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Ford proofing Lake Country

Rob Ford - stay away.

That's the message Lake Country Council sent Tuesday in adopting a new municipal 'Code of Ethics Policy.'

The policy lays out 14 ethics points which should be adhered to by the mayor, councillors and members of the public who are appointed to various municipal committees.

Smoking crack and going on drunken, profanity laced tirades, for all to see, is not on the list.

While the code was not aimed directly at the antics of Toronto's embattled mayor, Lake Country Mayor, James Baker said Ford's antics made them ask what does one do if there is this type of strange behaviour on the part of a mayor or councillor.

"There really is nothing that can be done, unless it's something that is so egregious that they're taken away by the police," said Baker.

Even then, Baker said it's impossible to kick somebody out of municipal office unless they resign voluntarily.

"It's really only the electorate that can turf anybody," said Baker.

Recall legislation does not pertain to municipal politicians.

"It's (ethics policy) just a matter of letting people know how they should conduct themselves in council chambers or while doing government business. If they don't, they would be asked to change their ways."

The policy states a member who comes in contravention of the policy can be censured or have board/committee appointments rescinded.

Some of those appointments do include financial remuneration.

Among other things, the 'Code of Ethics Policy' states members must:

  • Comply with all applicable federal, provincial and local laws
  • Conduct must be fair, open and honest. Members should refrain from abusive conduct, personal and verbal attacks
  • Perform duties in accordance with policies and procedures and rules of order established by the municipality
  • make decisions based on merit
  • Members shall not accept money, property, position or favour from a person having, or seeking dealings with the municipality

Baker says a copy of the policy will be made available to all councillors and committee appointees.

It will likely also be part of a package of information to people running for political office.



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