In this proposed solution, the City Clerk will preside over any dispute in relation to an allegation of a wrongful claim of conflict of interest, and decide on the basis of the City’s policy whether or not a conflict exists. The determining factor will be knowledge of a disclosed contribution in accordance with the Community Charter Act. If a belief of an undisclosed or camouflaged contribution is alleged, then the Mayor or Councillor against whom the allegation is brought, will provide any records to the City Clerk requested, to ascertain the validity and truth of the allegation, and thereafter the City Clerk will render a final and binding decision.
Where a Mayor or Councillor refuses to make available the records requested by the City Clerk in order to facilitate a proper evaluation of the facts, then in such circumstances the legal principle of contra proferentem shall apply, and the evidence denied the City Clerk shall be assumed to be unfavorable to the Mayor or Councillor(s) under consideration, and in support of the allegation brought against those persons, and the City Clerk will decide the matter using the contra proferentem principle as the basis for the decision.
Where a Mayor or Councillor disputes the validity and/or reasonableness of the City Clerks decision, then the affected person(s) will have a right to review that decision in accordance with the Community Charter Act in a court of competent jurisdiction. But unless reviewed and overturned by that court, the City Clerks decision applying this City policy will be final and binding upon the parties. No appeal shall exist to another office or person within the City.
When I find myself in a position to effect change, the policies setout above will be proposed and supported by me, and they will guide my decision-making in respect of conflict of interest matters in relation to City council voting and procedural rights and decisions.
See George Pringle on Councillor Guy Heywood’s Campaign Finance Motion: See council video ( http://vimeo.com/89036427 ).