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Ethics code now in place
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is influencing policy in Lake Country.
A code of ethics has been adopted for members of district council and staff.
“The embarrassments of the Senate and Toronto are having reverberations throughout Canada and even to the municipal level,” said Coun. Owen Dickie.
“We do have some requirements in our bylaws but this is an agreement to treat all staff, councillors and the public with respect and decency.”
Ford, who is on a leave of absence as Toronto mayor, has admitted to using crack and having issues with alcohol.
“We don’t have any of that here but we thought there should be an opportunity to provide censure if behaviour is not conducted in a manner conducive to good government,” said James Baker, Lake Country mayor.
The new rules cover a range of issues including conduct at public meetings, respect for process, conflict of interest, gifts and favours, confidential information, use of public resources, advocacy and a positive work environment.
“It’s pretty much what we practise already,” said Baker.
“It indicates how council conducts itself at meetings but also when representing the community.”
If a council member is found in contravention of the code, they cannot be removed from office, but they can be censured. Essentially the rest of council states it opposes the actions of the individual.
A council member could also get the cold shoulder.
“They could be removed from committees,” said Baker.