Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Monday, July 12, 2010

Whatever Happened To The Integrity Commish And His Final Report

From the Mulroney Inquiry:
  • "the importance of the integrity of government, and, more particularly, the integrity of those who govern, is the theme that resonates throughout this Report.

    In my view, Canadians are entitled to expect from those who govern, particularly the holders of high office, exemplary conduct in their professional and personal lives.."

It's strange that everything is so quiet about Earl Basse:

  • "Councillors deferred a discussion on the integrity commissioner's annual report at the regular council meeting, but earlier decided they would continue the part-time office.

    Basse, whose contract ended Dec. 31, will continue till June."

Gee, it's July now. Do you think that the silence may have something to do with the fact that there have been complaints made against the Mayor with the Commish and that an election is coming?

According to the Council Report. the Commish accepted Council's offer to extend his contract until June 30, 2010 "on the same terms and conditions as his previous contract." [emphasis added]

Basse it seemed tried to change that contract. I trust that Mr. Basse did NOT try and play games by acting improperly by doing the following

  • "the Integrity Commission has provided Council with the protocols he intends to follow for investigating the remaining complaints he has received...[emphasis added]"

It is in my opinion absolutely improper for him to investigate any complaint as was described using protocols that he has chosen to use. It is Council's job not his to create and change any protocols. He would be usurping the proper role of Council by his action.

I am sure that Edgar (aka Eddie) being a lawyer set him straight on that.

Given the wide interpretation of "conflict," the high ethical standards that politicians must follow and the language of our Code of Conduct, it should be interesting to see what Basse decides.

Just to re-emphasize the broad interpretation of conflict, Mr. Basse may want to read this Editorial from the Toronto Star. You dear reader may want to re-read first my BLOGs "Friendship--The Five Part Series"

  • "What’s a conflict?

    Mississauga residents and, indeed, people across the province have been well-served by a judge’s decision this week to take a broad view of alleged conflict of interest in Mayor Hazel McCallion’s city hall.

    McCallion’s lawyers had attempted to narrow the scope of the inquiry by defining “conflict of interest” in strict legal terms as applying only to votes at meetings of council or one of its committees. In other words, the only test for McCallion would be whether she declared a financial interest in a matter at a public meeting and refrained from voting. What she said or did in private meetings would be off limits.

    Justice Douglas Cunningham, who is heading up the inquiry, found that definition too limited. “Members of city council are entrusted by those who elect them to act in the public interest,” Cunningham said in a strongly worded ruling this week. “Optics are important. In other words, members of a municipal council must conduct themselves in such a way as to avoid any reasonable apprehension that their personal interest could in any way influence their elected responsibility. Suffice it to say that members of council (and staff) are not to use their office to promote private interests, whether their own or those of relatives or friends. They must be unbiased in the exercise of their duties. That is not only the common law, but the common-sense standard by which the conduct of municipal representatives ought to be judged.”

    The inquiry has only just begun examining the mayor’s role in a failed land deal involving her son, Peter McCallion. (Its initial hearings probed the signing of a controversial utility deal). In fairness to both the McCallions, the public should avoid leaping to conclusions before the inquiry has heard from everyone and reported.

    Whatever his findings, however, Cunningham’s decision to take an uninhibited look at conflict of interest is a welcome indication that his report will be comprehensive in nature."