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Conflicts of Interest

Members of Council, boards, and committees must avoid conflicts of interest, and shall conduct themselves in accordance with the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.

Provide your Feedback on Municipal Codes of Conduct

The Ontario government is seeking feedback on how to strengthen municipal codes of conduct until July 15, 2021.

Municipal Conflict of Interest Act (MCIA)

The Municipal Conflict of Interest Act provides a legislative framework for members of Council, committees, and boards to identify and disclose their own personal pecuniary interest in any matter being considered at a meeting. 

The Integrity Commissioner is responsible for administering the Council and Committee Member Code of Conduct, which includes Council, committee, and board members' obligations under the MCIA.

Rules for Identifying & Disclosing Personal Pecuniary Interests

A Council, committee, or board member’s declaration of office leaves no doubt that the obligation to comply with the requirements of the statute is a personal one. Members may seek out advice from the Integrity Commissioner to assist in making decisions regarding whether they should disclose a personal pecuniary interest. Members may also consider obtaining independent legal advice to assist them in making their personal decisions.

Conflict of Interest Registry

The MCIA requires municipalities to maintain a registry of all declarations made under the Act. The registry must include the original written declaration provided by the member of Council and must be available to the public. 

 2018 Conflict of Interest Registry

 2019 Conflict of Interest Registry

 2020 Conflict of Interest Registry

 2021 Conflict of Interest Registry​​​​

Violations & Complaints

All elected officials and members of committees and local boards are required to follow the Council and Committee Member Code of Conduct, which includes Council, committee, and board members' obligations under the MCIA. Members of the public can submit complaints alleging MCIA contraventions to the Integrity Commissioner. Please refer to complaint procedures.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a member determine if they have a direct, indirect or deemed pecuniary interest as defined under the MCIA?

A pecuniary interest can be direct, indirect, or deemed.

A “pecuniary interest” is not defined in the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act but is generally considered a personal financial/monetary interest (whether positive or negative) in a matter that is subject of consideration at a meeting.

A “meeting” includes any regular, special, committee or other meeting (including General Committee).
 
The MCIA identifies a person with an “indirect pecuniary interest” if the member:

  • is a shareholder in, or a director or senior officer of, a corporation [1], has a controlling interest in or is a director or senior officer of, a corporation [2], and is a member of a body, that has a pecuniary interest in the matter; or
  • is a partner of a person or is in the employment of a person or body that has a pecuniary interest in the matter.
     
    In addition, a Member may be “deemed” to have a pecuniary interest if the parent, spouse, or child of the Member, if known to the Member, has a pecuniary interest.
If a member has a pecuniary interest, are there any exceptions from the requirement to declare a personal pecuniary interest?

A member who has a personal pecuniary interest may be exempt from the requirement to declare such interest if the member, for example:

  • is eligible for election or appointment to fill a vacancy, office or position on a committee or local board of the City of Barrie;
  • is a director or senior officer of a corporation incorporated for the purpose of carrying on business for the City of Barrie;
  • may be entitled to an allowance for attendance at meetings, or any other allowance, honorarium, remuneration, salary or benefit;
  • has a pecuniary interest which is an interest in common with electors generally; or
  • has an interest which is so remote or insignificant in its nature that it cannot reasonably be regarded as likely to influence the Member.

Section 4 of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act has a full list of exceptions.

What must a member do if she/he/they identify a personal pecuniary interest?

Where a member has identified a direct, indirect or deemed personal pecuniary interest  that comes before a meeting of Council or Local Board, the member who is present at the meeting is required to: 

  1. Verbally disclose the pecuniary interest prior to the matter being considered at the meeting;
  2. Not take part in the discussion of, or vote on any question in respect of the matter; and
  3. Not in any way attempt before, during or after the meeting to influence the voting on any question;
  4. If the meeting is closed under section 239 of the Municipal Act, leave the meeting.

If the member is absent from the meeting, the member must take the above steps 1 to 3 at the first meeting attended by the member after the meeting referred to above.

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