The Mayor, Warden or Councillor should be aware that there are a number of laws that govern elected officials activities, which go well beyond the Municipal Government Act.
The Mayor, Warden or Councillor should be aware that there are a number of laws that govern elected officials activities, which go well beyond the Municipal Government Act. As some of these Acts have penalties, all potential and incumbent elected officials should take heed. Below are the more central concerns to elected officials.
Municipal Government Act (MGA)
- Regional Municipalities must have a Chief Administrative Officer System
- MGA requirements of a CAO are that:
- CAO SHALL administer staff and municipal business in accordance to policy and bylaws;
- Council SHALL communicate with employees of municipality through CAO;
- Council SHALL provide direction on administration, plans, policies and programs of the CAO; and
- Members of Council or Committees SHALL NOT instruct or give direction either publically or privately to an employee of the municipality.
- Any Councillor or employee of the municipality who discloses confidential material and as a result the municipality has lost financially, the Counicllor and employee shall be liable to the amount of lost opportunities.
- A person who violates a provision of the MGA or an order or regulation or bylaw in accordance with the MGA is subject to the following;
- Up to $10,000 fine; and
- Up to 2 month imprisonment.
- Under the Criminal Code, any elected official who is found to be in breach of trust could face up to 5 years imprisonment.
- Unlike Federal and Provincial legislatures, Councillors do not have any Parliamentary Privilege, therefore they are not protected from any Libel Lawsuits that may arise from any comments they may say at Council regarding an individual, business or organization.
Municipal Conflict of Interest Act
Any elected official who is found to be in conflict of interest may:
- Forfeit their office;
- Face a 10 year ban on running for elected office; and
- Face up to a $25,000 fine and 1 year imprisonment.