S.O. 2001, c. 25, as amended from time to time (the "Municipal Act'), and the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, R.S.O. 1990 c. M. 50 as amended from time to time. 7. Use of Town Property Members of Council will: By-law Number 5532-13 Page 5 of 6 Only use Town property (including, but not limited to, real property, municipal vehicles, equipment, material, supplies, intellectual property and documents) or services of consequence, for activities connected with the discharge of official duties or associated community activities having the sanction of Council or its Committees. No member shall obtain financial gain from the use of Town -developed intellectual property, computer programs, technological innovations or other patentable items, while an elected'official or thereafter as all such property remains the exclusive property of the Town. 8. Transparency & Openness in Decision Making Members of Council will endeavour to: Conduct and convey Council business in an open and public manner (other than for those matters which may be discussed in Closed Session as permitted by the Municipal Act) so that stakeholders are aware of the process, logic and rationale which was used to reach conclusions or decisions. 9. Public Input Council will periodically use formal and informal opportunities to seek public input as a component of the decision -making process which have broad impacts on the community. The purpose of the exercise will be to provide stakeholders with a mechanism to provide opinions and advice so that the widest range of views and information is available before final decisions are made. 10. Conduct at Meetings During Council, General Committee or any another advisory committee meetings, or working group meetings, Members shall conduct themselves with decorum and in accordance with the Town's Procedural By-law. Respect for delegations and for fellow Council Members and staff requires that all Members show courtesy and not distract from the business of Council during presentations and when other members have the floor. 11. Harassment Harassment of another Council Member, staff or any member of the public is prohibited under Ontario's Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19, as amended (the "Ontario Human Rights Code"). In accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Town's Administration Procedure 65 — Harassment Free Workplace, it is the policy of the Town that all persons be treated with dignity and respect in the workplace in an environment free of discrimination and of personal and/or sexual harassment. Harassment, whether it occurs inside or outside the workplace, but is related to the work environment or activities of elected office, is considered to be harassment and is inappropriate behaviour for the purpose of this Code of Ethics. Harassment includes, but is not limited to, any behaviour, conduct or comment by any person that is directed at or is offensive to another person on the grounds of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex; age, handicap, sexual orientation, marital status, or family status and any other grounds under the provisions of the Ontario Human Rights Code. Any complaints of harassment will be investigated in accordance with the procedures set out in the Town's Administration Procedure 65. 12. Professional Development Members of Council have an obligation to promote, support, pursue and partake in opportunities for professional development, including but not limited to: AMO and FCM Conference; Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing seminars; By-law Number 5532-13 Page 6 of 6 Provincial Professional Association Training Institutes (OGRA, AMCTO etc.); and Provincial Municipal Council orientation sessions. Council Members are encouraged to stay updated on issues and trends so that they can be as efficient and effective as possible in the carriage of their duties and responsibilities. IMPLEMENTATION At the beginning of each term, Members of Council will be expected to sign two (2) copies of the Code of Ethics Document (one (1) for themselves and one (1) for the Clerk's Office) to convey to each other and all stakeholders that they have read, understand and accept it. A Code of Ethics component will be included as part of the orientation workshop for each new Council. Council Members are expected to formally and informally review their adherence to the provisions of the Code on a regular basis or when so requested by Council. Signature of Member Printed Name of Member Date