‘A quiet year for complaints’: YK council integrity commissioner

A shot of Yellowknife City Hall. (Supplied by City of Yellowknife.)
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Yellowknife city council’s integrity commissioner says it was a quiet year in terms of complaints against the current council. 

There were only two inquiries about potential conflicts of interest from city councillors, neither of which resulted in oficial complaints. The complaints were dealt with informally.

This is the second year the integrity commissioner has been active, after being introduced last year.

Sheldon Toner, the integrity commissioner, says it was a quiet year for complaints, with no official complaints on record.

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With Yellowknife being a small city, Toner recommended making changes to the integrity bylaws which would limit the potential for conflicts of interest issues to be raised. He said adding an exemption for smaller complaints would allow smaller issues to be dealt with more efficiently.

“I think it’s a useful thing to have because the legislation currently defines conflicts as direct or indirect and it includes conflicts of spouses and in a small community, it doesn’t take long before you have a conflict of that nature,” he said. “Then the requirements are to disclose that and recuse. The exemption allows for considerable more flexibility.

Yellowknife Mayor Rebecca Alty said it would be something worth looking into, given the current rules can result in councillors having to recuse themselves on a number of issues.

“Technically, if we buy a membership at a city club, we’re a member and we’re supposed to excuse ourselves for deliberations if they’re subject to it,” she said.

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