As mayor, the conduct and integrity of our city council is of upmost importance to me. Our community needs to have confidence in the decisions we make.
On October 4th I brought forward a motion, supported unanimously by council, to hire an integrity commissioner to conduct an investigation as to whether Councillor Adam Candon breached the Code of Conduct for members of Council, with respect to the development application for 223 Princess Street, known as the Capitol condominium project.
Today council received the integrity commissioners’ report on the findings of her independent investigation.
It is the opinion of the integrity commissioner that Councillor Candon inadvertently breached section 2.4(c) of the Code of Conduct in the matter of the Capitol condominium project.
Given the findings of the integrity commissioner, I am immediately bringing forward a notice of motion to tonight’s meeting to allow council to reconsider the Capitol project at our November 15 council meeting. A reconsideration will allow a re-vote without the participation of Councillor Candon.
I believe this is the appropriate and necessary action to correct this situation.
This situation has highlighted the shortcomings of our existing policies and procedures for dealing with conflicts of interest.
I will, therefore, also be bringing forward a motion at our next council meeting asking for a full review of the policies and procedures related to conflict of interest and the Code of Conduct for members of Council. My expectation is a review will bring forward changes to clarify the actions that should be undertaken by members of council to avoid conflicts of interest and a transparent method for proactively addressing complaints from the public.
The motion will also ask that the city retain an integrity commissioner on an on-going basis.
I believe this situation demonstrates the need for an integrity commissioner who will be available at the request of council at all times to provide valuable independent and arms-length assessments when a conflict of interest question arises.
On behalf of council, I want to thank the integrity commissioner for her work.
As your mayor I am committed to leading the change to prevent this from happening again. I look forward to an open dialogue with the community as we work to make these changes.
Mayor Bryan Paterson
The Integrity Commissioner’s report is available on the addendum for the November 1 Council meeting, here: http://bit.ly/2fdhbdk