Office of the Integrity Commissioner
On February 19, 2019, By-law No. 27-2019 was passed, appointing Edward T. McDermott of ADR Chambers Inc. as Integrity Commissioner for the Town of Fort Erie.
Functions of the Integrity Commissioner
Section 223.3 (1) of the Municipal Act, 2001, authorizes the municipality to appoint an Integrity Commissioner who reports to Council and who is responsible for performing in an independent manner functions with respect to the following:
1. The application of the Code of Conduct for members of Council and the Code of Conduct for members of local boards.
2. The application of any procedures, rules and policies of the municipality and local boards governing the ethical behaviour of members of Council and of local boards.
3. The application of sections 5, 5.1 and 5.2 of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act (MCIA) to members of Council and of local boards.
4. Requests from members of Council and of local boards for advice respecting their obligations under the code of conduct applicable to the member.
5. Requests from members of Council and of local boards for advice respecting their obligations under a procedure, rule or policy of the municipality or of the local board, as the case may be, governing the ethical behaviour of members.
6. Requests from members of Council and of local boards for advice respecting their obligations under the MCIA.
7. The provision of educational information to members of Council, members of local boards, the municipality and the public about the municipality’s Code of Conduct for members of Council and members of local boards and about the MCIA.
NOTE: The Integrity Commissioner does not provide advice to persons who wish to file or are thinking about filing a formal complaint/ application for an inquiry.
The Integrity Commissioner conducts investigations respecting:
(a) a request made by Council, a member of Council or an Application by a member of the public about whether a member of Council or of a local board has contravened the Code of Conduct; and
(b) a request made by a local board or a member of a local board about whether a member of the local board has contravened the Code of Conduct; and
(c) an application by an elector, as defined in the MCIA, or a person demonstrably acting in the public interest, may make an Application for an inquiry to be carried out concerning an alleged contravention of section 5, 5.1 or 5.2 of that Act by a member of Council or a member of a local board.
Between Nomination Day and Voting Day in a regular election:
- No Applications for an inquiry are permitted about whether a member of Council or of a local board has contravened the Code of Conduct.
- No Applications for an inquiry under the MCIA are permitted.
An application may only be made within six weeks after the applicant became aware of the alleged contravention, subject to certain exceptions provided in Section 8 of the MCIA.
If you see behaviour or activity that you believe violates the Code of Conduct and or the MCIA you can submit a complaint. There are two processes:
Proceeding with the informal process is not required to submit a formal complaint. An individual can use one or the other, or pursue one (such as informal), followed by others (such as formal).
Tell the Member that their behaviour appears to violate the Code of Conduct or the MCIA.
Document relevant information such as date, time, location and other people present.
We encourage you to use the informal complaint process as a way to immediately address behaviour and settle the matter.
To file a formal complaint, you must complete a Formal Complaint Form/Affidavit.
Step 1 - Complete a Formal Complaint Form/Affidavit
Fill out the Request for Investigation Form/Affidavit and include:
- Information to support the claim made against the Member, including dates and locations
- Names and contact information for any witnesses of the event
- Your name and contact information; anonymous complaints will not be accepted
- Do not sign the form until you are before a Commissioner of Oaths to swear/affirm the affidavit
Step 2 -Bring In-person to our Clerk's office
Place the completed form in an envelope and bring it in-person to the Office of the Town Clerk.
1 Municipal Centre Drive, Fort Erie Ontario
Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. excluding holidays
Do not seal the envelope at this time (unless the affidavit is already properly sworn before a Commissioner of Oaths).
Individuals should call the Town Clerk at 905-871-1600 to make an appointment
Step 3 -Swear/Affirm the Affidavit to the Town Clerk
When you arrive at the Office of the Town Clerk, you must swear/affirm the affidavit to indicate that the information you provided is accurate and truthful, unless it has already been sworn/affirmed before a Commissioner of Oaths elsewhere.
Step 4 -Seal the Envelope
Once the affidavit has been sworn/affirmed, you will seal the envelope and give it to the Town Clerk. The Town Clerk will forward the complaint to the Integrity Commissioner who will contact you regarding your complaint.
The Integrity Commissioner will enter into a "Consent and Confidentiality Agreement" with the complainant before beginning their investigation.
The Town Clerk and other necessary individuals will maintain confidentiality.
Reports to Council
The Integrity Commissioner generally completes investigations within 90 days or less. After the Integrity Commissioner has completed the investigation, a final investigation report will be provided to Regional Council on an open session council agenda. The final investigation report will identify the complainant and the Member of Council involved. An annual report is also submitted to Regional Council summarising the number of complaints and findings.