The public expects the highest standard of conduct from the individuals elected to Council and appointed to local boards and committees in the municipality. Community leaders are expected to carry out their duties in a fair, impartial, transparent, and professional manner. A written Code of Conduct helps to ensure a standard of acceptable behaviour to which all elected and appointed individuals are required to hold themselves. All members of Council, appointees to local boards and appointees to advisory committees are required to sign a written code of conduct declaration and abide by the terms of their respective Code of Conduct policies as long as they continue to serve in a public capacity.

The Municipal Act, 2001 requires all municipalities in Ontario to establish a codes of conduct for members of the council of the municipality and its local boards. The Municipality of Meaford has had a Code of Conduct for its members of council since 2007, adopting its most recent version with By-law 2016-22 Council & Local Board Code of Conduct in April 2016. A separate Code of Conduct was adopted for members of advisory committees and volunteers with By-law 2016-23 Advisory Committee & Volunteer Code of Conduct.

The Council & Local Board Code of Conduct regulates a wide variety of matters, such as:

  • Improper receipt of gifts and/or benefits;
  • Improper influence in decision making;
  • Inappropriate use of municipal property, equipment and, services;
  • Inappropriate disclosure and/or misuse of personal information;
  • Conflicts of personal and political interests;
  • Appropriate conduct towards other members and staff;
  • Use of municipal facilities, services, staff or property for personal business gain; and
  • Use of municipal resources for election purposes.

All elected and appointed members are bound to conduct themselves in a manner free of conflict of pecuniary or personal interest, disclose any such conflicts prior to conducting any business on behalf of the Municipality, and recuse themselves from the proceedings at the appropriate juncture if necessary.

The current Code of Conduct includes an informal and formal complaint process administered by the Mayor and Clerk. Since the adoption of the Code, the Municipal Act has been amended to require that municipalities appoint an Integrity Commissioner, who is responsible for investigating Code of Conduct complaints.

Section 7 of by-laws 2016-22 and 2016-23 is no longer applicable. The Integrity Commissioner receives, administers and investigates Code of Conduct complaints.

The Code of Conduct is expected to be updated in 2020 to reflect these process changes.

Municipal Integrity Commissioner

The municipal Integrity Commissioner is an independent and impartial individual or group that ensures the appropriate application of the code of conduct for members of council and local boards. The Municipality of Meaford’s Integrity Commissioner is Principles Integrity through its principals Jeffrey A. Abrams and Janice Atwood-Petkovski. 

The duties of the Integrity Commissioner are:

  • To provide advice on the Code of Conduct, Township policies, procedures and rules, the complaint protocol and relevant sections of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act; 
  • To conduct inquiries regarding whether a member has violated the Code of Conduct or the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act; 
  • To provide advice regarding a member’s obligations under the Code of Conduct, Township policies, procedures and rules, the complaint protocol and the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act; 
  • To provide opinions on policy matters and make other reports to council on issues of ethics and integrity; 
  • To provide educational information and training to council, to members and to the public on matters related to the Code of Conduct, issues of ethics and integrity, and the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act; 
  • To provide general information to members of the public about the Code of Conduct, the complaint protocol and the availability of complaint resolution services and/or referrals; 
  • To maintain custody and control of the integrity commissioner's complaint and inquiry files, and transfer any open files onto a successor upon the completion of their term;
  • To provide such other services respecting ethical and integrity matters as assigned by council or as may be required by the Municipal Act, 2001.

Investigations & Annual Reports

Filing a Complaint

Any individual who identifies or witnesses behaviour or an activity by a Member that they believe is in contravention of the Code of Conduct may file a formal complaint with the Integrity Commissioner.

Members of Council and staff are not involved in the receiving or investigating of complaints. They may be asked to provide evidence as part of the Integrity Commissioner's investigation.

Principles Integrity
Jeffrey A. Abrams and Janice Atwood-Petkovski
Tel: 647-259-8697


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