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Integrity Commissioner

The Integrity Commissioner is responsible for administering the City’s Code of Conduct and assists in maintaining high ethical standards at the City of Barrie.

The Integrity Commissioner is an independent accountability officer given authority under the Ontario Municipal Act and the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. Suzanne Craig was appointed as the Integrity Commissioner for the City of Barrie on February 10, 2014.

Integrity Commissioner's Role

The Integrity Commissioner ensures all members Council, board, and committee members follow the City’s Council and Committee Member Code of Conduct (Code), which includes obligations under the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act (MCIA), and handles matters when a section of the Code is violated. This includes:

  • Conducting investigations in response to formal complaints received for an alleged breach of the Code or MCIA
  • Providing information to members as to their obligations under the Code and MCIA;
  • Providing advice to members of councils, boards, and committees regarding specific situations as they relate to the Code and the MCIA;
  • Providing advice to members on other policies and procedures relating to the ethical behaviour of members;
  • Providing information to the public regarding the Code/MCIA and the obligations of members under the Code/MCIA;
  • Applying to a judge for a determination of a question of whether a member has contravened sections 5, 5.1 or 5.2 of the MCIA;
  • Providing annual reports to Council on the activities of the Integrity Commissioner.

From time to time, with the adoption by City Council of updates to the existing Code, the Integrity Commissioner may provide education and outreach to members of City committees and boards regarding their obligations.

Complaint Procedures

Members of the public, members of Committees or Local Boards, Barrie City Council and City employees can file a complaint if a Council, committee or local board member appears to have violated a section of the Code. Complainants may decide to use an informal or formal procedure to file a complaint:

Informal Complaint Procedure

Any individual who has identified or witnessed behaviour or activity by a member that appears to be in contravention of the Code may address their concerns in the following manner:

  • Advise the member that their behaviour or activity contravenes the Code;
  • Encourage the member to stop the prohibited behaviour or activity;
  • 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 applicable, confirm to the member your satisfaction or dissatisfaction with his or her response to the concern identified.

See City Council contact information. For committee or board members' contact information please contact Legislative & Court Services at 705-726-4220 x5500 orCityClerks@barrie.ca.

A complainant may ask the Integrity Commissioner to be part of an informal discussion with the Council, committee or board member to resolve the issue. The Integrity Commissioner can be reached at 705-739-4220 x5425 orintegrity.commission@barrie.ca.

If not satisfied with the response received through the informal procedure, an individual may proceed with a formal complaint through the Integrity Commissioner as outlined below. It is not necessary to file an informal complaint before a formal one.

Formal Complaint Procedure

Formal complaints must be filed by submitting the Formal Complaint Form/Affidavit to integrity.commission@barrie.ca. The form must contain the following:

  • All names of the complainant and alleged Council Member(s)
  • An explanation outlining the alleged violation
  • Any witnesses or evidence in support of a complaint

The Integrity Commissioner may recommend and facilitate an informal complaint procedure, even if a formal complaint has been filed.

Once the formal complaint procedure begins, the Council, board, or committee member is given a copy of the complaint and asked to respond in writing, with a copy of this response provided to the complainant. The procedure can include an interview between the complainant and Integrity Commissioner.

Generally, within 90 days of filing the complaint, the Integrity Commissioner will submit a report to City Council detailing violations of the Code and her recommendations. Once the report has been reviewed, City Council will determine what actions will be taken.

Notice of Collection

The Council and Committee Member Code of Conduct authorizes the City of Barrie to collect personal information from any communication with committees or City Council. The City collects this information to make informed decisions on relevant issue(s). If letters, faxes, emails, presentations or other communications are submitted to the City, the content and the sender’s contact information will become part of the public record. If there is a health and/or public safety reason that this information should not be made public, send a request to the Office of the Integrity Commissioner by emailing integrity.commission@barrie.ca.

Related graphic: Code of Conduct Complaint Procedures

Reports and Statements

The below reports and statements, produced by the Integrity Commissioner, outline related activity regarding Barrie Council, committees, and boards during the current term (2018–2022).

Annual Reports

The Integrity Commissioner publishes annual reports discussing complaints received and disposed of and general terms of advice. Below are annual reports filed by Ms. Craig:

Annual Report​ 2019-2020

Annual Report 2016–2017

Annual Report 2014

Reports to Council

If a complaint is filed, the Integrity Commissioner must submit a report to Council outlining the violations made and any recommendations. Reports from the current term of Council are linked below.

May 22, 2019

Integrity Commissioner Code of Conduct Complaint Investigation Report in Respect to Councillor Keenan Aylwin

Nov. 2019

Integrity Commissioner Code of Conduct Complaint Investigation Report in Respect to Chair of Accessibility Advisory Committee and Active Transportation and Sustainability Committee​​

March 15, 2021

Integrity Commissioner Code of Conduct Complaint Investigation Report in Respect to Councillor Sergio Morales​

April 22, 2021

Integrity Commissioner Code of Conduct Complaint Investigation Report in Respect to Chair of the Downtown Barrie Business Association (BIA) - Rob Hamilton

Reports from the Integrity Commissioner linked above are hosted on the City's Legislative Information Portal.

Complaints resolved within the Informal Complaint Procedure do not result in reports to Council but are noted in the Integrity Commissioner’s annual report.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Integrity Commissioner investigate complaints about City employees?

No. The Integrity Commissioner does not have any authority over City employees. The activities of the Integrity Commissioner are solely related to the Council and Committee Code of Conduct.

Can an anonymous complaint be filed?

No. Anonymous complaints are not accepted, and the complainant’s name will not be withheld from the Council or committee member.

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