In the Fall 2015 Session of the Legislature, amendments were introduced to The Cities Act. The amendments have been incorporated in ‘The Municipal Conflict of Interest Amendment Act, 2015.
The highlights of the amendments that were passed are:
- A Procedures Bylaw will be mandatory and is required to be approved by council within 60 days of the passing of the amendments. It shall covere certain regulated matters and council may add in others.
- Confidentiality requirements are expanded.
- A Code of Conduct shall be established for employees.
- Conflict of Interest has been broadened to mean more than just a financial interest and is limited to spouse and dependent children interests as well.
- Public Disclosure Statement will include the disclosure for every employer, person, corporation, organization, association or other body that the member of council, their spouse or children receive remunerations for services performed as an employee, director, manager, operator, contractor, or agent.
- Conflict of Interest intent is expanded as well as the declaring of same if at the meeting or absent from the meeting where such an item affects a member of council/committee.
- Pecuniary interest is changed to financial interest.
- If a council member is disqualified, they may not be eligible to run for council for 12 years from the date of their disqualification.
- An extension to a time period of six months from 60 days to quash a bylaw is proposed and further that any occupant of a property may apply to quash a bylaw.
- The Minister may appoint one or more auditors to audit the books of the city or any other body established by council.
- Inspections of a municipality or any other body established by council may be released by the Minister to through consultation with the council, by the council.
- Minister may suspend a council member, the whole council, the Administrator or any designated official during an inspection.
- Municipalities will be added to the list of entities for authority under The Ombudsman Act.
Amendments introduced but not yet proclaimed include:
- A bylaw regarding a code of ethics that applies to all members of council shall be adopted.
- The Oath or Affirmation shall be taken by each member of council within 30 days of the adoption of the Code of Ethics Bylaw.