City council is open to hearing directly from acting Integrity Commissioner George Valin and his recommendations to the city’s code of conduct.
During Monday’s council meeting, councillors amended a motion to file Valin’s report on a complaint regarding Mayor Al McDonald and former Invest North Bay president, George Burton for information purposes.
During the discussion of the motion, councillor Mark King suggested adding an amendment for Valin to discuss his recommendations with council in the new year.
“I think it would be wise on the part of council to listen to the honourable George Valin,” King told council.
Valin’s report found there was no evidence Burton and McDonald had contravened the city’s code of conduct in their voting to approve a contract for a company they both had a prior connection to while sitting on the board of Invest North Bay.
Valin was filling in for the city’s usual Integrity Commissioner, Guy Giorno, who recused himself from the matter.
The report’s recommendations included developing a “code of conduct protocol” which Valin stated is common practice for municipalities.
“It would deal with such things as how complaints are to be prepared, where they are filed, how
they are processed, how they are investigated by the Integrity Commissioner, and what occurs at the end of an investigation,” Valin’s report reads.
“In addition, it would inform members about the procedure for them to follow to obtain advice from the Integrity Commissioner concerning the interpretation of and compliance with the Code of Conduct,” the report continued.
Councillor Scott Robertson was on-board with King’s suggestion of the amendment, saying Valin’s recommendations were “reasonable”.
“All of us have the interest of having the trust of the public and to have some sort of transparency,” Robertson said.
The amendment to the motion was unanimously passed, meaning council will now invite Valin to discuss his recommendation at a meeting in 2021.