Ontario municipalities and members of Council operate under a legislated accountability and transparency framework that include rules for the municipality and rules for members of Council and local boards. Local accountability and transparency frameworks consist of a mix of requirements and options, including the appointment of an Ombudsman, Integrity Commissioner and a Closed Meeting Investigator.

Ombudsman service and closed meeting investigations

Section 239 of the Municipal Act, 2001, as amended (the Act) states that any individual may request that an investigation be undertaken to determine whether a municipality or local board has complied with the provisions of the Act or its Procedure By-law. The Act also enables any person to request an investigation to ensure the closed meetings rules contained in section 239 were complied with. 

The Town of East Gwillimbury uses the Ontario Ombudsman to provide Ombudsman Services. 

Any individual requesting an investigation of a Closed Meeting must submit their complaint to the provincial ombudsman. Complaints can be submitted in various ways, including online and telephone.

During these unprecedented times, the Office of the Ontario Ombudsman is closed. The Ontario Ombudsman remains committed to helping Ontarians and continues to receive and investigate complaints. To submit a complaint,

  • Complete the online complaint form and submit the form by email
  • Call 1-800-263-1830 and leave a brief voicemail. The Ontario Ombudsman will try their best to return your call within two business days, during working hours.

For more information, please read the Municipal Act, 2001, S.O.2001

Integrity Commissioner

The Town of East Gwillimbury contracted Principles Integrity to act as the Town's Integrity Commissioner. The Integrity Commissioner helps ensure Members of Council conform to a high ethical standard, and adhere to the Town's Council Code of Conduct and any other applicable Town procedures, rules or policies. The powers and duties of the Integrity Commissioner are set out in the Municipal Act, 2001. They include:

  • Upon their request, advising Members of Council, and Council as a whole, on their obligations and responsibilities under the Code of Conduct, and any other legislation, rule or policy governing their ethical behaviour;  
  •  Receiving, assessing and, where appropriate, investigating complaints made by Council, a Member of Council, a staff member or a member of the public, on an alleged breach of the Code of Conduct;
  • Determining whether and how investigations will be conducted; and
  • Reporting back to Council on whether an investigation's findings confirm a breach of the Code of Conduct

The Office of the Integrity Commissioner is independent of Council and staff and reports directly to Council. The Integrity Commissioner performs their duties on a part-time, as needed basis, and does not have a permanent office in the Town of East Gwillimbury. The Integrity Commissioner does not investigate complaints regarding the Council Code of Ethics. 

The Integrity Commissioner is not responsible for investigating the actions of Town staff.

Filing a Complaint

Complaints may be filed by completing and submitting the complaint form with the Integrity Commissioner by email or by mail to Principles Integrity, 30 Haddon Street, Toronto ON M5M 3M9.

Every request to the Integrity Commissioner will be noted and reviewed. The decision to pursue an investigation into a possible breach of the Code of Conduct or other Town policy can only be made by the Integrity Commissioner based on the complaint.