Accountability and Transparency

Council of the Town of Collingwood acknowledges that it is responsible to provide good government for its stakeholders in an accountable and transparent manner, guided by the following principles:

  1. Encouraging public access and participation to ensure that decision making is responsive to the needs of its constituents and receptive to their opinions;
  2. Delivering high quality services to our citizens; and
  3. 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 Town of Collingwood 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 Town of Collingwood will engage its stakeholders throughout its decision making process which will be open, visible and transparent to the public.

To view the Town's Accountability and Transparency Policy, click on the following link Accountability and Transparency Policy (PDF). To find out more information on the various accountability officers appointed by the Town of Collingwood, and access to information, click on one of the below links.

[ Integrity Commissioner  |  Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act  |  Closed Meeting Investigator Policy ]

For more information on accountability and transparency at the Town of Collingwood, please contact:

Sara Almas, Clerk
Town of Collingwood
P.O. Box 157, 97 Hurontario St.
Collingwood, ON  L9Y 3Z5

Phone: 705-445-1030  |  Fax: 705-445-2448 | clerk@collingwood.ca

Closed Meeting Investigator Policy

Under Section 239 of the Municipal Act, 2001, as amended, any individual may request that an investigation be undertaken to determine whether a municipality or local board has complied with the Municipal Act or its Procedure By-law in respect of a meeting or part of a meeting that was closed to the public.

Policy Statement
The Town of Collingwood is committed to ensuring that any request for an investigation under Section 239 of the Municipal Act, 2001, as amended is dealt with in a fair, open and expeditious manner.  The Town commits to full co-operation including the provision of all information requested by the Municipal Closed Meeting Investigator (“Investigator”), either written or through interviews, to assist the Municipal Investigator in his/her investigations.

In accordance with Section 239.2(11) of the Municipal Act, 2001, the Town shall ensure that any reports received from the Municipal Closed Meeting Investigator by the municipality are made available to the public.  The Town commits to including any report received from the Investigator related to an investigation under the Act, on a public agenda and to considering such report in an open public session of Council.

This policy shall be posted on the municipal website and available by contacting Clerk Services, 97 Hurontario Street, PO Box 157, Collingwood ON L9Y 3Z5 or by contacting Clerk Services at 705-445-1030 or via e-mail clerk@collingwood.ca.

This policy applies to all appointed Boards and Standing Committees of the municipality with the exception of the Police Services Board and the Public Library Board.

Background
In coordination with the County of Simcoe, Local Authority Services (LAS) and Amberley Gavel Ltd. have been appointed as the Municipal Closed Meeting Investigator for the Town of Collingwood and has been provided the authority to conduct investigations upon receipt of a complaint in respect of meetings or parts of meetings that are closed to the public to determine compliance with the Act of the Municipal Procedure By-law and to report on the results of such investigations.

Procedures - Request for Investigation
Prior to submitting a request for investigation, members of the public, including corporations, are encouraged to discuss their concerns or inquiries with the municipal clerk.

Members of the public, including corporations, may submit requests to the Investigator relating to compliance with the Act or the Municipal Procedure By-law for meetings or part of meetings that are closed to the public.

All requests will be treated confidential by the municipality and the Investigator, unless authorization is given by the requestor to release his or her identity.

Request forms may be downloaded from the municipality’s website or are available in the Clerk’s Department.

Requests may be submitted on the Request Form or otherwise in writing in a sealed envelope clearly identified as a complaint under Section 239 of the Municipal Act and forwarded by mail to:

Town of Collingwood c/o Town Clerk
97 Hurontario Street. PO Box 157
Collingwood, ON L9Y 3Z5

or to

Amberley Gavel Ltd.
35 Ambleside Drive,
London ON, N6G 4M3
1-866-535-8079

All complaints must contain:

  • Name of municipality
  • Requestor’s name, mailing address, telephone number and e-mail address (if applicable)
  • Date of closed meeting under consideration
  • Nature and background of the particular occurrence
  • Any activities undertaken (if any) to resolve the concern
  • Any other relevant information
  • Direction with respect to release of identity
  • Original signature

When requests are submitted directly to the Clerk, the Clerk shall follow the following procedures:

  1. Ensure that the requests remain confidential;
  2. Assign a file number and record a file number on the envelope;
  3. Log the file number together with the date and time received;
  4. Forward, forthwith to the Municipal Investigator by regular mail.

For all requests the municipality shall supply forthwith to the investigator the following or any other information or documentation as requested by the Investigator related to a complaint:

  • Certified copy of Notice of Meeting
  • Certified copy of the agenda
  • Certified copy of the Minutes of meeting
  • Relevant resolutions
  • Municipal contact list
  • other

Timeframe
The Investigator will commence his investigation within two weeks of receipt of a request.

Below are links to applicable documents reagrding Closed Meeting Investigations:

top ]

Code of Conduct - Ontario Ombudsman

What is the Code of Conduct?

A Code of Conduct reinforces the Town of Collingwood's Accountability and Transparency Policy and other relevant legislation within which all Members of Council, Local Boards and Advisory Committees must operate. The Code of Conduct serves to enhance public trust and improve the quality of public administration and governance by encouraging high standards of conduct on the part of all government officials, ensuring that those Members share a common standard of integrity through adherence to its principles.
 
The Code of Conduct is intended to supplement and be compatible with the laws governing the conduct of Members. The key principles include:
  • Members to whom this Code of Conduct applies shall serve in a conscientious and diligent manner;
  • Members shall be committed to performing their functions with integrity without using  the influence of their office;
  • Members shall avoid all conflicts of interest;
  • Members are expected to perform their duties of office and to arrange their private affairs in a manner that promotes public confidence and will bear close legal and public scrutiny;
  • Members are responsible for making honest statements and shall not make any statement when they know that statement is false, or with the intent to mislead other Members or the public; and,
  • Members shall serve the public interest by upholding the laws and policies established by the Federal Parliament, Ontario Legislature, and the laws and policies adopted by the Town.
The Code of Conduct is intended to provide a guideline for elected officials in exercising their policy-making role having regard to the statements and ideals as enunciated hereunder.

By-Law No. 2015-082: Code of Conduct for Members of Council, Local Board and Committee Members.

Submitting a Complaint

Informal Compliant Protocol: 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 Code of Conduct (the “Code”) may wish to address the prohibited behaviour or activity themselves as follows:
 
  1. Advise the member that the behaviour or activity contravenes the Code;
  2. Encourage the member to stop the prohibited behaviour or activity;
  3. Keep a written record of the incidents including dates, times, locations, other persons present, and any other relevant information;
  4. If applicable, confirm to the member your satisfaction with the response of the member; or, if applicable, advise the member of your dissatisfaction with the response; and
  5. Consider the need to pursue the matter through a formal complaint.
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. However, it is not a precondition or a prerequisite that those complaining must pursue the informal complaint procedure before pursuing a formal complaint.
 
Ontario Ombudsman: As of January 1, 2016, the Ontario Ombudsman will act as the investigator to address public complaints and inquiries pertaining to the Town of Collingwood’s Code of Conduct for members of Council, Local Board and Committee Membersfor the purposes of investigating alleged transgressions or breach of the Municipal Code of Conduct, and also includes complaints regarding other administrative decisions, recommendations, actions or lack thereof in municipalities.
 
How to file a complaint as of January 1, 2016: Submitting a complaint: https://ombudsman.on.ca/Make-a-Complaint/Complaint-Submission.aspx

Complaints about Municipalities (PDF)
Complaints about Municipalities - Accessible PDF
 (PDF)

Disclosure Statements submitted by members of Council, a Local Board or Committee

2015-10-27 B Saunderson
2015-12-22 S Cooper

2016-06-01 S Cooper

2016-09-06 S Cooper
2
016-12-22 S Cooper

Archived Reports submitted by the Integrity Commissioner

2014-01-27 IC Report to Council - Review of Code of Conduct
2014-10-20 IC Report to Council - Rath v. Lloyd

2015-04-20 IC Report to Council - Hill v. Doherty

2015-06-15 IC Report to Council - Annual Report

2015-08-24 IC Report to Council - Murray v. Fryer

top ]

Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Request Form under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act/ Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Ontario's Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) provides an individual with the right to access records of information, including one's own personal information, under the custody and control of a local government institution.  Individuals wanting to submit a formal request for information under the access to information legislation (MFIPPA) may contact the Town of Collingwood Clerk's Department at:

Town of Collingwood Clerk's Department
Becky Dahl, Deputy Clerk
97 Hurontario St., P.O. Box 157
Collingwood, ON  L9Y 3Z5

Phone: 705-445-1030 Ext. 3230
Fax: 705-445-2448
Email: clerk@collingwood.ca

Formal requests must be made in writing using the Request Form and accompanied by a $5 application fee and can be mailed or dropped off at the address provided above. In addition to the application fee, you may be required to pay other fees (as listed below). The rules regarding the payment and amount of fees are set out in the Act and its regulations. Payment can be made by cash, debit or cheque by mail or in person at the address provided above.

Basis of the Act

  • Access rights are balanced with privacy protection
  • All paper documents, computer files, e-mail and other forms of stored data are all considered to be records of the "institution" (i.e. the Corporation of the Town of Collingwood)
  • Subject to certain limitations, there is a right of access by the public to records in the Town’s custody and control
  • Subject again to certain limitations, the personal information of individuals has to be protected and is not accessible by other individuals
  • The Town of Collingwood promotes open government and fosters an organizational structure that advances the fundamental principles of the Act:
    • Information (general records) should be available to the public
    • Individuals should have access to their own personal information
    • Exemptions to access should be limited and specific
    • The Town should protect the privacy of individuals with respect to the personal information it collects and maintains.

Routine Access to Municipal Government Records
Individuals wishing routine access to municipal government records should begin by contacting the Town of Collingwood at 705-445-1030. You will be connected with the Town department holding the records you are seeking.

The appropriate departmental staff will then determine if the request should be submitted formally under MFIPPA, or if the records will be provided as a routine disclosure. It is important to note that the rules governing access and privacy under MFIPPA apply to both formal and informal requests for information.

General Information Requests
Requests for information about a person other than yourself or about a municipal program or activity are considered "general information requests" and have different fees than for personal information requests. The following fees apply for requests for general information:

Fees For General Information Requests
Application fee:
$5.00 to be paid when you submit your request
Search time:
$7.50 for each 15 minutes spent to search and retrieve records
Record preparation:
$7.50 for each 15 minutes spent to prepare records for release
Photocopying:
$0.20 per page
CD/USB:
$10.00 for records to be provided on a CD or USB Stick
 
 
Personal Information Requests

If you are requesting information about yourself, your request is considered a "personal information request". The following fees may apply to requests for your personal information:

Fees For Personal Information Requests
Application fee:
$5.00 to be paid when you submit your request
Photocopying:
$0.20 per page
CD/USB:
$10.00 for records to be provided on a CD or USB Stick
 
 
You will be given a fee estimate, if it is anticipated fees are more than $25.00. If the estimate of fees to be paid is $100.00 or more, you may be required to pay a 50% deposit.
Other Fees
N.S.F. cheques:
$40.00
Appeals - General:
$25.00
Appeals - Personal:
$10.00
 

 

top ]