TOWN OF BROME LAKE
BY-LAW No. 552
BY-LAW ENACTING A CODE OF ETHICS AND GOOD CONDUCT FOR ELECTED MUNICIPAL OFFICERS OF THE TOWN OF BROME LAKE
WHEREAS the Municipal Ethics and Good Conduct Act requires that every local municipality must have a code of ethics and good conduct which applies to its elected municipal officers;
WHEREAS the Town of Brome Lake already has a Code of Ethics but it has to be replaced considering the requirements of the new law;
WHEREAS notice of motion has been given at a regular sitting held on December 5, 2011.
The Council decrees the following :
SECTION 1: TITLE
The title of this by-law shall be: “Code of Ethics and Good Conduct for Elected Municipal Officers of the Town of Brome Lake”.
SECTION 2: SCOPE AND DEFINITIONS
The code applies to every member of the Council of the Town of Brome Lake.
The terms of this code shall be interpreted in accordance with their ordinary meaning, except the following words:
Any present, favour, reward, service, commission, bonus, remuneration, payment, gain, allowance, privilege, preferential treatment, compensation, advantage, profit, advance, loan, rebate, discount, and anything else useful or profitable of the same kind or promise of such a benefit.
Interest of the person involved, be it direct or indirect, pecuniary or not, apparent or not, actual or potential. It is a distinct interest, though not necessarily exclusive from that of the public in general, or may be perceived as such by a reasonably informed person. This notion excludes instances where the private interest is made of remunerations, allowances, reimbursement of expenses, social benefits, or other working conditions associated with the person’s office in the Town or a municipal body.
‘’Interest of close relations’’:
Interest of the spouse of the person involved, or of the children or immediate ascendants in direct line of that person, or interest of a partnership, a corporation, a cooperative or an organization with which he or she has a business relationship. It may be direct or indirect, pecuniary or not, apparent or not, actual or potential. It is a distinct interest, though not necessarily exclusive from that of the public in general, or may be perceived as such by a reasonably informed person.
1° any body declared by the law to be the mandatary or agent of the Town;
2° any body whose board of directors is composed in the majority of the Town Council;
3° any body of which the budget is adopted by the Town or of which more than half of the financing comes from the Town;
4° a commission or committee established by the Town and entrusted by the Municipal Council with the task of examining and studying specific questions;
5° a firm, a corporation, a company or an association within which at least one person is appointed or recommended by the Town to represent the interests of the latter.
SECTION 3: PURPOSE OF THE CODE
The purpose of the code is as follows:
1) To give priority to those values on which individual Council members base their decisions, and to contribute toward a better understanding of the values of the Town;
2) To establish standards of behaviour which promote these values as being integral to the process of decision making by Council members, and in their general conduct as well;
3) To prevent ethical conflicts and, if they arise, help in resolving them effectively and judiciously;
4) To ensure that enforcement measures are applied in case of any breach of conduct.
SECTION 4: VALUES OF THE MUNICIPALITY
The following values shall serve as guides to decision making and to the general conduct of Council members in their capacity as elected officials, particularly when situations are encountered that are not explicitly provided for in the code or in the Town’s various policies.
Members shall promote the values of honesty, rigorousness and justice.
2) Prudence in pursuit of the public interest
Members shall endeavour to meet their responsibilities toward the public duties entrusted to them. In fulfilling this mission, they shall act with professionalism, diligence and good judgment.
3) Respect for other members, municipal employees and citizens
Members shall promote respect in human relations. They have a right to respect in turn, and shall act respectfully toward all those with whom they have dealings in the course of their official duties.
4) Loyalty to the municipality
Members shall work in the best interests of the Town.
Members shall treat all people justly and in keeping, as far as possible, with the spirit of the laws and regulations.
6) Honour attached to the office of Council member
Members shall safeguard the honour of their position, which presupposes constant practice of the five above-mentioned values: integrity, prudence, respect, loyalty and fairness.
SECTION 5: RULES OF CONDUCT
The rules in this section shall guide the conduct of Council members acting in this capacity, or as members of a committee or commission of:
b) any other body in their capacity as Council members.
These rules are intended, in particular, to prevent:
1) Any situation in which Council members’ private interest might impair their independence of judgment in course of their official duties;
2) Any situation that would be contrary to sections 304 and 361 of the Act respecting elections and referendums in municipalities (R.S.Q., chapter E-2.2);
3) Favouritism, embezzlement, breach of trust or other misconduct.
5.3 Conflict of interest
5.3.1 Council members shall avoid placing themselves, knowingly, in situations where they may have to choose between, on the one hand, their private interest or that of a close relation and, on the other hand, that of the Town or any other body referred to in section 5.1.
5.3.2 Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, Council members are prohibited from acting, or attempting to act, or omitting to act, in the course of their official duties, so as to further their private interest or improperly further the interest of any other person.
5.3.3 Council members are prohibited from using their position to influence or attempt to influence another person’s decisions so as to further the said member’s private interest or improperly further the interest of any other person.
However, members are not considered to have infringed this provision when they benefit from the exceptions mentioned in paragraphs 4 and 5 of subsection 5.3.8.
5.3.4 Council members are prohibited from soliciting, eliciting, accepting or receiving any kind of benefit, whether for themselves or for another person, in exchange for taking a position on a matter that may be brought before the Council or a committee or commission on which said Council members sit.
5.3.5 Council members are prohibited from accepting any gift, mark of hospitality or other benefit, whatever its value, that might impair their independence of judgment in the course of their official duties, or otherwise compromise their integrity.
5.3.6 A Council member who receives any gift, mark of hospitality or other benefit which is not of a purely private nature or which is not prohibited under subsection 5.3.5 must file a written disclosure statement with the Town Clerk within 30 days of receiving such a benefit, when its value exceeds $200. The disclosure statement must contain an accurate description of the said gift, mark of hospitality or benefit, and state the name of the donor, the date and the circumstances under which it was received. The Town Clerk shall keep a public register of these disclosure statements.
5.3.7 Council members may not knowingly have a direct or indirect interest in a contract with the Town or any other body referred to in section 5.1.
A member is deemed not to have such interest if:
1) The member acquired such interest as part of an inheritance or donation, and renounced or disposed of it as soon as possible;
2) The member’s interest consists of holding shares in a company which the said member does not control, of which he or she is not a director or executive officer, and in which the member holds less than 10% of the voting stock;
3) The member’s interest is based on the fact that he or she is a member, director or executive officer of another municipal body, a public body within the meaning of the Act respecting access to documents held by public bodies and the protection of personal information (R.S.Q., chapter A-2.1), a non-profit organization, or an organization of which he or she is required by law, as a member of Council of the Town or of a municipal body, to be a member, director or executive officer;
4) The contract is for remunerations, allowances, reimbursement of expenses, social benefits, goods or services to which the member is entitled as a working condition associated with his or her office in the Town or municipal body;
5) The contract is for the member’s appointment to a position as an officer or employee, provided that this position is not one that makes its holder ineligible;
6) The contract is for the delivery of services offered to the public by the Town or municipal body;
7) The contract is for the sale or rental of an immovable on non-preferential terms;
8) The contract consists of bonds, notes or other securities offered to the public by the Town or municipal body, or is for the acquisition of such bonds, notes or securities on non-preferential terms;
9) The contract is for services or goods that the member is required by statute or regulation to supply or render to the Town or municipal body;
10) The contract is for the supply of goods by the Town or municipal body and was entered into before the member held office in the Town or body, and before he or she became a candidate at the election in which he or she was elected;
11) In a case of irresistible force, where the general interest of the Town or municipal body requires that the contract be awarded in preference to any other offer.
5.3.8 A Council member who is present at a sitting when a matter arises in which he or she has a private pecuniary interest, whether directly or indirectly must disclose the general nature of his or her interest before debate on the matter begins. Such an interested member must also abstain from taking part in the discussion, voting or attempting to influence a vote on the matter.
In a non public meeting [caucus, work meeting], the member must, in addition to complying with the preceding paragraph, leave the meeting after having disclosed the general nature of his or her interest, and not return until the matter has been debated and voted upon.
If the matter in which a member has a pecuniary interest is taken up for consideration during a sitting or meeting not attended by that member, he or she must disclose the general nature of his or her interest at the first sitting or meeting, as the case may be, attended by the member after having learned this fact.
This subsection does not apply in cases where the member’s interest consists of remunerations, allowances, reimbursement of expenses, social benefits, goods or services to which the member is entitled as a working condition associated with his or her office in the Town or municipal body.
Nor does it apply in a case where a member’s interest is so minor that he or she could not reasonably be influenced by it.
5.4 Use of municipal resources
Council members are prohibited from using the resources of the Town or any other body referred to in section 5.1 for personal use or for purposes other than activities related to their official duties.
This prohibition does not apply when a member uses a resource available to citizens, and does so on non-preferential terms. Neither does it apply when a member uses such a resource, and does so on non-preferential terms, in accordance with the conditions of a policy of the Town benefiting municipal employees and Council members.
5.5 Use or communication of confidential information
Council members are prohibited from using or communicating, or attempting to use or communicate, both during and after their term of office, any information which they have obtained in the course of their official duties, if such information is not generally available to the public, so as to further their private interests or those of another person.
5.6 After term of office
During the twelve months following the end of Council members’ respective terms of office, they are prohibited from serving as a director or executive officer of a corporation, and from holding employment or any other position, so as to obtain undue benefit for themselves or another person, based on their previous office as Council members.
5.7 Breach of trust and embezzlement
Council members are prohibited from diverting goods belonging to the Town for their private use or use by a third party.
SECTION 6: ENFORCEMENT MEASURES
Any violation of a rule or rules contained in this code by a Council member may result in one or more of the following sanctions:
1) A reprimand;
2) The delivery to the Town, within thirty days of the decision of the Commission municipale du Québec, of:
b) any profit made in violation of a rule or rules of the code;
3) Repayment of the remuneration, allowance or other amounts received as a member of the Council, or of a committee or commission of the Town or of any other body referred to in section 5.1, while the violation of the rule or rules continued;
4) Suspension of the Council member for a period of up to ninety days and not exceeding the expiry date of the member’s term of office.
When suspended, a member may not sit on the Council or a committee or commission of the Town, or on any other body in his or her capacity as a Council member, nor receive any remuneration, allowance or other amounts from the Town or such body.
SECTION 7: COMING INTO FORCE
This regulation shall come into force in accordance with the law.