Updated: Apr 18
Municipalities need a process to remove members who violate workplace violence and harassment policies.
UPDATE – April 11 – This item was APPROVED at City Council. Thank you to all who spoke to your Councillor about this!
On Monday, April 4, Councillor Aylwin will be bringing an item of discussion to Council, asking them to endorse MPP Stephen Blais's Bill 10, the Stopping Harassment and Abuse By Local Leaders Act (which we wrote about recently at https://www.engagebarrie.org/post/bill-10-stopping-harassment-and-abuse-by-local-leaders-act-2022).
Barrie Today published an article about this item of discussion earlier today at https://www.barrietoday.com/local-news/council-to-discuss-provincial-bill-that-would-allow-removal-of-municipal-politicians-5219539 .
This Bill would amend the Municipal Act and City of Toronto Act to require a municipality's Code of Conduct to include a requirement for Councillors and members of Local Boards to comply with workplace violence and harassment policies. It would also allow municipalities and local boards to direct the Integrity Commissioner to apply to the court to vacate a member's seat if their inquiry determines that the Councillor or member has failed to comply with these policies.
In light of Council's recent voting patterns concerning the 2020 Workplace Harassment case – as well as their ignoring our now-Chair's previous request to join Ottawa City Council in pressuring the Minister of Minister of Municipal Affairs to allow a Councillor found to have committed serious misconduct to be removed from office – we are not confident that Council will agree to endorse this Act.
This is where public engagement comes into play!
Please contact your councillor, and encourage them to vote in favour of endorsing the Stopping Harassment and Abuse By Local Leaders Act. Contact information for each Councillor is provided at https://www.engagebarrie.org/contact-elected-officials .