The Council of the Corporation of the Township of Southwold acknowledges that it is responsible to provide good government for its stakeholders in an accountable and transparent manner, guided by the following principles:
- Encouraging public access and participation, where possible, to ensure that decision making is responsive to the needs of its constituents and receptive to their opinions;
- Delivering high quality services to our citizens; and
- Promoting the efficient use of public resources.
Accountability, transparency and openness are standards of good government that enhance public trust. They are achieved through the Township of Southwold adopting measures ensuring, to the best of its ability, that all activities and services are undertaken utilizing a process that is open and accessible to its stakeholders. In addition, wherever possible, the Township of Southwold will engage its stakeholders throughout its decision making process which will be open, visible and transparent to the public.
Through By-law 2018-04 the municipality has appointed Mr. Mark McDonald of Independent Resolutions Incorporated as Integrity Commissioner, Municipal Closed Meeting Investigator, and Ombudsman and authorized him to conduct investigations upon receipt of a complaint. Township of Southwold encourages potential complainants to contact Mr. McDonald (Independentresolutions@gmail.com) for a consultation in advance of submitting a formal complaint form.
Any person or a representative of an organization who has identified or witnessed behaviour or an activity by a member of Council that they believe is in contravention of the Council Code of Conduct (the “Code”) may wish to address the prohibited behaviour or activity themselves as follows:
- Advise the member that their behaviour or activity contravenes the Code;
- Encourage the member to stop the prohibited behaviour or activity;
- If applicable, confirm to the member your satisfaction or dissatisfaction with his response to the concern identified;
- Keep a written record of the incidents including dates, times, locations, other persons present, and any other relevant information, including steps taken to resolve the matter.
- If not satisfied with the response received through the informal process, an individual may proceed with a Code of Conduct Formal Complaint through the Integrity Commisioner.
All persons and organizations are encouraged to initially pursue this informal complaint procedure as a means of stopping and remedying a behaviour or activity that is prohibited by the Code. With the consent of the complaining individual or organization and the member, the Integrity Commissioner may be part of any informal process. However, it is not a precondition or a prerequisite that those complaining must pursue the informal complaint procedure before pursuing the Formal Complaint.
The Township of Southwold is committed to public transparency and accountability under the terms of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA). MFIPPA establishes a general right of access to records created and maintained by the Township under the following guiding principles:
- The public has the right to information held by the Township, and that information should be made available to the public;
- Any person can make a request for information held by the Township under the Act;
- Any exemptions from the right of access to information should be limited and specific;
- Individuals have a right to the protection of personal information held by the Township under the Act;
- Any decisions relating to access to information can be reviewed by the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.