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Township of Stone Mills strives to provide good governance for its residents and stakeholder. Accountability, transparency and openness are standards of good government that enhance public trust. Ensuring accountability and transparency is one of Council's roles under Section 224 of the Municipal Act, 2001. 

Ontario municipalities and members of council operate under a legislated accountability and transparency framework that include rules for the municipality and rules for members of council and local boards. Local accountability and transparency frameworks consist of a mix of requirements and options.

Key requirements for municipalities include:

  • adopting policies related to accountability and transparency specified in Section 270 of the Municipal Act, 2001
  • establishing a code of conduct for members of council and certain local boards, ensuring access to an Integrity Commissioner
  • certain Municipal Conflict of Interest Act and open meeting requirements

The Integrity Commissioner is an independent and impartial position that reports directly to Township Council and whose powers and duties are set out in the Municipal Act, 2001.

Responsibilities of the Integrity Commissioner inlcude:

  • Investigate complaints and alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct for Members of Council.

  • Review the Code of Conduct for Members of Council and make recommendations on an annual basis.

  • Serve as an advisor to individual Members of Council in relation to the Code of Conduct and any procedures, rules and policies of the municipality governing ethical behavior, and act as a proactive educator for Council, municipal staff and the public.

  • Provide reports to Council, summarizing his activities.

  • Provide individual investigative reports, as required, which will include background concerning a complaint and recommendations to Municipal Council with respect to a complaint.

Township of Stone Mills has appointed Aird & Berlis as the Integrity Commissioner for the municipality and authorize the firm to conduct inquires upon receiving a complaint for rules governing ethical behavior of members of Council as they pertain to the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act and Council Code of Conduct

Complaint/Application Process

A complaint that a member has contravened the Code of Conduct or Conflict of Interest Act may be initiated by any person, any Member of Council, or by Council as follows:

(a) a complaint shall be made in writing and shall be sent directly to the Integrity Commissioner by mail, e-mail, fax or courier;
(b) a complaint must be signed and dated by the complainant who shall be an identifiable individual (complaints may not be submitted by any group, organization or corporation);
(c) a complaint shall include:

(i) an explanation, with specific reference to sections of the Code, as to why the issue raised is alleged to be a contravention of the Code;
(ii) any evidence in support of the allegation; and
(iii) any witnesses in support of the allegation must be identified.


John Mascarin
Aird & Berlis LLP
Brookfield Place, 181 Bay Street, Suite 1800, Toronto, Canada        M5J 2T9 
Telephone: 416-865-7721


The Code of Conduct set out expectations and standards for councillor conduct. The Code is meant to help prevent ethical conflicts and help in their resolution, serve as a basis for council orientation and training, and serve as a reference throughout the operation of the council’s term.

Municipalities are required to establish codes of conduct for members of council and certain local boards and include the following subject matters in their local codes:

  • gifts, benefits and hospitality
  • respectful conduct, including towards officers and employees of the municipality or of local boards
  • confidential information
  • use of municipal or local board property


While Township of Stone Mills strives to provide open and transparent governance, which includes holding meetings open to the public, there are occasions where council will need to meet in closed session. Meeting in closed session is guided by the rules set by the Provincial Government, which must be followed. Under the Municipal Act, a meeting or part of a meeting can be closed to the public if the subject matter relates to:

  • The security of property of the municipality or local board;

  • Personal matters about an identifiable individual, including employees;

  • A proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land;

  • Labour relations or employee negotiations;

  • Litigation or potential litigation;

  • Advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege;

  • A matter authorized by another provincial statute;

  • If the subject matter relates to a request under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act;

  • For educating and training and no member discusses or deals with a matter in a way that materially advances the business or decision-making of the council or local board.

Council, a local board or a committee must pass a resolution at a public meeting before any closed meeting can take place. The resolution must let the public know that a closed meeting is being held and explain the general nature of the meeting.

For further information on Closed Meetings and general inquiries, please contact the Township Clerk at 613-3782475, ext. 225 or email 

Closed Meeting Complaints 

If a person believes that a meeting of Council or a Local Board was unlawfully closed to the public, a request for an investigation may be submitted to the Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario who can be reached at:
· Website:
· In person, by appointment 1-800-263-1830
· E-mail to
· Fax to (416) 586-3485
· Mail to:

     Office of the Ontario Ombudsman
     483 Bay Street
     10th Floor, South Tower,
     Toronto, ON
     M5G 2C9

The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act applies to local government institutions, including municipalities, police services boards, school boards, conservation authorities, boards of health and transit commissions.

Learn more about making a request on our Freedom of Information page

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