At the 2016 Union of BC Municipalities' (UBCM) Convention, held in Victoria BC - UBCM Delegates approved a motion to refer to the UBCM Executive the topic of a Integrity Commissioner
The text of the motion that was approved is:
Whereas the current legislative tools available to local government in British Columbia regarding matters of questionable conduct and breaches of code of conduct of elected officials result in expensive quasi- judicial processes eroding public confidence, strained internal relationships, and produce limited viable outcomes;
And whereas elected officials in local government do not have access to independent advice regarding conflict of interest or other matters related to Codes of Conduct, nor an effective process to objectively resolve contraventions, accusations or public complaints:
Therefore be it resolved that UBCM call on the provincial government to enact enabling legislation that would empower local governments with the ability to appoint local independent Integrity Commissioners who would serve the public and elected officials in an advisory, educational and investigative role in the application and enforcement of Codes of Conduct.
At the November 2016 UBCM Executive Meeting -- a Staff-level Working Group from UBCM, LGMA and the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development was formed prior to the meeting and Terms of Reference for the Working Group were approved at this meeting. More details here
Consequently - a Consultation Paper from the Working Group (click here) has now been drafted for review with the 5 Area Associations (NCLGA, AVICC, SILGA, AKGLB and LMLGA) which will take place over the next few months with recommendations hopefully being presented at the 2017 UBCM Convention in late September, which is being held in Vancouver.
I will be reviewing this paper over the next few weeks as it will be on the Agenda at the NCLGA Convention being held May 3-5 in Terrace, BC
One personal let-down for me was the fact that that the Working Group should have had 1 Elected Official from a Regional District (EA Director) and one from a Municipality (Mayor or Councillor) to provide that elected official perspective however, that being said, it will be interesting to hear what elected officials, collectively, say as to the Consultation Paper itself.