Accountability & Transparency
Council of the Town of Collingwood acknowledges that it is responsible to provide good government for its stakeholders in an accountable and transparent manner, guided by the following principles:
- Encouraging public access and participation to ensure that decision making is responsive to the needs of its constituents and receptive to their opinions;
- Delivering high quality services to our citizens; and
- Promoting the efficient use of public resources.
Accountability, transparency and openness are standards of good government that enhance public trust. They are achieved through the Town of Collingwood adopting measures ensuring, to the best of its ability, that all activities and services are undertaken utilizing a process that is open and accessible to its stakeholders. In addition, wherever possible, the Town of Collingwood will engage its stakeholders throughout its decision making process which will be open, visible and transparent to the public.
To view the Town's Accountability and Transparency Policy, click on the following link Accountability and Transparency Policy (PDF). To find out more information on the various accountability officers appointed by the Town of Collingwood, and access to information, click on one of the below links.
For more information on accountability and transparency at the Town of Collingwood, please contact:
Sara Almas, Clerk
Town of Collingwood
P.O. Box 157, 97 Hurontario St.
Collingwood, ON L9Y 3Z5
Phone: 705-445-1030 | Fax: 705-445-2448 | email@example.com
Closed meetings are sometimes necessary to deal with certain matters, receive information or give direction. The provincial government has set rules for a council, local board or a committee to go into a closed meeting that are outlined in section 239 of the Municipal Act 2001, as amended, and are required to be strictly followed.
As of January 1, 2008 any person or corporation is be able to request that an investigation be undertaken respecting whether a municipality or local board or committee of either, has complied with closed meeting rules outlined in the Municipal Act, 2001 or the applicable procedural by-law.
The Town of Collingwood has engaged the services of the Ontario Ombudsman as the Municipal Closed Meeting Investigator to conduct investigations upon receipt of a complaint in respect to meetings or parts of meetings that are closed to the public. The Ombudsman’s Office will determine compliance with the Act or the applicable procedural by-law with respect to closed meetings and report on the results of such investigations.
The Town of Collingwood is committed to ensuring that any request for an investigation under Section 239 of the Municipal Act, 2001, as amended is dealt with in a fair, open and expeditious manner. The Town commits to full co-operation including the provision of all information requested by the Ontario Ombudsman, either written or through interviews, to assist in any investigations.
Complaints may be submitted to Ombudsman Ontario through the following contacts:
Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario
483 Bay Street
10th floor, South Tower
Toronto, ON M5G 2C9
Complaints staff at the Ontario Ombudsman Office are available 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You may also leave a voice message outside of office hours. An appointment is recommended for in-person (walk-in) complaints. Please call 1-800-263-1830 to schedule an appointment.
- Toll-free (inside Ontario only): 1-800-263-1830
- Outside Ontario: 416-586-3300
- TTY (teletypewriter): 1-866-411-4211
- Fax: 416-586-3485
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Online complaint form
In December 2017 Council of the Town of Collingwood appointed Principles Integrity to act at its Integrity Commissioner providing accountability services to the Town beginning January 1, 2018. The services of Principles Integrity include:
- To provide advice on the application of the Code of Conduct, Town policies, procedures and rules, the complaint protocol and section 5 of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act;
- To conduct inquiries regarding whether a member has contravened the Code of Conduct or section 5 of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act;
- To provide advice to a member, upon written request, respecting the member's obligations under the Code of Conduct, Town policies, procedures and rules, the complaint protocol and the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act;
- To provide opinions on policy matters and make other reports to council as requested on issues of ethics and integrity;
- To provide educational information and training to council, to members and to the public on matters related to the Code of Conduct and issues of ethics and integrity and to the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act;
- To provide general information to members of the public, on request, about the Code of Conduct, the complaint protocol and the availability of complaint resolution services or referrals as contemplated by the complaint protocol;
- To maintain custody and control of the integrity commissioner's complaint and inquiry files and, on completion of his or her term of appointment, to transfer open files relating to ongoing matters to the incoming Integrity Commissioner appointed by council;
- To provide such other services respecting ethical and integrity matters as assigned by council or as may be required by the Municipal Act, 2001.
What is the Code of Conduct?
A Code of Conduct reinforces the Town of Collingwood's Accountability and Transparency Policy and other relevant legislation within which all Members of Council, Local Boards and Advisory Committees must operate. The Code of Conduct serves to enhance public trust and improve the quality of public administration and governance by encouraging high standards of conduct on the part of all government officials, ensuring that those Members share a common standard of integrity through adherence to its principles.
The Code of Conduct is intended to supplement and be compatible with the laws governing the conduct of Members. The key principles include:
- Members to whom this Code of Conduct applies shall serve in a conscientious and diligent manner;
- Members shall be committed to performing their functions with integrity without using the influence of their office;
- Members shall avoid all conflicts of interest;
- Members are expected to perform their duties of office and to arrange their private affairs in a manner that promotes public confidence and will bear close legal and public scrutiny;
- Members are responsible for making honest statements and shall not make any statement when they know that statement is false, or with the intent to mislead other Members or the public; and,
- Members shall serve the public interest by upholding the laws and policies established by the Federal Parliament, Ontario Legislature, and the laws and policies adopted by the Town.
The Code of Conduct is intended to provide a guideline for elected officials in exercising their policy-making role having regard to the statements and ideals as enunciated hereunder.
Submitting a Complaint
Informal Compliant Protocol: Any person or a representative of an organization who has identified or witnessed behaviour or an activity by a member of Council that they believe is in contravention of the Code of Conduct (the “Code”) or Municipal Conflict of Interest Act may wish to address the prohibited behaviour or activity themselves as follows:
- Advise the member that the behaviour or activity contravenes the Code;
- Encourage the member to stop the prohibited behaviour or activity;
- Keep a written record of the incidents including dates, times, locations, other persons present, and any other relevant information;
- If applicable, confirm to the member your satisfaction with the response of the member; or, if applicable, advise the member of your dissatisfaction with the response; and
- Consider the need to pursue the matter through a formal complaint.
All persons and organizations are encouraged to initially pursue this informal complaint procedure as a means of stopping and remedying a behaviour or activity that is prohibited by the Code. However, it is not a precondition or a prerequisite that those complaining must pursue the informal complaint procedure before pursuing a formal complaint.
Formal Complaint Protocol: Any individual who has identified or witnessed behaviour or activity by a Member that appears to be in contravention of the Code of Conduct or Municipal Conflict of Interest Act may address his or her concerns through the formal complaint process set out below, if resolution was not found through the informal complaint process.
All formal complaints must be made using the Complaints Form / Affidavit available from the website or at the Clerk’s Department located at Town Hall, 97 Hurontario Street, Collingwood and submitted to the Integrity Commissioner in a sealed envelope marked "private and confidential" and should contain the following information:
- Name of municipality
- Complainant's name, mailing address, telephone number and email address
- Nature and background of the particular occurrence including a concise explanation as to why the issue raised may be a contravention of the Code of Conduct or Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, and any and all evidence in support of the allegation
- Any activities undertaken (if any) to resolve the concern
- Any other information
- Original signature
Formal complaints are to be submitted directly to the Integrity Commissioner.
Jeffrey A. Abrams and Janice Atwood-Petkovski
For additional information please contact the Integrity Commissioners office at the contact information provided above or the Town of Collingwood:
Town of Collingwood c/o Clerk Sara Almas
97 Hurontario Street, PO Box 157
Collingwood, ON L9Y 3Z5
705-445-1030 ext. 3225 | email@example.com
Municipal Conflict of Interest Act - Declaration of Interest
All declarations of interest received in writting can be found on the Conflict of Interest Registry.
Disclosure Statements - Gifts
Archived Reports submitted by the Integrity Commissioner
2014-01-27 IC Report to Council - Review of Code of Conduct
2014-10-20 IC Report to Council - Rath v. Lloyd
2015-04-20 IC Report to Council - Hill v. Doherty
2015-06-15 IC Report to Council - Annual Report
2015-08-24 IC Report to Council - Murray v. Fryer
2018-05-14 IC Report to Council - S Cooper
Due to the current events associated with COVID-19, we at the Town of Collingwood would like to provide you with an update on how we are administering requests made under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA). To help in keeping our staff safe, many are working remotely and may not be in a position to search for the requested records until back in the office, resulting in a delay to complete your request. Since our municipal facilities are currently closed to the public, and should you wish to submit a request, please submit your completed application directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. Application fee of $5 is being waived at this time. All communications will be done through email correspondence to keep you updated on your request.
Please note: The Ontario government has issued a suspension order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, effective March 16 that ‘freezes’ the 30-day response-time set out in Ontario’s access laws (MFIPPA) until the suspension is lifted by the province.
For information on current IPC services, please visit https://www.ipc.on.ca/newsrelease/ipc-closure-during-covid-19-outbreak/
Ontario's Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) provides an individual with the right to access records of information, including one's own personal information, under the custody and control of a local government institution. Individuals wanting to submit a formal request for information under the access to information legislation (MFIPPA) may contact the Town of Collingwood Clerk's Department at:
Town of Collingwood Clerk's Department
Becky Dahl, Deputy Clerk
97 Hurontario St., P.O. Box 157
Collingwood, ON L9Y 3Z5
Phone: 705-445-1030 Ext. 3230
Formal requests must be made in writing using the Request Form and accompanied by a $5 application fee and can be mailed or dropped off at the address provided above. In addition to the application fee, you may be required to pay other fees (as listed below). The rules regarding the payment and amount of fees are set out in the Act and its regulations. Payment can be made by cash, debit or cheque by mail or in person at the address provided above.
Basis of the Act
- Access rights are balanced with privacy protection
- All paper documents, computer files, e-mail and other forms of stored data are all considered to be records of the "institution" (i.e. the Corporation of the Town of Collingwood)
- Subject to certain limitations, there is a right of access by the public to records in the Town’s custody and control
- Subject again to certain limitations, the personal information of individuals has to be protected and is not accessible by other individuals
- The Town of Collingwood promotes open government and fosters an organizational structure that advances the fundamental principles of the Act:
- Information (general records) should be available to the public
- Individuals should have access to their own personal information
- Exemptions to access should be limited and specific
- The Town should protect the privacy of individuals with respect to the personal information it collects and maintains.
Routine Access to Municipal Government Records
Individuals wishing routine access to municipal government records should begin by contacting the Town of Collingwood at 705-445-1030. You will be connected with the Town department holding the records you are seeking.
The appropriate departmental staff will then determine if the request should be submitted formally under MFIPPA, or if the records will be provided as a routine disclosure. It is important to note that the rules governing access and privacy under MFIPPA apply to both formal and informal requests for information.
General Information Requests
Requests for information about a person other than yourself or about a municipal program or activity are considered "general information requests" and have different fees than for personal information requests. The following fees apply for requests for general information:
|Fees For General Information Requests|
Personal Information Requests
If you are requesting information about yourself, your request is considered a "personal information request". The following fees may apply to requests for your personal information:
|Fees For Personal Information Requests|
You will be given a fee estimate, if it is anticipated fees are more than $25.00. If the estimate of fees to be paid is $100.00 or more, you may be required to pay a 50% deposit.