"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Implementation of the Code of Ethics

Council  members  will be expected to sign  two copies of the Code  at the beginning of a new term
to convey to each other and all stakeholders that they have read and understood it. 

What chance Lance ?

The last Council did that at the beginning of the term. Where are they now?

They went further and adopted a Code of Conduct Bylaw  to  add teeth to their purpose. 



They  had  THE  POWA to punish with that one. 

However , requiring  a Councillor to sign a document  without commitment proved to be a bit of a problem. 

A lawyer was retained to write an opinion stating why it was imperative for all to sign. 

The lawyer stated failure to sign  might  cause"stakeholders" to believe the Councillor  was in breach of the Oath of Office .

But the last paragraph stated there is no physical  act to compel a Councillor to sign.

The letter was tabled with the agenda for all to know the seriousness of the situation. 

It was relatively simple to point out the lawyer's caveat emptor. 

The possible outcome of failure to sign might encourage the community to believe a Councillor was not committed to honorable conduct. I did not agree to the likelihood the community would think any such thing. 

The last  paragraph of the report  really emphasised the futility of the exercise.  A Coucillor cannot be physically forced to sign the document. 

The advice did not accomplish what those who authorized the expenditure hoped it would. 

Te people who always pay the piper, were obliged to pay anyway. 

It was only recently I read in  another legal  document that the Code of Conduct Bylaw  is unenforceable  No offence can be charged.  No penalty  imposed. 

That makes sense 


Anonymous said...


Really simple.

Treat others the way you would want them to treat you.

The ways in which normal people deal with their children, teaching them right from wrong.

Don't pick on children who are smaller than you or have an apparent disability, physical or otherwise.

The majority of us raise their children using a code of ethics.

Is it so difficult for adults? Although at times several Aurora councillors act like children, spoiled, ignorant and brutish.

Anonymous said...

No one has ever defined ' stakeholders ' for me although it keeps getting used. Not sure if it means those who make the most noise, developers or ordinary citizens because of the variety of places it occurs. Just another ' weasel word ' like transparent, democratic etc. Our vocabulary keeps changing.

Anonymous said...

All that stuff is just window-dressing. You get elected and then do your best. An additional piece of paper isn't going to make a change in the behaviour of an adult. Pure nonsense.

Marshall Dillon said...


"You get elected and do your best"... but heaven forbid if your best does not conform to the perception of those that have been councillors since Jesus was in High School. You will be taunted and lectured until your only defence is to add some hard-fast rules. You try to bring the Town in to the present instead of wallowing in the pioneer past. Then you loose the next election and everyone that has been rounded up in the posse wants to hang you from the tallest tree in the land.

This Town is F'ed up.

Anonymous said...

Baldwin's lunch trade sure took a hit when the handbag carriers moved on.

Anonymous said...

It has been said that “everyone knows already knows what's right and wrong – the difficult part is for people to do what is right”. And for some it is much more difficult than for others.

We have all these codes of conduct - everything from government to corporate to schools to kids sports. Are they there to set the rules or remind people of the rules that they should or do in fact already know?

I will not cheat in school.

I will not plagiarize my essays and homework.

I will respect the decision of the referee (or teacher, volunteer parent, ______ (you fill in the blank))

I will treat others with courtesy, respect and fairness.

And yet all of the above examples are broken time and again, day in and day out, here, there and everywhere.

I truly believe that many organizations have such codes so that they can then point to the code and then point to the person and shout at them that they broke the code. In so many cases we don’t need a code to tell us it is wrong. I don’t care what the code said or what your lawyer interpreted for you based on the code, it was wrong – end of story. But for some the opposite comes into play. People may feel that they can do whatever they can get away with because it’s not written in the code. And so we keep expanding, amending, revising and re-writing our codes to include more definitive behaviours, more special cases all to no avail. Adults will act whatever way they deem to - always thinking that they are in the right regardless of codes.

It’s like the warnings on lawn mowers that says to not use them as hedge trimmers. Why? Because some unfortunate idiot did so in the past and the manufacturer has to put the warning label there to protect their company from future lawsuits.

Anonymous said...

12:37 PM
I read your comment very carefully and then again. Is it your contention that the Code of Conduct was the result of a majority of councillors being unable to control the operations of the town because of the actions of one councillor? And that the election 'resulted' in the Town wanting to vent its anger?

I am ignoring your agist cracks because they really cloud the issue.

Anonymous said...

To 12:37 PM
The Code of Conduct, the Integrity Czars, the threats to kin, employers & friends, the lawsuit against Aurora residents, the bullying of children and shy adults, hounding of fellow councillors etc etc
All fall into the category of ' some hard fast ' rules ?
To bring us out of ' the pioneer past '?

Anonymous said...

Dad taught us that when you encountered something acting strangely, you should never approach it. We had to report it to him right away in case it was rabies.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your points, 4:36 PM. I would just caution, in this case, against confusing passive aggressiveness with shyness.

Anonymous said...

9:13 Am
I don't understand. When a quiet resident tried to ask questions at a Council meeting & got mowed down, that person was ' passive-agressive " ? Every one of them, every single time? Not.

Anonymous said...

Well, 10:28 AM, it depends on which "quiet resident" you mean, or if you're thinking anyone in general. I believe that 4:36 PM was referring to an oft-cited, specific incident involving a particular person...but I may be mistaken.

Anonymous said...

Globe & Mail
June 26th
" Pamela Wallin denied health coverage in Ont. & Sask., she told Senate. "
She also admitted not voting because she was too busy. Don't they have advance or absentee voting in Sask or Ont ?

Anonymous said...

3:42 PM
Perhaps she didn't want to show a health card or her election materials because they could be used to further determine residency?