Welcome to our newly redesigned website. This is the first time since our initial site was created almost six years ago that it has undergone a complete refresh. We learned a few things over the years, and received some really good feedback from both regular and infrequent visitors about how it can be improved and what you would like to see.
You spoke and we listened!
We have improved the site to offer a more intuitive navigational structure. It is now easier for the user to locate the information they’re seeking, whether it relates to rules or fact sheets on conflict of interest, financial declarations or political activity, or simply finding out who is your ethics executive.
In addition to the useful information about the rules and regulations that you expect to find on our site, you will also find updates on current activities or recent events in the broader ethics community. The Commissioner’s blog will no doubt offer you an opportunity to hear directly from, and engage with, the Commissioner about a current or pertinent issue. We will also post helpful instructional videos that depict common conflict of interest dilemmas public servants face in their daily work life.
Please take the time to peruse and become familiar with the site. Your feedback is always appreciated and we hope to see you again.
Noted Toronto Star columnist Carol Goar writes about what she perceives as a decline in ethical standards among senior elected officials. We often think of ethics in terms of the infraction of explicit rules or codes. Goar talks about standards of integrity and behaviour and personal accountability, also important considerations when discussing ethics in politics and government.
I am pleased to be able to join your meeting and learn from each other’s experiences regardless of our respective jurisdiction.
I previously spoke in April 2011 at your meeting about the ethical framework for provincial public servants. Today I want to focus less on substantive rules and more on processes for (1) gathering information and (2) promoting compliance.
Our office has now been in existence for 6 years and has dealt with over 800 matters in that time. As a result we have had opportunities to test and refine our processes. We are certainly not perfect, and continue to seek out more efficient, fair and effective ways of promoting ethical conduct.
The Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration hosted a conference on Ethics, Corruption and Good Governance Practices in Public Management at Queen’s University on May 21 & 22. The conference explored current academic thinking on the topic of ethics and public service. Click here to view the conference papers.
Inquiries or concerns regarding the ethical conduct of municipal officials and employees or the rules and processes applicable to them should be directed to the municipality. A number of municipalities have integrity commissioners in place who may be able to assist.
The Association of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario (AMCTO) maintains a list of municipal integrity commissioners. The list is was completed as of September, 2014, might not be 100% accurate and is of course subject to change.
The AMCTO list can be viewed here.
Sidney B. Linden was appointed Ontario’s first full-time Conflict of Interest Commissioner in July, 2007. In February, 2015, he was appointed to the Order of Ontario, which is the province’s highest official honour, and in July, 2016, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada.
He was Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice from 1990 to 1999. During that time, he was Co-Chair of the Ontario Judicial Council and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Judicial Institute and of the Canadian Council of Chief Judges. In 1997, Commissioner Linden was awarded the Justice Medal by the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice.
Commissioner Linden has also served as the Chair of the Board of Legal Aid Ontario (1999-2004) and Commissioner of the Ipperwash Public Inquiry (2004-2007).
In 1987, Commissioner Linden was appointed Ontario’s first Information and Privacy Commissioner. He was responsible for establishing the agency and served as Commissioner until April 1990.
Between 1985 and 1987, Commissioner Linden was Executive Director of the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW – now Unifor) Prepaid Legal Services Plan. This plan was funded by the major automobile companies and was the first privately funded national prepaid legal service plan in Canada.
Between 1980 and 1985, he was the first Police Complaints Commissioner for Metropolitan Toronto and Chairman of the Police Complaints Board.
Commissioner Linden graduated from the University of Toronto Law School and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1966. He was in private practice until 1980.
Public servants required to make a financial declaration to the commissioner should submit a financial declaration form.
This form is to be used by public servants* or their supervisors to request advice or a determination from the public servant’s ethics executive or to notify their ethics executive of a personal or pecuniary interest that could raise an issue under the conflict of interest rules.
* While the form is intended for public servants in ministries, public servants in public bodies, both employees and appointees, may use and modify this form a required.