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Would it be possible to obtain a copy of this
complaint and withdrawal through the Freedom of Information act?
It's an interesting question. One might expect the answer to be not
But little is certain.
I've been trying to access the legislation this morning.
Over the years, I have received many interpretations and impressions.
Municipalities are entitled to write their own Codeof Conduct.
Ontario has 440 municipalities. Numbers are not verified but it's understood twenty-five municipalities have Codes of Conduct Bylaws.
It's understood , in some quarters the complaint process requires confidentiality. But not in others.
It would make sense for the protection of a complainant.
Filing a complaint, in writing, certifying it to be true by making it public, a complainant might otherwise find themselves in contravention of different legislation.
A complaint is filed with the Clerk of the Municipality. Whose sole role is conduit between complainant and Integrity Commissioner.
No-one else has a role in the issue.
This morning I learned Newmarket Council has appointed an Integrity Commissioner because investigating Councillors being complained about.was taking too much staff time.
Also, Newmarket has suspended that part of the Code Bylaw that allows a Councillor to complain about another Councillor. .
Also, Council can file a complaint against a Councillor in the Town of Newmarket.
I attended a meeting where Aurora Council was advised there is no provision in the legislation to permit a Council to file a complaint against a Councillor.
Code of Conduct legislation comes under the heading of transparency and accountability.
The legislation is permissive not mandatory.
Under the legislation, municipalities can apparently chooose to be transparent and accountable...or not.
Further, municipalities can write their own Code. . In one a Council can file a complaint against a Councillor. A Councillor can not.
In another, a mile down the road , borders abutting, a Council can not file a conduct complaint against a Councillor.. A Councillor can.
In the first municipality where a Councillor could have filed a complaint against a Councillor , the clause has been suspended because investigating complaints against Councillors took too much staff time.
In our town, we had an Integrity Commissioner , dealing with his first complaint, stripped of his authority but not fast enough to beat him to the punch.
We had a second ,who had a private meeting with the Mayor prior to being appointed. Perhaps not surprisingly, he lost little time
making decisions on two complaints made by the same person against the same person without bothering to investigate.
In answer to the question; Would it be possible to get copies of a complaint filed and withdrawn without an FYI?
It might depend on which day of the week and which municipality you ask.