Conflict of Interest

Conflict of Interest

The obvious purpose of the MunicipalConflict of Interest Act (MCIA) is to prohibit members of Councils and Local Boards from engaging in the decision-making process in respect to matters in which they have a personal economic interest.  There is no need to find corruption on the part of the member or actual loss on the part of Council or Board. So long as the member fails to honour the standard of conduct prescribed by the statute, then regardless of his/her good faith or the propriety of his/her motive, he/she is in contravention of the statute.

The legislative goal of the MCIA is to protect the public interest by prohibiting any member from having any “involvement” in any matter being considered by council or local board if the member has a pecuniary (financial) interest in the matter.  This “interest” can be direct or indirect.

In order to take their seat at Council, a member must solemnly promise and declare four oaths including:

“I will disclose any pecuniary interest, direct or indirect, in accordance with the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act”.

A direct pecuniary interest is one that expressly or unequivocally has an impact on the individual member’s finances, economic prospects or property value.

Where a member has a pecuniary interest in any matter and is present at a meeting of the Council at which the matter is the subject of consideration, the member shall:

·      disclose the interest and the general nature prior to any consideration of the matter;

·      not take part in any discussion or vote; and,

·      not attempt to influence the voting in any way.

Complaints about a potential breach on the Act by any member can be forwarded to the Integrity Commissioner.

Municipalities are required by law to keep and post a public registry of Declarations.                       

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