As part of Council's Accountability Framework, Cambridge City Council established a Code of Conduct for members of our Council, Advisory Committees and Boards. The Code of Conduct outlines the ethical behaviour expected of these members. The Code also increases the public's confidence in our elected and appointed officials through transparency and accountability. The City appointed an Integrity Commissioner to uphold the Council Code of Conduct

Role of the Integrity Commissioner

The Integrity Commissioner is an independent and impartial position that reports directly to City Council and whose powers and duties are set out in the Municipal Act, 2001.

Responsibilities of the Integrity Commissioner:

  • Investigate complaints and alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct for Members of Council.
  • Review the Code of Conduct for Members of Council and make recommendations on an annual basis.
  • Serve as an advisor to individual Members of Council in relation to the Code of Conduct and any procedures, rules and policies of the municipality governing ethical behaviour, and act as a proactive educator for Council, the Civic Administration and the public.
  • Provide reports to Council, summarizing their activities.
  • Provide individual investigative reports, as required, which will include background concerning a complaint and recommendations to Municipal Council with respect to a complaint.

Aird & Berlis LLP

The City of Cambridge has appointed Aird & Berlis LLP as the Integrity Commissioner.  Aird & Berlis LLP are widely regarded as a leader in municipal, planning and local government law and have been appointed as accountability officers (including Closed Meeting Investigator and Municipal Ombudsman) in a large number of municipalities across Ontario.  The Office of the Integrity Commissioner is led by John Mascarin and currently has a team of five lawyers.

Contact Information:

Office of the Integrity Commissioner
c/o John Mascarin
Aird & Berlis LLP
Brookfield Place, 181 Bay Street, Suite 1800
Toronto, Ontario   M5J 2T9 
Tel: (416) 865-7721

Complaints Against Council Code of Conduct

Should members of the public, City staff, members of Council or Council as a whole find a breach of the Council Code of Conduct, the Integrity Commissioner is an independent body appointed to review any complaints against the Council Code.

To request a review of a potential breach, the Request for Inquiry form must be completed and returned to the City Clerk who forwards the information onto the Integrity Commissioner. Forms can be completed by email or dropped off in the City Clerk's Office located at 50 Dickson Street, second floor.

Contact information:

Danielle Manton
City Clerk
Tel: (519) 740 - 4680 Ext 4585

Review Process

The Council Code of Conduct contains an Informal Resolution Process and a Formal Resolution Process.  The complainant has the option to utilize the Informal Resolution Process to address the matter directly with the Member.  This process is overseen through a designate of the Office of the Integrity Commissioner.  Should the matter remain unresolved, it proceeds to the Formal Resolution Process which is overseen by the Integrity Commissioner. A detailed explanation of how matters are resolved is as follows:

Informal Complaint Process

The Office of the Integrity Commissioner encourages individuals to use the informal complaint process prior to the formal Inquiry stage as the first means of resolving an issue related to violations of the City's Code of Conduct. With the consent of the complainant and the Member, a designate within the Office of the Integrity Commissioner may participate in an informal resolution as conciliator of issues relating to the complaint.

The informal complaint process includes:

  • Advising the Member that the behaviour or activity appears to conflict with the Code of Conduct
  • Encouraging the Member to acknowledge and agree to stop the behaviour or activity in question and to avoid future occurrences of the behaviour or activity
  • Documenting the incidents including dates, times, locations, other persons present, and any other relevant information
  • Requesting the designate within the Office of the Integrity Commissioner assist in an informal discussion of the alleged complaint with the Member in an attempt to resolve the issue
  • If applicable, confirming to the Member your satisfaction with their response; or, if applicable, advising the Member of your dissatisfaction with their response
  • Considering the need to submit a formal complaint or pursue any other applicable judicial or quasi-judicial process or complaint procedure

Formal Complaint Process

If a resolution cannot be met through the informal complaint process, the matter proceeds to the Office of the Integrity Commissioner.  At this stage, the Integrity Commissioner manages the Inquiry directly.  This may involve interviews with the individuals and enhanced collection of information pertaining to a matter which would result in a report to Council.

Fees for Inquiry

To request an Inquiry before the Integrity Commissioner, a $25.00 fee made payable to the City Clerk's Office is required, along with the completed submission form.  If the Integrity Commissioner finds validity in the Inquiry, the fee will be returned and if the Inquiry is found to be frivolous, vexatious or unfounded, the City will donate this fee to the Cambridge Self-Help Food Bank.

Conflict of Interest Registry 

In carrying out their duties as Elected and Appointed Officials, all members of Council, Committees and Local Boards are required to disclose a pecuniary interest in any matter under consideration where there is a reasonable likelihood or expectation of financial gain or loss by the member or a related person as identified in the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act (MCIA)

  • 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 legal advice to assist them in making their personal decisions 

When a member discloses an interest, they file a Declaration Form containing a written statement of the interest and its general nature with the Clerk of the municipality or the Secretary of the Committee or Local Board. The MCIA requires municipalities to maintain a registry of all declarations made under the Act. 

The following is a list of written Disclosures of Interest as of January 1, 2019: